Georgia Baptist Convention To Expel Church Over Female Pastor
To those who believe that the Bible is the inerrant word of God, it's really quite simple: Only men may stand behind the pulpit. Women are unfit for this honor and must be satisfied with a supporting role in church. No matter how much fundamentalists insist that "God values females the same as males, they merely perform different functions in life." - the underlying message is that women are innately inferior in the Man-In-The-Sky's eyes ..."Let the women learn in silence with all subjection. But suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression." - I Timothy, 2:11-14
In mid-September of 2008, an evangelical retail outlet called Lifeway Christian Stores was so shocked by a new edition of Gospel Today that clerks were instructed to hide the magazine behind the counter as if it were the latest issue of Hustler, or Hot Juggs. But there was no flesh exposed inside that particular periodical. What caused the righteous uproar was the fact that Gospel Today had the temerity to showcase four female pastors on its cover. Anathema! Blasphemy! LCS was so afraid of offending its God-fearing customers that they treated this Chrisitan publication like pornography by removing it from public view.
This patriarchal privilege has remained unchanged in certain Protestant denominations. As far as the Southern Baptists are concerned, the role of women hasn't really evolved since those decades when Lucy Ricardo vacuumed the floors in high heels and a sun dress; since Harriet Nelson baked a cake every afternoon and always sought Ozzie's sage advice; since June Cleaver wore pearls while washing the dishes and begged her husband Ward to go easy on The Beaver.
For the second time in a year, the Georgia Baptist Convention is lashing out at one of its member churches for allowing a lowly female to preach the gospel of Christ. Kyle at Right-Wing Watch reports: Back during the last presidential election, questions were raised about the Southern Baptist Convention's position that women are subservient to men, especially as it related to Mike Huckabee and his support for the belief that "a wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ." The issue came up again when John McCain named Sarah Palin as his running mate, with people like Tony Perkins and Richard Land saying it was perfectly acceptable for Palin to possible be VP, but not okay for a woman to serve in a leadership position within the church. Well, the issue is coming up once more, as the Georgia Baptist Convention is considering cutting ties with a local church where a husband and wife team have been serving as co-pastors. From the Christian Post: A more than 95-year-old church in Atlanta may be ousted from the Southern Baptist Convention over a woman pastor. The Rev. Mimi Walker has been serving as co-pastor at Druid Hills Baptist Church with her husband, the Rev. Graham Walker, since 2003... "It seems sad that they decided to go backwards in time," Mimi Walker told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "I'm not sure what the value is of trying to go back in time when women were held in subservience." According to the Southern Baptist Convention's 2000 Baptist Faith and Message, the office of pastor is "limited to men as qualified by Scripture.""Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife." - Ephesians 5:22-23
Stephanie Simon at the LA Times describes the evangelical curriculum taught to females at a Christian institution of "higher learning" in - where else? - the Bible Belt: God values men and women equally, any student here will tell you. It's just that he's given them different responsibilities in life: Men make decisions. Women make dinner. (T)he internationally known seminary, a century-old training ground for Southern Baptists, began reinforcing those traditional gender roles with college classes in homemaking. The academic program, open only to women, includes lectures on laundering stubborn stains and a lab in baking chocolate-chip cookies. Philosophical courses such as "Biblical Model for the Home and Family" teach that God expects wives to graciously submit to their husbands' leadership. A model house will allow women to get credit toward bachelor's degrees by learning how to set tables, sew buttons and sustain lively dinnertime conversation... Seminary President Paige Patterson and his wife, who goes by Mrs. Paige Patterson, view the homemaking curriculum as a way to spread the Christian faith. In their vision, graduates will create such gracious homes that strangers will take note. Their marriages will be so harmonious, other women will ask how they manage. By modeling traditional values, they will inspire friends and neighbors to read the Bible and then, perhaps, to follow the Lord.
College courses like the ones described above are designed to ensure that daughters and future wives maintain their "rightful place" in the home. For Southern Baptists, that place doesn't include standing at a pulpit.