Saturday, April 19, 2008

"Biblical Patriarchy" Controversy in the SBC?


Republished here from the
Grace and Truth to You,
blog of Wade Burleson

Friday, April 18, 2008

And What Is It
About Patriarchy
That Scares Us?

(By Pastor Wade Burleson)
For the last couple of years I have observed what I perceived to be professional mistreatment of women within the Southern Baptist Convention, all in the name of biblical patriarchy. Though I have no personal disagreement with the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message statement that declares the office of pastor to be reserved for men, I have been puzzled by the removal of female chaplains and other women supervisors on the mission field, the lack of promotion of women to administrative positions in our SBC agencies, and the termination of SBC trained female Hebrew and history professors at our Southern Baptist seminaries. I have truly wondered about the root cause for such actions. What is the philosophical or theological premise that would lead some to exclude women from Southern Baptist positions for which they are either gifted, trained, or eminently qualified to hold? Cindy Kunsman offered a possible rationale when she spoke at the 2008 xxxx Conference, hosted by the xxxxxxxx Seminary. The leaders called this year's conference “xxxxxxxxxx” and gave to Cindy Kunsman the opportunity to examine the rise of extreme patriarchal behaviors within groups claiming to be both evangelical and Christian. Her lecture, entitled The Development and Practice for Patriarchy: Cure for Cultural Decline or New Gnostic Disease?, included a pre-approved handout, a power point presentation, and a question answer time which followed. Cindy is a complementarian herself. She states her personal beliefs on her blog where she writes:
Personally, I hold to a traditional, complementarian view wherein women . . . do not meet  Biblical qualifications to be senior pastors or elders . . . but they certainly can minister as a members of pastoral staff(s).
The above statement is consistent with the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message. However, it is what Cindy said about the views of Southern Seminary's Dean of Theology Russell Moore, highly esteemed theologian and Southern Seminary professor Bruce Ware, The Council on Manhood and Womanhood and Paige Patterson that caused any reference to her presentation to be removed from the unnamed apologetics organization’s website, a change in the Executive Director leadership at unnamed apologetics organization, and a demand for disclaimers and retractions from Cindy.The press release distributed by the unnamed apologetics organization reveals the specific complaint against Cindy Kunsman:
Several people have contacted us regarding a presentation on "Christian Patriarchy" by Cynthia Kunsman at the unnamed apologetics organization’s national conference, held at xxxxxxx Seminary in March 2008. After reviewing her presentation, the board of unnamed apologetics organization and the administration of xxxxxxx Seminary concur that Mrs. Kunsman made unwarranted and misinformed accusations against Christian teachers and ministries, including the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and agencies within the Southern Baptist Convention. While several aspects of the "Christian Patriarchy" movement (exemplified by Vision Forum) merit study and correction, in this instance the speakerʼs criticism of alleged "influences" on this movement was faulty.

Cindy said in her presentation that the Southern Baptist Convention, specifically Russ Moore, Bruce Ware, Paige Patterson, and the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood have influenced the statement of faith, church practices, and strategies of Vision Forum Ministries and her controversial patriarchal pastor and leader Doug Phillips and the emphasis on Family Integrated Churches.

BLOG POST.... republished on