Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Two Major Distinctions between SBTS and Quiverfull's Family Integrated Worship

In the previous post, I mentioned that the only distinction I could find that sets the Reformed movement's Family Integrated Church (FIC) movement (including SBC ministers like Voddie Baucham and Scott Brown) from the FIC mindedness and patriarchy at SBTS/CBMW was their statement regarding evangelism. Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President, Dr. Albert Mohler states that the school's focus on families via the FIC serves to accomplish the Great Commission and as a means of living after God's grace. But...

I've noted another distinction between these two groups:
their support of a woman holding a position in the civil government.

(Provided that Dr. Mohler's personal position is somewhat reflective of both SBTS and CBMW, I interpret his blog post as at least a tacit indication of the general (non-formal) positions of both organizations in Louisville.)

Doug Phillips of Vision Forum posted all sorts of derogatory discussion on his blog concerning Sarah Palin. It's actually an excellent place to go to find a summary of these views and to link to other blogs who view Palin only as a "helpmeet" to John McCain. Drawing from previous statements about women working "outside of Kingdom architecture" by working outside the home which likens them to harlots whose feet never stay at home, Sarah Palin's nomination qualifies her as someone who prostitutes her gifts by helping a man other than her husband accomplish his vision of dominion. It's like "Kingdom mandate adultery" or some such thing. Wait for the pejorative and colorful descriptions to follow... Vision Forum is sure to come up with some colorful pejoratives and monikers for Palin, given time.

I noticed on their blog that Vision Forum criticized Al Mohler for supporting Palin's nomination, so I ventured to his blog for the very first time. (I don't automatically believe anything I read on Vision Forum's blog...) I found this post on that was really quite lovely.

An Unexpected New Motherhood Debate:
Well, I would be even more concerned now. Do I believe that a woman can serve well in the office of Vice President of the United States? Yes. As a matter of fact, I believe that a woman could serve well as President -- and one day will. Portraits of significant men of history hang on the walls of my library --but so do portraits of Queen Elizabeth I of England and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

The New Testament clearly speaks to the complementary roles of men and women in the home and in the church, but not in roles of public responsibility. I believe that women as CEOs in the business world and as officials in government are no affront to Scripture. Then again, that presupposes that women -- and men -- have first fulfilled their responsibilities within the little commonwealth of the family. 
Is this kind of public role what most women want? Clearly not, and for that I am honestly thankful. The tasks assigned to women within the home are monumental. The maternal role is crucial, and the vast majority of women find their greatest fulfillment in this role -- and for good reason. In the roles of wives and mothers women do what no one else can do so naturally and so well... 
Count me in on the thrill of seeing such a public display of pro-life commitment, and such a prominent pro-life candidate added to the ticket. I still believe that Gov. Palin can -- and I hope will -- serve with distinction as Vice President of the United States.

I applaud Dr. Mohler's statement, one that bears striking contrast to the consensus of the FIC leaders outside of SBTS. Though I disagree with several folks at SBTS and CBMW on their interpretations and teachings, I wholeheartedly agree with Dr. Mohler concering these two beliefs:
  • the Church is called to evangelism, and
  • the roles for women outside of the home and church are not limited by Scripture (as stated on his blog when discussing Sarah Palin)
Dr Mohler's views prove consistent with the traditional view of orthodox Judaism, providing for a wife and mother to work outside of her home as long as she effectively meets her responsibilities at home. She should also not abandon family and having children in place of a career, as Scripture is clear that this is God's desire for the union of husband and wife.

Though I disagree with those at SBTS who claim that the FIC concept taught at SBTS has not been effected and shaped by those homeschooling-minded groups that have been defined as "fringe," I rejoice in drawing attention to Dr. Mohler's post. It was a pleasure to read, and it also reminded me of the many fundamental beliefs that I do share with Dr. Mohler.

We are members of one another, and though some doctrines divide us, they should not distract us from the doctrines that unite us in Christ Jesus. I also long for the day when Believers can respectfully disagree with one another without resorting to name-calling, ad hominem attacks, personal attacks that have nothing to do with doctrine disagreements, or the shutting down of both love and discussion by deeming one another as publicans and antinomian heretics. We are all in process of coming into the unity and in understanding of the Truth of the Word of God which is why we need to remain committed to loving relationships with one another in Christ-- that which identifies us as brethren and models Christ's love to the unbeliever.

Addendum Note on 15Sep08: Another related article HERE.