Friday, April 4, 2014

Is Negativity Biblical? Responding to the Biblical Women of SWBTS

Debunking the Myths of Christianity

Earlier this week, the Associated Baptist Press publishedan article noting what it suggests may be a response to the Freedom for Christian Women Coalition's petition demanding an apology from the Council on Bibilcal Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW).  

The Freedom for Christian Women Coalition (FreeCWC) FedExed the same content that the petition now details to CBMW in July of 2010 but received no response.  Perhaps this effort will yield different results.

A women's group associated with the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS) released a statement to counter “misunderstanding and negativity” concerning complementarianism, the neologism created by CBMW to advance patriarchy. The article states that theirs is a statement “by women and for women.”

Sadly, many times our efforts to define our values lead to misunderstanding and even negativity,” the article says. “Here at Biblical Woman, we’ve encountered these misunderstandings about what we believe about women and what we teach at Southwestern Seminary. And we decided to do something about it.”
. . .
Recently a group calling itself the Freedom for Christian Women Coalition posted an online petition at accusing the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood of putting the issue of female subordination ahead of the gospel and demanding the retraction of teachings the petitioners say are harmful to women.
The Biblical Woman Statement doesn’t mention that controversy, but it defends “complementarianism,” the view that males and females complement each other in their different roles and duties. A 2013 blog entry titled “Biblical Womanhood 101: What We Really Teach at Southwestern” defines the view as “equal yet distinct.”
Continuing reading the ABP News article HERE.

I assert that that I misunderstand nothing about the errors of CBMW, and I continue to advance the thesis that negativity is no sin.  The FreeCWC has not misunderstood, either. When religious leaders and authority figures manipulate the laity through deception, blackmail, and social and spiritual pressures, that is great cause for “negativity.” 

 Though each person must follow what God calls them to do in the manner that He calls them, those who feel the conviction to speak publicly about error must do so. It is wrong to feign peace to cover sin and error. “They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people with sweet words, saying, Peace, peace, when there is no peace” (Jeremiah 6:14, 1599 Geneva Study Bible).

I could not help but to recall E.L.Bynum's old tract discussing the misnomer about Christians calling out doctrinal error.
Many today believe that it is wrong to expose error and to name names. Liberals have always seemed to believe this, but in recent times it has been widely espoused by evangelicals and charismatics. Now we are seeing the same fatal error being declared by those who profess to be Bible believing fundamentalists. Those who are faithful in exposing error according to the Bible are now being widely denounced, and are accused of being unloving and unkind. In this tract we intend to present the teaching of the Bible on this vital subject.
Continue reading pastor Bynum's discussion of the Christian's duty to note error and name names HEREin this post.

I've also written a great deal about the problem of the lack of accountability and abusive behavior in a series of posts discussing forgiveness. Many Christians seem to think that because mercy triumphs over justice, it means that Christians should not seek justice at all. The Bible does not teach this, however.

Shirley at bWe Baptist Women for Equality offers this example of calling out error in a recent post:
Have you read the demand for an apology? It is not simply an apology demand. It states our concerns, and then it asks for repentance and a change in behavior.  It asks them to stop this teaching. The demand is not just a “say I am sorry” document. It calls for repentance and for change.

The bible calls for repentance and change. Your pastor calls for repentance and change. If you are a pastor, you call for repentance and change. First we must  say “I’m sorry” but then we repent and we change.

So that is what we are asking. What would we do with an apology without a declaration of repentance and change? We would be as skeptical as you say we would be.  But repentance and change?  Sister, we would be shouting it from the rooftops. First, they would take down their misogynistic website and remove the misogynistic Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood book.

Read what happened when Josiah found the Book of Law. 2 Kings 22:

Shaphan continued, “The priest Hilkiah has given me a scroll.” Shaphan read some of it to the king.  The king heard the words of the Scroll of the Law. When he did, he tore his royal robes. He gave orders to the priest Hilkiah, Ahikam, Acbor, the secretary Shaphan and Asaiah. Ahikam was the son of Shaphan. Acbor was the son of Micaiah. And Asaiah was the king’s attendant.

Josiah commanded them, “Go. Ask the Lord for advice. Ask him about what is written in this scroll that has been found. Do it for me. Also do it for the people and the whole nation of Judah. The Lord’s anger is burning against us. That’s because our people before us didn’t obey the words of this scroll. They didn’t do everything that is written there about us.”

The priest Hilkiah went to speak to the prophet Huldah. So did Ahikam, Acbor, Shaphan and Asaiah. Huldah was the wife of Shallum. Shallum was the son of Tikvah. Tikvah was the son of Harhas. Shallum took care of the sacred robes. Huldah lived in the New Quarter of Jerusalem.  She said to them, “The Lord is the God of Israel. He says, ‘Tell the man who sent you to me,  “The Lord says, ‘I am going to bring horrible trouble on this place and its people. Everything that is written in the scroll the king of Judah has read will take place.

That is because the people have deserted me. They have burned incense to other gods. They have made me very angry because of the statues of gods their hands have made. So my anger will burn against this place. The fire of my anger will not be put out.”

 “The king of Judah sent you to ask the Lord for advice. Tell him, ‘The Lord is the God of Israel. He has a message for you about the things you heard. He says, “Your heart was tender. You made yourself low in my sight. You heard what I spoke against this place and its people. I said they would be under a curse. I told them they would be destroyed. You tore your royal robes and sobbed. And I have heard you,” announces the Lord.

You will join the members of your family who have already died. Your body will be buried in peace. Your eyes will not see all of the trouble I am going to bring on this place.”
Huldah’s answer was taken back to the king.

King Josiah began destroying the idols, broke down the shrines, and pulled down the altars. That is what we are asking for:  A dismantling of the unchristian unholy Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.

Perhaps the Biblical Women (TM) at SWBTS would benefit from reviewing what the Bible actually teaches about standing up to error and the Christian's responsibility to do so, regardless of gender? I respectfully submit this post and Bynum's article for their consideration.

If you have not already done so, please visit to review the petition to CBMW. If you've read it before and did not sign, please take a second look at it in light of this post, particularly the example of Hulda the Prophetess and the king who heeded her charge.


For more information and documentation concerning CBMW's complementarian view, review the embedded links, visit CBMW (starting with their Danvers Statement position on gender), and download Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.

For more information and documentation concerning the criticisms of CBMW, just start googling if you cannot find information on this blog or through recommended links (particularly those dealing with domestic abuse and women in ministry). I also recommend the following books as introductory ones that will help the reader understand the teachings pertaining to the issues that most concern me personally.