It was reported recently that there are at least 635 women pastors and co-pastors in Baptist churches in America (“Baptist Women Pastors Reach Milestone,” Associated Baptist Press, Aug. 17, 2012). There are 485 women pastors in the American Baptist Church and 150 in the Alliance of Baptists, the Baptist General Convention of Texas, the Baptist General Association of Virginia, and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. While the Southern Baptist Convention has an official statement against female pastors, there are large numbers of SBC churches that allow women to teach adult Sunday School classes and otherwise openly disobey 1 Timothy 2:12 -- “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” It is just as unscriptural for a woman to teach a class of men as it is for a woman to be a senior pastor. The late W.A. Criswell was one of the conservatives in the Convention, but his wife, Dorothy, taught a mixed Sunday Class for many years composed of men and women at First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas. Some of those who sat under her teaching were students and trustees of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (“Pastor’s letter challenges seminary’s proposed stance,” Baptist Press, Oct 17, 2006). Paige Patterson’s wife, another Dorothy, was the principal speaker at the Sunday morning worship service at Concord Missionary Baptist Church in Dallas (Baptist Press, Oct 17, 2006). Billy Graham’s daughter, Anne Graham Lotz, who preaches to mixed crowds of men and women, is a member of a Southern Baptist congregation. Texas Southern Baptists featured Lotz’s “stirring preaching” at their Evangelism Conference in 1996 and she was again featured as a preacher at a Sunday morning worship service June 15, 2003, sponsored by the Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists (Ohio Baptist Messenger, July 2003). If it is acceptable for women to teach the Bible to men, why is it not acceptable for them to take positions of authority over men? The same Scripture that forbids one forbids the other.
(Friday Church News Notes, August 31, 2012, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)
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