The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you. An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient.

Since an overseer is entrusted with God’s work, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. (Titus 1:5-9)

Trying To Be About “Saving Souls” On Our Own Terms

By now most people wish to know are aware of the story concerning which Christianity Today has reported:

Gospel Today was snatched from more than 100 Lifeway Christian Bookstore racks because the women on the cover are church pastors, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Chris Turner, a spokesman for Lifeway Resources, which runs the stores for the Southern Baptist Convention, told reporter Christopher Quinn, “It is contrary to what we believe.” (Online source)

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) story cited by CT had revealed:

Gospel Today, the Fayetteville-published magazine, was pulled off the racks by the bookstores’ owner, the Southern Baptist Convention. The problem? The five smiling women on the cover are women of the cloth — church pastors. Southern Baptist polity says that’s a role reserved for men. Teresa Hairston, owner of Gospel Today, whose glossy pages feature upbeat articles about health, living, music and ministry, said she discovered by e-mail that the September/October issue of the magazine had been demoted to the realm of the risque.

“It’s really kind of sad when you have people like [Gov.] Sarah Palin and [Sen.] Hillary Clinton providing encouragement and being role models for women around the world that we have such a divergent opinion about women who are able to be leaders in the church,” Hairston said. “I was pretty shocked.” Chris Turner, a spokesman for Lifeway Resources, which runs the stores for the Southern Baptist Convention, said, “It is contrary to what we believe.” It bases those beliefs on their interpretation of New Testament Scriptures. (Online source)

I’m already on record here at Apprising Ministries concerning what really should be a non-issue in Thoughts On Women Pastors. It’s not an issue, that is, if one actually does adhere to Sola Scriptura because it’s quite clear that the solution—as you’ll see in my article—to this current controversy rests in a proper understanding of God’s intention in His created order. But what we are witnessing as more and more denominations cave into pressure to please men is the grave danger in the centered on the self, highly subjective, and existential, neo-orthodox i.e. “feelings-oriented” approach to the Bible, which is beyond question the common hermeneutic in the Emerging Church rebellion against the authority of God’s Word today in postevangelicalism.

So rather than going by what the Scripture says we instead appeal to “community” and/or surveys of public opinion. Basically what we have here is a very wrong view currently being repainted e.g. by men like Rob Bell of what is meant by Sola Scriptura, which I discuss further in When Rob Bell Tells You What The Bible Means, It Is Not True. In his book Velvet Elvis Bell has said, “the problem is that we got the Bible from the church voting on what the Bible even is.” But pastor Bob DeWaay is dead on target when he points out that Bell’s statement is actually based upon his own personal bias against Sola Scriptura and:

thereby [Bell] takes the same position that the Roman Catholic Church took against the Reformers: That since the Church (guided by the Holy Spirit) gave us the Bible, the Church (guided by the Holy Spirit) is authoritative over the Bible. Bell’s version simply expands that idea beyond Rome to any Christian group anywhere struggling with the meaning of the Bible. Rather than to rely on a grammatical/historical approach to determine the author’s meaning, he trusts that in some manner the Holy Spirit is “enlightening us.” (Online source)

And then in his excellent article Why Evangelicals are Returning to Rome: The Abandonment of Sola Scriptura as a Formal Principle DeWaay uncovers how postevangelicalism, by making this same mistake as did/does apostate Roman Catholicism, then ends up with no valid reason not to accept once again the very same kinds on unblical practices that led to the Protestant Reformation in the first place:

So the Protestant (if the term even means anything today) world is characterized by reformations that have either rejected or compromised sola scriptura as the formal principle for their theology. No wonder few voices of concern are raised at Christianity Today’s proposed trip back to Rome to find beliefs and practices. Once sola scriptura has been rejected, there remain few reasons not to go back to Rome. If religious traditions can be considered normative, then why not embrace those with the longest history?
(Online source)

The Idol Of Automy Is The SBC Escape Hatch From Standing Firmly For Anything

Of course I will state categorically that I am against women being ordained as elders, which one must be to even be a pastor, because I adhere to Sola Scriptura. However, with its Idol of Autonomy to hide behind it’s a complete joke to say anything that may be “contrary to” what the Southern Baptist Convention believes would actually be dealt with. One need only look as far as recent articles at AM like Baptist State Convention Of North Carolina (SBC) Encouraging Southern Baptists To Use Lectio Divina or Georgia Baptist Convention (SBC) Now Promoting The Cult Of Richard Foster where you’ll see this state convention of the Slowly Becoming Catholic endorses the teachings of Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster.  

This farce of the SBC standing firmly against anything is exposed in the AJC article itself:

Southern Baptist representatives at national meetings have adopted statements saying women should not be pastors, but each church is independent. A few churches have selected women, such as Decatur First Baptist, where the Rev. Julie Pennington-Russell preaches each Sunday from the pulpit. (Online source)

A while back I brought to the attention of supposed SBC leaders that Oneness Pentecostal heretic and Word Faith mogul T.D. Jakes was preaching again in a Southern Baptist church and the SBC president assured me he was “making calls.” Apparently he was ordering pizza because Jakes, who denies the truine nature of the God he says he serves, was allowed to preach alongside ostensibly orthodox SBC Christian ministers as if Jakes himself was orthodox.

Which brings us back to the heart of the matter in the rapidly apostatizing evangelical community in the throes of its ecumenical lust for acceptance by the various factions within this world. And this would be that today most people are reading the Bible by how they “feel” God should be like so they are busy recreating Him into their own image. Do the words “golden calf” ring a bell? I close now with a perfect illustration of the sad state of self-centered evangelicalism in love with itself. AJC provides us with a very telling quote from “pastor” Tamara Bennett:

one of the featured pastors on the magazine cover and [who] talks in the article about the challenges of breaking through the stained-glass ceiling. “God’s assignment is that no souls are lost and all are saved,” Bennett said. “Gender is not how God sees it. We are about winning souls, period.” (Online source)

Really; you’re about “winning souls”? Well, let me ask you there “pastor” Bennett, and anyone else in the evangelical community joining these renegade “pastors” in their open rebellion against what God has said in His Word: Can you really have any kind of saving message with the power to save dead people without the regenerating power of God the Holy Spirit? You’d better pray so because those people you “win” must be born again to see the Kingdom of God, and while the LORD God Almighty of the Bible will always honor His Word, He also takes an extremely very dim view of those who simply will not do what as Creator He has told us to do.

And even if they have do have their bright and shiny l’il idol of autonomy to hide behind.