The Camel’s Nose is Under the SBC Tent

Note:  I am aware of the recent articles from the Houston Chronicle exposing sexual abuse in the Southern Baptist Convention.  In a follow up post I will address that issue and the response that we have seen from SBC leadership relative to the reports, which has in my opinion failed to address the issue in a proper and biblical manner.]

Just what camel are we referring to?  The new, so-called evangelical feminist. While claiming to be a complementarian she thinks women have been oppressed unfairly in our denomination.  She says she recognizes role distinctions for men and women, and that she supports the Baptist Faith & Message statement.  She is a deceptive liar (cf. Rev. 2:20-21).  Do not assume that she is entirely a she.  She has the full support of many denominational men, and some in positions of leadership.

In a previous post I mentioned that these are trying days for the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC).  The social justice warriors in our midst have taken to the social media forum and are determined to destroy reputations, end ministries, and move us to the egalitarian philosophy of the dead mainline denominations.

My friend, Evangelist David Miller, said it well in a recent tweet, “Appears the new SBC Complementarianism will turn out to be the old Egalitarianism. A skunk by any other name still stinks!”

How did we get here?  I will attempt to answer that question and propose some solutions.  But unless we want to sleep with a rotten feminist camel it is time for grassroots, Bible believing, God fearing, devil hating Southern Baptists to wake up (cf. Rom. 13:11-14) .  Most assuredly I am not speaking of becoming “woke,” I am speaking of the need to “cast off the works of darkness.” Another conservative resurgence is desperately needed.

Before we press forward with the serious problem of the evangelical feminist, truly an oxymoron, let me clarify that God’s special role for women in the life and ministry of the church is both essential and welcome.  Women are not second class citizens.  No one ever did more to champion the cause of women than our Lord Jesus Christ.  I am grateful for the many godly women who have served God faithfully and been a blessing to me, my family and the churches I have served.  Those women are prototypical of the ones described in Proverbs 31 and First Timothy 2:8-15.

Back in the 90’s it seems that many in the SBC decided that the battle for the Bible and truth, had been won.  We should have known that the battle for truth would not end until the enemy of truth is cast into the bottomless pit.  Jesus already won the war but the battle rages on.  We can ill afford to cease fire in the midst of hostilities.  The enemy of truth has not given up the fight, nor will he until his final defeat.  Beloved, the Bible believing throng must rise again, standing with our waists gird about with the belt of Truth (Eph. 6:10-18).

The danger is real.  Some of us who hold to the inerrancy of the good Book hold slightly differing views on soteriology.  Please hear me, regardless of your soteriological view, if you are a Baptist you should have a heart hot for souls. When you share the gospel you must call for repentance, total trust in Christ alone, and surrender to His Lordship. In other words, we must go back to a biblical evangelistic method.

I believe a big part of our problem is that we have filled our pews with unregenerate people.  In our push for numbers and baptisms we have welcomed into our memberships those who believe in Jesus only to the point of mental agreement.  Sadly, there is often a failure to expect adherence to the Great Commission demand for discipleship and an expectation of a growing holiness of character developed by the Spirit.  Our commitment to any other biblical mandate will always be measured by our commitment to the Great Commission.

The insistence on a biblical lifestyle following salvation seems to be irrelevant in the present day. You drink alcohol?  No problem.  You live with your girlfriend/boyfriend?  No problem.  You cuss? No problem.  You have a sexual attraction to the same sex?  No big deal.  After all, Jesus loves everyone no matter what you’ve done or left undone, right?  Beloved, that is precisely the ideology of liberalism that we as a convention repudiated with the conservative resurgence.

This is an adoption of a lite version of Joel Osteen’s philosophy.  Feminism, the false gospel, the prosperity gospel, the social justice movement and the LBGTQ+ agenda, all have their nose under the tent.  Unfortunately, via the SBC version of the #MeToo movement, the feminist ideology of the left has been firmly planted in our denomination.

It is an inherently dangerous game.  We stand to lose everything we gained over the last forty years in the battle for the Bible. Will we apologize to the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) and invite them back in?  The view of women being espoused by the ERLC and other leaders in our denomination leaves little to distinguish itself from the liberal notions of the CBF.

The starting place is the very discussion of “empowering women.”  It will go under the pretense of honor and respect for women.  But don’t assume that a seat at the table, or being a part of the “leadership team” (an unbiblical concept), will be sufficient.

Let me clarify.  The Bible is clear on the roles of men and women.  Most of us agree with our own SBC statement of faith on this issue, Articles 6 and 18 of the Baptist Faith & Message Statement.  Most of us would agree with the Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.  Both of these documents make clear that wrong actions toward others, and we might specify, the abuse of women, is sinful and should be dealt with through biblical discipline and where required notification of authorities.

No one in the SBC who is in their right mind wants to see people hurt, abused or ill-treated.  On the other hand, no one should have any desire to see people falsely accused of actions they did not take.  We already have a very good Book that governs interpersonal relationships and it clearly directs us in how to handle such situations.  We would do very well to heed those instructions rather than relegating them to the ash heap of history to be ignored.  There was a time when our churches practiced discipline, and they were the better for it.

Unfortunately, ill-treatment of others may arise from time to time because the church is made up of people and people are sinners.  Hopefully, sinners saved by grace, but sinners nonetheless.  Just as we have drunks, gluttons and gossipers, so we also have abusers.  It is more than possible to express a biblically appropriate response to such behavior (to include involving proper civil authorities when necessary) without shifting to the social justice model.

The evangelical feminist camel is not satisfied with this already clear and concise biblical approach.  The goal is to get fully inside the tent.  Full recognition of women as pastors, deacons and denominational leaders is the end goal.  That is not complementarianism, it is egalitarianism.

Undoubtedly, the homosexual agenda will follow just as it has in every other mainline Protestant denomination.  This no Chicken Little style slippery slope argument, it is simply the recollection of history, which those who fail to learn are doomed to repeat.

Do not miss the fact that the push for empowerment of women will sound sweet and loving.  After all, they are just desirous of widening the tent – of moving the gospel forward progressively.  We need to make sure everyone feels welcome.  To do that everyone gets to participate at every level.  There will be no standards, no qualifications, and no judgment of past issues (unless you are a white male).  Discernment will no longer be welcome.

In reality their mouths are set on fire by hell (James 3:6).  We must realize that liberals are mean spirited.  The vitriol they spew on social media knows no bounds.  You must agree with their agenda or you will be castigated as racist, misogynistic, abusive, backwards, hateful, and a danger to reaching the culture.  Compromise will be demanded.

Need proof?  The secular culture loves them.  But Jesus said the world hated Him and that it would hate us too.  We must decide which side of the fence we are on.  And we must learn to recognize those who are advocating this liberalism.  Chief among them is Russell Moore of the ERLC.  Do not be surprised if he, or one of his appointees, nominates Beth Moore for President of the SBC. (The President is tasked with preaching an annual “message” to the SBC, clearly understood to be a “sermon.”  Therefore, the position of President is not one that can be offered to a female without changing our bylaws and statement of faith.[1])

There is a clear biblical example in the Old Testament book of Exodus, chapter 32.  Israel had fallen prey to impatience with God’s prescriptive plan for their spiritual enlightenment and well-being.  They, like the evangelical feminist camel whose nose is under our tent, decided they had a better way.  While Moses was on the mountain getting the correct instruction from God they were in the valley doing what was right in their own eyes.  We all know that the story did not end well for those who disobeyed God.  Can our story possibly end any differently than theirs if we choose to ignore His Word as they did?

How will the story end for the SBC?  Unless there is another conservative resurgence the SBC will likely die. We would do well to remember that the battle for the Bible is an ongoing war that continues to rage hotly.  With that in mind, it might do us well to consider again the words of Sabine Baring-Gould:

“Onward, Christian Soldiers, Marching as to war, With the Cross of Jesus Going on before! Christ, the Royal Master, Leads against the foe; Forward into battle, See His Banner go!”

The call to the battlefield has never been more clearly needed.  May God’s men answer the call and stand in the gap. Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.  Let all that you do be done with love.” (1 Corinthians 16:13–14, NKJV)

[1] SBC Bylaw 1.B

One comment

  1. Very thoughtful post, Tom. Thank you, brother!

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