Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Am I a Firestarter?!?

No, this isn't a post about Phil Johnson's great blog.

Instead it's a comment on a fire I might have inadvertently started at my church today. Of course, not a literal fire (though combining church and fire might be a way to get more men to go to church...).

After our church staff meeting, we all went out for lunch at Chipotle. While standing in line waiting to order, John Piper's name came up. I know our Sr. Pastor reads Piper, but doesn't always agree with him, and he restated those feelings. Our new Youth Pastor said much the same, and commentented on how he would ditch chapel whenever Piper would speak. This too a turn when our part time children's ministry staff person (she's not a "Pastor", and corrects you if you call her such) commented on how Bethlehem Baptist Church is looking for a Children's Minister for thier North Campus. She referred to how the requirements specifically refer to "he" over and over again in reference to the future Pastor for this position. She started asking me about Piper's views and women pastoring, and I gave her a brief overview of complementarinaism (see HERE for more info). I know she doesn't share Dr. Piper's thinking (mine too) in this area, but it wasn't the appropriate time and place for that deep of a discussion. So rather than go the next step, I told her I had some materials back at the church that would help her understand complimentarinaism if she was interested. I gave her a copy of an article written by Dr. Wayne Grudem in a recent copy of The Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (JBMW: Spring 04) titled: Is Evangelical Feminism the New Path to Liberalism? Some Disturbing Warning Signs. I asked her to read it with an open mind and heart, and to see how God might speak to her through it before I handed her my copy. I also warned her that it might challenge her thinking, and welcomed her to dialog with me if/when she has questions about it.

I had originally planned on giving this copy to our Sr. Pastor. He has recently moved toward egalitarianism, though not fully embraced it from what I have seen. I think in large part as a result of his neice (I think?) graduating from Seminary and having begun a ministry.

So we'll see where this takes us. I hope it opens a genuine dialog among our staff. I pray for God's wisdom and the right words to say with grace when we do talk about it. I believe scripture supports complimentarianism. So maybe I started a fire today...

9 comments:

Mark Gstohl said...

How can you have "genuine dialog" if you're sure you have the right answer?

mrclm said...

Mark, I'm open to being wrong, but I have searched the Scriptures long, deep and hard on this one, and you'll have to convince me from scripture not culture to change my views. I grew up in a church whose Sr. Pastor was a woman. Their current Sr. Pastor is a woman. I've seen successful ministry by women up close, but that does not mean that I think it is the way God intended as is laid out in Scripture. So I think I can have a genuine dialog, I've seen it from both sides. I've only come to the complimentarian side of the equation in the past few years. I spent 10 years somewhere in the middle. Get a copy of Grudem's book, and get back to me.

Frank Martens said...

Chris,

Sounds like you've got a case of my church goin on there :), however our church has gone as far to call the children's director (who's a woman) the Children's Pastor (fantastic isn't it?).

Anyway, our senior pastor doesn't agree with Piper or MacArthur on any of these issues ethier, and if you try to show him the passage in Timothy. Well, he skims right over the "teaching and authority" part and goes to that verse about "...there is neither jew, nor greek, male, nor female..." and argues his point.

Out of Control to say the least :)

Don't be afraid to stand my friend, even though I've gotten into heated discussions with people I still stand.

Have a great week!

mrclm said...

Thanks for reading Frank! I don't expect our discussion to get heated at any point. Our children's minister isn't that type of person, and our Sr. Pastor and I have a relationship that would keep it from getting to that point. I think we can be open about it, if they are willing to talk about it that is. Because I am not in the authority position, I cannot excercise much influence, but I can keep going back to Scripture.

Frank Martens said...

Chris,

Well that's good, I feel like I'm treading water here half the time. :)

I'm in the same boat with not being in any kind of authority position either, so scripture is my best source as well. :)

Mark Gstohl said...

Chris,
Thanks for the suggestion. I'm sure it wasn't intended to sound as rude and condescending as it came off.

mrclm said...

Grudem's book has been very challening for me. I saw Dr. Grudem present on the subject at hand, and have spent quite a bit of time thinking on this and talking with people on this over the past 18 months. The more I learn, the more I learn that my former beliefs had little to do with scripture. Hard for me to admit I was wrong, but I was. I keep reading in this area, and talking with people, and it keeps challenging things I didn't realize were tied into the subject of complimentarianism. My finacee and I have also been working through this together at times, as we are in different places with it. In some areas she is advanced beyond me in understanding, and then in other area she's not. I am being formed by God, and that process is rarely comfortable I guess.

mrclm said...

-Mark G-
Also I didn't think it was rude, it was pointing out something that needed to be addressed. I don't know if I addressed it to your satisfaction, but I appreciate your grace, and value your thoughts if they don't jive with mine.

Micah said...

I was recently introduced to this issue by my (now ex)girlfriend who goes to Bethel. It pushed me to read "Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood" and I have to say I was saddened by what great lengths egalitarians go to try to make their views line up with Scripture. It's sad that they can't see how much more God-glorifying and woman-honoring complementarianism is.

By the way, what church do you go to? (if you don't mind saying)