the tentmaker

daily thoughts on the common lectionary

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Location: Sharpsburg, Georgia, United States

"...because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them, and they worked together — by trade they were tentmakers." Acts 18:3. Tentmaker is a title taken by bi-vocational pastors. As such, I am both a pastor and a project manager. I am a pastor of a local congregation of moderate, accepting and affirming people who worship in the Baptist tradition. We call our church "Hope Memorial Baptist" and we are about 40 in number. I am also a project manager of major construction projects for the State of Georgia. My home and church is in rural Coweta County, between Peachtree City and Newnan, with a mailing address of Sharpsburg, Georgia.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Georgia Baptist Convention shuns woman preacher

The Rev. Julie Pennington-Russell is senior pastor of the 2,700-member Decatur First Baptist Church. So far, no action has been taken against the church. Members indicate they would be happy to affiliate with a different Baptist group, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, a national organization for moderate Baptists, which accepts women as pastors.



A better title would be: Georgia Baptists continue to seal their own fate.Click on the photo to see the original Atlanta Journal Constitution article and more photos of Rev. Pennington-Russell and First Baptist Decatur.

The Georgia Baptist Convention is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention and is an ultra-fundamentalist group which has adopted the Baptist Faith and Message 2000. The BFM 2000 is a statement of faith that that breaks from traditional Baptist beliefs. Among other issues, the BFM 2000 prohibits women from being "senior" pastors. This position is based on a misinterpretation of Pauls letter to the Ephesians and on a chauvanist culture among the male pastors and educators. Many other Baptist organizations do recognize the calling of God to women and all people. I think that over time either the SBC will move toward a more moderate position on theology and church polity or they will go the way of the dinosaurs.

These people are locked in the culture of the nineteenth century and refuse to move forward. It's too bad that they do not go all the way back to the first century when Paul himself appointed female bishops, e.g., Phoebe, Romans 16:1, who was a diaconas. Diacone is a Greek word that means 'minister'. It has been transliterated into our English as 'Deacon' but it is clearly used by Paul and Luke (Acts) to describe the role of modern-day preachers, pastors and other ministers.

4 Comments:

Blogger Singing Owl said...

Too bad they don't go all the way back to the 1st century.

Well said! Thank you for this post. I think I'll link to it.

12/03/2008 12:11 PM  
Blogger the reverend mommy said...

Lovely. (sarcasm)
I'm so PROUD to be a Georgian. NOT.

This is the exact reason I am no longer Baptist.

I am so proud of Decatur 1st, though. Good for them.

12/03/2008 1:14 PM  
Blogger Iris said...

How about the female apostle of Romans 13:7. Oops!

12/04/2008 1:44 PM  
Anonymous Iris Godfrey said...

Really Oops! Wrong reference: Romans 16:7.

12/04/2008 2:48 PM  

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