Thursday, July 23, 2009

Jimmy Carter leaves Southern Baptist Convention

Jimmy Carter recently announced he was going to sever ties with the Southern Baptist Convention after six decades. He admitted this was a painful decision but a much-needed one after the SBC's recent announcement that women must be "subservient" to their husbands and prohibited from serving as deacons, pastors or chaplains in the military service. You can read his full announcement here.

I know this had to be a hard decision for Mr. Carter. He has devoted his life to serving and helping others within his church and in the community. He's been a deacon and a Sunday School teacher for years and years. His work with Habitat for Humanity is internationally known.

I can, however understand his decision too. As a life-long Southern Baptist myself AND a woman I have issues with the male dominance/female subservience attitude we are supposed to adhere to. I may be totally wrong about this but it is my opinion that if the male figure (spouse, father, etc) is the spiritual leader in the household...REALLY the spiritual leader, meaning he is striving to live, act, breathe, absorb God's word on a daily basis, then yes, the woman should come alongside him and be his helper and allow him to be the natural leader he was called to be. If he is walking with God on a daily basis and in communion with God together with his spouse chances are pretty good they are going to be together in decisions about everything else. Ask any "strong" Christian male figure and he'll tell you his spouse is the one that keeps him going and he could not do anything without the love and support of her.

Now if you have a household where the man is not the spiritual leader and wants to lead with abuse, threats, lies, manipulation, whatever the case may be...I no longer believe that a spouse should cater to him as a leader because he is not "upholding his end of the deal" so to speak therefore it makes everything else null and void. Yes, I am sure I'll hear backlash from this...but this is real life and there are too many women in abusive situations and terrible marriages who are trying to be the Biblical wife the SBC says they should be and because their husband aren't doing their part it just continues to lower their self-esteem and knock them down even more...and they wonder "I'm doing everything I'm supposed to do, why me?"

I think Jimmy Carter, in all his many years of traveling around helping people, has seen one too many women in that situation and is now ready to fight a new fight...for these women.
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Anonymous said...

I could not have said it better myself! There is far too much abuse that is swept under the rug because the man is the head of the household. After growing up in an abusive relationship and been through abusive relationships as an adult, I agree that a woman can follow the man's lead as long as she is not being abused. Even a man who appears to be a strong Christain on the outside, can have problems that he is not letting the church see. In such cases, a woman has to be the leader and take action in order to protect herself. God never said a woman had to be submissive to abuse.

Anonymous said...

This reply doesn't have to do with women who are physically abused.

But I'm afraid Jimmy Carter, and many others, are going to start sliding down a slippery slope that leads to destruction.

I think too many women say "We'll respect / submit to our husbands when they are spiritually leading our family". In actuality they are saying "When they lead the way I want them to, I'll follow."

I've seen TOO MANY marriages disinegrate because of a woman doesn't like the way her husband leads, so she takes charge, he feels emasculated, and the marriage is doomed.

Some food for thought - Evangelical Feminism & Biblical Truth by Wayne Grudem.

God gave us His Word as an instruction book. Since He is the creator, don't you think He would get it right?

I also just ran across this article.

Christina Luciano said...

I completely agree with you. If you studied the history of the New Testament, you would see that many of the books written were directed to correct actions of certain churches. For example, Corinthians is written for the Corinth church where they have a problem with how women are acting within the church and also infidelity. So when in Corinthians it says women shouldn't speak in church and be close to their husbands, it is speaking as a guide book to help correct the christians of Corinth and get them back on the right path. This is not necessarily how every Christian woman should act though.
If a man is not acting as he should and not being the spiritual leader, why should the woman follow her husband if he is not following God's plan? Everyone should strive solely to be closer to God and work together as a couple.
It also says in the Bible that you should not marry those of other religions because you can't truly work with your significant other to get closer to God.

MOMSWEB said...

I'm so full of comments that I can't even comment! This is a round table discussion post (smile).