In an op-ed published at Religion News Service, SEBTS professor, notorious functional egalitarian, and suspected witch Karen Swallow Prior blamed the Southern Baptist Convention (her denomination) for “leaving women to fend for themselves” and basically forcing Beth Moore to leave rather than see Moore’s ministerial ambitions stifled.
If this was true, it would be high praise for a denomination that in reality had slid into functional egalitarianism.
Prior goes on to describe how much she related to Beth Moore despite how Prior (wisely) avoided institutional women’s ministry like the plague while Beth Moore was its figurehead. Prior turns her guns on Beth Moore’s “vitriolic” critics (you know, the biblically-literate Christians who remain in SBC pews), describing us as being more focused on Moore’s “mannerisms, her hair, her very femininity” and “[binding] the feet of women” by “banishing women to the drawing room” while we had our “table talk and cigars.” It’s the patriarchy, of course.
Au contraire. We regular, pew-sitting, non-seminary-educated Southern Baptist men (and our biblically-faithful wives) correctly rejected Beth Moore because she is a false teacher who is blatantly leading women away from the truth (2 Timothy 3:6). We love our wives and families too much to let someone like Moore (or her defender Karen Swallow Prior) usurp the biblical role of husbands in our congregations. Beth Moore claims to hear direct revelation from God, she defiantly preaches to and teaches men, and associates with known heretics and enemies of the church (see this article for all the details).
Much like every other biblically-illiterate egalitarian in the Southern Baptist Convention’s elite class, Karen Swallow Prior fails to return to scripture to find the plain and simple instructions given to the church that guide the roles of men and women, teachers and learners (1 Corinthians 14:33-35, 1 Timothy 2:11-14), and instead continues to ask worldly questions like, “Will the door swing further open or more closed for women in the church moving forward?”
The Baptist Faith and Message, while explicitly prohibiting female “pastors,” does not go far enough and makes no mention of the proper place of men and women within church ministry – which is for men to accept the mantle of teaching scripture (2 Timothy 2:24), and for women to learn in submission under the care and authority of their husbands (1 Corinthians 14:35). Far too many SBC churches have women acting in the role of functional elder or pastor while dodging proper biblical critique by referring to these women as “directors,” or “leaders,” or “co-pastors” alongside their clearly emasculated pastor husbands.
Seminaries that long ago usurped the doctrinal teaching role from the church, led by the likes of race-obsessed simpleton Danny Akin, are perfectly fine with women taking the spiritual leadership and shepherding role away from their husbands and inverting God’s created order (Genesis 3:16) for the sake of capitulation to the world. This downgrade has resulted in a theologically lukewarm SBC where the majority of Southern Baptists are open to women pastors and preachers and Critical Race Theory is celebrated in the halls of Southern Baptist academia.
Faithful believers and churches must (in the process of continually reforming) ask themselves: Considering the Word of God proclaims one Gospel, one faith and message (Jude 1:3) to all people (Galatians 3:28), and the Bible outlines teaching and learning in the church in accordance with the created order, what is the true purpose (and indeed, true risk) of gender-segregated ministries? Is it not to divide the family and eventually the Body of Christ against itself? There is no better example of the fruit of this thinking than the rise and fall of Beth Moore.
After calling for more women teachers, Prior ironically ends her article with a swipe against gender-segregated ministry: “Women in the church don’t need a room of their own as much as the church needs both women and men in the room.” On this point, I agree. Women need to be in the room learning under the guidance and shepherding of their husbands (1 Corinthians 14:35). Men and women are designed to grow together in discipleship, in accordance with God’s created order as revealed in the Word.
False teachers like Beth Moore and Karen Swallow Prior for too long have ignored the Word of God’s clear proclamations regarding men and women in the church (and by extension the family), and have led the Southern Baptist Convention downhill to the point where the denomination may not be salvageable.
*Note: For a comprehensive critique of Beth Moore and her disqualification for ministry, check out Seth Dunn’s book So Long, Beth Moore: You’ve Been a Bad Friend To Us.
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