Thabiti Anyabwile Comes out in Support of Women Pastors?

Speaking at a Jude 3 event, from the “Politics and the Pulpit” panel at Courageous Conversations 2021, (former?) Gospel Coalition author and council member Thabiti Anyabwile advises that it’s better to stay at a church that has women pastors that get ‘a little bit right but don’t go far enough” opposed to staying at a church whose pastor is espousing ‘explicitly or in a veiled way, white supremacy.’

“Some of you are in churches you need to leave, and it’s okay to leave, and you need someone to tell you that it’s okay to leave. Because if that rascal’s in the pulpit espousing, explicitly or in a veiled way, white supremacy, you don’t need to sit under that. Right? You’re not obligated to sit under that. Sometimes leaving is healthy.

“But some of you are in churches with good pastors, who are swimming in the eddies and the undertows and the flood of this present moment, doing the best they can, fumbling sometimes, sometimes getting stuff a little bit right [but] they didn’t go as far as you wanted them to, and so you’re mad, you probably need to stay and support that pastor.

Because that pastor right now, if he needs anything, or she needs anything, it’s courage and encouragement.” 

After being critiqued by Tom Buck and Owen Strachan, Thabiti raged telling them:

Thabiti would later explain in a series of longer tweets:

1. I happily accept the *Bible’s* teaching regarding qualified male leadership in the church. It is our practice at our church.

2. I am *not* a misogynistic, culture-warring “pastor” who thinks women preaching and pastoring is “a gospel issue.”

I understand and accept that faithful Christians with genuine conviction and even scholarly understanding of the Bible May arrive at different positions on the issue. Some of them have even written your favorite commentaries and books (and) are even heroes to the theobros. 

Truthfully, there has not been one theologically evangelical woman in pastoral ministry who has ever been a threat to the gospel, a threat to my household, a threat to my church, or an attacker and opponent on this bird app. Not one. I’ll take a faithful gospel preaching sister over any of these culture warriors dividing the church any day of the week—and, yes, especially twice on Sunday since their labors bear the mark of discipleship far more fully and winsomely than these unloving, divisive jerks. 

So, get over yourself and get off my TL. I will gladly acknowledge a woman pastor in a room that has them in the audience and on stage. Not only because they kindly accepted the invitation to a debate. But because they are my sisters, having a human experience, making their way. If you can’t muster at least that level of courtesy, then YOU are the problem no matter how “correct” theology. And if you think it good to attack someone being respectful, then YOU are the one poisoning the unity of the church.

Gird your loins and prepare for God’s accounting. 

There are of course two problems with all of this.

1. It’s not a binary choice. If a pastor is indeed explicitly or implicitly espousing *real* white supremacy, they should leave that church. In the same way, if there is a pastrix in the pulpit, that person should also leave that church. Having a pastrix is no small thing. Rather it is a sin, and in fact is a judgment of God against a congregation that allows it. This “we personally don’t have women pastors, but……..” isn’t fooling everyone.

2. For Thabiti and the panel and audience at the Jude 3, the vast majority of them have an incredibly low threshold for what is considered ‘white supremacy.’

And so a pastor who is ‘espousing white supremacy in a veiled way’ can mean anything from having voted for Donald Trump, to not supporting reparations, to condemning the Black Lives Matter organization, to opposing CRT.

We’re not talking about a pastor dropping-n bombs from the pulpit or using the state of the ‘negress’ nappy hair’ as an allegory for a disordered or chaotic sin life.

Half the time accusations of racism and white supremacy are leveled at a pastor who preaches on the dangers of woke culture and the problems with social justice. For many in that crowd, that is akin to white supremacy and far more detrimental and worthy of abandonment, with Thabiti more than willing to tolerate or celebrate pastrixes in lieu of that reality.

Note. As a brief refresher to familiarize yourself with Anyabwile, the pastor has used his social media platforms to refer to his leftist positions as “pro-life” issues and yet endorses pro-choice candidates like Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden while claiming that all white evangelicals are guilty of racism. He has claimed that resisting reparations is ‘the echo of Cain’s voice’. and that white folk who reject systematic racism and reparations can’t read their bibles right.’ He recently stated that if a black man considers himself as a ‘Christian’ but not the preferred ‘Black Christian,’ it will lead to his ‘annihilation’

Anyabwile’s real name is “Ron Burns” but he chose the name “Thabiti Anyabwile” to identify with the “Black Nationalist Movement,” a move he made prior to converting from Christianity to Islam. Afterward, Anyabwile claimed to have been reconverted to Christianity but chose to keep his Black Nationalist name, which should tell everyone something about him.

Bonus quote
: “My white neighbors and Christian brethren can start by at least saying their parents and grandparents and this country are complicit in murdering a man who only preached love and justice.” Thabiti Anyabwile, TGC, Apr 4, 2018.

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