Stanley disagrees with SBC's stances on women, wives
October 24 2003 by Mark Wingfield , Associated Baptist Press

Stanley disagrees with SBC's stances on women, wives | Friday, Oct. 24, 2003

Friday, Oct. 24, 2003

Stanley disagrees with SBC's stances on women, wives

By Mark Wingfield Associated Baptist Press

FORT WORTH, Texas - A former conservative president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) criticized the denomination's mandate that wives should submit to their husbands and doesn't support the ban on female pastors, according to a Texas newspaper.

Charles Stanley's comments were reported in an Oct. 18 Fort Worth Star-Telegram article. The story was based on an interview given during Stanley's visit to Texas to promote his latest book, Finding Peace: God's Promise of a Life Free from Regret, Anxiety and Fear.

Stanley, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Atlanta, was elected SBC president at the peak of the battle between moderates and conservatives.

His re-election victory in June 1985, when more than 45,000 messengers registered, is considered a pivotal moment in the denomination's so-called "conservative resurgence."

Stanley told the newspaper that the section on women being submissive to their husbands is based on a misreading of Scripture, and the topic should not have been dealt with in a general statement of doctrine. "If a woman is going to be submissive, she's not going to be submissive because of the Southern Baptist Convention," he said. "It's just ridiculous."

Even though SBC leaders have said the statement is not intended to make women "doormats," that is the impression it gives, Stanley said. "They should never have discussed the issue."

He said a proper reading of the book of Ephesians - the main text used to justify the statement - leans more toward mutual submission. "Jesus said we are to honor one another. Submission means you should submit yourself one to another."

Stanley disputed the prohibition on women serving as pastors based on his own experience.

He told the paper: "Let me put it this way: I was saved by a woman preaching. I was saved at 12 years of age, and I'm still saved."

The 2000 Baptist Faith and Message ignores the fact that in some places men are not taking responsibility for leading churches while women are, Stanley said. "You can go to India, Japan and other countries and find women are preaching the gospel. People are being saved. Lives are being changed. Big churches are growing up. Are we going to tell these women, 'You can't do that'?"

This isn't the first time Stanley has made comments on the issue of women different from the denomination's stance. In the summer of 2000, soon after the revised Baptist Faith and Message was adopted, Stanley told a group of N.C. pastors: "There are some godly women out there. I would never say that a woman could not preach. ... You just can't put God in a box."

Stanley backed away from that statement, saying his words had been "twisted and distorted" by the Charlotte Observer. Stanley drew a distinction between a woman being a preacher and being a pastor.

10/24/2003 12:00:00 AM by Mark Wingfield , Associated Baptist Press | with 0 comments
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