FEMINISM RISING IN THE SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION

” Feminism does not grow movements. It is a barren womb of activism, discontent, and political mood swinging to the far left.”

By Thomas Littleton

6/1/2021

The age-old “Christian equality ” movement and denominational destroyer ,filled with critical theories and feminist theology brazen enough to even seek to redefine the nature of God and the Trinity are part of the current SBC groundswell of errors.Trust it-this is about much more than WOMEN IN THE PULPITS.

NOTE- (This author has been in many different churches and movements including some who have historically ordained women to the pastorate and opened the doors to pulpit ministry. The primary opposition expressed here is the brazen effort to set aside Biblical authority , redefining or challenging it and to craft talking points to appear to be “faithfully” pushing an egalitarian movement mixed with  “conservative theology”. Neither history nor the fruit of these efforts are on the side of those who drive them..no matter what theological posture they assert. In the past those who seek to feed feminism end up belittling and downgrading women and motherhood and family .These NEVER make for unity or happiness on the part of those consumed by them. Besides the lack of spiritual joy and satisfaction, these efforts always result in decline and FURTHER  rebellion by seeding manifold progressive errors and politics within the landscape. Feminism does not grow movements. It is a barren womb of activism, discontent, and political mood swinging to the far left.)

Intersectionality weds all the biblically illegitimate ideologies into one loveless child of activism. From Me Too- to Trans- to Critical Theories -to Race Baiting-to the total downgrading of womanhood and family..this package has it all and is out for blood. Jezebel would be proud.


Feminism now has brought both its historical weaponization of womanhood and a newly found set of talking points and wrapped at least sometimes in the sheeps clothing of conservative theology. It appears that since the rise of The Gospel Coalition, any progressive political action group can CLAIM  to be historically conservative and biblical and still be believed. Perhaps all that is needed today is enough money to afford the latest think tank talking points and some useful allies at the top of the food chain among Southern Baptist and presto -you have validation. Such is the current movement for “Egalitarianism” and the ordination of women in the Southern Baptist Convention. Don’t laugh !  It is not coming …it is already here.


SOME NEW VOICES ARE JOINING THE BROADER EVANGELICAL  PUSH FOR “EQUALITY” -RACE-LGBTQ RIGHTS AND ENDLESS ADVOCACY OF VICTIMHOOD.

These new voices are highly coordinated and working in unison -too much so to trust the long term goals they harbor.
Among them are:

Aimee Byrd
Kristin du Mez ( Seems SBC Presidential candidate Ed Litton is reading her book now and finds it compelling)
Beth Allison Barr
Devi Abraham

MORE ON THEIR ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION AND BOOKS IN A MOMENT

RICK WARREN STIRS THE POT.May 11th 2021 headlines in the Washington Post read:

Saddleback Church just ordained three women as pastors. The Southern Baptist Convention says only men should be.

“The SBC added a ban on female pastors to the Baptist Faith and Message, its doctrinal statement, in 2000”

“Saddleback Church, one of the largest churches in the Southern Baptist Convention and home to influential pastor Rick Warren, ordained three women as staff pastors this past weekend, a move that critics say violates the denomination’s statement of faith.

“Yesterday was a historic night for Saddleback Church in many ways!” the Southern California megachurch’s Facebook page announced on Saturday. “We ordained our first three women pastors, Liz Puffer, Cynthia Petty, and Katie Edwards!”

The three newly ordained pastors are longtime Saddleback staff members. Petty has worked with children’s ministry and Edwards has been in youth ministry, while Puffer’s Linked-In profile lists her as a “minister” at Saddleback.

Calling them — or any woman — a pastor is, “at best, unwise and confusing,” wrote Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville.”

WARREN’S TIMING IS SUSPICIOUS AT BEST
This came just in time for the lead up to the June annual meetings of the SBC in Nashville which were a month away at the time Warren took his defiant actions.
More important than the SBC so called “ban” on women pastors – the Bible is very clear on it’s DIRECTIVES- yet this is the VERY authority that is being called into question as we shall see.

BIBLICAL INSTRUCTION AND WISDOM

PAUL SPEAKS TO THE ORDER OF CREATION

And the authority of men in the home.

1st Timothy 2: 

Men and Women in the Church

I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting; in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, 10 but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works. 11 Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. 12 And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. 15 Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.”

PAUL AGAIN SPEAKS TO DIVINE ORDER AND THE “GREAT MYSTERY” WHICH IS THE REFLECTION OF CHRIST AND THE CHURCH REPRESENTED IN MARRIAGE ANF CHRISTIAN FAMILY.

Ephesians 5:30-33

30 For we are members of His body, [a]of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

THE BIBLE HONORS WOMEN’S ROLE IN THE WORK OF THE CHURCH .

Only a fool would advocate for women to have no role outside of motherhood and “keeping at home”. Old and New Testament and church history are filled with women who fervently and fruitfully serve the Lord and the saints. BUT Paul is forbidding the kind of usurping of authority and downgrading of motherhood that has driven the feminist movement and it’s theological stepchildren for decades.

FEMINIST THEOLOGY HAS BEEN THE POLLUTED WELL OF ALL KINDS OF HERESY AND ERROR.

Feminst Theology has birthed error- downgraded womanhood and sought to “Redefine Family” and even the very nature of God wrapping Him in ideals of the “feminine of the Divine”.The LGBTQ movement and the radical politics of the Social Gospel , now marketed as Social Justice have combined with modern “Intersectionality ” to relaunch the movement to the front and center of Baptist life and other denominations.

ALBERT MOHLER IS NO ALLY TO THE OPPOSITION.

Albert Mohler may appear to be leading the effort to oppose the egalitarian movement in the SBC’s – BUT It was long time Mohler protoge’ Russell Moore who was driving the effort  to promote the drafting of popular womens preacher Beth Moore as President of the SBC in 2018 . The idea was shopped around by many until Moore left the Baptist movement and now her campaign manager Russell Moore has been removed from his position atop the Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission.Perhaps the push for Beth was ahead of the curve but 3 years later with the actions of Saddleback and Rick Warren -the movement is thriving and finding momentum.

SOME HISTORY AND DEFINITIONS

Feminist Theology is Interfaith and Universalist impacting most religions and is Liberation Theology at it’s roots.

“Feminist theology is a movement found in several religions, including HinduismSikhismBuddhismChristianityJudaism, and New Thought, to reconsider the traditions, practices, scriptures, and theologies of those religions from a feminist perspective. Some of the goals of feminist theology include increasing the role of women among the clergy and religious authorities, reinterpreting male-dominated imagery and language about God, determining women’s place in relation to career and motherhood, and studying images of women in the religion’s sacred texts.”

JANET FISHBURN IS ONE OF FEMINIST THEOLOGIES FAVORITE THINKERS.

By the early 90s Janet Fishburn labeled the BIBLICAL TRADITIONAL Family an “IDOL”.

Confronting the Idolatry of Family: A New Vision for the Household of God

by Janet Fishburn

“Janet Fishburn is Professor of Teaching Ministry at Drew University Theological School in Madison, New Jersey.”

” By analyzing attitudes about church and family and by illustrating how our “biblical values” are often too closely related to the “American Dream,” Fishburn offers sharp insights into the changes currently underway in our culture, churches, and families. Fishburn proposes a new agenda for the church — an agenda that can create a healthy context for traditional and non-traditional families.”

FISHBURN AND RAUSCHENBUSCH

” Janet Fishburn and Ralph E. Luker have made important contextualized con- tributions to the interaction of Walter Rauschenbusch and the Social Gospel with feminism and Liberation Theology”

” Rauschenbusch’s first major published work, Christianity and the Social Crisis, appeared in 1907. Class divisions and tensions were on the rise during this period and a political movement, known as the Progressive Movement, was attempting to address in political terms what Rauschenbusch was addressing in theological terms.”

INTERSECTIONAL THEOLOGY

A good summary of and look into the function of intersectional theology is found in the 2018  book\by feminist writers Grace Ji-Sun Kim and Susan M. Shaw

Intersectional Theology: An Introductory Guide”

“Intersectional Theology: An Introductory Guide offers a pathway for reflective Christians, pastors, and theologians to apply the concepts and questions of intersectionality to theology. Intersectionality is a tool for analysis, developed primarily by black feminists, to examine the causes and consequences of converging social identities (gender, race, class, sexual identity, age, ability, nation, religion) within interlocking systems of power and privilege (sexism, racism, classism, heterosexism, ableism, ageism, nativism) and to foster engaged, activist work toward social justice. Applied to theology, intersectionality demands attention to the Christian thinker’s own identities and location within systems of power and the value of deep consideration of complementary, competing, and even conflicting points of view that arise from the experiences and understandings of diverse people.”

“This book provides an overview of theories of intersectionality and suggests questions of intersectionality for theology, challenging readers to imagine an intersectional church, a practice of welcome and inclusion rooted in an ecclesiology that embraces difference and centers social justice.”

“Rather than providing a developed systematic theology, Intersectional Theology encourages readers to apply its method in their own theologizing to expand their own thinking and add their experiences to a larger theology that moves us all toward the kin-dom of God.”THE FUTURE OF THE GOSPEL ONCE SUBJECTED TO FEMINE THEORY AND INTERSECTIONALITY

RELIGION NEWS SERVICE AND THE MODERN MOVEMENT ESPECIALLY IN THE SBC
One of the leaders of the modern effort to push the Egalitarian movement in the SBC is Beth Allision Barr. Here is her recent post of her RNS article written to fly in the face the upcoming SBC Annual Convention.

Beth Allison Barr

“Yes, Al Mohler, a storm is coming. But I don’t think it is coming from radical liberals who have fallen down the slippery slope. I think it is coming from the great cloud of female witnesses who have stood firm in their belief God has called them to preach the gospel of Jesus — women like Mary J. Small, Ella Eugene Whitfield and even Addie Davis. It is coming from ordinary evangelical women like me who believe God calls women to preach — not because we have forsaken the authority of Scripture, but rather because we cling so strongly to it.” (Link from RNS article )

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MORE VOICES HAVE JOINED IN THIS COORDINATED EFFORT WITH BARR.
A recent Roundtable discussion shows Barr and others involved in the current movement.

Roundtable Discussion with Aimee Byrd, Kristin du Mez, and Beth Allison Barr

“Devi Abraham and Mike Bird talk to Three Outstanding Authors about Christianity, Culture, and Patriarchy”

The books of those participating betray the in-your-face narrative being employed against the “patriarchal establishment”.

“Mike Bird and Devi Abraham talk to Aimee Byrd, Kristin Du Mez, and Beth Allison Barr about their respective books concerning Christianity, culture, and patriarchy.”

They discuss:

  • Why did your book have to be written?
  • How has your book been received?
  • How do male responses to the books prove the point of the books?
  • What would a man get out of reading your book?
  • What is the # 1 thing that has to change in the churches?

See these books:

Aimee Byrd
Recovering From Biblical Manhood and Womanhood

Kristin du Mez
Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation

Beth Allison Barr
The Making of Biblical Womanhood: How the Subjugation of Women Became Gospel Truth

Devi Abraham Where Do We Go From Here Podcast

Michael Bird, Bourgeois Babes, Bossy Wives, and Bobby Haircuts: A Case for Gender Equality in MinistryBarrs book description:A powerful work of skillful research and personal insight.”–Publishers Weekly

“Biblical womanhood–the belief that God designed women to be submissive wives, virtuous mothers, and joyful homemakers–pervades North American Christianity. From choices about careers to roles in local churches to relationship dynamics, this belief shapes the everyday lives of evangelical women. Yet biblical womanhood isn’t biblical, says Baylor University historian Beth Allison Barr. It arose from a series of clearly definable historical moments.”

“This book moves the conversation about biblical womanhood beyond Greek grammar and into the realm of church history–ancient, medieval, and modern–to show that this belief is not divinely ordained but a product of human civilization that continues to creep into the church. Barr’s historical insights provide context for contemporary teachings about women’s roles in the church and help move the conversation forward.”

“Interweaving her story as a Baptist pastor’s wife, Barr sheds light on the #ChurchToo movement and abuse scandals in Southern Baptist circles and the broader evangelical world, helping readers understand why biblical womanhood is more about human power structures than the message of Christ.”
Besides the endorsements of her fellow feminine activist in this roundtable -Beth Allison Barr’s book is endorsed by such activist luminaries as Critical Race Theory leader Jemar Tisby adn LGBTQ advocate and semi uncloseted LGBTQ + activist Baptist/journalist Jonathan Merrit .

Endorsements

“Throughout this book, Barr talks about how her world was transformed. Readers should be ready to have their worlds transformed too. She shakes our shallow historical foundations by revealing how much of so-called ‘biblical’ womanhood reflects the culture rather than Christ. By taking us through her own heartbreaking journey of exclusion from her faith community, she demonstrates the temerity that we need to live the simple, yet disruptive truth that all women and men are created in the image of God. The Making of Biblical Womanhood is about unmaking the harmful patterns of patriarchy in the church, society, and our own hearts.”

Jemar Tisby, CEO of The Witness Inc.; New York Times bestselling author of The Color of Compromise

“This is a book unlike anything I’ve read before. Drawing on her extensive research into the history of Christianity, Barr upends everything you thought you knew about Christianity and gender. This fervent, bold, and sweeping history of Christianity and patriarchy is an absolute game changer. Any future debates will need to reckon with Barr’s contention that the subjugation of women has nothing to do with gospel truth.”

Kristin Kobes Du Mez, professor of history and gender studies, Calvin University; author of Jesus and John Wayne

The Making of Biblical Womanhood has done in one volume what many other books in recent years have done in part: it demonstrates that so-called biblical womanhood is not actually biblical. Though Barr explores and analyzes church history and theology in this well-researched book, it is no boring academic tome. She weaves together personal narrative to remind readers of the humanity of this issue too. This book has the power to help Christians build a faith where ‘there is neither male nor female,’ to liberate women from patriarchal hierarchies, and to heal the pain inflicted by countless churches. I have waited my entire adult life for a book like this, and I am excited that it has finally arrived.”

Jonathan Merritt, contributing writer for The Atlantic; author of Learning to Speak God from Scratch

“It’s time–no, it’s way past time–that we take a critical look at how complementarians have been leaving women leaders and teachers out of church history books and expose the movement of ‘biblical womanhood’ for what it is. I love how Beth Allison Barr’s expertise in medieval church history contributes to the discussion of women in the church. While I may not align completely with Barr’s argument, I affirm with her the need to acknowledge the different ways women have led in church history and should now. I affirm with her that Christ calls women in his church to teach. And I affirm with her that so-called complementarianism isn’t the only option, or even a good one, for those who uphold the authority of Scripture. Read this book and be challenged and encouraged. I’m glad she wrote it.”

Aimee Byrd, author of Recovering from Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and No Little Women

Aimee Byrd’s book description

Recovering from Biblical Manhood and Womanhood

“Recovering from Biblical Manhood and Womanhood presents a critique and an alternative to the push for biblical womanhood and biblical manhood today, focusing on the reciprocity of the male and female voices in Scripture, the covenantal aspect to Bible reading and interpretation, and bearing the fruit of that in our church life.”

About the Book

“While evangelicalism dukes it out about who can be church leaders, the rest of the 98% of us need to be well equipped to see where we fit in God’s household and why that matters. Recovering from Biblical Manhood and Womanhood is a resource to help church leaders improve the culture of their church and disciple men and women in their flock to read, understand, and apply Scripture to our lives in the church. Until both men and women grow in their understanding of their relationship to Scripture, there will continue to be tension between the sexes in the church. Church leaders need to be engaged in thoughtful critique of the biblical manhood and womanhood movement and the effects it has on their congregation.”

“Do men and women benefit equally from God’s word? Are they equally responsible in sharpening one another in the faith and passing it down to the next generation? While radical feminists claim that the Bible is a hopelessly patriarchal construction by powerful men that oppresses women, evangelical churches simply reinforce this teaching when we constantly separate men and women, customizing women’s resources and studies according to a culturally based understanding of roles. Do we need men’s Bibles and women’s Bibles, or can the one, holy Bible guide us all? Is the Bible, God’s word, so male-centered and authored that women need to create their own resources to relate to it? No! And in it, we also learn from women. Women play an active role as witnesses to the faith, passing it on to the new generations.”

“This book explores the feminine voice in Scripture as synergistic with the dominant male voice. Through the women, we often get the story behind the story–take Ruth for example, or the birth of Christ through the perspective of Mary and Elizabeth in Luke. Aimee fortifies churches in a biblical understanding of brotherhood and sisterhood in God’s household and the necessity of learning from one another in studying God’s word.”Kristine Kobes Du Mez book description:
NOTE There is little doubt about the political nature of the movement after reading Ms Du Mez talking points.
“How did a libertine who lacks even the most basic knowledge of the Christian faith win 81 percent of the white evangelical vote in 2016? And why have white evangelicals become a presidential reprobate’s staunchest supporters?

“These are among the questions acclaimed historian Kristin Kobes Du Mez asks in Jesus and John Wayne, which delves beyond facile headlines to explain how white evangelicals have brought us to our fractured political moment. Challenging the commonly held assumption that the ?moral majority? backed Donald Trump for purely pragmatic reasons, Du Mez reveals that Donald Trump in fact represents the fulfillment, rather than the betrayal, of white evangelicals’ most deeply held values.”

“Jesus and John Wayne is a sweeping account of the last seventy-five years of white evangelicalism, showing how American evangelicals have worked for decades to replace the Jesus of the Gospels with an idol of rugged masculinity and Christian nationalism, or in the words of one modern chaplain, with ?a spiritual badass.? As Du Mez explains, the key to understanding this transformation is to recognize the role of culture in modern American evangelicalism. Many of today’s evangelicals may not be theologically astute, but they know their VeggieTales, they’ve read John Eldredge’s Wild at Heart, and they learned about purity before they learned about sex?and they have a silver ring to prove it. Evangelical books, films, music, clothing, and merchandise shape the beliefs of millions. And evangelical popular culture is teeming with muscular heroes?mythical warriors and rugged soldiers, men like Oliver North, Ronald Reagan, Mel Gibson, and the Duck Dynasty clan, who assert white masculine power in defense of ?Christian America.? Chief among these evangelical legends is John Wayne, an icon of a lost time when men were uncowed by political correctness, unafraid to tell it like it was, and did what needed to be done.”

“Trump, in other words, is hardly the first flashy celebrity to capture evangelicals’ hearts and minds, nor is he the first strongman to promise evangelicals protection and power. Indeed, the values and viewpoints at the heart of white evangelicalism today?patriarchy, authoritarian rule, aggressive foreign policy, fear of Islam, ambivalence toward #MeToo, and opposition to Black Lives Matter and the LGBTQ community?are likely to persist long after Trump leaves office.”

“A much-needed reexamination, Jesus and John Wayne explains why evangelicals have rallied behind the least-Christian president in American history and how they have transformed their faith in the process, with enduring consequences for all of us.”

FEMINISM SEEKS HISTORIC CONTEXT- AS DO OTHER ACTIVIST CAUSES
The movement is ever reaching for “historic context ” and Anthropology to lend validity to the activist narrative.
Egalitarian anthropologies
“Titled in accordance with Rosemary Radford Ruether‘s work in Christian theology, Egalitarian anthropologies explore varying views of gender equality in Christianity. These include eschatological feminism, liberal feminism, and romantic feminism. According to Ruether, the commonality among these anthropologies is the belief that gender equality was the original intention of God and that it was somehow skewed by humanity. Ruether goes on to point out that the belief in the ideal of gender equality “leaves room for considerable variation in relating this equality to woman’s present subjugated state in history under patriarchy.”In the preceding statement, Ruether qualifies the need for further exploration into the following anthropologies.”

Liberal feminism

“Liberal feminism rejects the notion that creation established the patriarchy; Ruether asserts that gender equality originally existed, but was distorted by historical injustices against women. This branch of egalitarianism dictates that gender equality must be restored rather than introduced. This restoration will be accomplished by economic, political, social, and systemic reformation. Ruether includes the church in her discussion of social reform, displaying its participation in gender subordination. Ruether continues saying, “The Church as a bearer of redeemed humanity ought especially to represent this equality of men and women in its institutional life. But it does so as a paradigm of what all social institutions should become, not as a representative of an eschatological humanity outside of and beyond history.” Here she distinguishes liberal from eschatological feminism stating that liberal feminism calls for liberation within society, rather than removal from it.”
Beth Allison Barr is a leader of the Christians for Biblical Equality

Mission Statement  CBE International (Christians for Biblical Equality)

“CBE exists to promote the biblical message that God calls women and men of all cultures, races, and classes to share authority equally in service and leadership in the home, church, and world. CBE’s mission is to eliminate the power imbalance between men and women resulting from theological patriarchy.”

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Envisioned Future

“CBE envisions a future where all believers are freed to exercise their gifts for God’s glory and purposes, with the full support of their Christian communities.”PATRIARCHY IS CONSTANTLY BLAMED FOR SEXUAL ABUSE IN THE CHURCH.

Helping the Church Prevent Abuse

“I am currently on the journey of recovering from [clergy] abuse and have a God-given passion to help speak into and resolve the issue in our churches…I enjoy the connection with CBE and the resources you provide.”

—Seminary student

“In the US and around the world, 1 in 3 women are victims of physical abuse by an intimate partner, and studies show abuse is as common in the church as in society. CBE is working with church leaders to prevent abuse and create communities where women and men flourish as equals.”
” Right nowwomen aren’t free to use their leadership gifts due to… sexist religious beliefs. Christian patriarchy. misreading Scripture. strict gender roles.”

CONCLUSION

A Truly Biblical view of womens roles goes no where near the promotion of feminist politics nor feminist liberation theology.
THE NEW TESTAMENT HAS WONDERFUL INSIGHT INTO GODLY WOMEN AND THEIR ROLES IN THE CHURCH AND THE WORK OF THE GOSPEL.

ROMANS 16 GREETINGS Paul greeted 28 people in Rome of whom 10 were womenPaul was quick to identify and commend them and was NEVER ignoring women;s roles in the work of the church-even in Rome.
WOMEN IN THE GOSPELS
Martha and Mary portray powerful realities of Jesus interaction with women and their callings to serve and worship.
Mary  Magdaleneis a powerful picture of redemption and bold love and service to Jesus .

Women were called to discipleship is most evident in the Resurrection accounts. All four Gospels show Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the Mother of James and Joses, Salome and the other women disciples accompanying Jesus to his death; anointing and burying his body; viewing the empty tomb; and see Him RISEN FROM THE DEAD.

ACTS 2:

17 “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
    and your young men shall see visions,
    and your old men shall dream dreams;Acts 21:9Phillp the evangelist  ” He had four unmarried daughters, who prophesied”
ADD on biblical case for women and gender roles
1st Corinthians 11:
Now I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things and keep the traditions just as I delivered them to you. But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.
Titus 22 But as for you, teach what accords with sound[a] doctrine. Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us”
DANGER AHEAD !

Neither the SBC nor any other denomination will benefit from a rise of feminist ideology, politics or theology in it’s ranks. Why ? Because every insatiable progressive cause comes along for the ride and NO movement has ever begun to pacify and appease it without entering into steep decline and losing sight of fidelity and faithfulness to the Word of God. None.

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