Friday, September 17, 2010

In Defense of Al Mohler

Unfortunately, the September 14 ABP article on Al Mohler's recent chapel sermon has become a tool for moderate leaders seeking to use the classic bait and switch. For years I've fallen for this smokescreen, but not this time. I'm looking past the smoke and heading for the closest emergency exit.

The real story isn't Al Mohler's tired message. We've heard it before. His lack of support for women in ministry is well documented and widely known. The real story is the need for publishing Dr. Mohler's not so breaking news.

If Cooperative Baptist Fellowship supporters are busy lamenting the sad reality of women in Southern Baptist life, they are less likely to be concerned about the sad reality of women in Cooperative Baptist Life. If CBF supporters can rally around the archaic words of Al Mohler, they are less likely to absorb mirror issues in their own fellowship.

Almost 20 years ago, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship formed, in part, because of the Southern Baptist Convention’s unwillingness to support women in ministry. For almost 20 years CBF women have been encouraged to, "Hang in there. Keep pushing. Your day will come.” The recent quoting of Al Mohler in ABP helps the cause of those attempting to direct gazes elsewhere.

Al Mohler is no longer our enemy, but he is the perfect decoy.

(Thanks to sixsteps for the use of the photo)


Anonymous Jen VC said...

keep going...i'm waiting for the rest ;)

11:59 PM  
Blogger Sparkfly said...

what would your "rest" look like? i'm listening.

10:11 PM  
Blogger Ircel said...

Heard a state CBF leader say awhile back, "Seems like women in ministry is no longer an issue. We have settled that." Ouch! We still have a long way to go.

8:49 AM  
Anonymous Bob Allen said...

ABP isn't only for disenfranchised moderates. There are Southern Baptists who believe the women's issue is not settled, and they think what Mohler says is news. This was our second most-read story since Ken Starr's announcement as Baylor president in February.

I have written about the difference between CBF pronouncements and practice when it comes to churches calling female pastors in the past. Lately, however, it seems the leadership of Baptist Women in Ministry has been taking a more glass-is-half-full approach, saying there are more women ministers than most people would imagine, but most of them are in American Baptist churches.

I don't mean to sound defensive, but I wanted to set the record straight. I like the way you think and enjoy reading your blog.

2:27 PM  
Blogger Sparkfly said...

Thanks for making me aware that more than just CBF supporters read ABP. That is good for me to remember. Hopefully it was news to some of them.

Thanks also for your kind words. I appreciate you giving me a public voice from time to time.

3:15 PM  
Blogger Sparkfly said...

By my count, there are 24 stories on ABP's home page. Only one is written by a woman. How can we increase the number of female voices writing for ABP? Are you familiar with this group?

6:05 PM  
Anonymous Laura C. said...

Which prompts me to ask, "How many women staffers does ABP have working for them?" Writers? Office workers?

8:25 PM  
Blogger Meg said...

Ircel - I'd be willing to bet the state CBF leader who made the comment you mentioned was not a woman!

8:02 AM  
Anonymous Bob Allen said...


We have four full time and one part time staff. Three are men and two are women. None of our current editorial staff are women, but our former assistant news editor was. She resigned a couple of years ago to take another job and we have not been able to fill the vacancy because of finances. (I was the last person hired, so if you know a woman who could do my job better than I do, please don't tell my boss.) Most of our recent interns have been female, but I don't know why.

Sparkfly, I wish I knew how to recruit more women writers -- along with more minorities, non-clergy and under-40 writers. Unfortunately, I no longer run in any of those circles. Suggestions are welcome.

3:28 PM  
Anonymous Laura C. said...

Dismal is the lack of minority representation in moderate Baptist life across the board. SBC, American Baptists and others are light years ahead. But that is off the topic.

11:17 AM  

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