Readers' Forum

Baptist Dictatorships?

Regarding the article in the August issue, about Baptists not having moved, it is a matter of perspective. Some within the Southern Baptist Convention seem to suffer from myopia. The position on women serving as pastors is certainly a move to the extreme right.

But more significant issues on Baptist moving relate to the move on soul competency, Bible freedom, church freedom, and freedom of church and state. The new Baptist Faith and Message almost eliminates soul competency. Now, Bible interpretation is left up to a select few who determine what Baptists are to believe and how they are to practice those beliefs.

Over the past few years there has been a distinct move away from democratic rule to pastor rule in Baptist churches. Too often this has let to the pastor becoming a dictator, a position more identified with Fund amentalist.

Many of our Baptist forefathers died seeking to prevent the state from ruling the church or the church from controlling the state. The Reconstructionist movement, with numerous Southern Baptists in its leadership, would turn our great nation into a theocracy, governed by the Old Testament. (I'd be delighted to ask the writer of Hebrews how he feels about that.) The sought-after marriage between the Republican Party and the Southern Baptist Convention is a definite move away from the teaching of Christ that we should render to Caesar what belongs to him and to God what belongs to Him.

Pastor Robert L. Hawkins

Montgomery City, MO

God Can Speak Through Many Communicators

It is sad to me to see so much dissension raised over whether or not a woman can write an article that gives instruction to men. I can honestly say that when I read the articles in your (or any) publication, I do not ever recall looking to see who the author was before I decided to accept or reject it. I have appreciated your magazine for its content.

I am interested in the use of 1 Corinthians 14:34 by Mr. Currier (along with 1 Timothy) in making a blanket assertion that women can never teach men. While he may want to qualify this to mean "women shouldn't teach men about spiritual things," I can readily attest to the many times God has used a woman to teach me something. My mother (and father) taught me to pray. A woman Sunday School teacher taught me the Lord's Prayer. God is constantly using my wife to teach me. I hope that I will always listen to God, whenever and through whomever He chooses to speak, whether it be a man, a woman, a child…or an ass.

Bill Fisackerly, IV

Estero United Methodist Church