The SBC Convention is happening this week and it is a mess. The world’s largest denomination has revealed who it is “beyond a reasonable doubt.” I have been asked if I have ever thought about being a lawyer and I did briefly when I saw the massive injustice happening in soccer and church, but I ended up in seminary instead. I am using this picture of me in my Mutiny jacket because SBC ultra-right-wing conservatives used a pirate flag to signal they are taking back the ship at this convention; more like sinking it. I cannot make this stuff up. It is also wild I started using pirate language first! This Mutiny jacket is from our soccer club we were a part of a few years back. I have written about it extensively, so no more in this post, but in March 2020 I started using what was once our soccer slogan against the complementarian church that is abusing women and children: Start a Mutiny! We also cannot forget the SBC’s unapologetic racism: Start a Mutiny! Resistance to CRT and any move to change our American systems are met with fierce resistance, and they are even taking over our public-school boards to prevent it from being taught there too! In the words of James Baldwin, and a great book written by Robert P. Jones, the SBC has been “white too long.”
The SBC must be trolling me with the pirate flags I keep saying. I know that is not true, they could not care less about me, but I do think Holy Spirit is in this chaos bringing a little humor. She does care about me. I find God in humor, too. She cares about the SBC too, but they are blaspheming her. They are refusing to investigate abuse that is rampant and systematically happening in their organization but are bringing up the motion to remove Saddleback Church for ordaining three women who have been on staff for years and are still under an all-male eldership. I am going to copy my Twitter thread from this point on to explain why I am sounding the alarm on complementarian church and our win-at-all-cost culture. What is happening in church is also happening in culture, and church is driving it, not the other way around.
“The SBC had me going yesterday. I get chatty when my trauma is starting to kick in. I was going to say more last night, but I was tired and went to bed really early. Before 10. Go me. Now I am up at 4:30 but feeling good and with more clarity about what I want to say.
The SBC may have avoided electing an extremely far-right pastor, and I am glad that it did not happen, but the SBC has so many problems. The refusal to investigate abuse is the biggest red flag. & I say this knowing the investigations may not help get justice–I will get to that.
The SBC pulls the church autonomy card when abuse is on the table, but then becomes all about controlling churches when women are ordained. And they proved my point, the discussion about removing Saddleback came up b/c they ordained 3 female pastors. So which is it SBC?
This is why I am saying being Baptist and being Calvinist are incompatible. You cannot believe in the separation of church and state and believe the state is also subordinate to the church. This is how they are carrying this out with women. Women and children’s abuse is the separation and the ordination of women is the need to pull the subordination card. Here is a quote by Ed Litton about Saddleback: “Without hesitation or reservation I am a complementarian and I wholeheartedly affirm the BF&M 2000. The Bible clearly teaches that the office of pastor is reserved only for qualified men, and I also want to encourage my sisters in Christ to be equipped, using every gift God has given them for the church and its mission with the Gospel.” Litton may be better than Stone, but he is not great. They quote BFM2K, not scripture when spouting this BS: separate but equal is the message. Hey SBC, do you know what is really not okay with God: abusing women and children. I do not know where you get that God does not want to hear from women. We clearly are not serving the same God.
Here is JD Greear’s response: “long respected Saddleback’s ministry impact and heart for getting the Gospel to the nations, I disagree with their decision to take this step, and would even say I find it disappointing.”
I am sounding the alarm because the SBC, the world’s largest denom, is not safe for women and children or BIPOC. Hello! They are also resisting CRT, but tell me again why the most important thing is to kick out Saddleback? I am so tired of hearing the multitude of gifts women have only to then say but the role of pastor belongs to male. It is because of what is written in the BFM2000. Again, that is very un-Baptist. Baptists are non-creedal. You are quoting a creed to make it so, not truth. & I do not use scripture to prove someone’s worth. A pastor from the Table in OKC said it best (he is a gay pastor–something I haven’t gotten to yet): He is tired of explaining scripture to people about why it is okay to be gay and a pastor/Christian. That gets exhausting even though he is doing what he loves, preaching the word. Here is why it is exhausting: It is exhausting using scripture to justify our existence. Here is what he said: Love needs NO justification. Inclusion needs NO justification. You know what needs justification? Hate. Only hate asks for justification.
Hate has been named love in the SBC. Their desire to exclude and call it the word of God–they quote BFM2K, mind you–is blasphemy. That will divide the house b/c they are not allowing the Holy Spirit to work. They call her a demon instead. (Mark 3). I am quoting scripture.
Now back to investigating abuse. I am familiar with abuse personally and in an organization. I watched my daughter being groomed by our son’s coach, a man we let in as family. I was figuring out what to do to pull away when the claim came in. I knew it was true and I was devastated for so many reasons. I will not go into all the details I have rehashed it so many times and it retraumatizes me. This is why I am doing EMDR therapy. My therapist keeps telling me I did do something when I knew–I was making plans to pull away and get people safe. Soccer did investigate this at least. The problem is the abuser often knows how to do this and not get caught. The justice system does not take into account wisdom, only if there is clear evidence. So, abusers often walk away, and not even a background check is going to catch it b/c it is not on their record. They have to wait for a multitude of claims before they take a claim that cannot be proven seriously. A child cried out, and the system failed. But I did not fail the child or the children. I sounded the alarm, but people chose not to believe me. No one wanted to lose. We cannot trust systems to come through for us. Wisdom, when she is crying in the street, is asking us to listen to her.
The SBC is not safe. It will not even attempt to investigate abuse. No woman or child should step foot in any of their churches. Or any complementarian church. Catholic Church and smaller churches with the same theology are not off the hook. Staying somewhere that believes there is a hierarchy of people is going to be abusive. It is spiritually abusive from the get-go. The SBC can use scripture this way if they want–the problem is it makes the gospel bad news. JD Greear’s outgoing speech was full of antisemitic rhetoric. He would know this if he would listen. That is my biggest complaint with the supposed “good” people of the SBC. Even they will not listen. They have this doctrine of hell that scares them to veer off the path of their certainty. Not even abuse will shake it.
They also fear liberalism. All I can say is this: Today is a great day to be egalitarian and a liberal. Glory to God.“