For Al Mohler, It’s about Authority

For Al Mohler, It’s about Authority May 20, 2019

Bob Allen

But for the Bible it’s about gifting. Authority is for God and God alone, not for males (or females). The Greek word, translated below by Mohler with the word “authority,” is authentein and that’s at best an iffy translation. It more likely means something like seizing power. (See a brief on this passage in Blue Parakeet.) And, to make matters clearer, the NT does permit women to teach (Priscilla) and it permits women to speak words from God called prophetic language (OT and NT), and that means this word authentein is not all kinds of verbal communication. And … and… and …

So, if Mohler’s SBC is so biblical I want to know if women are speaking words of prophecy? If they are praying in public worship? If they are teaching as did Priscilla? If they have designated apostles like Junia? If women prophets can be chosen over men prophets, like Huldah?

It is nothing but rhetorical presumptuousness for Mohler to say he’s surprised. Really? This issue is nothing new and it’s not going away. I’m not surprised by his response and he should not be responded that others think complementarianism can include female preachers. All he has to do is drive over to Asbury in his own state.

Southern Baptist seminary president Albert Mohler, who once long ago advocated women’s ordination, now says females should not preach from the pulpit on Sunday morning.

“If you look at the denominations where women do the preaching, they are also the denominations where people do the leaving,” the 59-year-old president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, said May 10. [Bad history, which he clearly does not seem to know.] “I think there’s just something about the order of creation that means that God intends for the preaching voice to be a male voice.”

Responding to a question during an “ask anything” podcast, Mohler said he is a bit surprised by recent controversy about whether “complementarianism” – the idea that men and women are created for different and complementary roles – precludes women from teaching or holding authority over men.

“It’s a question of authority,” Mohler said. “I think that’s what makes people nervous, but the apostle Paul makes that argument ‘I forbid a woman to have authority over a man.’ This is where you go back to the original controversy in evangelicalism and in Southern Baptist life. What really was the key issue is biblical authority. Did the Holy Spirit inspire Paul to say that or not?”

“If the Holy Spirit did inspire Paul to say that, then it’s the word of God,” Mohler said. “It’s not just written to one place and one time. The very fact that he’s writing to Timothy in a general epistle means this is clearly for the entire church. And the patterns he gives also in the First Corinthians letter, it appears by any honest interpretation of Scripture to have general applicability.”

Allen finishes his piece by recounting Beth Moore’s recent statements, and what Beth Moore does is teaching, and she’s the most influential teacher in the SBC:

Contention over the issue of women in ministry in Southern Baptist life broke out recently on social media when prominent Bible teacher and author Beth Moore challenged a professor who singled her out for encouraging women to preach.

“I am compelled to my bones by the Holy Spirit – I don’t want to be but I am – to draw attention to the sexism and misogyny that is rampant in segments of the SBC, cloaked by piety and bearing the stench of hypocrisy,” Moore said in a series of tweets May 11.

Moore said she had “the eye opening experience of my life in 2016,” interpreted by many as a reference to strong evangelical support that helped elect President Donald Trump.

“All these years I’d given the benefit of the doubt that these men were the way they were because they were trying to be obedient to Scripture,” she continued. “Then I realized it was not over Scripture at all. It was over sin. It was over power. It was over misogyny. Sexism. It was about arrogance. About protecting systems. It involved covering abuses and misuses of power. Shepherds guarding other shepherds instead of guarding the sheep.”

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!