Friday, March 21, 2008

MY THOUGHTS ON KLOUDA

I'm a firm scripture person as I'm sure you are. When the scriptures speak on something I want to obey. When the scriptures are silent on something I'm free to act/be within any known guidance and personal preferences I might have. When the scriptures are hard to understand I am to be gracious and far less than dogmatic on any position I might take. That's where the Berean spirit must come into play for sure.

The issue of Christians in Court is one of those hard to understand things for me. I see 1 Corinthians 6:1-7 and I see 1Peter 2:13-15 as both valid for believers. It is the decision about whether something is a trivial matter or whether it is an abusive matter that violates the law that one must make to stand on either passage alone. Dr. Klouda is qualified to stand on the second passage IMHO. She stood on it. She lost her case in court. So be it.

Now what? The appeals process is always in order, if one can, because the courts have ruled in favor of the wrong side in more than one case historically. Slavery is an example. I believe there are similar issues involved with this case. Some disagree. But that is for the legal system to work out. It will eventually one way or another after all appeals are addressed.

But where does our convention stand now? With respect to a woman being Senior Pastor our Confession of Faith [BF@M] has already spoken to that as a guiding document which is non-binding on the conscience of any Southern Baptist since it is not a creed. SBC entities should choose to follow it very closely, even the parts you or I might personally disagree with, but certainly must be very careful to NOT exceed it without Convention approval or permission. Again, IMHO.

Now, however, we are told a Seminary can/will model itself after a local church. Aside from my theological problems with that whole idea biblically, I have to wonder if this is the kind of thing our Convention wishes our seminaries to be doing. If, in fact, this were to happen, where does that model begin and end? At what point do we say, "No, it's a Seminary at that point and not a church"...and vice-versa. Since our Convention is our voice to our entities and they are to hear us and respond, I'm assuming local autonomy would be one of those points. As I said, I'm assuming so. But.......

Really, however, my greater concern at the moment, is for Dr. Klouda and her family. There is a price that goes with standing on personal conviction. She has paid a great price personally. I believe her cause to be just. I hold, as I said earlier, her to be true to the 1Peter 2:13-15 passage. Some of you disagree. So be that too.

But now I believe all who agree with her stand and all who disagree with her stand will want to come together fulfilling the verse that says,

"Give, and it shall be given to you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that you mete withal it shall be measured to you again."

And I remind us all that is in the context of giving to those with whom you disagree. We all can be family here.

My final observation is simply this. I'm not sure but as the so-called Conservative Resurgence believed it was facing, among some other things, the systemic problem of the Trustees of our entities not doing their job well, [this can be debated I know] we, in fact, may be facing that very same systemic problem again. My hope is that we will not be blind to what problems we've produced over the past 25-30 years, or be closed to self-judgment and correction of any problems we may have produced, and unwilling to harbor agendas that would go beyond the integrity and sufficiency of the scriptures for life, a mission endeavor to reach the world with the gospel, and a purity of heart with one another as we debate how to solve any problems we might have.

If our Convention were to make of itself or any entity, in any fashion, our god to be worshipped, adored, and served at any price, may the One true God of heaven in His jealous love, bring to an end any such idol as He has been faithful to do in the past, is my final prayer and desire for the Convention I love.

Paul B.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I thank you for this post. the voice of humility and reason is needed in these stressful days of Convention life.

I agree that we must be watchful of the actions of the trustees...in that they not deviate from the will, expressed or implied, of the Convention. But this must only be done when clearly they have left us and our opinions behind. A 2/3 vote is needed to replace a trustee and this is appropriate so that factionalism does not reign in our membership (to adapt Romans 6:12). I encourage you and all of your readers to continue to be vigilant, but also humble in spirit...

Andrew

Paul Burleson said...

Amdrew,

I would agree.

I'm not for watching Trustees individually as much as I am for watching what decisions are made by Trustees as a body. The Convention speaking to those decisions and Trusees willingness to hear or not what is said would speak volumns about where the Trustees are in serving the Convention as a whole or following personal agendas it would seem to me.

Thanks for stopping by.

traveller said...

Paul, perhaps it was not intended but I could not help but think about the juxtaposition of this post with the one just before it.

Particularly, this quote from The Shack seems pertinent:

"But your independence with it's quest for power and fulfillment actually destroys the relationship your heart longs for."

While those who support the position taken at SWBTS with regard to Dr. Klouda, they no doubt would profess the desire for a loving relationship with her it is our desire for independence, instead of interdependence with one another and dependence on Father, along with our quest for power and fulfillment outside those relationships that lead to these types of situations.

This, unfortunately, is about putting women "in their place", when their place is to be men's equal power and strength serving alongside one another.

I always enjoy reading your posts. Thank you for reflecting the Father's character to his creation.

Paul Burleson said...

Traveller,

Not only was it unintended but it was unrecogized until you pointed it out. I wish I COULD take credit for the second post actually being illustrative of the first. I'm not smart enough to put it together that way on purpose. It takes someone thinking like you to even see it.

How right you are on your conclusive and insightful remarks about both posts. Thanks.

Alyce Faulkner said...

I was going to email you (even though I felt guilty asking you to take time to answer)
about 'offices', remembering you had mentioned that to me while you were here.

Then.... I read Wades post on 'Divine Authority is never Office or Gender based.

What a blessing the Burlesons are to FBC and the Faulkners,

Paul Burleson said...

Alyce,

It is a great post Wade's written. He believes, as do I, that one can be a gift to the church as a Pastor/Elder and would be gifted for that ministry, but there is no authority BECAUSE of the position but because of the servant heart and Christ-like character of the one serving. Wade is open to that being male OR female and is examining it scripturally. I personally am already convinced that is so according to the text of scriptures when clearly understood.

Whichever one holds to about women pastors, yes or no, the office holds no authority. The person does when the annointing of the Spirit reveals the true servant heart, as I said.

Good mto hear from you.