A Progressive Theo-Political Blog Bringing You The Best and Worst of Baptist Life.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Frank Page - Come Out of the Closet!!!

Check out Bob Allen's bombshell piece on SBC President Frank Page.

According to Allen and EthicsDaily.com, newly elected SBC President Frank Page once endorsed women's ordination. Page's 1980 doctoral dissertation at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary was entitled "Toward a Biblical Ethic of Women in Ministry." Below are a few excerpts from Page's dissertation...

"There are solid biblical bases for a full recognition of the freedom and responsibility of woman in ministry and the freedom of God's spirit to bestow the gifts for ministry upon men and women alike...The time has come to declare that since the public activity of a woman is in most areas no longer considered as a breach of the marriage vow and since the law of the land no longer denies to them the right to act independently in mixed gatherings, qualified women are eligible candidates for any office in the church."

"If the church makes any claim in its ordination that it is merely recognizing the gifts of the Spirit, then it can hardly deny ordination to women,"

"One must search the Scripture and then perhaps, one may be more able to determine whether or not the limitations placed upon women are the will of God," he added still later.

"As a Christian, searching for a biblical ethic, one must remember that the 'oughtness' of the issue must be based on the revelation of God in the Bible and on the will of God as revealed in the life and teachings of Jesus."

"In a civilization in which woman was subordinate to her husband; where her place was in the home; where her freedom was restricted by society; Paul could not afford to proclaim a wholesale emancipation of Christian women from all the chains of custom. This was something which only time could bring about as a result of freedom found in Christianity," he wrote.

"To absolutize the biblical culture would mean to assume that all the standards of ancient Israel or first century rabbinic Judaism represent God's ultimate will for the human race. Instead of making such an assumption, one must make careful distinctions between what is 'for an age' and what is 'for all time.'"

"The very nature of the church and the nature of its ministry constitute the essential reason why barriers should not be interposed to the entrance of qualified women into ministry," he wrote. "To impose barriers to women in ministry would be disloyal to God's gift of grace. This also amounts to autocratically placing obstacles against the working of the Holy Spirit in the church. This, in essence, would mean pulling the Holy Spirit down to the level of limited human knowledge and understanding."

"Looking at the various viewpoints regarding women in ministry and having dealt with the related biblical passages, this writer agrees with the … reasons for the participation of women in ministry, under the leadership of the Holy Spirit," he wrote. "This writer, at least in part, agrees … that social distinctions are meant to be transcended, not perpetuated, within the body of Christ. They have been unfortunately perpetuated with a vengeance."

Unfortunately, the 2006 version of Frank Page has stated that his beliefs about women in ministry are consistent with Article VI of the Baptist Faith & Message 2000 which states "That while both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of Pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture." I truly like Frank Page circa 1980.

I do not understand. Why the change of heart? What event in Frank Page's life caused him to privately renounce his doctoral dissertation? Why Frank, Why? Did Frank Page jump on the Fundamentalist bandwagon? Opportunist? Is it possible that Frank Page is a Closet Moderate ??

What's the Story Big Frank?

In the spirit of my favorite episode of South Park, "Trapped in a Closet" during which Nicole Kidman begs Tom Cruise to Come Out of the Closet...

Frank, It's me, Big Daddy Weave - it's time for you to come out of the closet. Frank, don't you think this has gone on long enough. You need to end this and come out! I'm not going to think any differently of you. Your Baptist Bloggin buddies will not think any differently of you. You don't need to be in that closet anymore, Frank. You can't hide forever!!

Frank Page, come out of that Closet! You, Moderate, You!


Blogger Michael Westmoreland-White said...

As Peggy Campolo says, "There's more than one closet one can come out of!" Last year, I 'came out' as a Baptist charismatic and joined the new Pentecostal and Charismatic Peace Fellowship. Because typical charismatic theology embarrasses me, I had been reluctant to admit to having some charismatic experiences of the Spirit.

I hope Page has the courage to come out about his support for Women in Ministry and not treat the New-and-Unimproved BF&M as a creed that he now has to sign as an oath.

6:07 PM

Blogger D.R. said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:37 AM

Blogger D.R. said...

BDW, have you thought that maybe Dr. Page under the conviction of the Holy Spirit and through study and meditation on the Scripture realized that he was wrong about his position in 1980 and repented of it? That stuff does happen you know -- Jesus changing hearts and minds and all.

And Michael, you are all over the place on this. Come to think of it - so am I.

3:37 AM

Blogger Michael Westmoreland-White said...

I'm all over the place on what? Not on women in ministry! I am MARRIED to an ordained Baptist woman who has been a senior pastor, children's minister, minister to the homeless and now, while doing pulpit supply, works for the city of Louisville finding assisted housing for mentally ill people. My oldest daughter is named for my favorite feminist theologian (who also introduced my wife and me and later performed our wedding ceremony). I am NOT all over the map on this, D.R.

On whether Frank Page legitimately changed his mind? If you mean, I really don't know, you're right. But my comment about closets doesn't pre-judge on this. I do hope he continues his 1980s position because I believe that view to be correct and because women in the SBC need all the voices on their side they can get!

8:37 AM

Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...


Sure, Dr. Page could have sincerely and honestly had a change of heart. I would like to hear more from Dr. Page on his change though.

What's absurd to me is these conspiracy theories that other Baptist bloggers are floating around. It's absolutely silly to think that Robert Parham and Bob Allen at EthicsDaily would join forces with certain SBC leaders in an attempt to bring down Dr. Page.

As we've seen for years, EthicsDaily is very Anti-Fundy/SBC. Publishing this recent article is nothing new.

10:24 AM

Blogger D.R. said...

I meant all over the blogosphere posting on this subject (Hence, my statement, "Come to think of it - so am I).

As for your statement, "I do hope he continues his 1980s position because I believe that view to be correct and because women in the SBC need all the voices on their side they can get!", I disagree. Maybe you need to get out to SBC churches more (allusion to the post you wrote on my blog), but most of the women I know are pretty happy with Complimentarianism. As the Jerry Clower story about his encouter with the "she-coon of women's lib" goes, "Momma don't want you messin' with the deal she's got!" - meaning, most women who are adored for their femininity in raising children, staying home to take care of the household, and submitting to their husband's leadership in the home are pretty happy (as my wife can attest). Feminism inserted into the SBC wouldn't help, it would only bring about more disasterous results like what we saw in the 1960's with "scholars" denying the Virgin Birth and Divinity of Christ. No, our women are just fine, thank you.

4:14 PM

Blogger Michael Westmoreland-White said...

D. R. wrote: No, our women are just fine, thank you.

Hmm. Have you never heard of the survival tactics of the oppressed--including "slave mentality" or "colonized mentality?" I mean, seriously, D.R., you sound like a white person in the South in 1960, "Our Negroes are good Negroes and happy. It's only those outside agitators and Northern Commies who stir things up." I'd be willing to bet that if an Egyptian asked a Hebrew slave what he thought of Moses 3 days before the Exodus, the reply would be something like, "O, most of us like it here, boss. We don't pay no 'tention to no wild-eyed mystics from the desert. Nosuh, we know we got it good right here, shonuff." And the Egyptian would buy this line right down the line.

7:39 PM

Blogger D.R. said...

Michael, so far I have tolerated your incredible bad stereotyping of Complimentarians, but this last comment was over the top. I am like a racist bigot and the women in the SBC are like oppressed Blacks? Come on man, get real. BTW, that is terribly insensitive to African-Americans who endured the horrors of pre-civil rights movement America to suggest such. And I thought liberals were supposed to be charitable and loving. Sheesh...

9:26 PM

Blogger Michael Westmoreland-White said...

D. R., I apologize, that was over the top. I saw your post just before leaving for my night job and wrote just what popped into my head. Just like when we speak, that's not a good idea.

I do think complimentarians are often self-deceived and I do think that, although every oppression is different, there is much patriarchal oppression going on in the name of "complimentarianism." And, as long their women aren't becoming feminists and demanding EQUALITY, I think that complimentarians with power in systems like the SBC won't much investigate whose being physically or psychologically abused in the name of submission to "proper roles." Just as "separate but equal" was a dangerous illusion, I believe firmly that "equal in status, but separate in God-ordained role (and power and authority)" is a dangerous illusion, too. But, it'll take SBC women refusing to go along with it before the spell of illusion will be broken. That's happened before--the SBC just exiled the women in question. Only a matter of time before it happens again.

But this does not mean that you, personally, are abusive in any way, nor that your wife doesn't love you, nor that she deliberately deceives you or herself. And I shouldn't be derisive. In a free and equal society some women WILL freely choose traditional roles.

6:35 AM


Post a Comment

<< Home

eXTReMe Tracker