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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Mike Huckabee - A Hypocritical Southern Baptist?

From Fox News South Carolina Debate Transcript:
CAMERON: Governor Huckabee, to change the subject a little bit and focus a moment on electability. Back in 1998, you were one of about 100 people who affirmed, in a full-page ad in the "New York Times," the Southern Baptist Convention's declaration that, quote, "A wife us to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband." Women voters in both parties harshly criticized that. Is that position politically viable in the general election of 2008, sir?

HUCKABEE: You know, it's interesting, everybody says religion is off limits, except we always can ask me the religious questions. So let me try to do my best to answer it. (APPLAUSE) And since -- if we're really going to have a religious service, I'd really feel more comfortable if I could pass the plates, because our campaign could use the money tonight, Carl.

First of all, if anybody knows my wife, I don't think they for one minute think that she's going to just sit by and let me do whatever I want to. That would be an absolute total misunderstanding of Janet Huckabee. The whole context of that passage -- and, by the way, it really was spoken to believers, to Christian believers. I'm not the least bit ashamed of my faith or the doctrines of it. I don't try to impose that as a governor and I wouldn't impose it as a president. But I certainly am going to practice it unashamedly, whether I'm a president or whether I'm not a president. But the point...... the point, and it comes from a passage of scripture in the New Testament Book of Ephesians is that as wives submit themselves to the husbands, the husbands also submit themselves, and it's not a matter of one being somehow superior over the other. It's both mutually showing their affection and submission as unto the Lord.

So with all due respect, it has nothing to do with presidency. I just wanted to clear up that little doctrinal quirk there so that there's nobody who misunderstands that it's really about doing what a marriage ought to do and that's marriage is not a 50/50 deal, where each partner gives 50 percent. Biblically, marriage is 100/100 deal. Each partner gives 100 percent of their devotion to the other and that's why marriage is an important institution, because it teaches us how to love. (APPLAUSE)

Based on the transcript, I agree 100% with Bruce Prescott who wrote that Mike Huckabee "deliberately lied about the interpretation of the SBC's Family Statement" at the debate last night in South Carolina.

As Prescott points out, the Southern Baptist Convention's 1998 Family Statement calls for a one-sided submission by the wife to the rule of her husband. Urging wives to "graciously submit" to their husbands, the Family Statement endorsed by Huckabee back in 1998 conveniently omits Ephesians 5:21 which begins with the statement "Submit yourselves to one another." Yet at last night's debate, Mike Huckabee clearly embraced Ephesians 5:21 and the concept of mutual submission - an egalitarian view completely out of step with those who embrace The Family Statement of Southern Baptist creed known as the Baptist Faith & Message 2000. The view of mutual submission was not embraced by the drafting committee of the Family Statement which Huckabee signed his name to. Committee member Dorothy Patterson declared that "When it comes to submitting to my husband even when he's wrong, I just do it. He is accountable to God." Another Southern Baptist, Reba Cobb of Louisville, noted that the language about wives submitting sends women "a terrible mixed message about what to do when a husband batters them" and leads some women to think they have no choice but to submit.

Just a few years ago, Russell Moore, theology dean and academic vice president at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary denounced the practice of "mutual submission." Touting "Biblical Patriarchy," Moore argued that evangelicals who practice "mutual submission" in marriage have been influenced by a "thoroughly feminized grassroots theology" which he says is "bubbling up" in academic and denominational life.

So, what's up Huck? Has your theology changed since 98? Or have you become another lying politician? Why did you purposefully misrepresent the Family Statement of the BFM2000? Perhaps it's because you realized that Patriarchy, eh complimentarianism, doesn't sell in the 21st century - even among Republicans in South Carolina?



Blogger CB Scott said...

Big Daddy,

Why does Huckabee have to be in agreement with Dr. Dorothy Patterson, Russ Moore or several others. Many of us who were there saw that just as did Mike Huckabee.

Huckabee did not lie. He did a proper exegesis of the text and made a very proper application to contempory believers.

The problem is you are listening to simpletons and theological dwarves such as Bruce Prescott.

BTW, if you think Dorothy Patterson is a person who will "just sit by and let" Paige Patterson do as he would "want to" you know little of whom you spoke in the last post.


7:48 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I recall from the debate about the 1998 statement (I'm sure it wasn't the 2000 BFM because I had turned off the sound on the SBC Convention by then) someone (a moderate Georgia Baptist pastor) moved to add Ephesians 5:21 which speaks of mutual submission to the statement. Adrian Rogers spoke against the motion and said that inclusion of that verse would "turn the statement on its head." Clearly, the intention of the committee was not to endorse mutual submission. The proposed amendment was defeated, supporting the position that Rogers advocated. Thus, it seems that Prescott's and your characterization of Huckabee's endorsement of the statement is a lot more accurate than some commenters would like you to think. Maybe Huckabee doesn't think so, and maybe his position is what he thinks that statement said, but clearly the intention of that statement was to advocate submission of wives to husbands. There isn't a hint of reciprocity to it.

I guess even simpletons and theological dwarves get it right some time!

T. Leuze

8:35 AM

Blogger texasinafrica said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10:48 AM

Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...


If you agree with Huck, then how do you affirm BFM2000. The Family Statement is not one of mutual submission. The drafters knew that and those that passed the statement knew that. The main criticism from moderates was that Ephesians 5:21 had been neglected. Even Adrian Rogers rejected its inclusion into the statement.

Like it or not, Huckabee sounded like a moderate Baptist last night. This indeed contradicts his previous endorsement in the 1998 USA Today ad.

11:57 AM

Blogger CB Scott said...

Big Daddy,

I want you to look again at what Huckabee said. He did not say he supported the egalitarian position.
Actually, he was far more in unison with Paul's presentation in 1 Corinthians 7ff. than the contempory egalitarian position.

You are a bright guy and you have Richard Land down cold, but I think you are missing it on this one. Look again and examine Paul's writings as a whole and also notice Huckabee states the primary submission for both husband and wife is to Christ. As one examines the Eph. passage one finds a great responsibility placed upon the husband in the relationship. Would you not agree?


2:17 PM

Blogger CB Scott said...

One more thing, Big Daddy, why is the Huckabee position a moderate position? Maybe it is just biblical with no political baggage.


2:19 PM

Blogger Tim Rogers said...

Brother B'Diddy,

I was going to say something but it looks as if Brother CB has said it all.

I too was very well pleased with his response. It is funny that religion is off limits in these debates but he keeps getting the religious questions.



2:16 PM

Anonymous Michael Westmoreland-White said...

Religion is relevant when and only when it would affect how a candidate will govern. Religious questions, not of doctrine like the Trinity, etc., but of things touching public policy like this are appropriate questions to Huckabee because they pertain to how he would work for or against the equality of the sexes. Women are 51% of the population and especially should know how this proposed candidate for president views them.

3:53 PM

Blogger Jadon said...


I think it is particularly important here (and particularly for Huckabee) since Hillary was given a boost by women voters generally in the NH primary.

cb scott:

It does seem that not every SB agreed that Huckabee did a bang-up job on this issue. See here: http://speakplainly.blogspot.com/2008/01/huckabee-and-marital-submission.html

7:11 PM

Blogger CB Scott said...


Is that supposed to be a revelation? When in the history of earth did all Southern Baptists agree on anything other than fried chicken makes for a great fellowship?


7:37 PM

Blogger Jadon said...

cb scott:

I realize that Southern Baptists don't always agree. What's relevant here is that it is not obvious to even some SB that Huckabee understood the Family Statement. It is true that he did not explicitly state an egalitarian position, but he did seem to create confusion by suggesting the husband "submits" as well. The Family Statement does not say that, IIRC.

This is why people have questions about Huckabee's answer.

9:05 PM

Blogger CB Scott said...


Like I said earlier, either here or somewhere else. Huckabee gave a biblical response. The Bible does speak of the submission of the husband. I could not care less what the BF&M of any year says in comparision to what the Bible says.

The fact that Huckabee spoke clearly from the Word of God rather than a document originated by imperfect humans shows character beyond what most would present were they in his position.

He risks being attacked by secular simpletons and by the theological dwarves of the Christian arena for the sake of being loyal to the Scripture.

So I ask you, Jadon, what would you rather have him do? Quote the BF&M and be "patted on the head" by the few or to quote the Bible and be faithful to its Author?

I think the answer is rather easy for someone who has chosen to be faithful to God over man, Jadon, don't you?


10:27 PM

Blogger Jadon said...

cb scott:

Sure. Yet, Huckabee's answer doesn't address how that fits in with his endorsement of the BF&M, as this was partially what the question he was asked was confronting. The portion about "servant leadership" was controversial in some quarters. Huckabee gives an appealing response and also refers to Scripture, but people on both sides of the gender issue believe he's obscuring something or evading the larger question. That's why I originally posted that link from a complementarian in a previous comment.

1:52 AM

Blogger CB Scott said...


I will assume your answer of "sure" is an affirmative answer to my questions. If so anything beyond "yet" would be a moot point. Nonetheless, since you were kind enough to answer my questions I will address your statement.

Huckabee can affirm the BF&M in the same way as did I and others back when it became an issue of consideration. The BF&M is an adequate guide for cooperation. It is not the final authority for faith and practice. That is a role of which only the Bible can fulfill.

Therefore it is always better for a Christian to base his answer to any question firmly upon Scripture than any other document. Huckabee took the biblical "high-ground" in his answer. And as I said before, he took the risks of attack from secular simpletons and theological dwarves of the Christian arena.

He has received attacks from both as does the source you referenced, along with others, represent. That will always be the case when Christ-Followers give honest answers to hard questions of both Sadducees and Pharisees or pagans.


6:31 AM

Blogger J. Matthew Barnes said...

Big Daddy,

I just linked you in an update to a previous post of mine about Huckabee and Ephesians 5. I don't know if I agree that Huck intentionally distorted his position, only he can know that, but I did enjoy reading your post!

Here's a link to my blog where I cite you...link.

7:40 PM


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