Last Friday, ABC’s news show, “20/20”, did a piece on what they called the Independent Fundamental Baptist Church. At first, I thought it was some new Baptist denomination, but it turns out that it’s just the regular old Independent Baptists that have been around for years. As a rule, Baptists are a fractious lot. On more than one occasion, I’ve referred to the Baptists as the quintessential Southern denomination. If you get 3 Baptists together, you’ll get 4 different opinions. And, it’s almost guaranteed that at least one person will get mad at the others, declare them apostate and go off and start their own church. If you’re familiar with southerners at all, you can see the parallels. Independents are the Baptists who are so conservative, and so bloody-mindedly independent, they go off and start their own church, free of any governing body, association, convention or even other churches. And, they believe they’re right and the rest of us are going to hell.
If you didn’t feel like watching the “20/20” video, I’ll tell you it wasn’t kind. It alleged, among other things, the rape of an underage girl. I haven’t been able to watch it yet. I missed it on air and tried to watch it tonight, but I had a crappy internet connection. But, what I want to talk to you about is the video at the head of this post. In it, Pastor Jack Schaap defends a comment he made on the 20/20 show by saying he stands where God stands. That he’d never get his “theology from a woman”, saying Adam did that and damned the whole world. Guess Eve twisted his arm and made him eat that apple.
For years, I’ve heard people say that women should be subservient to men, using Ephesians 5:22, 1 Timothy 2:12 and others. These are some the most misquoted, taken-out-of-context verses in the Bible. In the Ephesians passages, what’s usually glossed over (or worse, totally ignored) is the preceding verse. In Ephesians 5:21, Paul says “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ“. As for the letter to Timothy, Paul gets a bad rap for this one. Many scholars don’t believe he wrote either epistle to Timothy and date the first one well after his death. All that aside, it is absolute madness to attempt to apply everything from Paul’s letters to general matters of faith. Those letters were to a specific group experiencing a specific problem at a specific time. One has to mine them thoroughly to extract the nuggets they contain. And, if Paul did write it and meant exactly what he said, then he was wrong, dead wrong and we shouldn’t continue to pay heed to this particular piece of scripture. I say this because I’ve seen too many women in the ministry that were obviously called by God to ever believe that they should be silent in church. You know, I’m thinking it might a good thing if Schaap got his theology from a woman. Maybe then it wouldn’t be so fucked up.