Interesting news item today about former President Jimmy Carter announcing that he is leaving the Southern Baptist church because of its stance on women. I don’t agree with everything Jimmy Carter believes, but I think he’s right on this.

You can read an article about it here.

The church’s views on women (which vary widely even within denominations) are a social justice issue. And Carter links the denomination’s position to further mistreatment of women around the world.

A lot of people don’t like Jimmy Carter because of his politics, his position on the Middle East, etc. But what do you think of this particular move?

In 2000 the Southern Baptists said no women could be pastors. Unfortunately, many Southern Baptist churches already had women pastors, and their seminaries are still taking the money of female students. Southern Baptist churches are allowed to be independent and  don’t have to follow their denomination’s rules, so many women continue to pastor churches affliated with the Southern Baptists.

At that time, Carter said he would continue to attend his Southern Baptist church, which donates about half of its mission budget to a more moderate Baptist group, but that he did not want to be associated with the Southern Baptist Convention. But this week, he issued a position paper explaining his views, and seems to be severing all ties with the Southern Baptists.

The New Testament has all kinds of examples of women who were leaders, deacons, teachers. (Phoebe, Priscilla, Junia, etc.). There is one verse that says a woman cannot teach a man. But do we really understand the historical context of that one verse? And what about other verses that show examples of women who do teach, or women who had churches that met in their homes?

What are your thoughts on this?