President Jimmy Carter has officially left the Southern Baptist Church after having been a lifetime member. He has stated:
“I’m familiar with the verses they have quoted about wives being subjugated to their husbands,” he told the paper. “In my opinion, this is a distortion of the meaning of Scripture. … I personally feel the Bible says all people are equal in the eyes of God. I personally feel that women should play an absolutely equal role in service of Christ in the church.”
Jimmy Carter is right. Women have for too long in human history been religated to an inferior status within society by those espousing – wrongly I assert – that the Bible gives them a position subservient to males. Nonsense. The biblical witness of the Christ denies this.
In fact, two of the largest, mega-churches in our area essentially embrace the same types of discriminatory beliefs of the church Jimmy left. These churches, which attract hundreds of people each Sunday with a style of worship that is more entertainment than anything else, are disingenuous when it comes to scripture. I wonder how many of their followers realize these churches won’t baptize children, believe homosexuals will go to hell, and will not ordain women as ministers? And they assert these things because they have elevated a literal approach to the Bible, bestowing upon it the position only God should hold.
The United Methodist Church has adopted the motto: “Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors”. As for many other churches it seems to be “Open Hearts? Conditionally”; Open Minds? Nope.” Open Doors? Only until you disagree with them”.
Jimmy was right to move on.