Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Wreybies, Jul 20, 2009.
Good on him. This should stop those same church leaders talking about the merits of freedom and equality in the western world.
"The question for Carter -- and for others who find themselves at odds with leadership -- is, when a group you're deeply involved in starts to move away from your own core beliefs, do you stay and try to change from within or, at some point, do you have to look for the exit?"
With this in mind, I have to say that I commend Carter for leaving like he did. I've known a lot of religious people who when they were uncomfortable with something their religion was teaching blamed themselves. It was almost like they looked at disagreeing with what was being taught or advocated was, in their mind, as showing a lack of faith. I can understand where they're coming from, feeling like that, but at the same time, a person needs to know when to draw the line between feeling like having doubts about something is showing a lack of faith and knowing that you feel uncomfortable because it's something that you think is wrong. It's all well and good to believe in a religion, but I don't think you should keep just blindly following them if some of the things they are teaching don't sit well with you.
Just my extremely tired thoughts on the subject.
I think the depth and width of the rift matters. If the difference is one you can live with, even though you disagree with it, you may treat it like that annoying habit your lover/spouse has. You grind your teeth quietly but tolerate it for the overall relationship.
If it is a fundamental difference, though, you will have to either try to effect change in the group's policies, or part ways. If you yourself are a visible enough and respected figure, like President Carter, you can do both at once.
For Mr. Joe Jones, packing up and leaving is no more than a parting of the ways. Your leaving may sway a couple others to do the same, but it probably won't impact the organization one whit. But when someone as visible as President Carter walks, the publicity is not something the organization to ignore.
At that point, the strength of the issue itself becomes critical. If Carter had left because the Southern Baptists were admitting too many minorities, then the weight of the issue would have harmed him, not the church.
So the impact on both will now depend on how the population at large, and the membership of the church, feel about the church's stance on women. Will the Southern Baptist Church find themselves losing members in droves, and losing the sponsorship of donating organizations, or will it become a durable haven of male supremacy?
Time will tell.
I can completely sympathize with Carter's decision to leave his church over an issue like that. For most of my life I attended a Southern Baptist Church with my family and friends but I have not attended a service in a very long time due to several reasons.
Since I was young I have understood that a good summary of part of Jesus' teachings is that we are all equal in his eyes and should be in our own as well. As I grew older though, I began to recognize the great hypocrisy of my fellow church members with each day. They would worship God and claim they lived their lives by his teachings and if you didn't, you would be condemned to Hell. These same men would walk out of the service and call a man stuid, or a criminal, just because his skin was a certain color. The hatred held by them is ignorant and senseless.
How would Jesus feel about that?
Now, I still consider myself a Christian even if I don't go to church services anymore, but I want nothing to do with people like that. For a while there I almost let those kinds of men ruin my faith entirely for me.
Again I bring it up: No where in the Bible does it say women are to be "subservient" per se, but several points in the Bible both in the New and Old Testaments it states women are not to have spiritual authority over men. More so throughout the Bible, though God has shown great affinity for both men and women, he treats both in different ways. In the Old Testament this is most apparent in that when working with women God is more "behind the scenes" than he is with men. He's there and working on their problems but he doesn't directly confront them in the same way he often does with men. I don't know exactly why he does that. Its never been an issue I decided to study on. This is also apparent in the new testament in how differently Jesus works with Women than he does with Men (In that Jesus too wasn't as "direct" with women in most of the cases the NT gives).
That said, I don't really care that much XD. If a church doesn't want to ordain women that's their right as a religious group with the freedom to practice their faith. It's intolerant for the rest of the world to expect the Southern Baptists to conform to their idea of freedom and equality. It is not in the spirit of the Christian faith (imo) to threat women as inferior to men. But not making them ordained ministers doesn't make them inferior.
I also question how accurate this claim is. I'm Southern Baptist, and I heard many females preach in church. Whether or not they were ordained I don't know, but you don't have to be ordained to preach the word. I also know of other Baptist groups that do ordain women, but stress that they minister to women not men.
Also remember Intolerance is a two way street. "Freedom and Equality" is a vague term. Your opinion of it won't be the same as another's. It's intolerant of one group to claim another is against it just because they have a differing world view. Rarely have I seen someone claim another is intolerant without showing their own intolerance for a differing view.
For those unaware, the pressure of "Freedom and Equality" has in the past two years torn the Episcopal Church apart. The Episcopal Church of the United States was the first to ordain Gay Ministers, and as a result, the majority of the Church's pastors left, and many of their congregations left too. The Episcopal Church barely exists anymore, as most of the congregations and pastors left, and have now formed the Angelican Church in North America (Not all leaving congregations join the ACNA, some have split of on their own, and I think others have formed other new groups) which has now connected itself to the Church in Britain through the Angelican Diocese of Uganda. For what remained of the Episcopal Church, their ability to practice faith and support humanitarian aid has been destroyed. Many other church groups particularly in Europe and Africa have broken all ties. The ability of the ECUSA to function as a church should been shattered, and if they don't work a fix for it it might fall apart further.
The church I go to now is one of the congregations that broke off from the ECUSA, and they have to have services in a school cafeteria because the City Council won't give them land to build a proper church on. The reason why was stated in a letter as "You christians should disappear into a corner and leave the rest of us alone." Yes. I see. Christians are the only ones in this game with Intolerance.
Whether or not Christians should ordain women is something I don't really care about. There are bigger issues Christianity faces, and their the ones I'd rather that Christians focus on. I merely come to state that I don't view this action by the Southern Baptists as intolerant, merely a differing world view. To try and pressure a group into conforming to yours because you say they are "intolerant" merely shows your own intolerance for people who don't see the world the way you do. Intolerance doesn't go one way it goes both. We're human, we're flawed. To claim moral superiority over another simply because you both disagree on some issue shows nothing but hubris.
If you don't like your church you can always leave. As for Jimmy, I get that you don't like it, but why do you have to follow your usual suit of logical fallacy? Comparing the SBC to Iran? Really? There's a wee bit of a difference I think.
Really? The SBC does all that? Do tell? Since when does the SBC or any major Christian group in the US not allow girls to go to school? Even the Amish let girls go to school XD. Since when does it not let them go to hospitals or get jobs, or influence their own communities? The CHurch must ordain them for them to talk of their faith or aid their struggling brothers and sisters? Since when? So let me think this out. Logically, because the SBC doesn't ordain women as religious officials, we are abusing women, not letting them go to school, hospitals, get jobs, or influence their community or are allowing it to happen elsewhere in the world. Yes. 1 + 1 does in fact = 2485. Your logic is a little flawed here Jimbo. I'm no math genius, but that doesn't seem to add up very well or make much sense.
Sorry Jimmy but in the line of most people who have fallen out of public light and are missing it you seem to be stirring up a big storm by taking a little thing and blowing it out of proportion. In typical Democratic fashion, you've taken a real issue, and blamed all the problems on a group that doesn't really have anything to do with it. So the SBC doesn't ordain women, big whoop! That makes them somehow responsible for forced prostitution, mutilation, and slavery committed in other parts of the world (and don't think I don't know which one's your talking about). Yes. Your logic is sound solid and makes complete and total sense.
Maybe you should finger a group that I don't know, actually mistreats women, rather than one that just doesn't ordain them as religious officials? It wouldn't be that hard. There's plenty of them. I'm Southern Baptist and I haven't seen any of the stuff your talking about XD. Do these abuses happen in the world, I'm sure they do. We're human we aren't perfect. I'm sure even many Southern Baptists are guilty of some of the things you listed. I'm sure you've seen it happen for you to claim they exist. But surely it's not everywhere and your not going to call all us Southern Baptists out as women abusers and claim our pastors read the Bible's plain wording in such a way merely so we can abuse women... oh wait, you did. Five stars for sweeping generalization fallacy, a political classic.
I never said there was freedom and equality in the western world, but people who don't practice it, for whatever reason, shouldn't pretend they do. And they definately shouldn't preach it.
I think he was referring to the 'dinner on the table when I come home from work' attitude that exists in many (if not most) parts of the rural southern USA.
And how is that prostitution, mutilation, and slavery?
At no one in particular and everyone in general...
There is a core question which was the theme of this thread and which seems forgotten:
In that case, I agree with cogito's post, but there's another option that's been overlooked. (I'm now speaking in a totally abstract manner and this is divorced from my judgements on whether Mr. Carter made the right choice.) When that kind of thing happens it's always a good idea to take a good look at your core beliefs and see if they need some revising. Staying true to yourself doesn't do a bit of good if you're wrong.
CD made my point more clear. He's specifically targeting the SBC, while at the same time speaking on a larger issue. In doing so, it appears as though he is placing all the blame for women's struggles in the world on the SBC and other Christian groups simply because they don't ordain women. I assume the entire letter/statement by Carter however was not present in the article Wrey's post cited, so maybe that section has lost some of it's context, but that's what it looks like he's saying to me.
I've also never heard the SBC claim to preach Freedom and Equality. Never have I heard a religious organization make such a claim that they preach Freedom and Equality actually. It's not really their gig.
On Topic: Sorry I missed your theme Wrey XD. I skipped the quoted part and read the whole article XD. That's a tough question and probably a really situational one. Sometimes there's nothing you can do to change the beliefs of a group. If that's the case and you really find yourself in conflict you'll probably be best off looking for the exist, if for nothing more than saving yourself premature baldness from stress . It probably also depends on your position in the group.
A mere priest might not be able to alter Catholic Dogma for example, but a Cardinal might have a chance with enough support and the right Pope. Same for US Presidents. Obama for example is in a prime position to push his agendas and what he wants with his own part controlling Congress. He has an excellent situation by which he can push his ideas and plans into reality. Other times though you might be unable to leave at the same time. A Democratic President with a republican congress however might have a harder time, but he can't exactly leave his position, you know. It's all situational. Without the right circumstances change from within isn't going to happen, and it might be best to leave if you can. That's probably a kind of choice you'd want to work a few good days thinking on though, just so you don't regret the choice later whichever way you go.
Separate names with a comma.