One of the principles that defines Chandler is to value women. We accept God’s calling and work in their life. I have spoken and written much about the importance of reading scripture in context and allowing the complete testimony of scripture to speak (for instance Paul writes, “when women prophesy…”, 1Cor 11:5, before writing “women should be silent”, 14:34). So we stand firmly on the principle that God calls women to prophecy.
At times I have been accused of rejecting scripture – bowing to culture, rather than following God. Of course this could not be further from the truth. But all of these accusations have come from people who also urged me to return to the Southern Baptist Convention (we are Cooperative Baptist).
The SBC rejects our view of men and women (egalitarian) for complementarianism. Which is the view that men and women are gifted for different positions, at the crux, women can not lead men. Instead they must be submissive.
Scripture teaches what happens when people seek power… abuse. Again and again it leads to abuse. From King David to… yesterday when the report came out on the SBC sexual abuse scandal (Read here).
This is why Jesus says that the greatest among you will be your servant. Then Paul writes we should submit one to another. The church must be built on mutual submission. I am your pastor. But I must always seek to be your servant. To empower you to use the gifts God is giving you. Whether you are male or female, young or old, rich or poor, black or white, educated or uneducated… May I submit to all of you in the love of Christ! — Sean
(I sent this message to church leadership.)