In recent days we have seen the blogs light up over a vote by a North Carolina Baptist Association to dis-fellowship one of its member churches. The vote to withdraw fellowship is a very serious matter and one that should not be taken lightly. The action of this association has drawn many articles in the news and also on the blogs. The Baptist news agencies coverage can be found here and here. The various blogs that I have seen covering this issue can be found here, here, here, here, and here. What is truly amazing to me is the lack of coverage over at the Baptist Life forum and also on my favorite Moderate’s blog, The BigDaddyWeave. However, something else has surprised me concerning this issue.
I called Dr. Billy Blakley and received his permission to post this on my blog. In my conversation with him he expressed to me that no blogger has contacted his office and this comes after we had a blogger express his ethical guidelines. However, he posted about this issue without even contacting the DOM and even admitted as much in his article. Here you will find the Association’s official response concerning this situation. Below you will find this same letter composed by the Association’s Vice-Moderator for their church. He gave Dr. Blakley permission to use it as the Association’s response to this issue.
The following article is written by Dr. Joel Stephens, pastor of Westfield Baptist Church and Vice-Moderator of the SBA, and by Rev. Jim Richland, associate pastor of Westfield Baptist Church and chairman of the Membership Committee of the SBA. Since it explains the rationale and the biblical basis for the motion made to remove fellowship with Flat Rock Baptist Church, I want to share the article with all our Surry Baptist members.
This month, due to a situation that has developed in another church within the Surry Baptist Association (SBA), your pastors felt it necessary to write a joint article to address the situation and how it may affect our Association and our congregation. The situation is as follows: Flat Rock Baptist Church of Mount Airy voted to call a new pastor who happens to be a female. Many within the Surry Association feel that this action is unbiblical, and we agree.
The role of women within the church is a complex, broad, and hotly disputed issue. Our newsletter forum does not provide adequate space to deal with this subject exhaustively. But there are some basic issues that need to be addressed. In order to address these issues, it is absolutely necessary to investigate the Scriptures that relate to it without taking those verses out of context and therefore arriving at a faulty interpretation.