Tennessee Baptists: Why Should We?

Why should we deny the gospel?

Why should we sin against God’s call?

Why should we reject the gifts of the Spirit?

Right now sitting in your seats, imagine the most important woman in your life. Who are the most important women? Maybe it’s your daughter and your wife. Maybe it’s your sister, your cousin or maybe it’s your best friend.

What will you do when God calls her to ministry? For some of you this is already the case. Will you deny her God’s call? Will you cut her off from relationship? Will you argue with her rather than embrace the goodness of God in her life? Today if you vote against First Baptist of Jefferson City being a partner with the TBC that is what you were doing on a grand scale. Surely, Tennessee Baptists, you are better than that.

(l to r) Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Executive Coordinator, Suzii Paynter, President of Central Seminary, Dr. Molly T. Marshall, Pastor of FBC Jefferson City, Rev. Ellen Di Giosia, Executive director of Baptist Women in Ministry, Dr. Pamela R. Durso at the Leading Women Conference, April 2017.

You might want to reject me, even though I was raised in a Baptist Church that cooperated with the TBC and contributed and participated in it. You may want to reject me as an ordained baptist woman with a pastoral calling. You may also want to reject Rev. Ellen Di Giosia, and even First Baptist Jefferson City, because you don’t know us and you have not seen the power of God at work in our lives.

But what will you do when that call comes to someone you already love cherish and hold dear? How are you going to resist God’s love and power in that situation? How are you going reject the goodness of the gospel in a woman that you care deeply about? Why should you not extend that goodness and that grace to everywoman and every church?

Who were the women who taught you to pray, and read the Bible and follow Jesus? And is God continuing to speak these days? I can imagine that from the pulpits of your churches you hear claims every week that God is speaking. Well, I agree. God is not only speaking still. God is calling girls and women into ministry. And your rejection of churches and women who hear and name that call is deeply sad and grievous to God.

The church has plenty and enough trouble these days without signing up for the wrong side of history. Tennessee Baptists, don’t be on the wrong side of history by voting against churches who call women as their pastors. Have some courage! Have some confidence in God’s ability to think beyond you. Put yourselves on the right side of history and keep the relationships with First Baptist and all other churches who call women to ordination, pastoral leadership and the gospel ministry.

Why should you? Why should you NOT?

featured image photo credit: Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, June 2107