Opinions Are Like Derrieres
Everybody's may be a little bit different, but everybody's got one. Particularly about the matter of the SWBTS and Drs. Klouda and Patterson.
Note to Marty Duren: A derriere is not a small handgun like John Wilkes Booth used, nor is it the atmosphere where they process milk.
There are a lot of issues involved in this one. F'rinstance:
The theological question about women teaching men in a school of theology.
The factual question as to whether teaching men Hebrew is, in fact, teaching theology.
The question as to whether the EEOC laws apply to a "religious institution".
The question as to whether a Seminary is, in fact, a "religious institution" along the lines of a church, at all.
The factual questions as to whether Dr. Klouda was told that her job was secure.
The theological questions about is teaching men "exercising authority", is teaching men forbidden everywhere for all time or was Paul sending a corrective to Corinth, etc.
Should Christians never sue a Christian, no matter what; is suing an institution the same as suing someone, etc etc.
Well, I don't care a lot about that, here. I just want to give my views. And if you want to argue, be sure and read the masthead caption on my blog, first.
First, corporations are not people. They exist only under the law of the state. They are not born, they are created under the law and exist only when, where and for what purposes as the state says. They do not exist until the law says they do, and they cannot die until the law says they die. And the differentiation should be crystal clear, from the very fact that real people operating as corporate representatives are normally exempt from personal liability for such actions. There is obviously a difference!
Dr. Patterson was acting as an officer of the corporation when he made the decisions that he did, and should thus be protected from personal liability. That seems true in Alabama, and I have not heard that the "corporate shield" has been done away with.
Corporations are not Christians. That's reserved for people. So suing a corporation is not suing a Christian. And, if by some chance the suit goes to trial and the Seminary loses, Dr. Patterson would rightfully claim corporate immunity, which would in itself be an acknowledgment that the judgment was not against him, the Christian, but rather against the creation of the laws of the state.
Incidentally, I'm not a lawyer so pick out your favorite legalese disclaimer and recite it here.....
On another front, we're admonished to confront someone if they wrong us, alone at first and then with witnesses. If they will not repent, haul them before the church, and if they will not repent, treat them like a pagan.
Anybody know a command not to sue pagans?
Neither do I.
A wrong done by the SBC, or an SBC entity, wrongs all SBC'ers, IMO. And SBC'ers in some number have attempted to confront Dr. Patterson and SWBTS itself (via the Chairman of the Trustees), to no avail. And the instruction to haul them before the church mandates you're in the same church, IMO. How could I, for instance, bring someone in Fort Worth, Texas, before FBC of Pelham, Alabama? Certainly the ecclesia has been a venue of confrontation over this. Again, to no avail.
So we have a corporation that has wronged (from what I can discern) a professor who was lauded as exceptional until the day she was called a mistake, and has exhausted all avenues save the very one under which the corporation must exist if it is to exist at all. And critics are legion.
So the church is to be recognized by the love we show? I have information I deem reliable indicating that about 15 people came forward, and three churches, to help Dr. Klouda with her financial disaster. Fifteen. Three Churches. About $5,000 was raised. I pray blessings on all those who contributed, and I am sure the funds were helpful and hopefully a blessing to Dr. Klouda. But Fifteen? Three churches? I don't care what numbers of SBC members are, or who's plateauing, and has or hasn't baptized anybody. That's pathetic.
There's enough informed opinion out there to warrant serious consideration to women teaching men. Among other things, Paul said HE did not permit women to teach. Is there any other area of instruction where he was so roundabout in telling Timothy (or any others) what THEY were to do and not to do? I don't recall any. And, in fact, he'd previously said women were forbidden to even SPEAK in church!
Gee ... if women couldn't speak in church, they'd have a tough time teaching.
His explanation re: teaching? Eve was deceived. Try that one on your wife some time, you husbands. See where that gets you now. But we'll hide behind that, particularly when telling others how they ought to do things.
Is it possible that Paul was somewhere women speaking in church would not have been acceptable, but Timothy was elsewhere?
Said all that to say this: there's enough question that it seems outrageous to me to throw out an excellent professor, who is only teaching a foreign language, based solely on Paul's not letting women teach 2,000 years ago.
Outrageous! Yet we have no moral outrage about that. We wail and moan and carry on about lots of things, and when this fine lady's life is nearly ruined, we pontificate about it.
Oh yes ... does anyone else find it interesting that almost all the pontificators against women ever teaching men, seem to be men?
Where is our shame?
Here we have arguably the most powerful man in the SBC, the "architect of the conservative resurgence", who has allegedly done a gross injustice to a professor, based solely on her gender. She faces financial ruin because of what she says he told her and then did. And we treat this like some theological class exercise, and spit in the face of Romans 14:4, which asks "Who are you to judge another man's servant?".
Who are we, indeed? Who are we?
We are sinners, saved by grace, who ought to be ashamed. That's who we are.