Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable…
He must also have a good reputation with outsiders,
That would be the universe of our Grand Convention, proudly Southern Baptists, and doggone the critics we will slog onward whatever the insanity.
I cannot provide the mindset of Southern Baptist women, since my pronouns are “he,” “him,” and occasionally “jerk,” but I’m taking a risk that our recent experiences with amending the SBC constitution to target any woman who fills a job with the title of “pastor/elder/overseer” has set the sisters’ teeth on edge.
To wit: A larger church pastor, hearty and robust representative of the male species, came to his church recently and declared he was stressed out, exhausted, burned out and needed a break from church responsibilities. He received his first STANDING OVATION. Alas, as information percolated among the congregants it was revealed that he was not only burned out but having an immoral relationship, as in not with his beloved, betrothed wife to whom he made vows before God.
But, as these things go, there was a period of predictable and presumed repentance, rehabilitation, recovery, and restoration. The poor pastor was able to rest, recalibrate and recall his marital vows. Later, the immoral pastor/elder/overseer has a humble, informal Q & A with any in the congregation who care to come. Questions are finessed with an appropriate self-deprecating attitude and the immoral, intemperate, non-self-controlled, and nonrespectable brother is given his SECOND STANDING OVATION. Any questions?
Lawd! The poor man is now a victim! We must do what we can to see that his giftedness remains available to the unwashed masses!
The contrasts and absurdities are painfully obvious between the treatment of the male pastor/elder/overseer and the poor female who happens to be a faithful, diligent, godly, obedient servant of the Lord and His church, the church which happens to prefer “pastor” for the music leader, children’s leader, or other staff job. Well, she gets targeted, subjected to humiliation and described as a “sister living in disobedience.” The immoral male pastor? He provides a heroic example, one supposes, of the frailty of man, the stresses of the pastorates, and the danger of all the wily women out there. The uninformed might think that the immoral pastor was living in disobedience and, thus, disqualified from being a pastor/elder/overseer.
Not in this universe. Perhaps in another.
Commenters are free to assail my logical inconsistences, false presumptions, and non-sequitirs but first how about answering a diagnostic question?
When was the last time a church was excluded from the SBC because they tolerated an immoral pastor?
And answer a key knowledge question: What is the potential number of churches that stand to be excluded solely because they have a woman whose title includes “pastor?”
Then there is the tale of the brother who used his shotgun to eliminate an errant mosquito in his house. The house was severely damaged, while the pesky insect escaped to another locale.
PS: If you think you know who this is about, you don’t.