WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP) – Earlier this month, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) received the donation of an letter written by Lottie Moon, lifelong missionary to China in whose memory Southern Baptists receive their annual Christmas offering for international missions. Dated July 22, 1878, the letter is a remarkably preserved example of Moon’s correspondence and offers a glimpse into her early ministry.
In 2007, Keith Harper, senior professor of Baptist studies at SEBTS and editor of Send the Light: Lottie Moon’s Letters and Other Writings, acquired the historic letter from a Civil War collector in the metro Atlanta area.
“The letter was discovered tucked away in the middle of a packet of Civil War letters,” Harper recalled, adding that he was amazed to find the letter so well preserved.
The letter concerns the Chinese practice of footbinding. Lottie said that this was inconsistent with the Gospel. She opposed the father of a girl who was to be bound and prevailed upon the father of the girl not to do it.
Imagine that! A woman inserting herself between a father and daughter, opposing the patriarchal decree. What are the strange, self-assured and indignant responses that this incident would bring from the Twitter experts and manly dudebros today?
Call it a straw man (woman?) if you wish but Lottie has come into some rather harsh criticism from today’s manicured, fashion plate, and super-manly modern day patriarchialists.
Shoot, if your church could call Lottie as your “Mission Pastor” you would likely find yourself recommended for exclusion. Same for Bertha Smith. I heard Bertha Smith preach on day in chapel…at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary no less. As I recall, the pulpit was swapped for a stool. Bertha held forth from the stool. Maybe you could put a stool prohibition in the BFM while you’re clarifying all the other stuff.
The convention in sultry New Orleans promises to be lively. The Saddleback exclusion, the Abuse Reform Implementation Task Force and their choice of a division of Guidepost Solutions to create and manage the Ministry Check database, and an election or two will make it memorable. I’ll not be present. Maybe I can get in an online vote?
The photo is from BP and SEBTS.