Tom Ascol, the conservative nominee for Southern Baptist Convention president for the election at the 2022 annual meeting, recently explained his position on biblical gender roles in an interview with the Baptist Press. Asked what his position is on “women in leadership in convention roles,” Ascol explained that “the idea of male and female distinctions doesn’t end at the local church or the family” and that “God made men and women differently.”
The official statement of faith of the Southern Baptist Convention—the Baptist Faith and Message 2000—states that “While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.” The statement does not directly address leadership roles within the denomination structure itself nor is there any official Southern Baptist policy that forbids it.
However, speaking from a theological perspective and deriving our guidance on these issues from Scripture, rather than culture, as the progressives do, the case against women in leadership roles in denominational structures becomes readily apparent.
I think’s just been eroded in our egalitarian age. It’s almost like if you dare suggest that somebody has a higher authority than anybody else, you’re just an abuser. You’re oppressive, and you’re trying to hold people down. I mean, God made hierarchies in the world, and He did it in the inanimate world. He’s done it in His image-bearing world as well. I recognize that, I think that is right and proper. I think the spirit of our age has tried to flatten out those distinctions to horrible effects, such that now, we’ve drafted women to go fight our battles. And I think that’s horrible that we’ve done that.
Ascol is correct; God has certainly created us male and female to function in complementary ways. The actual rebellion is in the hearts of those who would suggest that God’s biblical design for how women should function is somehow inferior to the work that God has designed men to carry out. The creation account itself defines women as helpers (Genesis 2:18) to the men who are to lead.
Nonetheless, this concept is extremely difficult to grasp for the rebellious culturally-addicted pastors who would rather toss God’s design aside and remake humanity in their own imagined image. First up, left-wing SBC Voices contributor and pastor of New Song Fellowship throws his contrition into the ring of oozing inflammation with his tweet questioning Ascol’s responses:
Of course, there to respond in kind is Dwight McKissic, the most notorious far-left race-baiting “woke church” pastor in the denomination. McKissic compares Tom Ascol
In 1882, the Married Women’s Property Act was passed allowing women to own property themselves. Prior to various property acts of congress, women were considered the personal property, or “chattel,” of their husbands. That Dwight McKissic would make such a comparison to what the biblical doctrine of Complementarianism teaches demonstrates his lack of theological integrity.
Yet, he continues, accusing Ascol of holding a view “contrary to Scripture.”
Honestly, these people would be better off just renouncing the Scriptures and their faith altogether. Instead, what they want to do is argue with God, who wrote the Scriptures and spoke His commands. To suggest that this view is somehow “racist” or “sexist” is cretinous. You can rest assured that once they “win” the racism and sexism battles, they’re going to move on to the LGBTQ battles.
Update: Tom Ascol responded to the criticism implying that the Baptist Press didn’t quote him correctly: