Texas Baptist Forum

Can’t be serious

I am a preacher. I listen to preaching on the Internet all the time. I don’t look at porn. So, let me get this right: You compared the preaching of the word of God, which uplifts the believer, brings praise to God, helps build purity and commitment to the marriage to the viewing of porn, which tears down, in no way brings glory to God, is impure and leads to infidelity (Jan. 31).

Surely, surely, you can’t be serious. I read your last two paragraphs which contradict the premise of your article. You were right. Your use of this metaphor is flawed!

Cliff Schadler



Texas Baptist ForumSeminary misses mandate

I was horrified to learn Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary has demanded land that had been deeded to Tarrant Baptist Association, and on which Tarrant Baptists built and paid for an office building, summarily be returned to the seminary (Jan. 31).

Seminary land also houses a LifeWay book store, operated by LifeWay Christian Resources. Will Southwestern charge LifeWay with not providing job opportunities to seminary students, with allowing homosexual church members to shop there (and how would they know?), or refusing to maintain good relations with the seminary? The charges Southwestern has leveled against Tarrant Baptist Association are ridiculous.

As I read that story, I sadly realized again that a once-respected Baptist seminary has fallen far short of its mandate to educate future church leaders to teach love. It has, instead, showed them how to practice power. We all know: “Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Tarrant Baptists, don’t let this greedy grab for power take place.

It reminds me of another generation’s misuse of power (2 Kings 21). An ancient king stole another man’s vineyard by nefarious means. He paid dearly for his greed. The powers that be at Southwestern should pay attention.

Bonita Sparrow

Fort Worth


Matriarchy, patriarchy

Tom Ehrich’s 2nd Opinion column on churches managing change (Feb. 14) made a very good point about the need for balance in congregations. He predicts “new ways of thinking about power and authority will emerge—neither patriarchy nor matriarchy, but something new that is truly gender-neutral.”

At first glance, we might think a matriarchal church is the opposite of a patriarchal church. But it is not. In a patriarchal church, the offices of pastor and deacons are solely male, and many do not allow women to teach men. When a woman is the pastor of a church, there will be male and female deacons and men and women teachers.

Furthermore, a woman pastor will not teach abso-lute authority by husbands over their wives. Most women don’t want to preach, and most don’t want to be a deacon. Women want to be able to walk into their church and not feel that their church holds it against them that they are a woman.

Shirley Taylor



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