Breaking down the SBC14 Resolution on Transgender Identity

I figured that while I was at it on blogging about the Southern Baptist Convention, I might as well do a section by section dissection of the SBC’s resolution condemning trans people. One of the talking points attacking critics of the resolution is to claim that we mustn’t have read the whole thing, well, here’s the proof that I have read it all and found it wanting. The text I break down below is taken from the website of Denny Burk, author of the resolution and associate professor of Biblical Studies at Boyce College. The tl:dr version: This is all about reinforcing patriarchy at the expense of our trans siblings. — ON TRANSGENDER IDENTITY WHEREAS, All persons are created in God’s image and are made to glorify Him (Genesis 1:27; Isaiah 43:7); and I won’t argue with you there. The answer to question one of the Westminster Shorter Catechism is, “The chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.” Actually, scratch that, I am going to argue with this one. The “enjoy Him forever” part of the Westminster Catechism is important, when you only talk about glorifying God and leave out the enjoying bit, you forget that God didn’t create us to be miserable automatons that exist just to make Him look good. WHEREAS, God’s design was the creation of two distinct and complementary sexes, male and female (Genesis 1:27; Matthew 19:4; Mark 10:6) which designate the fundamental distinction that God has embedded in the very biology of the human race; and WHEREAS, Distinctions in masculine and feminine roles as ordained by God are part of the created order and should find expression in every human heart (Genesis 2:18, 21–24; 1 Corinthians 11:7–9; Ephesians 5:22–33; 1 Timothy 2:12–14); and First, isn’t it funny how biological[…]

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We’re Here, We’re Queer (and patriarchy had nothing to do with it)

I’m not sure if two examples counts as a trend, but over the last few weeks both HSLDA founder and Patrick Henry College chancellor Michael Farris and well-known homeschool mommy blogger Karen “that mom” Campbell have both suggested that the blame, as it were, for LGBT homeschoolers lies at the feet of patriarchy. Under this narrative, patriarchy has so harmed and broken us that we have not only rejected patriarchy itself, but have fallen off into a morass of sin and depravity. Farris’ version of the story, as given in his May 2014 keynote address at the Florida Parent-Educators Association (FPEA) Leaders Forum, is that homeschool alumni critics of homeschooling are almost all victims of patriarchy, and in rejecting that we’ve also rejected God and some of us have become “open homosexuals.” It’s all very Romans 1 of him. Transcript: “But the majority, I think, are walking with God. A significant minority, however, have rejected God entirely. A significant number are way, way out there. And the– and the critics that we’re seeing arise from– in the homeschooling movement from young people who are in their twenties and– twenty– mid-twenties, mostly, is kind of the oldest group– that are loudly criticizing homeschooling on the internet and so on and in other venues– were almost all raised in these kinds of homes. And there is no pretense of Christianity in most of their lives. There are openly homosexuals involved, there are atheists involved, there are people that utterly reject everything that we believe in and make no pretense about it, that are– but they came. And so the idea that people are going to create generational, patriarchal family legacies, and we’re counting for them very well, you’re not seeing that. You erect a false view of God for your children, don’t[…]

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Knew it, Doug Phillips was lawyering his original Vision Forum resignation statement

Posted today: Clarification on Resignation by Douglas Phillips, Esq., November 14, 2013 I would like to express my gratitude for the great kindness so many have shown to my family in the wake of my stepping down as president of Vision Forum Ministries. My family has been greatly encouraged by many loving notes we have received. With that in mind, I want to be so very clear about the rightness of this transition, and I want to clear up some matters which have been brought to my attention. My sin has resulted in great pain within the Body of Christ, some confusion, and has given the enemies of God reason to rejoice. This is heartbreaking to me. Some have suggested that my sin was not sufficiently serious to step down. Let me be clear: it absolutely does merit my resignation. My resignation is sincere and necessary given the weightiness of my sin. Some reading the words of my resignation have questioned if there was an inappropriate physical component with an unmarried woman. There was, and it was intermittent over a period of years. The local church, not the Internet, is the proper forum for overseeing the details of a man’s repentance, but I just want to be clear for the sake of peace within the Body of Christ, that the tragic events we are experiencing, including the closing of Vision Forum Ministries are my fault, and that I am sincere that I should not be in leadership, but must spend this season of my life quietly walking a path of proven repentance. Please pray for the Phillips family, the Board, and the men who have made up the staff of Vision Forum Ministries. Doug Phillips Also, Spiritual Sounding Board has more information on what we know about what happened. Apparently[…]

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Ding dong, Vision Forum Ministries is dead (But Vision Forum, Inc. is still raking in the cash)

Vision Forum Ministries announced today that they are closing up shop entirely. Whatever Doug Phillips did, it had to have been something so bad that the board decided the best course was to shut down the whole thing, turn off the lights and go home. Closing a ministry entirely when it’s not named after the person who sinned is unprecedented in Christian circles, I can’t remember a time that something quite like this happened. Here’s the statement. The Closing of Vision Forum Ministries In light of the serious sins which have resulted in Doug Phillips’s resignation from Vision Forum Ministries, the Board of Directors has determined that it is in the best interests of all involved to discontinue operations. We have stopped receiving donations, and are working through the logistical matters associated with the closing of the ministry. While we believe as strongly as ever in the message of the ministry to the Christian family, we are grieved to find it necessary to make this decision. We believe this to be the best option for the healing of all involved and the only course of action under the circumstances. In some ways, this is the end of an era. Doug Phillips and Vision Forum did much damage to countless people who bought into the oppressive and spiritually abusive system he and his followers taught. He sold an image of a perfect family that not even he could match up to. I say that “in some ways” it’s the end of an era, but the for-profit Vision Forum, Inc. is still operating, still selling that rotten and oppressive bill of goods to families. Doug Phillips is still making money off of this abusive system.  Until Vision Forum, Inc. closes up shop too and no more families and children are hurt by[…]

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Pawns in the culture war

This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes – Morpheus, The Matrix In the few days since I wrote my post about what I strongly suspect is HSLDA’s litigation strategy to make homeschooling a fundamental right with no restrictions, not even for abusers, people have been doing some digging and have found information that quite frankly, is incredibly disturbing. In a nutshell, in 2009 an all male group of homeschool leaders met for a summit at one of Bill Gothard’s ATI training centers to discuss the future of homeschooling. Included among the big names present were Doug Phillips of Vision Forum (and former HSLDA attorney), Brian Ray of NHERI, and Christopher Klicka of HSLDA. Among the topics discussed was a call to abolish child protective services and plans were outlined about how they would go about instituting a Christian theocracy with homeschoolers paving the way. Heather at Becoming Worldly and R.L. Stollar at Homeschooler’s Anonymous both have extremely long and extremely informative posts laying out what exactly happened at the summit, I think it’s important to go read both posts. While I’ve long suspected that there was an agenda based on the bits and pieces of memories I have from things I read and heard from various homeschooling leaders over the years, seeing the road map laid out was chilling. I’ve snarked about the irony of HSLDA setting me on the path to where I am today by getting me interested in law, I’ve imagined how different my life would have been if I’d been accepted to[…]

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Nothing disappears from the Internet

I google myself from time to time to keep track of what’s out there with my name on it. In searching the other day, I came across a post that I had written on the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood discussion listserv back in college. I forget exactly why I had joined the group, I think because I was writing some sort of paper for doctrine on something related to submission and headship and wanted to be sure I understood the best version of the complementarian argument. I thought I’d repost part of what I wrote in that post back in 2001 because in reading it I can see the wheels turning in my head as I began to realize the whole thing was bunk. I think that attempting to equate the equality of men and women with the mathematical concept of equality is missing the point. Up to the point that I subscribed to this list, I was under the impression that complementarians thought that men and women were equal. Not that they have the same roles, and not that it means that there is no one in authority, but that as human beings created in God’s image, they are equal. The example that I have always heard is that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are all equal in that they are all equally God, but that in position, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit submit to the will of God the Father. In the same way, men and women are created as equal in their essence, but positionally, the husband is in authority in the home, and the man is in authority in the church. It’s a question of position, not that they are created to be inherently unequal. It’s just like saying that my boss is in a position of authority[…]

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