More Egalitarian Flummery

Nanny nanny boo boo to you too!A commenter who styles himself “Stenides” left a comment under the blog “Compromised Complementarians Repent!” below.  It raises  issues that deserve more exposure than they would get buried in the comments.  For completeness, here’s the entirety of the comment, followed by my additional comments:

Concerning Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s dismissal of Sheri Klouda from its theological faculty, Stenides writes,

 All in all, a good result.

The woman, who was highly competent, has proceeded to another institution who appreciates her talents and will hopefully treat her more honorably than the chivalrous males of Complementarianland.

Dr. Patterson has distinguished the complementarian cause and his institution by firing an employee who was hired in good faith and executed her job well.

Whether he agrees with his predecessor’s choices or not, he was responsible for treating the employees he inherited with decency and fair practice. Even the heathens do that, which is why they’re so disgusted by this story.

I love it when this stuff happens, because it is a warning to women that complementarians are more attached to their idea than they are to treating other Christians with any semblance of fairness or respect.

Stenides’ comments are an excellent example of egalitarian flummery, and so I take this opportunity to elucidate how this is so (Stenides’ comments below are in red:

All in all, a good result.

I agree on this point, as far as Stenides says anything.  But, we get to “a good result” by very different routes, and I’m pretty sure what each of us thinks is “good” is very different.

The woman, who was highly competent, has proceeded to another institution who appreciates her talents …

The implication, of course, is that SWBTS did not appreciate her talents.  This is Flummery.  Her talents were most certainly appreciated by the officials who hired her and set her on a tenure track.  And, when officials who succeeded those who employed her retracted the Seminary’s commitment to her, it had nothing to do with her talents or anyone’s appreciation of them. 

and [her new place of employment ] will hopefully treat her more honorably than the chivalrous males of Complementarianland.

Again, Stenides would have us think that Paige Patterson and the SWBTS Board was unchivalrous and treated Dr. Klouda less than honorably.  Of course, this judgment leaves aside the express reason for the Seminary’s repentance from earlier commitments to Dr. Klouda, namely that they were in conflict with Apostolic guidelines for the training of pastors.  If you’re given a choice of having Dr. Klouda ticked off at you and Jesus ticked off at you, what is the righteous choice?  I guess Stenides would rather dismiss Jesus and his Apostles.   

Dr. Patterson has distinguished the complementarian cause and his institution by firing an employee who was hired in good faith and executed her job well.

Again, no one denies that the offer was made in good faith and that she did her job well.  The original good-faith offer was also an offer made in conflict with the Seminary’s historic policies, policies which are rooted in Biblical mandates, and from which the Seminary’s leadership prior to Dr. Patterson had strayed. 

Let’s imagine that I receive a gift for my birthday from an old school chum, a fine, electric rotary saw.  Let’s say I build a profitable hobby by deploying it skillfully.  And, one day, the police show up and confiscate it.  It seems my school chum had stolen it, and though he gave it to me in good faith and I used it in good faith, it was not his to give, nor mine to retain.  It belonged in another setting entirely, for the use of another – its genuine owner. 

A place on a theological faculty, training men to be pastors, was not the Seminary’s to give to Klouda, and it was not hers to retain, if the officers of the Seminary wished to repent of the earlier mistake. 

Whether [Patterson] agrees with his predecessor’s choices or not, he was responsible for treating the employees he inherited with decency and fair practice. Even the heathens do that, which is why they’re so disgusted by this story.

I wonder if Stenides read the following from the Dallas Morning News article:

Dr. McClain, the trustee, defended Southwestern’s treatment of Dr. Klouda.

“The administration was patient with her and allowed her to teach a full two years after she was told that she would not have tenure,” he said.

“During that time, she looked for a job, and the seminary even agreed to continue her support after her teaching responsibilities were over, so her family would have financial support. The seminary went far beyond anything that could be expressed as its duty or responsibility.”

This is not fair practice?  This is not chivalrous?  Heathens treat people they dismiss better than this?  More flummery.

I love it when this stuff happens, because it is a warning to women that complementarians are more attached to their idea than they are to treating other Christians with any semblance of fairness or respect.

To which I respond, I love it when egalitarians like Stenides write things like this, because it is an example of how egalitarians love to run rough-shod over the facts, over any reasonable interpretation of the facts, and especially how they value their own offended sensibilities over the guidance of the Holy Spirit in Scripture. 

That, finally, is the issue here:  What does the Scripture say (if anything) about how Christ’s Church is to be led, and how those leaders are to be prepared for their ministry of leadership?  SWBTS under the leadership of Patterson and its Board give different answers to these questions than do Stenides or Dr. Klouda.  Patterson’s convictions and behavior comport with Scripture; Stenides’ and Klouda’s do not, in the matters pertaining to her departure from SWBTS.

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7 Comments

Filed under Egalitarianism, Flummery

7 responses to “More Egalitarian Flummery

  1. Michael

    > [Stenides:] I love it when this stuff happens, because it is a warning to women that complementarians are more attached to their idea than they are to treating other Christians with any semblance of fairness or respect.

    If I may say so (from past experience of having theological discussions turn inexplicably into personal attacks on people’s character), it seems like egals “love when this stuff happens” because it gives them a chance to gossip. It gives them a chance to rumor-monger and assume the worst about people, cutting them down so that they (and their position) appear to look better. It gives them a chance to hone their skills of exaggeration, insinuation, slander and spin.

    They are so terribly worried about “fairness and respect” while they chatter away with malicious intent about people whom they are trying to paint in the worst possible light. Ironic, but not surprising.

    –Michael

  2. Kamilla

    Hi Fr. Bill,

    Rather than a stolen rotary saw, I would wish you a Fritz to do your cooking and an Archie to do your leg work. Flummery, indeed!

    And as far as Stenides’ claims, I would like to offer him dinner and a tale of woe about how I have been treated by my “egalitarian” “friends” when I have disagreed with them in even the slightest degree. I shouldn’t say I would like to do that because I really have better things to do with my life than rehashing the past. Suffice it to say, nothing Patterson and company did would have been sufficient to have been called honorable by the hit and run Egalitarian internet community.

    Kamilla

  3. Stenides

    “It gives them a chance to rumor-monger and assume the worst about people, cutting them down so that they (and their position) appear to look better. It gives them a chance to hone their skills of exaggeration, insinuation, slander and spin.”

    What rumors? We all agree on the facts here.

    Please understand that I would much rather have Paige Patterson exercising his manly dominion over Southwestern than slaughtering endangered large cats in Africa, which is apparently his other hobby.

    The antics of these complementarians belongs at seminaries, in churches and in organizations of their own invention.

    However, I am genuinely glad that people get to see, every so often, what would happen if they ever got real influence over politics or society.

    Dr Klouda is an academic and the breadwinner for her family. Academics labor toward the goal of tenure and when they are hired into a position, labor with excellence and then are denied tenure, the harm against them is more than simple loss of salary. The person is robbed of several years that they could have spent earning tenure at another institution and forced to start over.

    If Paige Patterson disagreed with the hiring policies at Southwestern then HE should have declared himself at odds with the school’s policies and should have found employment at an institution which was in agreement with his beliefs.

    He could have started the Paige Patterson Women Need Not Apply Baptist Seminary.

    Apparently the temptations of power and prominence won out over the idea of honest dealings.

    It was cowardly and cheap to take the position, and then suddenly declare oneself to have a conflict of interest with the hiring policy. It was even worse to retroactively damage the careers of people hired under former policies.

    In short, Paige Patterson took a job at an institution whose policies he disagreed, for his own profit and professional benefit. He then harmed other people by changing previous policies.

    Grudem talks about doing this sort of thing in one of his books. He promotes the stealth tactic of joining an organization, currying power and then overturning established policies towards women with the knowledge that people will be hurt. Like most complementarians, he paints this as an act of holy reform rather than the deceptive practice that it is.

    What is at stake here is the question of whether complementarians will choose to behave with integrity even if personal sacrifice and a slow progress toward their goals is involved. What complementarians are doing now is seeking out positions of power from which to enforce their policies on the unwilling or those innocently caught up in the ideological battle.

  4. The antics of these complementarians belongs at seminaries, in churches and in organizations of their own invention.

    Stenides, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, when it was invented, was a complementarian institution, so long as we make allowance for the anachronism of the term “complementarian” when applied to the convictions of its founders. In those days, the “gender wars” as we know them today were not on the surface, and “complementarian” was no more part of the religious vocabulary than was “egalitarian” in the sense it applies to you, for example. With that caveat, SWBTS as it was invented was a complementarian institution.

    With the rise of feminism in the Sixties and Seventies and its infection of Baptist and other evangelical communions, SWBTS slowly evolved toward modernist, feminist views, an encouraging example of “progress” to folks like you, no doubt, and a dismaying example of apostacy to people within the SBC such as Patterson. Under Paige Patterson and the SWBTS Board, it has returned to its roots.

    If Paige Patterson disagreed with the hiring policies at Southwestern then HE should have declared himself at odds with the school’s policies and should have found employment at an institution which was in agreement with his beliefs.

    What planet have you been hanging out on? Are you even distantly familiar with developments within the SBC over the past 15 years? Do you really think Patterson got himself hired at a theologically liberal school and then undermined its liberalism to impose a Medieval Patriarchy on it? HOOT HOOT! No doubt crowds of drug abusers are clamoring for whatever it is you’re smoking!!

    The short version of the truth is that Paige Patterson was a leader among Baptists faithful to their Baptist heritage, who launched a campaign to take back the SBC from the apostates who had insinuated themselves into its governing agencies and seminaries. It was a decade-long campaign, and because of Baptist polity, the victory of the conservatives was not fully implemented except over several conventions. The fallout is still not complete to this day, as “moderate Baptists” (what the liberals call themselves) are grumpily forming their own institutions (such as the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship).

    For the longer story, (so you can see how it looked to Patterson and his colleagues), read the history of it all written by Patterson’s colleague in those campaigns, Paul Pressler, entitled A Hill On Which To Die: One Southern Baptist’s Journey.

    Apparently the temptations of power and prominence won out over the idea of honest dealings.

    Readers: this is a key example of egalitarian argumentation. Rather than deal with the Biblical and theological issues of this controversy, they baselessly impugn the motives and characters of the orthodox. For Stenides and others like him, SWBTS and Klouda’s departure are evidence that Patterson succumbed to temptation for power and prominence. I don’t know about the power, but the prominence he’s garnering doesn’t look too appealing to me, except in light of James 1:2 and Matthew 5:11.

    At any rate, this is why trying to reason with egalitarians is like wrestling the tar baby.

    It was cowardly and cheap to take the position, and then suddenly declare oneself to have a conflict of interest with the hiring policy. It was even worse to retroactively damage the careers of people hired under former policies.

    Stenides, it is cowardly, cheap, dishonest, and scurrilous for you to charge such things against years of evidence to the contrary. Moreover, that same evidence convicts you of being mind-bogglingly ignorant and infantile. It puts you in the same category as those who claim the Holocost never happened, or that the Republicans engineered the 911 attacks. Do you believe in alien abductions too?

    Long, long before Patterson was hired at SWBTS, that institution’s Board was being altered by SBC officials in order to reverse the creeping apostasy on its faculty. At the Board’s behest (for this is what Boards do, dontcha know), Patterson was recruited to that position, and one reason he was recruited was this: to implement the very things which you charge him with doing surreptitiously. Yours is the purest and vilest flummery of all. I don’t know if you should be ashamed, or if, perhaps, those around you should live in fear of your psychosis.

    What is at stake here is the question of whether complementarians will choose to behave with integrity even if personal sacrifice and a slow progress toward their goals is involved.

    Exactly backwards. What is at stake is whether egalitarians such as yourself will awaken from your self-fostered deceit and choose to behave with integrity, even if personal repentence from false doctrine is involved.

  5. Stenides

    “It puts you in the same category as those who claim the Holocost never happened, or that the Republicans engineered the 911 attacks. Do you believe in alien abductions too?”

    The Holocaust? I’m not an historian, but the numbers claimed look pretty iffy to me. Certainly, there was a decimation of European Jews.

    9/11? I don’t know who did it, but it wasn’t the Muslim suspects who flunked flight school because they couldn’t fly a Cessna.

    Alien abductions? No. I don’t believe in aliens, but many respectable people do, and I have no quarrel with them.

    “With the rise of feminism in the Sixties and Seventies and its infection of Baptist and other evangelical communions, SWBTS slowly evolved toward modernist, feminist views…Under Paige Patterson and the SWBTS Board, it has returned to its roots.”

    This is all very dramatic. The ebb and tide. The rise and fall. Good and evil.

    The fact is that a hiring policy is a simple thing. If I am told that I am qualified for a job, am hired, work honestly for tenure and then am fired because I am told that I was not qualified in the first place, then my employer has defrauded me of fair opportunity and possibly a number of other things. In this case, the financial stability of Dr Klouda’s family has been endangered by the duplicity of Southwestern Seminary.

    The conditions of her employment were either a lie or have been reneged upon by her employer. In either case, the entire fault and responsibility lies upon the leadership of the institution.

    I could care less whether Paige Patterson is waging an ideological battle against his enemies. This is not Lord of the Rings and you have ascribed heroism to Patterson that he definitely doesn’t deserve.

    If the complementarian policy of Southwestern is so important to Paige Patterson, then he and his wife should have personally and sacrificially compensated Dr Klouda from their own pockets in order to recompense her for the damage that he has done to her career.

    “The short version of the truth is that Paige Patterson was a leader among Baptists faithful to their Baptist heritage, who launched a campaign to take back the SBC from the apostates who had insinuated themselves into its governing agencies and seminaries. It was a decade-long campaign, and because of Baptist polity, the victory of the conservatives was not fully implemented except over several conventions.”

    You sound like the people over at the Flounders ministry.

    The SBC is a huge and influential organization, due to its numbers. It was strictly a move for power and control that provoked complementarians to take it over. Now there is a sort of Mad Max Master/Blaster scenario: the big, not-too-bright giant being the Baptist faithful, and the cunning little dwarf on top being the complementarian politicians.

    So once the neo-comps have driven all the women with three digit IQs out of the SBC, what is their next goal? The Baptist hordes, now significantly genetically dumbed down due to the departure of intelligent breeding females, will eventually move on to the next fad…snake handling? End-times mania? WWJD bracelets? Accountability groups? Gary Ezzo Failure To Thrive parenting training?

    Politically manipulating the SBC is like taking candy from a baby. There’s really no victory in it at all.

    Plus, it makes you complementarians look bad. What’s wrong with you people anyway?

  6. Stenides,

    Concerning your comments, all I can say is QED.

    I leave the comment above in place, for it says far more eloquently than I what egalitarian “debate” is like. If you have something substantive to say in addition to the above, say on. But, if you can only hurl further invective, there’s plenty of that already in your comments.

    Thanks for providing first-hand evidence for how egalitarians think, evaluate, and contend for their heresy.

  7. Michael

    > At any rate, this is why trying to reason with egalitarians is like wrestling the tar baby.

    LOL! The flummery is certainly getting thick and tacky, Fr. Bill.

    > I leave the comment above in place, for it says far more eloquently than I what egalitarian “debate” is like. …Thanks for providing first-hand evidence for how egalitarians think, evaluate, and contend for their heresy.

    Really — this is so classic, it makes me wonder if someone isn’t surreptitiously parodying an egal just for the fun of it. Is Stenides for real?

    > [Stenides:] What rumors? We all agree on the facts here.

    Fr. Bill has already adroitly explained what you are doing, but to answer your question… stuff like slanderously calling someone (and a situation) you know so little about power-hungry, dishonest, cowardly and greedy, for his trying to faithfully maintain a biblical stance before the Lord.

    Speaking of hateful gossip:

    > I would much rather have Paige Patterson exercising his manly dominion over Southwestern than slaughtering endangered large cats in Africa, which is apparently his other hobby.

    Do I detect the typical egal androphobia there? I see you are also one of those egals who are into exotic and rare dirt-collecting — or whatever you can vainly grasp at that could possibly be seen as such. Someone in politics should hire you for your mud-slinging skills. You practically make him out to be a poacher here. As for your irrelevant interjection — there are “endangered” women at Southwestern! Are you more worried about the African wildcats than vulnerable, rare females (ones in seminary) under Patterson’s oppressive and harmful domination? (If hypocritical egals could get the slightest glimpse of how mean and harmful *THEY* are with their unrestrained yapping!)

    > “It was even worse to retroactively damage the careers of people hired under former policies.”

    That isn’t happening. You yourself said originally, it was “All in all, a good result.” Make up your mind! As you said, she is now where her talents can be appreciated. Being where you aren’t wanted is not going to help your career any.

    > In short, Paige Patterson took a job at an institution whose policies he disagreed…

    No, in short, he was HIRED. or as Fr. Bill said “recruited.” He’s no stealth character with hidden agendas trying to pull a fast one on the seminary board, like you wildly claim. His reputation has been well-known. Are you making this up? Where do these falsehoods come from?

    > He then harmed other people by changing previous policies.

    This is absolutely nuts. So, if a rogue State Supreme Court approves of homosexual marriage, it would be very wrong –and harmful– to overturn the “previous policy” by putting a constitutional amendment on the ballot outlawing it, right? We must henceforth be forever stuck with the new “policy” of homosexual marriage in order to not harm so many innocent people! Your reasoning cannot be considered Christian, frankly. Radical and revolutionary, yes, Christian, no. Fear God, not man. Change happens. So much the better if it is change towards the truth. If change goes back the other way into error (as is more likely the natural inclination, sin being what it is), the follower of God is to oppose it and regain lost territory. Was it “harmful” when the forgotten scrolls were found in the Temple and the king initiated changes based upon the reading of God’s word? Is being nice and tolerant all you are concerned about? Why are you so rabidly intolerant? It is quite instructive how you are continually bashing Patterson personally, while we are not doing anything of the sort with Klouda.

    > In this case, the financial stability of Dr Klouda’s family has been endangered by the duplicity of Southwestern Seminary.

    Real pathetic. (Do I hear violins?)

    > The person is robbed of several years that they could have spent earning tenure at another institution and forced to start over.

    Another big slogan for the egals: “I’ve been robbed!” Aren’t you equally worried about all the people whose careers were “harmed” when the Democrats took over the House of Representatives and Senate last month? The “heathens” (as you called other people) did not give the old congressional staffers two years to get another job. They all had to “start over.” All this talk of “harm” is standard egal fare. They want to work shoulder-to-shoulder with men out in the real world, then are always snivelling about getting harmed — even if it is only a job change. Don’t those in charge have a right to decide who works for them and who doesn’t, or are you one of those “entitlement” folks? Perhaps you should remain indoors at all times to avoid the very real risk of harm. (No, that won’t work, either.) Grow up and stop being a crybaby.

    > [Grudem] promotes the stealth tactic of joining an organization, currying power and then overturning established policies towards women with the knowledge that people will be hurt.

    “Established policies” — I love that. You’re missing something important: Egalitarianism is the *NEW* thing on the block. It is not “established.” It is anti-establishment. Male headship was the norm across the board historically, until all the feminist hype made so many inroads in recent decades. Fr. Bill explained that already, in case you are behind on the news.

    You’re basically talking like they did about Sandra Day O’Connor’s seat on the Supreme Court: “That was a woman’s seat and her replacement needs to be a woman, it’s established policy.” Nope. That’s Loser Logic. The original policy was all men. When all else fails, whine, and go on and on about people being hurt: “They’re mean and nasty.” A broken record.

    As far as “overturning policies” (the old, established ones of male headship), how do you think egalitarianism worms its way into churches? I don’t suppose you think they are aggressively promoting their agenda, going to places they don’t belong [blogs?] and stirring up trouble? Are you going to say that Jesus “overturned” the established policy when he overturned the moneychanger’s tables? The existing leaders had a policy that allowed them to be there, and Jesus came along and “upset” their policy, “hurting” all those people’s careers. Hey — they had families, too, you know. God required sacrifices, these people were providing a needed service for out of town pilgrims. Isn’t that absolutely terrible what Jesus did to them? No — because the ORIGINAL plan for the temple did not allow for such merchandizing, and he was reforming and restoring the original plan. (In case you don’t see the connection, the original plan is *not* egalitarianism — whatever was allowed previously at the seminary is beside the point.)

    I think of all those “policies” of worshipping idols in the Bible. All those careers damaged when someone among God’s people had the courage to smash the idols that they were worshipping! Patterson is more like Gideon who tore down his father’s idol to Baal [Judges 6], even though such worship was a long-established practice. Arent you going to say he was cowardly for doing this at night, power-hungry, hurtful, yadda, yadda…? Wasn’t Paul hurting the Ephesus silversmiths’ careers by speaking out against Diana worship? Shame on him! I’m surprised you can give any credence to a Bible with so many mean heroes of the faith in it.

    > What is at stake here is the question of whether complementarians will choose to behave with integrity even if personal sacrifice and a slow progress toward their goals is involved.’

    Uh-huh. And y’all are the judge and jury, right? NOT! God is. Why didn’t Jesus “behave with integrity” regarding the money changers, instead of “harming” them and “overturning established policy”? That was mean. Why didn’t he settle for slow progress, dialog? You egals are wanting us to oppose you with one hand tied behind our backs, so everything’s fair, right?

    The likes of you are always lurking in the corner looking for vague things to gripe about, so according to egals, comps will never “behave with integrity,” since egals are perpetual fault-finders, which is what I said previously about gossip. It is one of their primary weapons, since their hermeneutic ones are so limp. They never mind their own egal business, but like to be busybodies, assuming the worst about people’s motives (and conveniently leaving out the Bible). I notice you are not talking any about theology –not one tittle– you are only griping about a man of God you do not like, and crying “abuse!/foul!” and assigning evil motives to everything. You fit perfectly the egal mold I described previously.

    –Michael

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