Friday, August 20, 2010

What the Danvers Statement Really Says (per Shirley Taylor of bWe Baptists for Women's Equality

I love how Shirley Taylor comes right out and speaks the truth about these lofty, vague, and ambiguous statements made by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood!  I had not heard of her or her organization before about a month ago when I agreed to speak at the Seneca Falls 2 Evangelical Women’s Rights Convention.  I'm blessed and honored to know her now.  I wish I had read this two years ago!

Shirley astutely notes the use of propaganda technique and tricks of rhetoric in the Danvers Statement, and she boldy tells the truth about what people understand about what the statement means.  If people understood plainly what the Council meant in terms of everyday life and function and if the Council stated their ideas clearly, openly, and directly in the Danvers Statement, I believe that most people would reject their ideas outright.  They certainly would not have accepted the statement without asking far more questions about the foundational doctrines which must be searched out and studied because they are not clear in the organization's position statement.

Russell Moore states on a 9 Marks interview from some time ago (Feminism in Your Church and Home with Russell Moore, Randy Stinson, and C.J. Mahaney) that he prefers the term “patriarchy” over "complementarian" because it is more appropriate.  I'm glad that he tells the truth about the term.  The contrived term “complementarianism” itself was designed to sugar coat the truth about their teachings in order to bypass scrutiny, hoping that people would be taken in by the pleasant veneer alone.  Waneta Dawn commented to the speakers of the Seneca Falls 2 Convention this weekend that she thinks the term and concept was actually hijacked from descriptions offered by egalitarianism.  I don't know enough about egalitarianism to state whether that it true or not.  I do think that the Seneca Falls 2 participants do agree that the Danver's Statement is disingenuous.

I’ve put the text from Shirley’s document in a table to make the comparison easier to read.

From What the Danver’s Statement on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood REALLY Says (on the bWe Baptist Women for Equality website):
They could have written it in plain English, but they didn’t.  My interpretations of their Statement is in Bold, along with my comments.  Their document is anti-woman, and anti-Christian.  They should be ashamed of it instead of promoting it.

What the Danvers Statement's Rationales REALLY Mean.

Danvers Statement


We have been moved in our purpose by the following contemporary developments which we observe with deep concern:

What It REALLY Means

(but cannot be directly stated)

What Shirley Taylor at bWe Baptist Women for Equality understands from the unwritten rules in social context and according to the “full counsel” of all of the teachings of CBMW which must be studied over time:

1.  The widespread uncertainty and confusion in our culture regarding the complementary differences between masculinity and femininity

They are afraid that the Equality for women movement is gaining ground and they must stop it.


2.  The tragic effects of this confusion in unraveling the fabric of marriage woven by God out of the beautiful and diverse strands of manhood and womanhood

They say women are ruining marriages, according to this.


3.  The increasing promotion given to feminist egalitarianism with accompanying distortions or neglect of the glad harmony portrayed in Scripture between the loving, humble leadership of redeemed husbands and the intelligent, willing support of that leadership by redeemed wives

They are afraid that women are tired of hearing about submission and are beginning to speak up.


4.  The widespread ambivalence regarding the values of motherhood, vocational homemaking, and the many ministries historically performed by women

They say women’s place is in the home and not in the workplace or church leadership.


5.  The growing claims of legitimacy for sexual relationships which have Biblically and historically been considered illicit or perverse, and the increase in pornographic portrayal of human sexuality

They say equality for women will lead to homosexuality.


6.  The upsurge of physical and emotional abuse in the family

They say women are being abused because they are not graciously submitting.  Which is another way of saying women ask for abuse.  If only women would submit, their husband would not have to abuse her.  They give husbands the OK to abuse his wife.


7.  The emergence of roles for men and women in church leadership that do not conform to Biblical teaching but backfire in the crippling of Biblically faithful witness

They say women can’t have authority over men. The rest of the sentence doesn’t make sense, but women are to blame, anyway.


8.  The increasing prevalence and acceptance of hermeneutical oddities devised to reinterpret apparently plain meanings of Biblical texts

Those scriptures may not mean what the plain reading of them says it does, but we must ignore other possible meanings of these favorite scriptures.


9.  The consequent threat to Biblical authority as the clarity of Scripture is jeopardized and the accessibility of its meaning to ordinary people is withdrawn into the restricted realm of technical ingenuity

When ordinary people see “husband of one wife” they immediately think that a woman can’t be a husband, so this eliminates a woman from serving as a deacon or Pastor.  Actually this scripture states a moral standard for the leaders and their families and doesn’t address gender at all.  But they don’t want you to know that.

10.  And behind all this the apparent accommodation of some within the church to the spirit of the age at the expense of winsome, radical Biblical authenticity which in the power of the Holy Spirit may reform rather than reflect our ailing culture.  

Say what?

(Blog host note/My ideas, not Shriley Taylor’s:  This is a subtle declaration of their radical gender war.  It is wrong to be kind to the sinner, or worse yet, to those Christians who do not agree with you on all points of doctrine becasue “winsome” Christians have capitulated to the culture and have thus been overtaken by it.  I think that those who crafted the Danvers Statement are reading the Bible through a grid of what Chip Berlet calls “Right Wing Populism.”)

What the Danvers Statement's Affirmations REALLY Mean.

They could have written it in plain English, but they didn’t.  My interpretations of their Statement is in Bold, along with my comments.  Their document is anti-woman, and anti-Christian.  They should be ashamed of it instead of promoting it.

Danvers Statement


Based on our understanding of Biblical teachings, we affirm the following:

What It REALLY Means

(but cannot be directly stated)

What Shirley Taylor at bWe Baptist Women for Equality understands from the unwritten rules in social context and according to the “full counsel” of all of the teachings of CBMW which must be
studied over time:

1.  Both Adam and Eve were created in God’s image, equal before God as persons and distinct in their manhood and womanhood (Gen 1:26-27, 2:18).

Men and women’s physical bodies don’t look alike. Any kid knows that.


2.  Distinctions in masculine and feminine roles are ordained by God as part of the created order, and should find an echo in every human heart (Gen 2:18, 21-24; 1 Cor 11:7-9; 1 Tim 2:12-14).  

We already know that masculine and feminine roles are essential to human reproduction. But they say that we are to rejoice that God created man to rule over women, in the way they interpret the scriptures.



3.  Adam’s headship in marriage was established by God before the Fall, and was not a result of sin (Gen 2:16-18, 21-24, 3:1-13; 1 Cor 11:7-9).

I say the “Fall” was Adam watching Eve eat the forbidden fruit, and then he ate it, and blamed it on her. God does not recognize Male Headship as we will constantly point out in this blog.  

4. (a)  The Fall introduced distortions into the relationships between men and women (Gen 3:1-7, 12, 16).

I say this is a far stretch.  According to inerrantists, the world was only a few days old, and there was no relationship to speak about. They didn’t even have a home or a church. If anything, it shows that Adam didn’t know beans about male headship.


4. (b)  In the home, the husband’s loving, humble headship tends to be replaced by domination or passivity; the wife’s intelligent, willing submission tends to be replaced by usurpation or servility.

They say the problem now is that the husband is either domineering or passive; and that the wife either tries to be the man of the house or acts as a servant.


4. (c)  In the church, sin inclines men toward a worldly love of power or an abdication of spiritual responsibility, and inclines women to resist limitations on their roles or to neglect the use of their gifts in appropriate ministries.

They admit that men love power. But according to them, women should know their place and stick to it. 


5.  The Old Testament, as well as the New Testament, manifests the equally high value and dignity which God attached to the roles of both men and women (Gen 1:26-27, 2:18; Gal 3:28). Both Old and New Testaments also affirm the principle of male headship in the family and in the covenant community (Gen 2:18; Eph 5:21-33; Col 3:18-19; 1 Tim 2:11-15).

They refuse to acknowledge that  Male Headship puts too much responsibility on men and can lead to a god-like complex which is dangerous to women and the community. The Old Testament gives very little dignity to women.  The New Testament gives women equality, but subsequent Christian churches down through 2000 years  have taken it away from her.


6.  Redemption in Christ aims at removing the distortions introduced by the curse.

Where is this coming from? Nowhere does Christ use these kinds of words.


6 (a).  In the family, husbands should forsake harsh or selfish leadership and grow in love and care for their wives; wives should forsake resistance to their husbands’ authority and grow in willing, joyful submission to their husbands’ leadership (Eph 5:21-33; Col 3:18-19; Tit 2:3-5; 1 Pet 3:1-7).

When we read 1 Peter 3:1-7 we see that Peter says a woman is to submit to her husband whether he is redeemed or not, and that by doing so, he may be saved.  This means the wife can lead her husband to salvation. But they don’t see it that way.  Submission is their goal.


6 (b).  In the church, redemption in Christ gives men and women an equal share in the blessings of salvation; nevertheless, some governing and teaching roles within the church are restricted to men (Gal 3:28; 1 Cor 11:2-16; 1 Tim 2:11-15).  

They say women can’t preach. They can lead your child to Christ, and teach him in Sunday school, but they can’t serve your child the Lord’s Supper, or teach him when he is a teen.


7.  In all of life Christ is the supreme authority and guide for men and women, so that no earthly submission-domestic, religious, or civil-ever implies a mandate to follow a human authority into sin (Dan 3:10-18; Acts 4:19-20, 5:27-29; 1 Pet 3:1-2).

According to them, the woman is supposed to determine if this god-husband is asking her to sin.  “If he were the ‘redeemed leader’ he is supposed to be, he would never ask her to sin.”

8.   In both men and women a heartfelt sense of call to ministry should never be used to set aside Biblical criteria for particular ministries (1 Tim 2:11-15, 3:1-13; Tit 1:5-9). Rather, Biblical teaching should remain the authority for testing our subjective discernment of God’s will.

They say that if a woman feels called to preach or serve in some other capacity, she must deny that call because God can’t call a woman to preach.


9.  With half the world’s population outside the reach of indigenous evangelism; with countless other lost people in those societies that have heard the gospel; with the stresses and miseries of sickness, malnutrition, homelessness, illiteracy, ignorance, aging, addiction, crime, incarceration, neuroses, and loneliness, no man or woman who feels a passion from God to make His grace known in word and deed need ever live without a fulfilling ministry for the glory of Christ and the good of this fallen world (1 Cor 12:7-21).

They say that there is a place of service for everybody, and men and women can find a fulfilling ministry, but they have set forth in the preceding statements the limits placed on women’s service.


10.    We are convinced that a denial or neglect of these principles will lead to increasingly destructive consequences in our families, our churches, and the culture at large.

According to them, it all hinges on the women. The Male Headship man does not bear any responsibility, or accountability. Everything is about women submitting.

Not one scripture quotes Jesus.  Jesus’ acceptance of women is completely ignored in this document.

All Rights Reserved

Please feel free to use original material presented here on this blog, attributing the site.

Copyrighted works are made available here under the 'fair use' exception of U.S. copyright law, for research and educational purposes only.