You have probably heard that former President of the United States, Jimmy Carter has recently severed his 60-year ties to the South Baptist Convention. The reason for his action is that he is accusing the Baptist denomination of subjugating women and attempting to justify it with “a few carefully selected Bible verses.”
Former President Carter stated that his decision was “painful” and “difficult”, but was “unavoidable” after the Southern Baptist Convention ruled that women could not become deacons, pastors, or chaplains in the military. Carter stated that this ruling was “in conflict with his belief – confirmed in the Holy Scriptures – that we are all equal in the eyes of God.”
Former President Carter’s mistake is the mistake of Korah, Dathan, Abriam, and On (Numbers 16:1-3), and it also the same mistake that many of our brethren are making today. The mistake that I am talking about is that “Equal standing is equivalent to equal responsibility.”
Korah argued that since the entire congregation was holy (Numbers 16:3), then everyone should have the same responsibility or role. Likewise, I hear people quoting the equality of men and woman per Galatians 3:28, then concluding that they have equal responsibilities. While the premise is true, the conclusion doesn’t follow. Just read what happened to Korah and his companions. Yes, all the congregation of Israel was holy, yet that did not remove the role distinction between the congregation and Moses. Likewise women and men are equally holy, and valued in the Kingdom of God. Yet, that does not remove the God-given, gender-based, role distinctions affirmed in Scripture (1 Timothy 2:11-15).
What former President Carter and Korah don’t seem to understand is that their respective rebellions are not against the Southern Baptist Convention or Moses, but are actually rebellions against God (Numbers 16:11).