Hey! from South Carolina

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Hey! from South Carolina

Postby lewprivette » Fri Jun 29, 2012 10:58 pm

I've been checking our your forum for a while now. I may not have much other than questions to add to the conversations, but I wanted to be registered in the event that I had some tidbit to contribute. I'm a 29 year old woman, born and raised in and currently attending an SBC church in South Carolina. I got interested in church politics long before some people think I should have, reading copies of The Fundamentalist Takeover when my friends were reading Nancy Drew, closely watching the Texas Bapstists saga, etc. All this did not bode well for me spritually, however. By 20, I was jaded and done with the whole thing. I've finally started coming to a relatively confident place as a Christian, but I still have very real issues with much that the SBC is about but can't find anyone around me to discuss it with without outing myself as an unsubmissive, too big for her britches woman (gasp!). Really, I'm concerned that I'll just end up wanting to chuck it all again, take my Bible and go home, so I was thrilled to find you all.

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Re: Hey! from South Carolina

Postby Haruo » Sat Jun 30, 2012 1:52 am

Welcome, Lew ;-) ! Glad your moniker finally made it past the border patrol.

Why do you choose to continue to attend a church with which you have such issues, and where you don't feel free to express yourself? Is it just that it's the family church, or what? Even in South Carolina, there are alternatives to a Baptist faith that demands submissiveness of its womenfolk. I hear. They even have 4 Alliance of Baptists congregations, though that might go beyond unsubmissive...
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Re: Hey! from South Carolina

Postby lewprivette » Sat Jun 30, 2012 9:01 am

Thanks for the welcome; glad to be here!

No, it's not a family church although I still visit that one occasionally. Our church is actually "liberal" relatively speaking. We have women deacons (one of only two Baptist congregations I know of in this area that do), and you don't hear much talk about gender roles. We've been there for five years, so we've certainly bonded with everyone and made it our family. It's just that over the years, like most things seem to be, I'm sensing the congregation starting to shift. For example, I was recently in a conversation and had to shift my gears quickly when the person I was talking to said that their problem with Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest is that it is too liberal for them. I certainly don't think it's healthy or possible to go to a church where everyone agrees on everything. I just think the conversations I want to have wouldn't be welcome in polite conversation. Admitting that I'm not actually sure how I feel about gay marriage, that I don't necessarily read every part of the Bible literally, etc.

As far as I can tell, there aren't any CBF or Alliance churches within driving distance of where we are. Plenty of Free Will and Independent, but that's going to the other side of the spectrum. :)

I still feel rather new to being "back in the fold", even though it's been years. I often wonder if I'm just making much ado about nothing, getting all riled up over something John Piper or Mark Driscoll have said, and projecting it onto my home church. Again, glad to be here and maybe engage in some interesting conversations.
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Re: Hey! from South Carolina

Postby Gene Scarborough » Sat Jun 30, 2012 9:13 am

Anyone who says, "SEBTS is too liberal" has no clue about the changes and is probably sucking up to conservatism as if it were creating something good for our country.

I am a South Carolinean by birth and years of ministry. It started to change shortly after GA took on a conservative tone with the firing of Jack Harwell as it's state paper editor.

The wise person finds a place where people understand that being open is not going to sentence you to hell---so welcome to some more level-headed thinkers here!
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Re: Hey! from South Carolina

Postby Timothy Bonney » Sat Jun 30, 2012 10:12 am

lewprivette wrote:I still feel rather new to being "back in the fold", even though it's been years. I often wonder if I'm just making much ado about nothing, getting all riled up over something John Piper or Mark Driscoll have said, and projecting it onto my home church. Again, glad to be here and maybe engage in some interesting conversations.


If you like your home church of course by all means remain there. But there are a lot of other Christians out there besides Baptists and many of them are much more affirming of the role of women in the church than the SBC. If you are in the south I'm willing to bet there are United Methodists, probably Presbyterians (PCUSA) and others that affirm the role of women in the church. I'm not trying to sheep steal here, I'm just pointing out that there are other options if you are really uncomfortable where you are.
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Re: Hey! from South Carolina

Postby Mrs Haruo » Sat Jun 30, 2012 10:25 am

Welcome! It's great to have another "uppity" woman on board. I hope we hear a lot more from you. I was raised to think for myself and ask lots of questions, so I have never fit in well with your typical authoritative mega-church. Most of my adult life was spent in the Mennonite Bretheren Church, but the particular congregation I was a member of became more conservative Baptist when a new preacher who had been interning at a big baptist church in town brought his Young Adult class with him and they slowly seemed to take over. I remember feeling like you in my twenties, looking for a place to fit in, but not always feeling like I could really speak my mind sometimes.
Don't despair if your job and your rewards are few, remember that the mighty oak was once a nut like you!
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Re: Hey! from South Carolina

Postby Timothy Bonney » Sat Jun 30, 2012 10:27 am

Mrs Haruo wrote:Welcome! It's great to have another "uppity" woman on board.


Yes, and welcome from me too!
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Re: Hey! from South Carolina

Postby Haruo » Sat Jun 30, 2012 1:16 pm

I was raised in the liberal wing of the American Baptist Churches (ABC, which actually stood for American Baptist Convention when I was a kid), and that's always been the flavor of church that feels most like home, even when I didn't consider myself a Christian. My dad was the joint ABC/DOC campus minister (speaking of which, you might see if there are any Disciples of Christ churches in your neck of the woods, in many ways they are Baptists, and often fairly liberal) at the University of Washington from before my conception in 1953 to his death in 1968. University Baptist Church in Seattle, where I spent my childhood up to age 13, now has a gay pastor (its second in a row—Manny Santiago—a puertorriqueño to boot; the first, Tim Phillips, is now senior minister at Seattle First Baptist Church). My own pastor is a Gay, too, Rev. Judy Gay, but in her case it's a surname, not a sexual orientation. ;-) Last year I went to 48 different churches (actually, a bit fewer, as some were the same church but radically different services/congregations) over the course of the year; I was aiming at 52, but the project fell apart after I lost my job in November and Advent duties kept me at my own church much of the time. But I do recommend getting out and visiting other churches; maybe once a month? What's your ZIP Code? (PM me if posting it's too close to breaking your anonymity for comfort.)
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