"...When He [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." Matt 9:36

"Do not rob the poor, because he is poor... for the Lord will take up their case and plunder those who plunder them." Proverbs 22:22-23

Monday, August 29, 2011

Clergy Housing Allowance is Sexist as Applied by Many Southern Baptists

"In general, the IRS and the courts require that a minister be ordained, commissioned, or licensed.... [to] be deemed to be a minister for tax reporting purposes." Richard Hammar, J.D., LL.M., CPA

"Therefore, be it RESOLVED.....that we encourage the service of women in all aspects of church life and work other than pastoral functions and leadership roles entailing ordination." Southern Baptist Convention Resolution, voted and approved June 1984

"Do I believe in women behind the pulpit? You bet I do, how else do you expect them to vacuum back here if they can't get behind it?" Ergun Caner, 2007, at Ohio Free Will Baptist Men's Retreat
-----------------------------------
One aspect of the clergy housing allowance that is being overlooked, is the unfair, and sexist manner in which the allowance is applied by many Southern Baptist churches.

As seen in the quote above, it is the official policy of Southern Baptists NOT to ordain women - even those who are seminary trained and have decades of experience serving in churches as ministers. Yet some of these same churches will ordain men who are hired on staff with absolutely no seminary training or ministerial experience! FBC Jax is one of these churches.

While ordained ministers can enjoy this benefit of receiving a portion of their pay for their housing, furnishings, maintenance and utilities tax free - this benefit is denied to many female ministers in the SBC simply because they cannot be "ordained". And thus women employed as ministers at most SBC churches, cannot be considered "ministers" for IRS tax purposes.

What employees of a church would be considered a "minister" by the IRS, and would thus be eligible for the housing allowance benefit? The short answer is, they must be ordained or licensed.

Probably the best overview of the clergy housing allowance benefit and who qualifies for it, is given here by the Evangelical Council of Financial Accountability (ECFA). If you want a more in depth discussion, you can go to this document and read pages 92 and beyond which deals with who qualifies as a "minister" for tax purposes.

Without boring you with too much detail, there have been two tax court rulings that effectively created two "tests" to be applied to ministers in determining if they are a "minister" as defined by the IRS. These two rules are the "Wingo Test" and the "Knight Test". The Knight test is the most recent, and it requires the minister to be "ordained, commissioned, or licensed", and then there are four other provisions that may or may not be met.

Here are the requirements of the Knight test, defining a minister for tax purposes:

1. administers sacraments;
2. conducts religious worship;
3. has management responsibility in a local church;
4. is ordained, commissioned, or licensed;
5. is considered to be a religious leader by his or her church or denomination

In a ruling subsequent to the Knight case, the IRS determined that only the fourth factor is absolutely required, and the others are applied in a balancing test. If the church's ruling authority (such as board of trustees or elders) believes the minister qualifies, and if the minister submits a written request and dollar amount, the church can issue a separate pay check for the amount of the housing allowance and no taxes are deducted on that portion. There is no limit to how much of their pay can be designated for the housing allowance, and as discussed in my previous post it can even apply to multiple homes. And the minister receives a double tax benefit in that they can still deduct mortgage interest from the taxable portion of their income!

So the IRS requires "ordination, commission, or licensure" of the minister. But the SBC does not "license" ministers, and I don't think they "commission" people except perhaps missionaries, thus ordination is the standard method used to designate a "minister" in the SBC. But women cannot be ordained in most SBC churches. Thus, the IRS rule is set up to unfairly exclude female ministers in the SBC from enjoying this tax benefit.

Let me give an example of the ridiculousness of this: at FBC Jax, over the years there have been several female full-time vocational ministers holding the position of "director". They are seminary trained, they are in leadership positions, but because they are not ordained can't enjoy the housing allowance benefit, while their male counterparts of mostly equal job responsibilities do.

There are multiple male ministers on staff at FBC Jax who are not seminary trained, but hold the title of "Reverend". These men joined the FBC Jax staff with no formal seminary training or credentials or formal vocational ministry experience, yet were promptly ordained and immediately enjoyed the title of "Reverend". I know of three of them: Dan Elkins, John Blount, and Kevin King. All three hold and use the title of "Reverend".

Reverend Elkins's job title is "Middle School Pastor", while Shelly Norman's job title was "Elementary Ministry Director". Shelly has close to 20 years ministerial experience, and a degree from Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary. Elkins, at the time of his hiring and ordination, had a bachelor's degree from UF (chemistry I believe), and little or no vocational ministry experience. Yet he is a deemed a "pastor", and Shelly a "director". They both served the same functional purpose in their employment - Shelly coordinated the children's ministries, Dan the middle school ministries.

But Dan is a male, and thus he is entitled to be a "Reverend" and a "Pastor". Shelly is female, and thus she is "Ms. Shelly" and a "Director". Same job functions, but gender makes the difference between Pastor and Director.

Now I do not know for sure if Elkins, Blount, and King enjoy the housing allowance benefit, but my point is that FBC Jax has taken steps to ensure that under the IRS rules they would qualify using the Knight test. They have been ordained with no credentials or formal seminary training whatsoever, they have been given the opportunity to "conduct a worship service" by preaching at least once in the Main auditorium. So I would have to imagine the good 'ole boys on the FBCJ board of trustees have made sure their male ministers enjoy the tax benefit. Elkins, Blount, and King have management responsibility in the church, and by virtue of their title and job descriptions they would be considered "leaders".

But take a female minister at FBCJ, like Shelly Norman: she is seminary trained, does hold management responsibility in the church, and DOES conduct religious worship of children, and she is considered a "leader" by those that volunteer in her ministry. She is a minister by any reasonable definition and does meet 3 of the 5 requirements of the Knight test, but because of the lack of "ordination" she is not a minister by the IRS definition.

Thus, because females can't be called "Reverend", no housing allowance for them.

I would say that if "Reverend" Elkins or "Reverend" Blount or "Reverend" King qualify as "ministers", then certainly seminary trained female ministers who hold similar positions at the church should as well, at least for tax purposes. The test should be primarily a functional test, not one of ordination or licensure.

The IRS either needs to change their definition of ministers, knowing that some denominations specifically exclude women from ordination, or better yet they need to do away with this tax benefit altogether.

I prefer the latter, as ministers are now mostly degreed professionals who earn salaries and benefits and don't live in parsonages, and thus this benefit has outlived its purpose and should be a thing of the past.

But at the very least, let's not leave the decision of who enjoys a ministerial tax benefit to guys like Ergun Caner and his Baptist buddies who believe a woman's most useful function in church is performed with an apron and a vacuum cleaner.

119 comments:

WishIhadknown said...

Dog, let's face it. We'll ordain gays along time before we'll endorse ordaining women.

Scottie said...

I wish I had the brain power at the moment to come up with a more thoughtful response... but this situation you've described is unreasonable, assinine, ridiculous. Ordaining the underqualified human being and refusing to ordain the qualified one, all because of gender. Such embarassingly unintelligent decisions.

And as you illustrate, the ramifications of which are blatantly devoid of what is fair and just.

Tom Parker said...

Just maybe the Supreme Court will have to rule that the Housing Allowance is unconstitutional and remove it from tax law because it most definitely is sexist.

The sad part is this tax benefit is very helpful for those that toil in the smaller church environment.

The big boys have been abusing this law.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Completely off topic, but Jim Smryl and Loyal Heart Ministries was highlighted in a Florida Baptist Witness news article here. I find it a bit surprising, given that the managing editor of the FBW is a staunch Brunson supporter and FBC Jax member.

From the story:

"Loyal Heart’s founder Jim Smyrl, who writes Bible study curriculum for adults and youth, entered into an agreement with Daniel Akin, president of Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C., to develop “A Theology for the Church,” a seven-year curriculum based on the “Theology Driven Ministry” principles Smyrl has develop since beginning his non-profit, Jacksonville-based ministry in 2006."

and they even mention his new church:

"Smyrl, pastor of the new Loyal Heart Baptist Church in Jacksonville, earned his Ph.D from Southeastern Seminary in 2009, where he also previously earned the M.Div."


Good for Jim.

Anonymous said...

A woman can be licensed by a Southern Baptist Church with no problems so give it a rest. Ordination is another story but they don't need that.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Please educate us...licensed for what?

Tom Parker said...

Anon:

Duh, this blog topic is about the Housing Allowance.

Licensing is irrelevant to the Housing Allowance.

William said...

I don't recall any cases where women staff members have been licensed by a church in order to receive the housing allowance but would be interested to hear of any.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Remember: the point here is that the minister does not decide whether they qualify. This is not like a deduction that can be claimed by a person by simply claiming it on their taxes. This has to be a determination made by the group in the church who makes such decisions (like trustees or a pastor or deacon board or elders), then the minister can REQUEST it from this body, then the church acts and issues two paychecks.

So if it is up to the church and not the minister, and the churches don't view women as "ministers" or "clergy", then if you're a woman minister, you're out of luck.

But as William says, if there are other avenues outside of "ordination" like some sort of licensure, I would love to hear about it, and please give examples.

Anonymous said...

WD, the Rev. Dan Elkins has an MDiv and a microbiology degree.

Also, don't forget about the Rev. Dr. Jim Whitmire, the Rev. Edson Dickinson, and the Rev. Charles Darus, who is our Associate Minister of Music. Mr. Jonathan Welch is the Associate Director of Music.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Yes, I knew that Dan was attending one of the seminaries, glad to know that he got his MDiv. He is a bright guy - he is a Gator!

But my point about Dan is that when he was hired, and shortly thereafter ordained at became "Reverend Elkins", he had no seminary training, and little if any full time vocational experience. Not a slap at Dan, it just is the way it is. Same with Blount.

Tom Parker said...

I am very positive that licensing will not qualify one for the housing allowance.

Anonymous said...

With the Constitution piece by piec being dismantled, no fun intended, look for more Sexist avenues in the future.

Anonymous said...

This regulation is another example of why preachers think they are better than the rest of us. "Called of God." This IRS/tax law boondoggle should be eliminated. Why should preachers get it, but a low paid nurse not get it? How about those that work with the homeless and poverty stricken to provide shelter and relief? They are every bit as deserving as the Rev Brunson or Rev Smyrl. And, I am only using their names as an example. I have no knowledge if either of them claims this exemption. However, I do know that years ago when Dr. Vines was pastor, he built a library at his home in The Woods subdivision (which at the time was the only other gated community in Jacksonville besides Deerwood) and the church had to vote on a matter concerning his housing allowance due to this addition. Speaking of gated communities, I do think Dr. Lindsay deserves credit for living in the same middle-class home in middle-class Arlington for all the years he was pastor & co-pastor until the day he died.

Anonymous said...

I believe the IRS publication states that you can be Licensed, Commissioned or Ordained. I could be wrong though.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Just maybe the Supreme Court will have to rule that the Housing Allowance is unconstitutional and remove it from tax law because it most definitely is sexist.

Nice thought, but when both houses of congress passed the "Warren extension" of the HA by votes of 100-0 and 408-0 (guess a few were absent that day), respectively, then I don't see any rush by any branch of government to overturn or change the law.

Anonymous said...

http://www.bic-church.org/resources/treasurers/housing.asp sheds some light on the issue.

Thy Peace said...

To give an example of SBC response to women chaplain in the army and women ordination and how to subvert them ... All the below links are from Wade Burleson's blog:

Those Who Make the BFM Say What It Doesn't
Ironically, the North American Mission Board in 2003 had initially said they would not 'ordain' women. But when they learned that the Army did not require ordination for a woman to serve as Chaplain, just an endorsement from NAMB, the trustees scrambled to stop the endorsements in 2004. In explaining why the trustees would no longer endorse 'women' to be chaplains for the Army, the NAMB Chairman of the Trustee Board said, "we will not endorse a woman where where the role and function of the chaplain would be seen the same as that of a pastor."

A Southern Baptist Chaplain Ministering Christ

A Momentary Lapse of Naming Rights: The Truth in Crisis at Southwestern Theological Seminary

Anonymous said...

One complicating matter in this is that pastors do not pay FICA, they pay SECA. Here is what that means, ordained pastors are considered by the IRS to be self-employed and pay the full 15.3% social security tax. That 15.3% is even paid on the housing allowance. If the church decides to do a social security offset, the pastor must pay 15.3% of the amount received in offset. So when all is said and done, the housing allowance is helpful for the average pastor, but not as helpful as it looks from the outside.

A second matter that I would throw out there is that the percentage of pastors who are wealthy is minuscule. The VAST majority of pastors make a salary that is comparable to that of the people in their church. What you see in some megachurches is the exception and not the rule. I hope that some guys and their greed do not ruin for everyone else.

As for the issue of this being sexist, you'll just have to take that one up with the Apostle Paul.

Anonymous said...

I do not have time to research this but I was told that the housing allowance that Clergy receives is basically the same as members of Congress receive. In fact it was created for members of Congress and somehow members of the Clergy were added to the bill.

My understanding is that the bill was created to offer a tax break for people, i.e. Congress and Clergy, whose jobs forced them to maintain two households.

There was a time when Pastors moved every two or three years and that alone would make buying a house impractical. Those who could afford to do so would maintain a primary residence while living in a parsonage, or renting, while serving on a church field. Likewise, since members of Congress have no guarantee of tenure, they usually do not sell their primary residence when they move to Washington.

Without a doubt there are some who manipulate the law to their advantage but not all do so.

I have been a small church Pastor for 30 years. My pay package, including housing allowance, is about 40K.

After tithes, offerings, and taxes I am left with about 28K.

I suspect that there are many pastors just like me who live modestly and do not take unfair advantage of this tax break.

Tom Parker said...

Anon 11:46:

You said:"As for the issue of this being sexist, you'll just have to take that one up with the Apostle Paul."

I surely would love to talk with the Apostle Paul, because I believe he has been greatly misinterpreted by many trying to make him say what he did not mean.

But nice try at being snarky.

Katie said...

May I apply a little logic to this problem?

From what I have read, the IRS has a reasonable list of what qualifies one as a legitimate minister. There is no prohibition as it relates to gender. There are plenty of loopholes to ensure that it is abused. Ho hum, what's new?

I don't think it is the IRS that has the problem. The SBC has the problem, and the IRS can't decide for them how they are going to manage their own demonination. We all know of other denominations who do ordain women so I can't see how this could be discriminatory in the least.

One of the ways we teach children to solve math problems is to encourage them to solve a simpler proplem using the same strategies. Let's see how that will work here. Example: The gay community says they are discriminated against by the laws of marriage. Untrue. They have the same legal right to marry as anyone else. It's not our problem if they want to redefine marriage. The law applies equally to all of-age citizens.

Same with the IRS housing allowance. No one is discriminating against women ministers except the SBC who have their own set of guidelines.

Tom Parker you said "Just maybe the Supreme Court will have to rule that the Housing Allowance is unconstitutional and remove it from tax law because it most definitely is sexist." How is it sexist? If Lutheran, Presbyterian, Episcopal, Methodist, etc all ordain their women,then the law isn't sexist. I take it most people don't want the IRS to come into our churches and tell us what to believe, so it seems unfair for us to complain about the IRS when they aren't discriminating. We are the discriminators.

Tom Parker said...

Katie:

You said:"Tom Parker you said "Just maybe the Supreme Court will have to rule that the Housing Allowance is unconstitutional and remove it from tax law because it most definitely is sexist." How is it sexist? If Lutheran, Presbyterian, Episcopal, Methodist, etc all ordain their women,then the law isn't sexist. I take it most people don't want the IRS to come into our churches and tell us what to believe, so it seems unfair for us to complain about the IRS when they aren't discriminating. We are the discriminators."

I stand corrected. You are very right--it is the SBC that is sexist.

New BBC Open Forum said...

GuideStone >> Housing Allowance

SBC Voices >> Our Sacred Tax Break: The Minister’s Housing Allowance (by William Thornton)

New BBC Open Forum said...

I don't think anyone was arguing that the IRS is being sexist. It's the SBC and other denominations that are applying the law in a sexually discriminatory manner.

Anonymous said...

The IRS rules says that to qualify you can be licensed and/or ordained. I know of numerous Baptist churches that have licensed women so I assume that they qualify.

John Wylie said...

For the IRS to drop this benefit to pastors because of a denomination's refusal to ordain women would be religious discrimination. If a woman wishes to be ordained and utilize this tax benefit she can get ordained in one of the other denominations like the CBF or the ABC etc.

But with all due respect to use this as a way to penalize people who don't share your views is wrong. The U.S. government should not use tax code in order to coerce people into changing their sencerely held religious beliefs.

John Wylie said...

sincerely* sorry duh

Anonymous said...

What about the "license" feature? Maybe this could be the SBC loophole for women.

Tom Parker said...

John Wylie:

You said:"For the IRS to drop this benefit to pastors because of a denomination's refusal to ordain women would be religious discrimination. If a woman wishes to be ordained and utilize this tax benefit she can get ordained in one of the other denominations like the CBF or the ABC etc."

Are you really saying that if a woman wishes to be ordained in the SBC she can just leave??

We've already lost too many Godly women pastors in the SBC because of the 2000 BF&M and other SBC creeds.

John Wylie said...

Tom,

What I'm saying is that it's wrong to use the IRS to get people to comply with your beliefs. I would not be for the IRS removing this benefit for denominations who disagree with me.

Tom Parker said...

John:


Do you really want these women to have to leave the SBC to go to other denominations to receive this benefit?

John Wylie said...

Tom,

I'll answer your question if you'll answer mine. In good faith knowing you'll respond, I'll answer now. Yes I believe people who intend to change the SBC policy should go to another denomination that already holds their views.

Now Tom, do you really believe that you and others should desire the U.S. government to penalize people who disagree with you? People who hold my view are accused of being discriminatory but aren't you being equally discriminatory against those who don't hold your views?

Tom Parker said...

John Wylie:

Sadly, you have it backwards. Until the 1980's there was no "problem" with Women being ordained in the SBC but then those like yourself took the denomination over and changed the rules as it relates to women in ministry.

You and the others started this discrimination circle, it did not exist before.

I do not buy at all women having to leave the SBC to be ordained, call it what you like.

John Wylie said...

Tom,

I answered your question in good faith, but you failed to answer mine. Do you really believe that people should use the IRS to penalize people who do not hold your views?

Anonymous said...

Here is the list of SBC Mega-Churches in order of attendance:

http://www.thomrainer.com/2011/08/megachurches-in-the-southern-baptist-convention.php

Anonymous said...

"Now Tom, do you really believe that you and others should desire the U.S. government to penalize people who disagree with you? "


YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tom Parker said...

John Wylie:

You question to me is not really a question.

You are trying to paint and I am not going to be your paint.

Anon--very likely Joe Blackmon--you said:"
"Now Tom, do you really believe that you and others should desire the U.S. government to penalize people who disagree with you?


YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Have brave of you to say that about me Any Mouse.

I do not think I have answered that question and I am not going to.

John Wylie said...

I see so you ask me your questions and I answer them in good faith and your refuse to answer mine? I've been transparent and honest but you refuse. WD's blog post was about getting rid of the housing allowance because of discrimination. I believe it is wrong to use the U.S. government to penalize people because on the basis of religious discrimination.

And Tom, honestly you should not be expecting people to answer your questions when you lack the integrity to respond to theirs'.

New BBC Open Forum said...

John Wylie,

I noticed this statement from you in the comment stream on the SBC Voices article I linked above.

John Wylie July 7, 2011 at 2:17 pm

I really don’t understand, William are you just having fun or is this a serious case against the housing allowance? What’s wrong with pastors getting a break? It’s not like we’re some kind of corporate fat cats. In addition pastors are special, if they are true men of God.


You've never struck me as the arrogant, entitled type like many of the megachurch pastors, so I was surprised by your last sentence. Are you saying pastors are somehow "more special" than the rest of us and entitled to special consideration from the government just because they're pastors? And by your comments here, that women can't reach that level of "specialness" because they can't be pastors? I'm truly not trying to be argumentative, just trying to get to the heart of what you're saying there. Thanks.

Thy Peace said...

//Sarcasm Alert

Maybe all the men of a household should attend SBC Churches and the women should attend non-SBC Churches.

Anonymous said...

Nice name-calling "Pastor" John. Hopefully you don't resort to that for all who disagree with you.

My guess is you'll continue to think of women, gays, and others who don't look or sound like you, and disagree with your politics as seond-class citizens to white men.

John Wylie said...

New BBC,

I appreciate your questions and want to say first of all that I've always found you to be fair and honest. I do believe pastors are to be afforded respect if they perform their duties in a God honoring way. (1 Thes. 5:12, 13; 1 Tim. 5:17) In as far as women are concerned I sincerely believe biblically speaking that women are not to be pastors.(1 Tim. 2:12) I know these things anger people, but I sincerely believe them. Anyhow, thanks again for the questions. If I come across as arrogant, I apologize.

John Wylie said...

I'm sorry Tom Parker, I should not have said that you lack integrity. I was not trying to trap you into answering a loaded question. I was just trying to get people to understand that there is another side to this housing allowance issue.

Anonymous said...

"pastors are special, if they are true men of God."

What do you mean by special?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

I think many of you are not seeing the big picture here.

My point is: why let the church's decide who gets to enjoy the loophole?? Why should the govt let the men of FBCJ (who allowed their pastor to have Ergun Caner, whose sexist quote I put on this post, preach to their young men and women this month) have the ultimate say on who is and who is not a "minister" for tax purposes? A Shelly Norman is every bit as much of a minister as Dan Elkins, and I'm sure Dan would agree. No need to allow a church impose their interpretation of the bible on a minister's tax exemptions.

John Wylie said...

Anon 3:29,

I based that on the double honor passage in 1 Tim. 5:17.

Anonymous said...

Should double honour apply to sexist questions?

John Wylie said...

Anon 4:01,

I really don't want to argue with you. I don't believe in women pastors, I do that on what I believe to be biblical grounds. If that is what you call sexist than that's fine. I just don't believe that the U.S. government should be used to penalize people who don't hold the same views as I do.

WD, if I get you right, I don't have a problem with your last comment provided individual churches and pastors are not discriminated against.

Anonymous said...

"pastors are special, if they are true men of God."

"I based that on the double honor passage in 1 Tim. 5:17."

Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.

The verse says "elders" not pastors. At the time this verse was written, there was no paid senior pastor position in the church. That came hundreds of years later.

If you will read the book "Pagan Christianity," you will discover that the whole idea of a division between clergy and laity was borrowed from the Roman (secular) culture in the 3rd century.

We may have different functions within the body of Christ, but no one (in the church) is any "better" or more "special" than anyone else.

Anonymous said...

I still say you are the biggest cry baby in the nation Watch Dog. Every few months I get on this blog I am reminded of how small you've become.

Every Baptist church I've been a part of (either on staff or personnel committee or finance committee) has allowed a female minister to be licensed or commissioned so that she can take advantage of this law. That is from a mega-church in Houston to a small Baptist church in North Texas and 3 churches in between.

The conversative wing of the SBC does not allow women to be ordained or licensed into the Gospel Ministry of preaching, but every church in autonomy is allowed to license a female minister for specific ministry and thus fulfilling the IRS requirements.

Jeff

Anonymous said...

"I still say you are the biggest cry baby in the nation Watch Dog."

I think you have him beat - Jeff.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Ooh..."crybaby"....sticks and stones pal.

Well, my point still is that many churches in the SBC do not license, nor do they ordain, and women ministers don't enjoy the same benefit as their male counterparts.

Instead of calling me terrible names like "crybaby", give us names of churches, and what licensure you speak of.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hurt your feelings with the "cry baby" tag, I really am amazed at the smallness of the vast majority of your topics and arguments.

Your point is misleading...every SBC church has the autonomous authority to grant their female ministerial staff (those who have church managerial leadership and those who have religious leadership) the ability to receive the tax benefit of housing. Church polity dicates which committee or even staff member has the authority to grant that "license or commission." Every church I have served at or served in as lay leadership has endowed that authority in the Personnel Team.

CFBC in Houston, FBCM in McKinney, SMBC in Houston, FBCSP in Sulfur Springs, and FBCW in Waxahachie - - all strong, conservative Baptist churches have done this for their female staff.

One thing you are correct on crybaby, and that is that it is only fair that female ministers receive the same benefit in the taxonomy of housing allowance.

Jeff

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Jeff...thanks for the info. Of course churches can ordain women if they choose. Not sure what 'licensure' you are referring to, maybe some others can chime in here. Traditionally ordination is what separates a minister apart from non ministers in the baptist faith.

And thanks for your sweet spirit in name calling. You must be one of those specially annointed "men of God"!

New BBC Open Forum said...

Thank you, John Wylie. We will have to agree to disagree.

I would like to hear Wade's take on this. A few years ago someone was critical of him because the male staff members of his church were called "pastors" and the females "directors." Shortly after that the church website was changed and some of the female "directors" were changed to "pastors." Back then there was more than one female; today there seems to be just one.

What I'd like to know, just out of curiosity, is if those former "directors" were licensed and/or ordained or if it was just a name change.

John Wylie said...

New BBC,

Actually the one woman on staff is still just referred to as a director on the web site.

Anonymous said...

"John Wylie said...

New BBC,"

Now here comes the bull:


"I appreciate your questions and want to say first of all that I've always found you to be fair and honest."

Now let me tell you how it is or better yet, how I interpret scripture:

" I do believe pastors are to be afforded respect if they perform their duties in a God honoring way. (1 Thes. 5:12, 13; 1 Tim. 5:17)"
And the Bible says specifically that Women are Not to be Pastors

"In as far as women are concerned I sincerely believe biblically speaking that women are not to be pastors.(1 Tim. 2:12) "
Now you know why the Bible was written by Men and now being interpreted by Men:

"I know these things anger people, but I sincerely believe them. Anyhow, thanks again for the questions. If I come across as arrogant, I apologize."


So God had a Son and there was no Mom? Only God can do that, right? So that forever women will be subservient to men.

Is this what happens when you have child raised by a single parent?

Anonymous said...

In the Baptist world, all a church has to do is vote on a Wednesday night to license someone and it is done.

Ordination is a longer and more dignified process.

Usually anyone can be licensed and in most churches, ordination is for men only.

Why is there such a big argument over this unless people are just wanting to argue for argument's sake.

Anonymous said...

Jeff did a great job in listing churches that license women. Why not congratulate him?

New BBC Open Forum said...

I just don't believe that the U.S. government should be used to penalize people who don't hold the same views as I do.

Sounds like the same argument the pro "gay marriage" folks use regarding state governments.

The government already penalizes people who don't hold the same views I do. For example, women intentionally having children out of wedlock and/or fathers who refuse to support their children or couples having children they can't afford to properly raise if they're being paid by the government to do so (welfare, food stamps, WIC, EIC, and unlimited exemptions). That doesn't line up with my beliefs at all, but our taxes are going to support their lifestyles, often from the womb to the tomb.

And just to make it perfectly clear, since egalitarians are often lumped in with the pro-gay-agenda folks and ordaining women is equated with ordaining homosexuals, I am against so-called "gay marriage" and ordination of gays. If two people want to draw up some kind of legal contract which gives them certain legal rights, fine. But don't call it "marriage." It's not. As someone remarked to me the other day, if you want to marry a potted plant, go for it, but don't expect me to pay for it.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

From anon:

"In the Baptist world, all a church has to do is vote on a Wednesday night to license someone and it is done.

Ordination is a longer and more dignified process.

Usually anyone can be licensed and in most churches, ordination is for men only. "

-----------------

Basically, this person would have us believe ANYONE can be licensed, and then could enjoy the tax benefit.

I don't see how this is true. Read the IRS guidelines. Just saying "Hey, let's vote to 'license' this employee" (whatever that means, no one has said license for what), and then that person would meet the "ordained, licensed, or commissioned" requirement for the housing allowance, I have my doubts that this would hold up under IRS scrutiny.

There is a reason for ordination. It is what sets apart a "minister of the gospel" for baptists.

Maybe Wade Burleson can chime in here.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

By the way, hello John Wylie, glad to have you back commenting. I do appreciate your comments in the past. Glad you're back here interacting with us "crybabies". :)

John Wylie said...

Thanks WD,

I've always felt you were fair to me even when we disagree. Thanks

New BBC Open Forum said...

CFBC has female ministers to missions, preschool, and girls, an associate minister to family care, and a female director of women's ministries.

SMBC is CBF now. They have female ministers to adults and children.

FBC McKinney does appear to have female staff ministers but again limited to children and youth.

Not sure what FBCSP is. Or "Sulfur Springs" either. FBC Sulphur Springs lists only one female staff member, and she's a director of preschool and kindergarten.

FBCW has a female children's minister.

Tom Parker said...

What if we did it this way? Which women specifically in the SBC right now are using the housing allowance on their tax returns.

Names please.

Anonymous said...

Tom Parker:

The Supreme Court would have to do away with the Freedom of Religion before it could rule that the gender equality provisions of federal statutory law or the Fourteenth Amendment control the acceptable parameters of religion.

Louis

Anonymous said...

The housing allowance makes sense for parsonages. I am in favor of that.

The allowance does not seem to make sense in most modern churches that pay compensation to their pastors.

But having said that, I am in favor of any and all deductions for people even if I don't get a benefit.

Louis

Anonymous said...

The SBC doesn't dictate doctrine to churches.

The BFM is a confessional doctrinal statement.

Most churches that contribute to the SBC agree with the doctrinal statement and sent messengers to vote for it.

Individual churches, including the churches we all attend can ordain or license women.

Who on this blog has women on staff at their church who are currently being denied this benefit? If that's the case, get your church to arrange it so that the women on your staff will qualify for the benefit.

I will be interested in hearing from those of you whose churches have already handled this, or who do so.

Louis

Anonymous said...

New BBC:

Thanks for the interesting info on the Congressional reauthorization of the housing allowance.

Louis

Anonymous said...

"Speaking of gated communities, I do think Dr. Lindsay deserves credit for living in the same middle-class home in middle-class Arlington for all the years he was pastor & co-pastor until the day he died."

The world was much different then!

Anonymous said...

Dog:

I was licensed as a minister of the Gospel at age 19.

I consider myself a minister, and hold my license dear. I am not ordained, and have not sought ordination. I, too, see ordination as a step above licensure.

I am performing a wedding by virtue of my license in October.

LIcensure means whatever the licensing church believes it to mean.

I have not read the IRS regs and don't intend to now. From what you said above, it seems that not only title (ordained, licensed etc.) but also function seems to be part of the IRS scheme.

Louis

Louis

Anonymous said...

I really don't want to argue with you. I don't believe in women pastors, I do that on what I believe to be biblical grounds. If that is what you call sexist than that's fine. I just don't believe that the U.S. government should be used to penalize people who don't hold the same views as I do.

And I do not want to argue with you, I am not calling it sexist because that is what it is, the truth can hurt, I my self enjoy listening to sane pastors of god, can't seem to find that on laura and ashly, I do not listen to female pastors at all and probally never will. maby if men will stand and be real men of GOD the sexist question would not exist, today the pastors are steral and follow money, if this is the trend you can be sure woman will want to fill the rankes, That implies that a female pastor can lead people to salvation. We need men of god.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

You were arguing with me.

Those darned women who think they can lead someone to salvation, who do they think they are kidding?

Bro./Pastor Rod H. said...

Hello John Wylie good to see you blogging in.

Remember,"CLARITY OVER AGREEMENT"!

I personally agree with your interpretation of women pastors,no offence to others intended.

John Wylie said...

Thanks Brother Rod

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you are getting upset with the wrong people watchdog>. It appears that these tax laws with regard to clergy are unconstitutional anyway. Congress really should not be making any law that allows for any exemption of clergy. This is papalcy at its worst. The sexist argument is the least of my concern. You have indeed swallowed a camel if you really think THAT is the main problem.

Tom Parker said...

Louis:

You said:"Individual churches, including the churches we all attend can ordain or license women."

Try ordaining a woman at your SBC church and see what happens.

Tom Parker said...

Woman are not ordained in the current SB world without serious consequences to the SB church that ordains her.

Once again a list of the SB churches that have ordained a woman in the last 25 years since the TAKEOVER would be enlightening.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

After reading further in the document I hyperlinked in the post (the link was not working yesterday but I have corrected it), I am more convinced that it is a very difficult thing for a female in a SBC serving as a minister of music or youth or children to enjoy the housing allowance. This document is the "2011 Church and Clergy Tax Guide" provided by "Christianity Today", prepared by Richard Hammar.

There is no clear-cut answer, but if you read the conclusion summary and examples given starting on page 102 of that document (by the way, it is a pdf file that takes some time to download), "ministers" who are licensed but not ordained, but who are not allowed to administer sacraments (such as conducting a baptism service, or conducting a wedding) and who do not preach, very likely would NOT be considered a "minister" for tax purposes.

"Jeff", yesterday said that it is simple: just license the female and they're good to go with a housing allowance - I don't see how that would work. Especially if it is seen as an exercise to get them the housing allowance benefit.

The question is: does this person have the authority to conduct the religious ceremonies of the church or denomination? It is not just whehter they do them, but whether their licensure gives them the authorization to do them.

A male in the SBC like Dan Elkins, once he is ordained - he can preach in the service, and he will perform baptisms during services. That, along with his ordination, makes it an easy case that he is a "minister".

A female, who might be "licensed" - but can't preach, can't conduct religious ceremonies, doesn't baptize people, that would be a tough case to make to the IRS.

Let me give you an example that shows the difficulty in all of this, and why a woman "children's director" would likely not qualify as a minister: the case is given on page 102 and 103 of an ORDAINED minister of education. He does not preach, or conduct worship services, never administers the sacraments. He oversees the educational department, and does visitation, etc. Under the stricter definitions of the IRS (Wingo case) he would NOT be a minister. Under the less strict, more commonly applied application (Knight test), he MIGHT, "...so long as he has the ecclesiastical authority to conduct worship, administer sacraments, and perform sacerdotal functions - even though he does not peform these tasks." But certainly if he is not ordained, but licensed and does not have the authority to conduct worship, administer sacraments, etc. he would not be a "minister".

Clearly, a woman in most SBC churches does NOT have ecclesiastical authority to do any of these things. And giving them a "license" would not mean a thing, unless it licensed them to do the functions of a minister!

It sure would be helpful if a pastor who has worked through these issues with associate ministers, or a lawyer with some experience in the application of these tax laws, would chime in here.

John Wylie said...

WD,

I'm not an expert on this, and we've never hired female staff, but I have had to deal with similar issues. Our church treasurer is also a Certified Tax Preparer and has been in this business for close to 40 years. Licensed ministers in our church are treated as employees, with federal w/h and social security deducted, us paying our half of social security. The tipping point is when we ordain that staff member, when that happens they pay their own taxes and qualify for the housing allowance. Our church treasurer has received a lot of training specifically on minister's tax issues and I'm sure there is a reason why ordination seems to be the tipping point.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

John - thanks for offering your experience.

Yes, as I have read further, the tipping point for Southern Baptists would be "ordination". That is what qualifies a person, ordinarily in a church, to administer sacraments (I know we don't call them that, but that would be baptisms for example, or conducting a Lord's Supper service), and everyone knows these are only for men in most SBC churches. And we know what happens to churches who hire and ordain a female preacher!

It is clear from what I have read that the IRS looks not just at the function in their position, but whether they have the ecclesiastical authority granted to them to conduct the religious ceremonies of the church.

My point is that IF a male director of middle school whose job functions are 99% the same as a female children's director, if he gets the HA so should the female. Not even saying he should NOT get it...but the IRS should not allow a church's narrow interpretation of scripture on a woman's role in the church keep them from enjoying the same tax advantages of her male counterpart performing the same functions in the church.

Sharon said...

Somebody mentioned pastors have to pay social security as a self-employed person would. But I thought pastors can opt out of social security if they want to? I'm pretty sure I heard of a New Jersey pastor who did just that.

Anonymous said...

Tom Parker:

I am not so sure about all this.

I agree that in many states that if a church ordained a woman to be a preacher that would cause relational problems for that church.

But I bet a church could license a woman or give some title to her, she is educated, full time, but still not a pastor or elder, and I bet she could qualify for the housing allowance.

Take for example a minister to children. Say a woman has that job in a church that holds the traditional position on male pastors. But they have this female minister to children who is full time, is educated for that position, and serves under the care of the senior pastor and/or elders.

I personally believe that the church could come up with titles, designations etc. that would qualify this woman for the housing allowance.

But I admit this is just a guess.

I would like to hear from someone who has tried it.

Louis

New BBC Open Forum said...

I parroted a statement by John Wylie last night, and the "steral" person at 11:36 p.m. repeated it.

The government already penalizes people who don't hold the same views I do.

What I think we all meant to say was "The government already penalizes people who (do) hold the same views I (we) do." Or at least JW and I did. I'm not sure what the anon was saying.

Tom Parker said...

WD:

You said:"And we know what happens to churches who hire and ordain a female preacher!"

A current example is Flat Rock Baptist Church in Mt. Airy, NC.

This church was disfellowshipped by the SBA in record breaking time.

Sharon said...

So ordained pastors get the housing allowance, and we're supposed to figure out how even more people can technically qualify? And people have the nerve to be disgusted by those trying to get as much welfare as they can?


To me, it just shows we're all the same. The "Men of God" or the "Women of God" are exactly as anxious to get everything they can, just like everybody else. They are not on a higher spiritual plain after all. In fact, they are on a lower plain. Nobody thinks the average church-goer is really a better, more loving, kinder person than other people. Yet people believe clergy are somehow better. And clergy BENEFIT from the people believing that. They are monetarily benefiting from their association with God.

Didn't Jesus say give away all your belongings, if someone steals your coat, give them two, etc., etc.

HELLO!! None of it adds up at all! They do not obey the words of Jesus himself. What they are really doing is demonstrating their lack of true faith in following Jesus.

Anonymous said...

Was one of the Apostles a Woman?

Is there an Elder in the New Testament that is a woman?

Is there a record in the NT of a woman leading a Church?

If a woman should not be the leader at their home, why should she be the Leader at their Church?

Why is it sexist to say these things...was Paul a sexist? Was Jesus a sexist?

God designed a woman to want to take care of children, to provide a good home, to be a nurturer.

That is what the Bible teaches.....

PERIOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tom Parker said...

Sharon:

I'm not sure you understand what the Housing Allowance does for a minister that is paid a very low salary by a church that leaves him very little spendable money for him and his family.

Welfare it is not.

Anonymous said...

Sharon...have you EVER been a Pastor?

I didn't think so...

Please shut up

Anonymous said...

Does the TROLL enjoy asking asinine questions and answering them himself?

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Readers...I had a great conversation this morning with Gary Townsend, Director of the Florida Baptist Convention's Church Staff Benefits Department. Gary was very kind to answer all of my questions about the HA, and you will find his answers very interesting. I will put up a post tonight summarizing our conversation.

Arce said...

Anon 10:58

Mary M. was commissioned by Jesus to go and share the good news (gospel) of the resurrection to the disciples. An apostle is someone who saw the risen Jesus and was sent by him to testify, which Mary M. did. Similary, Paul called Junia an apostle.

Patriarchy is part of the penalty of the fall, a result of sin. In the post-resurrection world, we are to be in the process of being perfected, to be in Christ. Paul said "In Christ, there is neither male nor female." So, if a church is in Christ it will not have difficulty with having a woman ordained or serving as a proclaimer of the word, which is prophesy in the NT. But most SBC churches dwell in sin and not in Christ in any case.

The word "preacher" is not in the NT, neither is "pastor" but once, and "senior pastor" would be an abomination, given what Jesus said about being a servant and not being a "leader".

Sharon said...

Tom Parker said...
Sharon:

I'm not sure you understand what the Housing Allowance does for a minister that is paid a very low salary by a church that leaves him very little spendable money for him and his family.

Welfare it is not.
___________________________________

I don't think I said it was welfare. I was trying to point out that people love to feel so deserving and superior to others while getting as many advantages as they can, while also claiming to be a Man of God. It doesn't jive.

Anonymous said...

I don't think I said it was welfare. I was trying to point out that people love to feel so deserving and superior to others while getting as many advantages as they can, while also claiming to be a Man of God. It doesn't jive.

Great point Sharon

New BBC Open Forum said...

It appears that these tax laws with regard to clergy are unconstitutional anyway. Congress really should not be making any law that allows for any exemption of clergy.

I agree with the anon who wrote this. On the one hand the churches and clergy want the government to stay out of their business, but at the same time the government is giving them tax breaks which they're happy to accept and would be screaming about if the government decided to abolish them.

Tom Parker said...

Sharon:

I'm going to do something that I need to get better about.

You and I are just not going to agree so carry on.

Sharon said...

Anonymous said...
Sharon...have you EVER been a Pastor?

I didn't think so...

Please shut up
____________________________________
OMG! This is a first for me. Are you a pastor yourself? If so, that's pretty wild that a pastor of the gospel has told me to shut up. Perfectly demonstrating my original point.

No, I'm not a pastor. I've listened to plenty though. I'm a 54- yr.- old woman who grew up in the Baptist world. It's pretty weird that I'm here reading comments of actual pastors on this blog and commenting myself sometimes. I felt kinda honored to be a part of it all, actually. And up to this point, not one has been rude to me by telling me to shut up.

That's not a strong argument, by the way. Someone criticizes you, and you simply say, "Shut up." (I don't allow my children to say that, by the way, because it's very derogatory to say to another human being.)

Anyway, if WD told me to leave this blog, I most certainly would. Until then, I'll keep commenting on issues I find interesting. I certainly have no hostility to anybody on here-I don't even know any of you! And if I did, I'd probably like you. I might not consider you a "man of God," but I'd like you personally. My arguments are with the hypocrisy, the religion itself, the abuses of trusting people, the Bible.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Here are the guidelines in Texas.

See specifically pp. 8 and 13.

This would seem to dispel Jeff's claim that female "ministers," just because they're called "ministers" on their church websites and might be licensed, are eligible for the HA.

Of the female ministers listed in the churches Jeff mentioned, Amy Kane is the only one I know of who preaches and performs baptisms, but her church, SMBC is in the CBF.

Sharon said...

Anon 12:44,
Thank you.

Tom Parker,
Fair enough.

New BBC Forum,
I agree also. The churches say, "Stay out of our business, but give us tax breaks."

And although this is interesting to discuss, I think, probably, hell will freeze over before the housing allowance gets taken away from pastors. So they needn't worry. What probably does bother the good ones, is that the bad ones-like the wealthy, prominent ones, make them all look bad, undeservedly.

Tom Parker said...

WD:

It appears to me the current thinking in the SBC world is if you are a woman 'minister" you aint going to get the HA because you are a woman and we are not going to ordain you so you could you receive this really nice tax benefit.

What a sad mindset.

A. Amos Love said...

Really appreciate the converstion here.
We certainly need all the watchdogs. Keep up the good work.
“Spiritual Abuse” is rampant in “The Corrupt Religious System” of today. :-(

This topic would NOT even exist if those who took the “Title” pastor
really believed the Bible.

Hmmm? *Todays* Pastor/Leader...
Is this a “Title” or “Position” in the scriptures?

Makes an interesting study.

Here’s some questions to ask as you check out pastors in the Bible.

In the Bible...
How many people are... called pastor?
How many people have... the “Title” pastor?
How many people are... ordained as a pastor?
How many people are... hired, or fired, as a pastor?
How many congregations are... “led” by a pastor?

And every pastor I’ve met also has the “Title” Reverend.

Can’t seem to find anyone with the “Title” Reverend in the Bible either. ;-)

Ezek 14:1-11, speaks about “Idols” of the heart.
Mat 23:10, Jesus tells His Disciples NOT to be called Master/Leader
For you have “ONE” Master/Leader - Christ.

In my experience...
“Titles” become “Idols”
“Pastors” become “Masters”

And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:
them also I must bring, and they shall “hear My voice; “
and there shall be “ONE” fold, and “ONE” shepherd.
John 10:16

One Fold - One Shepherd - One Voice

{{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}a

Anonymous said...

Tom Parker- I do not know of one single instance where a church has been disassociated by The Southern Baptist Convention, because they ordained a woman.
However, I do know of multiple instances where a local association or state convention has given church's the boot over ordaining women. In Texas, we have two state cnventions The Baptist General Convention of Texas (BGCT) and the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (SBTC). Both are SBC affiliated state conventions, if you want to ordain women join the BGCT, and the national convention has yet to kick out a BGCT church over ordaining women.
I am a hybrid on this issue. While I do not believe that a woman can scripturally fulfill the role of a pastor, I believe that if Southern Baptist Churches are truly autonomous then they should be able to ordain women without any repercussions from the local, state or national SBC organizations.
I do not have to attend or financially support such a church, there are plenty of churches that I agree with that I can worship in.
Before, I get jumped on, now I do believe we have to have some structure and guidelines- I do believe that it would be cause for dismembership if a church condoned homosexuality, for example. And believe that even the national SBC would get involved on such a case and I would support that.
But whether, we ordain a woman or not, if she is doing the same job that a man did, who was ordained and got the HA, then she should be afforded the same benefits. That is something the Fed government needs to revisit, in my humble opinion.
Kyle

Anonymous said...

Sharon asked about pastors being able to opt out of Social Security. If I understand this correctly, being able to opt out of the program is based on the a conscientious objection to the program that is of a religious nature. If taken the way that it is written, very few pastors could in good faith opt out. Unfortunately, believing that the government is a bad steward of our money does not qualify.

Anonymous said...

Feminism is of the Devil. One subject you'll never hear a woman preacher preach about is feminism. As with the Homosexual Movement, the Feminist Movement has changed the Word of God into a lie, "Who changed the truth of God into a lie..." (Romans 1:25). Feminists have even fabricated their own Feminist Theology. This is rebellion against God.

Meet Carter Heyward—an Episcopalian priest, a militant feminist, a lesbian who performs same-sex marriages, and a promoter of child sacrifice through abortion...

"If women were in charge, abortion would be a sacrament, an occasion of deep and serious and sacred meaning."

SOURCE: Carter Heyward, Massacre of Innocence, from a newsletter published by the National Abortion Federation.

Do you see what happens when women enter the pulpit? It was Solomon's wives who turned his heart away from the Lord, and introduced child-sacrifice to the pagan god Molech again in Israel (1st Kings 11:

Anonymous said...

Feminism is of the Devil.

The only person talking about Feminism is you. are you homo?

Thy Peace said...

Wade Burleson > Patriarchy

Anonymous said...

As America has turned apostate, feminism has crept into our churches. As a consequence, woman have entered the pulpit in alarming numbers, bringing lesbianism and a host of other sins into the church. The sin of rebellion is a Trojan Horse sin. In other words, when a woman rebels against God by usurping authority over men, a host of other sins follow. Women must accept their role in the Body of Christ as those who learn "in silence (quietness) with all subjection." Women preachers are repulsive. It's just not right, ethically or Biblical. Wherever you find a church with a woman in the pulpit, you'll find a liberal-minded church that is infested with doctrinal heresies. This is why God told women to shut-up, and for men to do the preaching. So shut up!

Sharon said...

Anon 2:38,
Thanks for the information on pastors opting out of Social Security. The pastor I heard about was in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, I think. Maybe he was unusual. I'm assuming the Amish opt out for religious reasons also.

Anonymous said...

"I believe it is wrong to use the "U.S. government to penalize people"

But you are expecting tax special rights based upon gender and religion.

Anonymous said...

SOURCE: Carter Heyward, Massacre of Innocence, from a newsletter published by the National Abortion Federation.

Do you see what happens when women enter the pulpit?"

Shall we start a list of MALE apostates? It is a lot longer. Having amale organ does not
automatically mean one cannot be apostate.

In fact, homosexuality was/is huge in patriarchal cultures.


Can someone buy a clue for this misguided person?

John Wylie said...

Anon 4:24,

Wrong on both counts. Men and women already receive this benefit and other religions besides Christainity receive this benefit.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Anon 4:29,

There's not enough money in the world.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful testimony. We are now calling each other feminists and homos. Isn't it about time to calm it down a bit?

Moses Model said...

Wow 114 Comments not enough time to read them all.

Two things stick out to me. One, if a woman is doing the work of a pastor, reverend, or deacon, she deserves the title. If you do not want to make the step of ordaining or labeling a woman, then a man should do the work. In my experience men have not wanted to do the work.

Two, one of the reasons that some do not allow women as pastors is that Eve was deceived first. (1 Tim 2:14) Yet they put the women they considered easily deceived with their children.

Tom Parker said...

The 2000 BF&M Creed states the following:""While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture." The passages that restrict the office of pastor to men do not negate the essential equality of men and women before God, but rather focus on the assignment of roles."

How much politicking took place to get this into the 2000 BF&M Creed?


I'm willing to bet quite a bit. Since 1979 it has been who has the votes rules and the rest who disagree are free to leave the SBC.

So many worried about the politics but very little concern for the salvation of the lost.

The old my way or highway is the way the folks who rule the SBC look at things.

They know they are right and everyone has to be wrong.

Many a Godly man or woman has given up on the SBC every again being a place where good people following their conscience can disagree on certain non salvic issues and yet cooperate together.

Anonymous said...

The 2000 BF&M Creed Members

President Paige Patterson appointed the committee as follows:

Max Barnett (OK),
Steve Gaines (AL),
Susie Hawkins (TX),
Rudy A. Hernandez (TX),
Charles S. Kelley, Jr. (LA), Heather King (IN),
Richard D. Land (TN),
Fred Luter (LA),
R. Albert Mohler, Jr. (KY),
T. C. Pinckney (VA),
Nelson Price (GA),
Adrian Rogers (TN),
Roger Spradlin (CA),
Simon Tsoi (AZ),
Jerry Vines (FL).

Adrian Rogers (TN) was appointed chairman.

http://www.sbc.net/bfm/bfmcomparison.asp

Tom Parker said...

Who is or was Susie Hawkins? Why was she put on this Creed Committee.

Anonymous said...

From an IRS Agent...

I haven't read all of the comments, but here are a few highlights:

1. Not all pastors pay SICA; if their main duties are in a single church, they pay FICA (unless they apply to opt out, which they can do).

2. If (and I don't know if this has happened within the SBC) a women minister is licensed, she could receive a tax-free housing allowance. However, as a licensed minister, she would be able to conduct marriages and burials, something I think that SBC would be reluctant to allow. However, that is beyond the purview of my job and would have to be dealt with at the SBC (the "burial" and "marriage" functions probably vary state to state as well).

3. Dog, your post states that either the SBC or the IRS needs to change their policy. Just a note, Congress has to change the law. IRS cannot state "X group no longer receives Y benefit". The IRS does take positions that are challenged, at which point they go to Tax Court (or another court) where the IRS position is either overruled or upheld. It looks as if the IRS took the position that the housing allowance should only be allowed for one property, and lost. The only way for this to be overturned is through another court or through a new law in Congress.