NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Following is a statement from Jim Jones of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, along with a partial written transcript he provided Baptist Press of his interview with Atlanta pastor Charles Stanley:
“I respect Dr. Stanley very much and think he has a valuable ministry. We had a congenial interview on subjects ranging from his books, the state of the church and what he thought about the family amendments that have been added to the faith statement. I’m sorry he thinks I was deceptive. I simply took an opportunity given to me to interview him about his new book and I mentioned the book, but I also talked to him about a lot of other matters.
“I have no recollection of him saying he did not want to be quoted on Southern Baptist issues. Also, I have no recollection of me asking him if he would vote for a woman pastor of the church and that he said he would not vote for a woman pastor. If he said that [and] I failed to quote him on that in a story like this, that would be a gross omission. Dr. Stanley gave me a strong impression that he disagreed with both of the family amendments in question. He specifically said women are becoming ‘pastors’ in Japan and India and that we should not hold them back.
“My tape doesn’t indicate he began his statement about submission by saying, ‘I simply said that the Bible teaches that a woman is to be submissive to her husband, and a woman is not going to be submissive to the Southern Baptist Convention votes a certain way.’ If I had left out him saying the Bible says a woman should be submissive to her husband, that would be another gross omission. I’m sorry for the misunderstanding.”
“My tape, which is a good one, gets into his comments about the faith statement in this way:”
Jones: What do you think about these different family amendments that have been added to the constitution or faith statement about wives should be submissive to the servant leadership of their husbands and that women should not be senior pastors?
Stanley: Let’s put it this way. I was saved by a woman preaching. I was saved at 12 years of age and I’m still saved. That was in Danville, Va., where I was born.
Jones: Was it a Baptist preacher?
Stanley: No, it was Pentecostal-Holiness.
Jones: I know Assembly of God and Pentecostals have women pastors.
Stanley: Yeah, and for example in other countries of the world where men are not taking responsibility women are beginning to be pastors of churches. The women are rising up in different places. So you can’t go to somebody like India or Japan or wherever it is and tell some woman who is preaching the Gospel, people are being saved, lives are being changed, big churches [are being established] and say, ‘You can’t do that.’ My feeling is this: You have to leave God’s calling to whomever God calls. Period. And I just say no. I think getting into that was a mistake. What happened was it just stirred up anger and resentment toward Baptists that probably people hadn’t even thought about Baptists before.
And you know, if a woman is going to be submissive, she’s not going to be
submissive because of the Southern Baptist Convention. So it’s just ridiculous.
Jones: Speaking of submissive, what do think about that issue. You know, they talk about every verse of the Bible where have statements on submission.
Stanley: Well, Jesus said to honor one another. Submissive doesn’t mean doormat. Submissive means should submit yourselves one to another. That husband and wives understand each others’ needs, try to meet each others’ needs. The Bible talks about unity and oneness. If I love my wife and she loves me, we are going to come to some kind of agreement. But the emphasis is usually, `Okay, the man is up here and the woman is down here.’ And so,that’s the message that gets sent no matter what you believe. So my feeling is that we don’t need to discuss the issue.
Jones: So you disagree on that issue with Southern Baptists?
Stanley: My opinion was it wasn’t necessary for it to come up.