Southern Baptist Convention Elites refuse to remove Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church over ordination of women pastors.
The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) Credentials Committee will not remove Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church over its ordination of three women as pastors. The bombshell was dropped this morning in the Tuesday Convention Bulletin.
According to the Credentials Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention, the title and function of pastor can be separated. In fact, the Credentials Committee claimed that it could find “little information evidencing the Convention’s beliefs regarding the use of the ‘title of pastor’ for staff positions with different responsibility and authority than that of the lead pastor.”
However, a member of the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 drafting committee said the exact opposite last year. None other than Albert Mohler said about women with the title of pastor, “Southern Baptists have stated confessionally that we are complementarian in the home and in the Church. We don’t mention all the Church offices, but the office of pastor is really clear,” he explained. “In Baptist life, we’ve understood from the beginning that ‘function’ and ‘office’ are the same thing.
“I’ll just state emphatically,” he continued. “I believe that consistency with the Baptist Faith & Message means that someone who is understood to be ‘preaching’ and fulfilling that preaching task on Sunday morning where … someone holding the teaching office would be fulfilling that task … I think it would violate the Baptist Faith & Message in letter and in spirit for a woman to do that.”
Here is the relevant information from the Credentials Committee:
SBC Referral: To break fellowship with Saddleback Church (Item 68, Proceedings of the Southern Baptist Convention, June 15-16, 2021, SBC Annual, p. 74)
Motion: Shadd Tibbs, Louisiana “That according to Article VI of our Baptist Faith and Message and according to the teaching of 1 Timothy 2:12, that, we the Southern Baptist Convention, of June 2021, break fellowship with Saddleback Church, as they have ordained three ladies as pastors, and all other churches that would choose to follow this path. At the very least, I am asking that the validity of this matter be looked into and report given at the 2022 Convention of the action taken”
Response: It is the unanimous opinion of the Credentials Committee that the majority of Southern Baptists hold to the belief that the function of lead pastor, elder, bishop, or overseer is limited to men as qualified by Scripture and that this was the intended definition of “office of pastor” as stated in Article VI of the Baptist Faith & Message 2000. The Credentials Committee has found little information evidencing the Convention’s beliefs regarding the use of the “title of pastor” for staff positions with different responsibility and authority than that of the lead pastor. For this reason, the Credentials Committee makes the following report and recommendation:
Report: The Credentials Committee reports to the Southern Baptist Convention during its June 14-15, 2022, annual meeting, that pursuant to SBC Bylaw 8 and SBC Constitution Article III, that it is unable to form an opinion regarding the relationship of Saddleback Church to the Southern Baptist Convention, until clarity is provided regarding the use of the title “pastor” for staff positions with different responsibility and authority than that of the lead pastor. Therefore, the Credentials Committee makes the following recommendation:
Recommendation: The Credentials Committee recommends that the Southern Baptist Convention during its June 14-15, 2022, annual meeting in Anaheim, California, form a study committee, the members of which shall be appointed by the President, to report to the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting, June 13-14, 2023, in New Orleans, Louisiana, a recommendation providing clarity regarding the “office of pastor” as stated in the Baptist Faith & Message Article VI, The Church, given the many different offices within Baptist churches which include “pastor” in the title, though often with very different responsibilities and authority
Conservatives push to ban granting woman the title of pastor
Conservatives in the SBC intend to push a constitutional amendment on this issue. The Capstone Report is told that Mike Law intends to submit an amendment to further define friendly cooperation as those who do not affirm, appoint, or employ women as a pastor of any kind.
Will the SBC messengers have a chance to consider this important constitutional amendment? It all depends on who gets recognized at the microphones. And last year, several conservative women who wanted to speak including Dr. Carol Swain and Sandy McRaney were denied that chance.
The Credentials Committee shows just how out of touch SBC Elites are with rank-and-file members of the Southern Baptist Convention.
But no leftward drift!