A SBC Amendment To Forbid Female Pastors Is Demanded By Hundreds Of Southern Baptist Pastors.

A SBC Amendment To Forbid Female Pastors Is Demanded By Hundreds Of Southern Baptist Pastors.
A SBC Amendment To Forbid Female Pastors Is Demanded By Hundreds Of Southern Baptist Pastors.

Several hundred Male Pastors in the Southern Baptist Convention have submitted a petition requesting an amendment to the SBC constitution that would exclude Women from holding Pastoral positions.

More than 700 Southern Baptist pastors want the SBC to make it illegal for women to serve “as a pastor of any kind” in churches that are part of the SBC.

Pastor Mike Law of Arlington Baptist Church in Arlington, Virginia, wrote an open letter to the SBC Executive Committee asking them to change the convention’s constitution to say that Southern Baptist churches can’t “accept, appoint, or hire a woman as a pastor of any kind.”

In Law’s letter, “A Call To Keep Our Unity,” he warned against what he called a trend where SBC-affiliated churches are employing women in pastoral posts “of different types.”

A SBC Amendment To Forbid Female Pastors Is Demanded By Hundreds Of Southern Baptist Pastors.

According to the law, “five Southern Baptist congregations, approximately within a five-mile radius of my own congregation, are hiring women as pastors of different types, including women serving as “Sr. Pastor,” which is why I felt the need to make this amendment.” Many others have discovered that certain Southern Baptist churches in their communities also appoint, confirm, or hire women as pastors.

According to Law, these positions “trade on the office of “pastor,” though they are often referred to as “co-pastor,” “worship pastor,” or “youth pastor.”

The SBC Constitution’s “Composition” Article III, paragraph 1 would be changed by the proposed move.

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While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, according to law, the post of pastor is only open to males who are qualified by Scripture. The Baptist Faith and Message statement, which was approved in 2000, already says this.

Before that, Law had said that the Convention had already agreed in its “Resolution on Ordination and the Role of Women in Ministry” that the Bible “excludes women from pastoral leadership” and “pastoral responsibilities.”

He stated that Southern Baptists have long since resolved this issue.

The letter also says that if the problem isn’t solved, it could be disastrous for the Convention. It does this by citing a number of Bible verses that say only capable men can be “elders” or “overseers,” which Law says are “synonymous with pastor.” These verses include 1 Timothy 3:1–7 and Titus 1:5–9.

According to the law, having women in pastoral positions “materially hurts the Convention’s work since it fosters division where we have long been unified.” The Bible, especially 1 Timothy 2:12 and 3:7, isn’t taken into account, which hurts the foundation of our Convention.

“Devaluing our beliefs won’t make us more obedient or productive. Instead, if we take anything from history, adopting hollow beliefs will eventually empty our Convention as well. Take the migration from mainstream and liberal denominations as an example. After working with women pastors for a while, they accepted the practice and gave up on good theology. This led to their quick fall.

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The next SBC Executive Committee gathering is slated to take place in February 2023. It’s unclear whether the committee will discuss the matter.

While there is scant information on the number of women working in pastoral positions in Southern Baptist churches, research by Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary found that in 2000, less than one-tenth of 1% of SBC-affiliated congregations had a woman serving as senior pastor.

Many SBC members expressed concern when Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, ordained three women—Liz Puffer, Cynthia Petty, and Katie Edwards—last year.

Since then, the well-known California megachurch has gotten more attention for its support of women pastors.

Saddleback’s newly appointed senior pastor, Andy Wood, who succeeded renowned author and preacher Rick Warren, listed his wife, Stacie, as a “teaching pastor” on the organization’s website.

Stacie said she was a “Teaching Pastor” when she gave a sermon at Saddleback in October.

Earlier this month, trustees at the Louisville, Kentucky-based Southern Baptist Theological Seminary unanimously approved a resolution urging the administration of the seminary to continue educating both men and women in theology, “but with men alone reserved for the office and function, and thereby the title of pastor.”

The resolution further resolves that the board “encourages the administration and faculty of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary to continue its theological training with this stated conviction — graduating both men and women for service to the church, but with men alone reserved for the office and function, and thereby the title of pastor.”

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In response to the controversy over Saddleback Church ordaining women as pastors the year before, Southern Baptist theologians gave a statement at the SBC’s Annual Meeting in June that explained what a “pastor” is.

The statement, titled “A Statement Concerning the Baptist Faith & Message and the Word ‘Pastor,” was made public by the former director of the Southern Baptist Convention’s public affairs department and two presidents of Southern Baptist seminaries.

The signatories are Dr. Richard Land, president emeritus of Southern Evangelical Seminary in North Carolina and former president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission; Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; Chuck Kelley, president of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary; and Dr. Chuck Kelley, president of The New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. The Confession Revision Committee asked these three people to write a study guide for the new Baptist Faith & Message Confession from 2000.

Theologians said that Southern Baptists have always used the word “pastor” in a certain way to end a debate within the SBC. 

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