Christianity Today posted Christian and Missionary Alliance Will Ordain Women.
The Christian and Missionary Alliance (CMA) has decided to ordain women and allow them to carry the title of “pastor.” More than 60 percent of the denomination’s delegates approved the two changes at the Alliance’s general council in Spokane, Washington, last week, after four years of official discussion and debate.
I was impressed by the thoughtfulness of John Stumbo, the President of CM&A. The denomination is considered a conservative evangelical group. Yet, he said that it would allow for differences of opinion in their churches.
John Stumbo, president of the Alliance, supported the changes but also urged the gathered delegates to respect different interpretations of the New Testament verses on church leadership.
“Do not think that just because someone disagrees with your biblical position that they don’t love the Word of God, honor the authority of the Word of God, and hold true to its core teachings,” he said. “Everyone I’ve spoken to across the country has come with a thoughtful position. … We have the right, privilege, and necessity of having a mutual respectability for each other.”
…Stumbo said the Alliance, which includes about 2,000 churches in the United States, needs unity, but not uniformity. Churches that ordain women and those that don’t can work together to proclaim the gospel.
This caused me to wonder why the SBC couldn’t do the same. The SBC is facing pushback from Saddleback Church which has been “thrown out” of the SBC because it chose to ordain women. In many discussions about the Baptist Faith and Message (BFM), I have heard many reasons why the SBC could do the same. After all, they believe in the autonomy of individual churches, or so they say. However, there is a movement afoot to shore up the BFM to clearly state women cannot be pastors. It may go further than that. Women with the title of pastor of “facility management” would not be allowed. Women cannot use the word “pastor” in front of their name for anything.
The Roys Report posted Hundreds of Pastors Call For SBC Constitutional Amendment Banning Female Pastors.
In a letter titled “A Call to Keep Our Unity,” Pastor Mike Law of Arlington Baptist Church in Arlington, Virginia, writes to the SBC’s Executive Committee in support of an amendment to the convention’s constitution. The proposed amendment states cooperating churches cannot “affirm, appoint, or employ a woman as a pastor of any kind.”
Law’s letter is being circulated to other pastors and professors at Southern Baptist institutions for additional signatures. More than 700 Southern Baptist pastors have cosigned the letter, along with two professors at SBC seminaries.
Here is my prediction regarding the SBC. The continued insistence that each church is autonomous will become suspect if it is shown that each church is not really autonomous. The tiresome argument that the SBC has “standards” to which the member churches must subscribe even though they are “autonomous” will one day be overturned by the law. I find the current lawsuit in which Will McRaney is suing the North American mission Baord fascinating.
McRaney, former executive director of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware, originally filed the lawsuit in 2017. In it, McRaney stated NAMB wrongfully influenced his 2015 termination and furthermore intentionally defamed him over a dispute regarding collaborative missions efforts in the area.
…An affidavit of one of those witnesses, former NAMB employee Bill Barker, was presented on Feb. 22. Barker described a pattern of behavior by NAMB President Kevin Ezell consistent with McRaney’s accusations.
“From personal experience and knowledge, I know that Kevin Ezell has used NABM’s funding and resources to control state conventions” and influence the hiring and firing of personnel, Barker said.
This weekend, an Open Letter to all Southern Baptists by Rick Warren has been widely circulating in the media. I have decided to reprint it here. Listen carefully to his arguments. I will highlight some sentences that I find particularly compelling but feel free to disagree with me.
The SBC convention is in two weeks. Warren will ask that the SBC allow Saddleback to continue as a church in the SBC.