“Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.” CS Lewis
The SBC leaders are in New Orleans, and the messengers, who vote on the amendments, are on the way. This promises to be quite a week. The SBC is under the microscope since its leaders chose to kick our Saddleback Church for having female pastors. Rick Warren is hoping the messengers will change their minds. In the meantime, a theodude by the name of Mike Law has proposed an amendment to cast into eternal darkness any SBC church which has a female pastor, even if she is the pastor of facility management.
Thanks to TWW reader, Jerome, we know a bit more about Mike Law. He was an intern under Mark Dever. Given 9Marx’s penchant for retroactive discipline, Law is following his mentor quite well. Here is a video he made of his proposed constitutional amendment. He made a list of churches that employ any woman in the role of pastor, no matter the responsibilities. And he wants the SBC to expel any church that calls a woman as pastor of any kind.
According to Law, women cannot serve as pastors ever! (Question 7)
We as Southern Baptists know what a pastor is and who should be a pastor. A pastor/elder/overseer/bishop is a man called by God and a local church to shepherd the flock. Among other things, men holding the office preach, pray, provide oversight, and exercise authority in the church (see Acts 20:17-38; Ephesians 4:11; 1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus, 1:5-9, Hebrews 13:17; 1 Peter 5:1-5). Southern Baptists have always agreed on this.
Men, as godly pastors, will protect women from oppression, except they haven’t. Where was Mikey ??? (Question 17)
No. Sadly, while men can and have oppressed women in some contexts throughout history, not all male headship is wrong. In fact, godly male headship is woven into the fabric of created order. It is affirmed in the New Testament as normative for leadership in the local church (1 Tim 2:12-15; 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9).
What is more, the solution for churches where men have failed to protect women and children is not for sisters in Christ to assume the role assigned to men. Rather, the solution is for both men and women to live faithfully and fulfill God’s calling for their lives. Just as it would be wrong for a woman to try to become a husband to make up for her husband’s failed leadership, it is likewise wrong for a sister in Christ to serve as a pastor in order to make up for the failed leadership of the men in the church.
The office of pastor is reserved for men, not for them to preserve and protect oppression, but because it is God’s design, and we ought not think that we are wiser than God. The way to protect women and children from oppression and ensure their flourishing in the local church, is for men to be Christlike men, and for qualified men to lead and shepherd the church (1 Tim 3:1-7; 1 Pet 5:1-4).
It’s all about authority. Men have it, and women don’t. (Question 22)
No. God has designed the church to sit under the preaching of qualified male pastors. Male pastors should not authorize a sister to violate the clear teaching of Scripture, namely, that women are not to exercise authority over a man by preaching and teaching (1 Tim 2:12).
We may not disconnect the function of the office from the office itself. In other words, the function of teaching and preaching is part of what establishes a pastor’s authority. The authority is exercised in teaching according to God’s Word, which is ironically being subverted by any sister who preaches, meaning that when a sister preaches she is disqualified by the very book she is expositing. Churches who have male pastors wrongly permitting sisters to preach under their “authority” misunderstand and cut against the grain of God’s design for his church.
So guess what happened today at the meeting of the Executive Committee before the SBC Convention?
Were they eating really good steak dinners at the expense of the tithers? Well, I don’t know, but I know their boys know how to spend the money. While wondering what was on tap for dinner, the Executive Committee voted to allow a vote on Mike Law’s amendment at the meeting. Today, Liam Adams of The Tennessean wrote Southern Baptists to vote on measure enshrining ban on women pastors at annual meeting.
Southern Baptists will have the opportunity to vote on a measure that would enshrine a ban on women pastors within the denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee decided Monday.
The decision by the SBC Executive Committee ahead of the 2023 SBC annual meeting doesn’t guarantee the eventual passage of the measure, which is a proposed amendment to the SBC constitution. The amendment is one of several major decisions facing Southern Baptist voting delegates, called messengers, that will permanently affect the status of women pastors in the SBC.
However, the EC is recommending voting against the amendment due to the slippery slope argument.
Executive committee members voted to approve a recommendation to forward the amendment to ban women pastors to the full convention for a vote, but with an explicit recommendation, the messengers vote against the amendment.
…Amendment proponents argue the measure cements a position the SBC already embraces. The SBC is a complementarian denomination, meaning it believes men and women have certain assigned roles.
Opponents of the amendment, though most agree with its intent in principle, worry it creates a slippery slope for other doctrinal statements becoming standards for affiliation with the SBC.
Ahead of the 2023 SBC annual meeting, some Southern Baptists have discussed a possible compromise calling for a task force that would study what it means for a church to be in “friendly cooperation” with the SBC in accordance with the Baptist Faith & Message 2000.
So, I sit back and wait to see if all male pastors in the SBC will prevent the oppression of women and children. Why am I laughing?
PS: It is my understanding that Amy Lee Stockton not only preached at Moody Bible Institute but at Capitol Hill Baptist Church on a number of occasions. I wonder if that is included in the history of Mark Dever’s church.