You’re probably aware by now that the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is at possibly its final crossroad which will determine its fate in the coming years. Of course, God is sovereign over the fate of the SBC, but it is safe to say that we can determine its trajectory based on its historic and current movement. Right now, its fate appears to be hinging on whether or not the SBC is going to allow its member churches to ordain women to the pastorate. And at the center of this controversy is Saddleback Church.
Saddleback Church, formerly led by Rick Warren and currently led by his successor, Andy Wood, is currently facing disfellowship after the church ordained several women to the pastorate over the last several years. Saddleback is planning to appeal the decision to disfellowship, and many Southern Baptist leaders are defending the church. Sadly, it appears that the consensus among messengers is to restore Saddleback to “friendly cooperation.”
As I wrote in an article yesterday, if Saddleback Church remains in fellowship, the floodgates to apostasy will be opened, thousands of churches will be empowered to ordain women to the pastorate, and once that happens, well, the United Methodist Church, the PCUSA, and the ELCA should all serve as prophetic examples of the fate of the SBC.
While there are many SBC leaders defending Saddleback and opposing any action against churches that ordain women pastors, one particular name stands out. Former Southern Baptist Convention president, JD Greear. Greear recently wrote an article, while out of one side of his mouth giving lip-service to complementarianism and out of the other side of his mouth, suggesting the SBC do nothing to address what amounts to be third-wave feminism throughout its churches.
In his article, he argues the number of women pastors in the SBC is “shrinking,” which may be somewhat true, but that’s simply because titles are being removed. The number of women in the SBC who are actually functioning as pastors, taking the role and preaching to mixed audiences, including men, is actually growing. And it is these women pastors who are in open rebellion to God’s word.
Greear argues in his article that his own church, Summit Church in Raleigh, NC, will place women in roles (that amount to pastoral roles), but instead of calling them “Pastor,” they will instead receive the title of “Minister.” He then goes on to suggest that the battle within the Southern Baptist Convention over women pastors essentially makes women feel bad, so therefore, we shouldn’t have it.
“One of my biggest concerns here,” Greear writes, “is that we will alienate women who will be less inclined to serve because we have turned them into a battleground.”
He then goes on to make the same argument that lady-preacher from Matt Chandler’s Village Church, Jen Wilkin, argues a few years ago, that instead of focusing on women in the pulpit, we should instead focus on the unqualified men in the pulpit.
“The BFM 2000 says that the office of pastor is limited to qualified men” Greear wrote. “It seems we are at risk of focusing hard on the ‘men’ part … and we have much less to say about the ‘“qualified’ part. But 1 Timothy says the qualified men should be sober-minded, self-controlled, and not quarrelsome. Many of our most engaged women in the SBC, who are all firmly complementarian, who are not trying to be pastors, listen in to this conversation and struggle to understand why we are so concerned that they are trying to take over our pulpits … and yet so many pastors are absolutely ruthless on Twitter every day.”
Greear’s argument is nothing more than a capitulation to the egalitarian movement that is destroying Evangelical churches around the nation. In his quest to appease the feminists that lord over him—like Jen Wilkin, Beth Moore, and Rachael Denhollander—he is ultimately compromising the gospel and storing up wrath for himself. You cannot sit on the fence on this one. Either you acknowledge the clear teaching of Scripture and repent, or you face the judgment of God for willful disobedience. Mark my words, once the SBC caves on women pastors, next it will cave on homosexuality.