Categories
Critical Race Theory Intersectionality Methodology Reform SBC Author Scripture Social Justice

The Southern Baptist Convention Should Be Led by Pastors (Tom Ascol)

In this post, Tom Ascol writes, “To put it bluntly, the Southern Baptist Convention needs to be led by pastors. Granted, there are some pastors who are eager to be enablers of or fellow travelers with wayward bureaucrats. I am not talking about those guys.”

Categories
Complementarianism Gender Scripture

The Moderate Position on ‘Women Pastors’ in the Southern Baptist Convention

I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, 10 but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. 11 Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 15 Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control. (1 Timothy 2:8-15)

The passage above is often at the center of discussion and debate regarding the roles of men and women in the church. Southern Baptists have collectively decided that the aforementioned passage (cited as 1 Timothy 2:9-14 in the Baptist Faith & Message 2000, VI: The Church) teaches, “While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.” This use of 1 Timothy 2:12 as pertaining to the office of pastor implies that the title of pastor follows the function (teaching/authority) of pastor in the local church. Insofar as the BFM2000 cites 1 Timothy 2:12 as a proof text for limiting the office of pastor to men, the confessional statement ties the title of pastor back to the function of pastor. A woman should not teach or exercise authority over a man. It follows that a woman cannot be a pastor. Unfortunately, some within the Southern Baptist Church are calling this confessional claim into question.

Categories
Complementarianism Controversy Ecclesiology Gender SBC Author Scripture

Al Mohler is Mistaken about “Women Pastors” in the Southern Baptist Convention

Like R. Albert Mohler, Jr., I’m not a moderate, or an egalitarian, or an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist.

I’m a conservative, complementarian, Southern Baptist.

I agree with the Bible when it says, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet” in 1 Timothy 2:12.

I agree with the Baptist Faith & Message 2000 when it says, “While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.”

I agree with Dr. Mohler when he says, “So what did ‘pastor’ mean here? It basically means the same thing as ‘elder.'”

That last claim is significant. The BFM2000 posits only two offices in the church, “Its scriptural officers are pastors and deacons,” such that Southern Baptists view pastors, elders, and overseers (bishops) as different descriptors for the one office of pastor, distinct from the only other office of deacon.

Senior Pastors, Associate Pastors, Youth Pastors, Children’s Pastors, and the like aren’t separate offices from the office of pastor. The Bible doesn’t recognize such a distinction, the BFM2000 doesn’t recognize such a distinction, and Dr. Mohler doesn’t recognize such a distinction. I don’t either.

That’s why a tweet from Denny Burk that does appear to recognize such a distinction caught my attention:

Dr. Burk qualifies his claim with “senior.” Burk leaves open the possibility women are serving as “pastors” in the Southern Baptist Convention, they just aren’t senior pastors. But the Bible and BFM2000 know of no such distinction.

And Burk is wrong anyway.

Categories
Gender Scripture

The Strange Phenomenon of Women Pastors in the SBC with Nate Schlomann

On this episode of the new CR:V Podcast contributor Nate Schlomann sits down with Jeff Wright to talk about the presence of women pastors in SBC churches.

Reminder: Article V of The Baptist Faith & Message 2000 reads, in part:

“[The church’s] scriptural officers are pastors and deacons. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture” (relevant point emphasized).

Find it on Apple Podcasts or by clicking here.

Categories
Methodology Missions Racism

Is Preaching the Gospel Sufficient to Combat Racism?

It seems that we could generate much more light, instead of mere heat, if we would take the time to define the terms of our controversies. In the past few years, a social media divide has emerged among Christians who argue, on the one hand, that we must address racism by preaching the gospel, and those who argue, on the other hand, that while the gospel must remain central to the church, wider forms of social activism are also necessary as legitimate implications of the gospel. This common method of framing the debate is actually too crude to be helpful. What we need is a nuanced look at what, exactly, is being argued on each side.