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:
A survey says that a majority of Southern Baptists and evangelicals favor women pastors. @AlbertMohler says "not so fast" as far as Southern Baptists are concerned.
The SBC has about 40,000 churches and zero female senior pastors. Read or listen here: https://t.co/AjRG2gs0VH
— Denny Burk (@DennyBurk) August 14, 2020
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.