One of the largest churches, which is also the place of worship for many high-profile members, landed under hot water after appointing a female pastor.
The Southern Baptist Convention has expelled Saddleback church, one of its largest congregations, due to its appointment of a female pastor.
The SBC added a ban on female pastors to its statement of core beliefs, the Faith and Message doctrine, in 2000.
While the SBC may have been happy after acting upon their beliefs, other 47,000 member churches have not reacted enthusiastically or positively to the convention’s decision.
In today’s time and age, where there is a continuous decline in church membership, the decision to expel a highly popular church on the basis of a very small cause seems like a reckless decision.
The Saddleback Church named Stacie Wood, wife of the church’s senior pastor, Andy Wood, a teaching pastor.
Dwight McKissic, the senior pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas, shared his displeasure on Twitter.
I’m burdened by the attempt to disfellowship Saddleback for this very reason; it’s not about Scripture, or adherence to BFM2K that does not address women’s ordination, or wmn serving as associate pastors. It’s driven by power, male supremacy; and it stinks in the nostrils of God. https://t.co/OGbVCzUXRa— Dwight McKissic (@pastordmack) February 21, 2023
He said that the decision to “disfellowship” Saddleback was not about Scripture or adherence to the Baptist Faith and Message. ‘It’s driven by power, male supremacy, and it stinks in the nostrils of God.’
Even in today’s world, where women have reached the heights of all fields, the SBC sees female pastors as a massive threat to biblical authority and a slippery slope toward liberalism and drift.
The California-based megachurch, Saddleback, was labeled as “not in friendly cooperation with the convention.”
The convention justified its action by saying that while men and women both are welcome for service in the church, the office of the pastor is limited to men as qualified by scripture.
Last September, the SBC executive committee voted to sever ties with an LGBTQ-friendly church in North Carolina that voted in 1999 to leave the denomination.
The SBC has been the center point of many controversies in recent years. Last year, the convention was under a seven-month long s*xual abuse investigation. The investigation revealed that leaders stonewalled and disparaged the victims of clergy s*xual abuse.
A few senior executives controlled the response to such allegations for years. The main target of the reactions was to keep the SBC out of any liabilities.
In service of this goal, survivors and others who reported abuse were ignored, disbelieved, or constantly reminded that the SBC could take no action due to its policy regarding church autonomy.
This meant that convicted molesters continued serving in ministry with no notice or warning to their current church or congregation.
The South Baptist Convention’s reputation appears to be dearer to them than victims of s*xual abuse.
The convention has ended up making decisions they may regret in the future just to save its so-called reputation.