A Southern Baptist effort to ban female pastors outright is dismissed as short

The Southern Baptist Convention on Wednesday rejected a constitutional amendment barring women from all pastoral positions, affecting hundreds of churches, particularly minority congregations where it is more common for women to hold official leadership positions.

Constitutional amendments require two-thirds approval to pass, and a motion that the SBC “cooperate only with churches that do not recognize, ordain or employ a woman as pastor in any way” won 61 percent to 38 percent. that.

Opponents of the amendment noted that there are only a few hundred SBC churches out of 47,000 SBC churches. On a case by case basis. They pointed to a sweeping Tuesday vote that ruled an Alexandria, Va., church out of “cooperation,” saying staff would be comfortable hiring a woman as lead pastor.

The country’s second-largest faith group, with 14 million members, has been shifting to the right after a conservative insurgency in the 1980s. Until the 1960s, there were as many women in Southern Baptist seminaries as there were in liberal seminaries.

California pastor Rev. Greg Perkins told The Washington Post earlier Wednesday that passing the amendment would be a blow.

“It will be a time of prayer and then reflection and decision-making. … There are many people who are thinking very carefully right now about their continued engagement, and that breaks my heart,” Perkins said.

Perkins, who includes a female pastor of discipleship and family life, said she believes in a “biblical mandate” for men to be the head pastor of churches.

“I don’t want us to go into this unbiblical place, but I don’t know if we’re best served by hanging our hat on this,” he said.

The Rev. Mike Law, who proposed the amendment, told delegates at the massive convention center in Arlington, Va., on Wednesday that the issue is about following scripture.

“Our culture may find this prohibition harsh, but our God is wise, and he wrote his word for the prosperity of men and women,” he said. “Let’s be exceptionally clear – we celebrate with joy the countless women who serve the church in so many ways and we are so grateful. It’s not just about women in ministry. It’s about women in episcopal offices.

A vote on the measure against in vitro fertilization is scheduled for later Wednesday at the annual SBC meeting “Inhumane” A sign of a broader effort following the decline of conservative evangelicals and the anti-abortion movement is to demand “government regulation” of the practice. Roe v. Wade.

The vote on “Ethics of Reproductive Technologies and the Dignity of the Human Fetus” was one of a series of resolutions understood as statements of Southern Baptist faith; They are not rules accompanying implementing orders.

Last year delegates voted overwhelmingly to expel churches with women in top pastoral roles – Rev. Including Rick Warren’s massive Saddleback Church, the largest in the SBC. Supporters say the amendment is needed this year so it’s clear women can’t work less Roles such as women’s ministry pastor or children’s pastor.

Tuesday’s vote said First Baptist Church of Alexandria is “not in fellowship” with the SBC because it has a “women and children’s pastor.”

Kim Eskridge, First Baptist pastor for children and women, told The Post Wednesday that her church was notified of the SBC by Law, a nearby pastor at Arlington Baptist Church.

“My point is that we can agree to disagree and keep the main thing at the core, which is sharing the message with the Lord,” said Eskridge, whose church predates the SBC’s existence and a regular Sunday. About 800 people attended.

JD Greer, A North Carolina pastor and former SBC president told The Post on Tuesday that the debate is semantic and that efforts to add commandments and rules hinder cooperation among SBC churches and distract from evangelism.

“It’s a ham-fisted sledgehammer that gives a solution to a problem that isn’t what people say it is,” Greer said. “That’s what’s sad — at a time when I think we should be celebrating women as leaders and looking at better ways for them, we’re tightening this thing and spending all this energy. It’s discouraging. I look around and we’re focusing on the wrong thing.

The vote on women pastors served as a coda to a period that began in the 1980s, when conservatives took charge of conferences and began limiting women’s formal roles.

In 1984, the SBC passed a resolution stating that Scripture teaches that “women are not to exercise authority over men in public worship.” In 1998, they revised its statement of faith and message — the SBC’s statement of faith — to say that a woman should “gracefully submit herself” to her husband’s headship, adding that “the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ.”

In 2000, it revised its Statement of Faith and Message to say that “the priesthood is reserved for men qualified by the Scriptures.”

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