Will Feminists Win the Pulpit?

What_Is_Woman_Blog_a

As culture wages war against God’s design of a man and woman (males and females), the casualties from this battle are piling up. Any observation of the latest headlines exposes the damage this confusion brings. New storylines appear every day, from transwomen (biological men) destroying women’s sports to a confirmed Supreme Court Justice pretending she could not define her gender, which was why she was nominated for the position. 

Once again, with a brand new week, we witnessed the successful impact of feminism on full display in two of the most unlikely places. While both sources were seemingly unpredictable and unrelated, a closer look revealed the opposite was true.

What Is A Woman?

Recently, audiences experienced the DailyWire movie, “What is a Woman?” While critics ignored the film, it received high praise from the massive audience who watched the documentary. If you haven’t watched the movie, you should. The movie provides a unique glimpse into the world of gender theorists, transgender surgeons, and gender identity experts, as Matt Walsh (the documentary’s focus) asks the question, “What is a woman?” 

With this one simple question, viewers witness the verbal gymnastics, obfuscations, and outright cosmic interruptions in the vortex of reality, which initially serves as the movie’s charm. However, the seriousness of this dangerous ideology is on display toward the movie’s end as viewers learn about the long-term impact of puberty blockers and double mastectomies on girls as young as 15.

For the feminist proponents of transgender identities, the tactics required to hold such views are simple:

  1. First, they ignore the meaning of words. In this instance, this is accomplished by decoupling the word gender from sex. I will address this in greater length in an upcoming blog article.
  2. Next, they redefine the meaning of the word(s) they ignored. For example, feminists will redefine gender as a social construct so that they can abandon all of the traditional feminine roles attached.
  3. Then, they declare autonomy, apart from the God who created them. The declaration of autonomy allows them to determine what they will be.  
  4. Finally, they require the world to accept their position as truth. Any opposition to their view will be shamed through name-calling (bigot, sexist, transphobe) or legal action.

What Is A Pastor?

In the next unlikely place, the Southern Baptist Convention demonstrated feminism’s slow creep through the church doors and into the pulpits of the largest evangelical convention in the world. 

In May 2021, after ordaining three women as pastors, Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, came under fire as images from the ordination service appeared on social media. By June 2021, during the annual Southern Baptist Convention, calls to disfellowship Saddleback Church had reached the convention floor. The Credentials Committee, which reviews such requests, was set to respond during the 2022 convention in June. 

In addition to three women pastors, Rick Warren has selected a husband and wife pastoral team as his successor at Saddleback Church. The growing concern is that Saddleback is not the only Southern Baptist Church engaged in this practice. Internal reports suggest that a number of churches have women with the title of pastor or co-pastor alongside their husbands in leadership. Furthermore, studies suggest that many Southern Baptists would welcome a woman pastor.

Three quarters (73.1%) of female Southern Baptists favor women in the pulpit, compared to just 58.1% of Southern Baptist men. And half of Southern Baptist women along with four in 10 men strongly support women clergy.

Faith Matters 2011

The Baptist Faith & Message (BF&M 2000) has served Southern Baptists in determining the collective belief held by the 40,000+ churches that make up the convention. The Baptist Faith & Message clearly states,

While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.

Baptist Faith & Message 2000

Last week, the Credentials Committee responded—well, sort of. After taking a year to review the issue, Credential Committee Chair, Linda Cooper, announced the following to the messengers during the convention. 

Based on the information available to us currently, including direct communication with Pastor Rick Warren … we have concluded that we are not yet prepared to make a recommendation regarding Saddleback Church, recognizing there are differing opinions regarding the intent of the office of pastor as stated in the Baptist Faith & Message 2000.”

Southern Baptist Convention 2022, Credentials Committee Response

According to Credential Committee members, the words of the Baptist Faith & Message are unclear and confusing. Furthermore, the pages of Scripture on the subject couldn’t have been absolute. Therefore, another year was necessary to determine what the words on the pages meant. 

At the heart of the issue is whether the “office” of the pastor could be separated from the “gift” of a pastor. Rick Warren would eventually take a microphone on the convention floor and briefly explain the division of these two ideas as justification for the ordination of women at Saddleback. According to some, while the office of a pastor was connected to men (for now), the gift of a pastor could be identified in any gender. The words office and function are often used in these dichotomous ways. 

Female pastors are not pastors. These are feminists who hate God’s authority and will do whatever is necessary to ignore Scripture for personal gain.

Proponents of women pastors rarely use Scripture to provide positive support for their position. Instead, they engage in hermeneutical gymnastics, obfuscations, and scriptural manipulations to accomplish their goals.

Evangelical feminists use the same tactics as those in the example above:

  1. First, they ignore the meaning of words. For instance, according to some, an elder being the “husband of one wife” (1 Timothy 3:2) doesn’t mean that a woman can’t qualify for the role. Furthermore, any prohibition of “women teaching men or exercise authority or men” (1 Tim 2:12) can’t possibly mean what it says since it doesn’t agree with a modern understanding of women’s roles.
  2. Next, they decouple and redefine the meaning of the word(s). For example, evangelical feminists separate the idea of the “gifting” of a pastor from the “office” of a pastor. Once these ideas are accepted ordination can proceed.  
  3. Then, the evangelical feminist exercises their autonomous freedom to operate as they see fit, contrary to Scripture, and establish the kind of church they desire according to their rules.  
  4. Finally, they require others to accept their position as truth. Anyone disagreeing will be shamed through name-calling (patriarchy, misogynist, bigot, sexist), etc.

Sound familiar? It should. This playbook has been consistently used by feminists both for advocating for the abandonment of gender roles or in an attempt to usurp Christ’s sovereign authority over his church. Whether it’s the gender binary (male/female) or the authority given by God to qualified men in the pulpit, feminists seek to destroy what God has established. 

Female pastors are not pastors. These are feminists who hate God’s authority and will do whatever is necessary to ignore Scripture for personal gain. 

Final Thoughts

As someone who came from a black Pentecostal/Charismatic background, I’ve grown up in a matriarchal culture with naturally egalitarian ecclesiastical expressions. Seeing women leading in ministry and preaching in pulpits was normative. 

For me, the issue of Biblical complementarianism has never been an issue of misplaced patriarchal expression of male dominance. Instead, as I’ve previously written about my experiences with false teachers, I’ve only sought to learn what Scripture has to say about these essential doctrines. Now, I only seek to obey the Scripture.  

As it related to women pastors, Scripture is clear. Scripture knows nothing of women pastors or elders. However, there are many important roles for women in the church. Recently at G3 Ministries, we posted a video from the 2020 G3 National Conference where Josh Buice, President of G3 Ministries, was asked a question about complementarianism during a Q&A. His response was thoughtful and precise. 

In days to come, Southern Baptists will have a decision to make. Will Scripture be sufficient to determine how Christ’s church should function, or will feminists win the pulpit and destroy what’s left of their churches?

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