The internet is still buzzing over John MacArthur’s “Go Home” comment about Beth Moore. A few days ago J.D. Greer, President of the Southern Baptist Convention, offered the following tweet:
Is J.D. opening up his home if Beth Moore is in the area and needs a place to stay, or is he opening the pulpit to her? If it’s the later, is this an opening to potentially changing the 1984 SBC Resolution on Ordination and the Role of Women in Ministry?
While women in the Southern Baptist church seem more open to accepting women in leadership positions, the challenge lies in convincing the messengers, many whom happen to be pastors that this is an acceptable change. Wade Burleson is one vocal SBC pastor who values the voice of women:
To MacArthur and other male misogynistic ministers, qualification for Christian ministry revolves around one’s sexual genitalia rather than one’s spiritual giftings.
The overwhelming teaching of the New Testament is that men and women are to teach, preach, lead, and serve as the Spirit gifts us, independent of our specific gender.
It is interesting to note that the 1963 Baptist Faith and Message did not prevent women from being pastors. Take a look:
VI. THE CHURCH
A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is a local body of baptized believers who are associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel, observing the two ordinances of Christ, committed to His teachings, exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word, and seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth.
This church is an autonomous body, operating through democratic processes under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. In such a congregation members are equally responsible. Its Scriptural officers are pastors and deacons.
The New Testament speaks also of the church as the body of Christ which includes all of the redeemed of all the ages.
Mat 16:15-19; 18:15-20 Acts 2:41-42, 47; 5:11-14; 6:3-6; 13:1-3; 14:23, 27 Acts 15:1-30; 16:5; 20:28; Rom 1:7 1Co 1:2; 3:16; 5:4-5; 7:17; 9:13-14; 12 Eph 1:22-23; 2:19-22; 3:8-11, 21; 5:22-32 Php 1:1; Col 1:18; 1Ti 3:1-15; 4:14
Now notice how clearly the pastorate is limited to only men in the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message:
VI. The Church
A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an autonomous local congregation of Baptized Believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel; observing the two ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws, exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word, and seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth. Each congregation operates under the Lordship of Christ through democratic processes. In such a congregation each member is responsible and accountable to Christ as Lord. Its 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.
The New Testament speaks also of the church as the Body of Christ which includes all of the redeemed of all the ages, Believers from every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation.
Matthew 16:15-19; 18:15-20; Acts 2:41-42,47; 5:11-14; 6:3-6; 13:1-3; 14:23,27; 15:1-30; 16:5; 20:28; Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 3:16; 5:4-5; 7:17; 9:13-14; 12; Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:19-22; 3:8-11,21; 5:22-32; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:18; 1 Timothy 2:9-14; 3:1-15; 4:14; Hebrews 11:39-40; 1 Peter 5:1-4; Revelation 2-3; 21:2-3
It will be interesting to watch if there is any movement toward women preaching and leading in the SBC.
UPDATE: Well, it looks like we have our answer sooner than later. Just noticed these tweets by JD Greear: