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Faith

Southern Baptists Reject Ban on Female Pastors

Closeup of a woman's hands holding an open BibleDeposit Photos

The Southern Baptist Convention narrowly rejected a constitutional amendment that would have barred female pastors in its churches.

Do female pastors really have what it takes to preach the Word of God? Can a woman truly enlighten a man about faith? While a majority of Southern Baptists appear to believe the answer might be “no,” the Southern Baptist Convention narrowly rejected a constitutional amendment barring women from all pastoral positions.

The vote count showed 61% favored the ban. But to pass, it needed a supermajority, which it failed to achieve.

Still, the Associated Press reports, despite the vote, the SBC’s official doctrinal statement maintains the office of pastor is limited to men.

But then there’s this:

Even the opponents of the ban said they favored that doctrinal statement but didn’t think it was necessary to reinforce it in the constitution.

What a curious position to hold! You believe women shouldn’t be pastors — aren’t qualified to be pastors — to the extent that you support banning women from the role. You believe it’s so important a position to take that you want it in your faith’s doctrinal statement. But you don’t support enforcing it?

Is it important or isn’t it?

Don’t get me wrong; I think banning female pastors would’ve been horrible

Lest you think I support such an absurd notion, let me make this very clear: I have no problem with a female pastor. My male ego is in no way threatened by a woman who steps up on stage — churches seem to prefer “stages” to “pulpits” these days — to preach to me.

I think it’s absurd to believe a woman isn’t smart enough to serve as a pastor.

I once attended a church whose lead pastor was against women serving as pastors. He had no issue with a woman having all of the responsibilities of that role. (Read: He had no problem with women doing all of the work of the role.) But if they did so, they’d be equal in all things except title (and presumably, authority).

I somehow think God is a little too smart to be fooled by semantics. Call me crazy, but if I could see the double standard so glaringly, I don’t know how the Almighty couldn’t. I take it for granted that He is infinitely smarter than I am.

‘But it’s in the Bible…’

There are a lot of things in the Bible that seem, by today’s standards, unthinkable. It’s a shame people blindly accept only the certain things they choose to “cherry-pick” from those pages. Yet they can’t seem to put two and two together when it comes to the impact of such misogyny, even when a study years ago found that women were leaving the church faster than men.

Cause and effect, perhaps? Well, one can only wonder.

I’ve said it before. But I think it bears repeating. I have female Christian friends who know their Bible backward. They know it better than I probably ever will. There are a couple of women I know who I’d call “prayer warriors,” despite the fact that I hate that trite little term.

How dare I, as a man, assume their insights into the Bible and faith aren’t worthy of my attention? How dare I, because I’m a man, believe they can’t teach me anything?

They can. They have. Even when they’ve appeared on stage to preach, I’ve taken away new insights. And in some of those cases, those women were called pastors.

Oddly enough, no one overturned tables.

the authorPatrick
Patrick is a Christian with more than 30 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.

2 Comments

  • IF you believe the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, and IF you actually read it, you’ll recall that the question that caused the fall was “Did God really say…” Genesis 3:1. That’s the question that each of us must answer. Either the whole Bible is true, or we can cherry pick the parts we like and discard the ones we don’t. It’s a human trait. Has to do with sin, the fall, our sinful nature…. stuff like that.
    Anyway, here’s what I Timothy says: 3 It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of [a]overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do. 2 [b]An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, [c]temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, skillful in teaching, 3 not overindulging in wine, not [d]a bully, but gentle, not contentious, free from the love of money. Starts with any “man,” mentions being the husband of one “wife.” Sounds like God’s design is for men to be pastors.

    • By your name, “Suzi,” it appears you’re a woman. So why are you trying to tell a man what he should or shouldn’t believe about the Bible, particularly if you believe only men should be pastors?

      Ironic.

      And borrowing your capitalization, IF you believe what you claim, not only should you not attempt to minister to me on a Biblical issue, as a man, I shouldn’t even be willing to listen to what you have to say on such matters since you’re not also a man.

      Maybe now you can see how silly such an edict might sound these days.

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