Al Mohler is one of the most prominent villains within the Southern Baptist Convention. He is undoubtedly the most powerful figure in the denomination and has played a key role in facilitating doctrinal downgrade throughout the Cooperative Program. Al Mohler looks to take more direct control with his run for President which will be determined next month. However, credit where credit is due, Al Mohler spoke out against Rick Warren and the actions of Saddleback Church. In an article titled, “Women Pastors, Women Preachers, and the Looming Test of the Southern Baptist Convention” Al Mohler
but the mainline Protestant denominations were rushing headlong into the ordination of women as pastors and (Episcopal) priests, driven by two major energies — first, the demands of second wave feminism and, second, the impulses unleashed by liberation theology. In both cases, the main obstacle was the Bible, but, already compromised by theological liberalism, these denominations deployed revisionist arguments to defuse any argument from Scripture. The strategies of biblical subversion also took two basic forms. The argument was proffered that either the Bible was misread by Christians for nearly 2,000 years or the Bible is just hopelessly mired in patriarchy and oppression and the biblical authors were flat wrong.
Mohler lays out how the arguments for egalitarianism have been driven completely by societal pressure and how there is no real precedent for egalitarian interpretations of Scripture.
Baptists rightly resist any distinction between office and function, believing such a distinction to be foreign to the New Testament.
The distinction that has been made by many is that the office and function of pastor are distinct. Certainly Beth Moore has been a prominent example for this argument.
This past week, Saddleback Community Church in California ordained three women as pastors. In a development described by the church as “historic,” the church posted a photograph of the ordinations with the text: “Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren and others pray over the first three women the church has ordained as pastors.”
Given just that limited text, it would be difficult to know exactly what the church meant by the action, but it would certainly include the identification of the three women as pastors. Since each was already on the church ministry staff, the news would only make sense if the ordinations mean something quite significant.
Al Mohler speaks out against Rick Warren and Saddleback Church directly. And while he does not suggest that they be kicked out of the Southern Baptist Convention, Al Mohler does admit that the issue is not some figment of the imagination of discernment blogs.
Al Mohler is an opportunist to some degree. It cannot be ignored that Al Mohler has a demonstrable history of being double minded, whether during the Conservative Resurgence or on Critical Race Theory today.
Moreover the timing of this is politically advantageous for Mohler. Mohler can write a well-written defense of patriarchy and roll into SBC2021 on a hot streak. This also comes after Beth Moore left the convention. The practice of women giving a sermon on Mother’s Day is known to occur in Southern Baptist churches.
In conclusion, Al Mohler’s statements are at best a homerun hit on a hanging curve ball or at worst a shrewd political calculation.