As the race for president of the Southern Baptist Convention is underway and underwhelming, the battle over disfellowshipping Rick Warren has heated up tremendously. In March, Evangelical Dark Web reported on Rick Warren’s intentions to appeal the disfellowshipping of Saddleback Church to the convention. Now Rick Warren has given Ed Stetzer’s website, Church Leaders the “exclusive” revealing what he publicly told Russell Moore in an interview months ago.
Those reasons, said Warren, are as follows:
1.We’re challenging the ruling on behalf of millions of SBC women whose God given spiritual gifts and leadership skills are being wasted instead of empowered for the Great Commission. We cannot finish the task Jesus gave us, with 50% of the church forced to sit on the bench. Great Commission Baptists believe that Jesus authorized every woman to go, to make disciples, to baptize, and to teach—just as he authorized every man.
2. We’re challenging the ruling on behalf of over 300 concerned pastors who have female pastors serving on their staff and have written to me. They are fearful and worried that their congregations will also be disfellowshipped when the new inquisition discovers them. (I’ve seen one list with over 1200 names of Baptist women in just Texas churches.)3.We’re challenging the ruling on behalf of our IMB missionaries. Today our missionary force has almost 1,500 fewer missionaries than we had 23 years ago when the revised Baptist Faith & Message (BF&M) was approved in 2000. With a renewed emphasis on the restriction of women, we’ll lose more godly female church planters and couples serving as pastoral teams in the mission field.4. We believe a decision this critical to the SBC’s identity and future should be decided by the Messengers, not a committee. The Messengers must decide if they want the Executive Committee to act like a Catholic Magisterium.
5. Our goal is to spark the thinking of messengers regarding the direction of the SBC, regardless of the outcome of the vote. If you really love something, you fight for it. But sometimes it takes years for people to consider an event before change happens. Wilberforce lost every vote for 17 years before the slave trade was eventually abolished. It took 10 years after the lynching of Emmett Till in 1955 for the Civil Rights movement of the ‘60s to coalesce. Note my prediction: The next generation of Southern Baptists will remove the restriction on women one day, because truth eventually triumphs over tradition.
Rick Warren’s ego has him comparing himself to Emmett Till and William Wilberforce. Other than that, these are largely the same rehashed reasons Warren gave over two months ago.
Warren said that Saddleback has been “told by both the California Southern Baptist State Convention and our Orange County Southern Baptist Association, that the EC ruling will be ignored at their levels.”
Regardless of the ruling, Saddleback will “still cooperate” with Southern Baptists in their state, Warren said.
Concluding his statement to ChurchLeaders, Warren pointed out that both the state convention and the association presented Saddleback with plaques of support. “Then, the 167-year-old Spurgeon’s College in London inducted me as their Chancellor,” he said, “telling me that my views on ordination are identical to Spurgeon’s.”
Now this is the more interesting part, which Church Leaders relegated to the end on a second page. Rick Warren’s announced support from the California Southern Baptist State Convention and his local convention, the Orange County Southern Baptist Association.
It appears Rick Warren is going to war with the Baptist Faith and Message 2000, and he has called his banners. The fight over disfellowshipping Rick Warren is shaping up to be the most compelling issue at the upcoming SBC23 next month.
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