Saddleback Church in Southern California was recently kicked out of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) because it ordains women and puts them behind the pulpit, which is contrary to Scripture as well as The Baptist Faith and Message.
Citing I Timothy 2:9-14, among other Bible passages, The Baptist Faith and Message 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."
In a meeting last month, the (SBC) Executive Committee ruled that six churches were no longer in friendly cooperation with the denomination. Included in the list is Saddleback Church, which ordained three women when founder Rick Warren was pastor and named a woman as teaching pastor after Warren retired.
In response, Warren sat down for a podcast interview with former SBC personality Russell Moore to talk about why he thinks the SBC is wrong. He first cited The Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20), which men and women are called to fulfill. That passage, he pointed out, includes "teaching."
"The second thing that changed my mind was the day of Pentecost (Acts 2)," Warren continued. "We know that women were preaching in languages that other people couldn't hear," including to men.
"The very first Christian sermon, the message of the gospel, of good news of the resurrection, [Jesus] had Mary Magdalene go and tell the disciples (John 20)," Saddleback's former pastor added.
He went on to say, though, that the passages where Paul explicitly forbids women teaching men is a matter of interpretation.
American Family Radio's Dr. Alex McFarland says Warren is using a "very clever" turn of phrase.
"Women and men both can share the gospel, but Rick Warren gives out passages that say nothing about the pastoring of a local church," McFarland states.
He says this is not the first time Warren has said something "that sounds declarative, but really isn't," and McFarland asserts that Warren knows exactly what he is doing.