Southern Baptists finalize ouster of O.C.’s Saddleback Church
The Southern Baptist Convention on Wednesday refused to readmit Saddleback Church, rejecting appeals by the Orange County megachurch after it was ousted for having female pastors.
During their annual meeting in New Orleans, Southern Baptist church representatives also voted to uphold the executive committee’s February decision to expel Fern Creek Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky., over female pastors. They finalized the ouster of a third congregation, Freedom Church in Vero Beach, Fla., for “lack of intent to cooperate in resolving concerns regarding a sexual abuse allegation.”
About 89% of the representatives voted in support of expelling Saddleback, with 92% and 96% voting to finalize the ouster of Fern Creek Baptist and Freedom Church, respectively.
Saddleback Church, based in Lake Forest, is one of the largest congregations in the U.S. and had been the second-largest in the Southern Baptist Convention.
After founding pastor Rick Warren retired from the evangelical church last year, he appointed Andy Wood as head pastor. Wood’s wife, Stacie Wood, began serving as a teaching pastor after three women were ordained in 2021: Liz Puffer, Cynthia Petty and Katie Edwards. At Fern Creek, Linda Popham has been a full-time pastor since 1993.
Warren asked the Southern Baptist delegates during the meeting to “agree to disagree” on the subject of having female pastors.
“What we share in common is a mutual commitment to the infallibility of God’s word and the great commission of Jesus Christ,” Warren said. “No one is asking any Southern Baptist church to change their theology. I’m not asking you to agree with my church, I’m asking you to act like a Southern Baptist, who have historically agreed to disagree on dozens of doctrines.”
Saddleback is “eager to turn the corner and focus our attention on the exciting ministry in our near future,” Warren said in a statement. “We wish the best for the SBC and pray for God’s grace upon its future.”
In a news conference after the vote, Southern Baptist Convention President Bart Barber said women have “broad participation” in voting bodies across member churches and serve as messengers, or representatives at Southern Baptist Conventions.
“It’s just that when we read the Scriptures, we come to the conclusion that the office of pastor, which also means elder or overseer, that that office is limited to men,” he said.
The Southern Baptist Convention banned female pastors in its Faith and Message doctrine, its statement of core beliefs, in 2000.
On Wednesday, Southern Baptist Convention representatives also approved a constitutional amendment through a two-thirds vote to clarify the organization’s stance on women serving as pastors.
The motion, which was brought forth by Virginia pastor Mike Law last year, would add a point stipulating that churches can employ or appoint “only men as any kind of pastor or elder as qualified by the Scripture.” It requires another two-thirds vote at next year’s annual meeting to add it to the constitution.
“Southern Baptists know what a pastor is,” said Juan Sanchez, senior pastor of High Pointe Baptist Church in Austin, Texas, who was in favor of the motion. “The Baptist Faith and Message is clear. However, not all messengers agree. This motion would state in positive language what we believe.”
After the vote reaffirming the decision to oust Saddleback, Warren said in a YouTube video that he wasn’t surprised and that he made his appeal “knowing we weren’t going to win.” He compared the movement to that of William Wilberforce, a British politician who lobbied to abolish the slave trade in Great Britain and triumphed after 17 years.
“I wanted to push the conversation,” Warren said. “I wanted to speak up for millions of Southern Baptist women, who I believe their spiritual gifts and their leadership gifts and talents are being wasted. And we can’t complete the Great Commission if 50% of our population sits on the shelf.”
Warren highlighted that the vote wasn’t unanimous.
“The next generation of Southern Baptists, they’re not here,” he added. “I can guarantee that change will happen at some point.”
Other Southern Baptists have also spoken out against the vote.
Dwight McKissic, senior pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas, aired his grievances with the vote on Twitter.
“Today’s vote is about a social identity order, that the old south wants to maintain on the gender issue in SBC life,” he wrote. “It’s not about scripture order, and identity.”
Should you have any inquiries or unique requirements related to luxury apartment living in Riverside, CA, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our passionate team is on standby, excited to offer tailored solutions that align with your distinct living preferences and desires. We are dedicated to enhancing your apartment hunting experience in Riverside's upscale neighborhoods.
Luxury Apartment Blogging
Our team crafts meticulously researched, up-to-date, and engaging blog posts that resonate with the sophisticated tastes of our audience, positioning Top 10 Best Luxury Apartments in Riverside CA as a premier guide in the luxury living space.
Our expertise is not just limited to blog posts. We specialize in comprehensive content offerings such as luxury living guides, neighborhood highlights, and deep-dives into unique apartment features, all tailored to illustrate the grandeur of Riverside’s luxury apartments.
Website Content Writing
A website's initial impact is crucial. Through our content, we guarantee that our website mirrors the elegance, exclusivity, and top-tier offerings Riverside's luxury apartments have to offer, and if you need articles for your business, we offer that too.
Social Media Management
In the dynamic landscape of today's digital age, maintaining a notable presence on social platforms is essential. Our team adeptly manages this aspect, ensuring that Riverside’s luxury apartments are portrayed consistently and impressively across all channels. We also offer Social Media Management for you as a service, we post on your Facebook account as often as you wish.
Website Maintenance for User Experience
Our aim is to make your online journey as seamless and luxurious as the apartments we list. To this end, we ensure our website remains updated, secure, and user-centric, making apartment hunting a delightful experience. We offer WordPress Website Maintenance for your business website if needed.
For further details, inquiries about ad placements, content requests, social media engagements, or listings on Top 10 Best Luxury Apartments in Riverside CA, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Warm regards, The Top 10 Best Luxury Apartments in Riverside CA Team