Should a church be disfellowshipped if they have a woman as a pastor?

In this episode, Pastor J.D. is addressing whether or not a church should be disfellowshipped from the SBC if they have a woman serving in the role of pastor.

Show Notes:

  • The SBC is convictionally complementarian — I would say unwaveringly so. So, if you are saying your church does not believe in gender roles, or our lead pastoral team is women, then yes, you are clearly not in line with our statement of faith.
  • But there’s another principle at work: the principle of cooperation vs confessionalism.
  • From Adam Greenway’s article: “Many Southern Baptists would be surprised to learn that a local church is not required to affirm explicitly the BF&M statement to be deemed a cooperating church. Article III of the SBC Constitution, which defines what it means to be a cooperating church, simply states that the church must have “a faith and practice which closely identifies with the Convention’s adopted statement of faith.” The linchpin of cooperation in the SBC may well be three words: ‘closely identifies with.’”
    • One of the challenges is how quickly our use of terms and words shifts.
    • So, does a church which has a woman with “pastor” in her title need to be disfellowshipped?
  • Is it a disfellowship-able error? 
    • The BF&M states that baptism is a prerequisite for the Lord’s supper — yet many Baptist churches would serve communion to a Presbyterian if they happened to show up at church that day.
    • Technically, that’s a violation of the BF&M. Should a church like that be disfellowshipped?
    • Honestly, it depends — if a church has an otherwise complementarian structure but they seem to misuse labels and titles, no, I don’t believe they should. If they clearly do not hold a complementarian point of view, that would be a different matter.
    • Disfellowshipping a church is a grievous thing. I don’t think the BF&M ever intended to get into these types of issues.

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