Rick Warren, the renowned founder of Saddleback Church, has recently taken a bold stance by advocating for the inclusion of women in ministry. In a significant step forward, Saddleback Church ordained their first three women pastors in 2021. However, this progressive move faced opposition from the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), resulting in Saddleback’s expulsion from the convention. The SBC officials deemed Saddleback’s actions to be in direct violation of the SBC’s most recent statement of faith.
This clash between Rick Warren and the SBC sheds light on the complex interplay between institutional structures, deeply ingrained beliefs, and cultural norms. Despite the challenges posed by these entrenched systems, it is essential to consider the message conveyed by the story of Jesus’ resurrection. It is worth noting that Jesus chose to appear first to women, recognizing their crucial role in spreading the Good News. If Jesus, in His infinite wisdom, acknowledged the value of women as His able ministers and leaders within the faith community, then it is reasonable to believe that they should be allowed to serve as pastors.
Furthermore, the Scripture declares that in the Kingdom of God, there is no distinction between male and female. “For you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Consequently, if a woman is called to be a pastor, it is imperative not to hinder her from fulfilling her divine calling. Embracing the principle of equality and inclusivity within the household of faith will undoubtedly contribute to the flourishing of both individuals and the community as a whole.