Home Christian News Former SBC President J.D. Greear Weighs in on Removal of Saddleback From...

Former SBC President J.D. Greear Weighs in on Removal of Saddleback From Denomination

Greear cited a woman being given the title of “children’s pastor” versus “children’s minister” or “children’s ministry director” as an example of a “nomenclature problem.”

In these cases, Greear expressed that he does not advocate for “kicking out churches left and right over sloppy titling of their staff positions,” indicating that doing so could lead to a culture of “policing.”

Further, Greear voiced his disagreement with those in the SBC who have sounded alarm bells about a “growing danger” of women serving as pastors. 

“The reality is that even the largest estimates of churches with female pastors on staff make for a very small—and, in fact, shrinking—fraction of our Convention,” Greear wrote. “One of my biggest concerns here is that we will alienate women who will be less inclined to serve because we have turned them into a battleground.”

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Noting that the New Testament qualifications for pastors include being “sober-minded, self-controlled, and not quarrelsome,” Greear wrote, “The BFM 2000 says that the office of pastor is limited to qualified men. It seems we are at risk of focusing hard on the ‘men’ part…and we have much less to say about the ‘qualified’ part.”

“Many of our most engaged women in the SBC, who are all firmly complementarian, who are not trying to be pastors, listen in to this conversation and struggle to understand why we are so concerned that they are trying to take over our pulpits,” Greear continued, “and yet so many pastors are absolutely ruthless on Twitter every day.”

In his concluding remarks, Greear expressed his belief that women “are an incredibly valuable, gifted part of our congregations,” but that it is not “helpful” for a woman to have the title of pastor.

Nevertheless, Greear wrote, “Ultimately, it’s going to be up to the messengers at the annual meeting to decide how we respond to this…The messengers will be asked to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ as to whether to sustain the Executive Committee’s decisions.”

“I think it’s important to have this discussion in good faith with an attempt to understand both sides, while remaining biblically faithful. The reality is that the SBC is not egalitarian, and does not do its work from an egalitarian interpretation,” Greear concluded. “It would not be appropriate to assume that it does, or to say that someone who advocates a different approach to our cooperation (or a different philosophy about our governing documents) means that they are trying to promote egalitarianism.”

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The SBC will meet in New Orleans beginning on June 11.