Rick Warren, Saddleback Church’s founder and former senior pastor, published an apology to Christian women leading up to his appeal to the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) messengers at this year’s SBC annual meeting.
Warren retired as Saddleback Church’s senior pastor last year. His successor, Andy Wood, has helped advance the church’s move toward recognizing women as pastors. Stacie, Wood’s wife, frequently preaches during Sunday morning worship services.
On May 16, Warren announced that Saddleback Church would appeal the EC’s ruling, which will take place Tuesday afternoon (June 13).
In the weeks leading up to the annual meeting, Warren has posted a series of videos and articles explaining how his view on women serving pastors has changed. Warren even launched a website titled “SBC Stand,” which is dedicated to explaining those views and pleading with SBC messengers not to remove churches that have appointed women as pastors.
“Jesus told Mary Magdalene to tell the disciples about his resurrection, choosing her to be the first preacher of the Gospel,” Warren stated on his website.
The “Purpose Driven Life” author posted an apology to “Christian women” this past Saturday on Twitter.
“My biggest regret in 53 years of ministry is that I didn’t do my own personal exegesis sooner on the four passages used to restrict women,” Warren said. “Shame on me. I wasted those four years of Greek in college and seminary.”
Warren explained that after doing his “proper due diligence” and laying aside 50 years of biased thinking, he was “shocked, chagrined, and embarrassed” because he believes he violated “so many” hermeneutical rules.
“Never build a doctrine on a single word that is used only once in Scripture,” Warren said. “There’s nothing to compare it to (correlation). Do your own study of authentein in ancient Greek and you’ll be shocked too.”