The largest Southern Baptist congregation in the United States boasts approximately 22 thousand weekly attenders and is pastored by Rick Warren. Warren, a highly ecumenical and pro-Islam, pro-Catholic Evangelical leader, is known for his seeker-sensitive preaching style and his two most famous books, The Purpose Driven Church and The Purpose Driven Life.
Warren has been instrumental in shaping the Southern Baptist denomination over the years. He has preached at several pastors conferences as well as the denomination’s annual meeting. His worship style and “purpose driven” programs have been implemented in Southern Baptist churches across the nation.
This past weekend, Saddleback Church boasted on social media that the church had just ordained their first three female pastors.
“Yesterday was a historic night for Saddleback Church in many ways!” read the post on Instagram. “We ordained our first three women pastors, Liz Puffer, Cynthia Petty, and Katie Edwards.”
The Baptist Faith and Message 2000–the official statement of faith of the Southern Baptist Convention to which cooperating churches must affirm–explicitly states that “While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.” However, the denomination has been slow to enforce this policy at all. According to Baptist doctrine, the office of pastor isn’t limited to ordination, but also to function. This includes preaching, especially to mixed audiences. However, Beth Moore and other women have been preaching regularly to mixed audiences in Southern Baptist churches for years and there has been little to no action to stop it.
Beth Moore eventually disassociated from the denomination on her own accord.