The motion to disaffiliate Saddleback Church over its ordination of women ministers was raised during the 2021 annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) last week.
Shad Tibbs, pastor of the Fellowship Baptist Church in Louisiana, requested for the review of Saddleback whether it should remain as a member of the SBC, Religion News reported.
On June 15, Tibbs called for the denomination to break its affiliation with the California church "as they have ordained three ladies as pastors, and all other churches that would choose to follow this path. At the very least, I am asking that the validity of this matter be looked into."
The Louisiana pastor made the motion, citing the convention's statement of faith and passage from 1 Timothy 2:12.
"While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture," the Baptist Faith and Message says.
"I do not allow a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; instead, she is to remain quiet," the verse says.
J.D. Greear, officiating at the session where Tibbs raised his concern, said that the matter will be evaluated by the Credentials Committee, which handles concerns "whether a church is in 'friendly cooperation' with the Convention as described in the SBC Constitution."
In May, Saddleback Church, headed by Pastor Rick Warren, ordained its longtime ministry leaders as new pastors, including Liz Puffer, Kati Edwards and Cynthia Petty. The move gained mixed reactions as it defies the norm of the SBC.
"While I have long respected Saddleback's ministry impact and heart for getting the gospel to the nations, I disagree with their decision to take this step, and would even say I find it disappointing," he said at that time.
Greear continued by stating two factors, supporting his argument.
"As Pastor James Merritt noted, we can affirm both (1) that God calls men and women to vital ministry in the church and (2) that God's Word clearly reserves the office of pastor/elder/overseer for qualified men."
The former SBC president went on, pointing out the importance of women in the home, ministry and society. He also urged the Southern Baptists to "stay faithful" with the principles of the Bible on various issues, including the role of pastor.
Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, also shared his thoughts on the subject through his website.
In the article published last May, Mohler said that the Protestant churches' ordination of women pastors was driven by a couple of "major energies," including "the demands of second wave feminism" and "the impulses unleased by liberation theology."
However, the school president contended that both elements are not Biblical but that the denominations, which made such move, have "deployed revisionist arguments to defuse any argument from Scripture."
He added that the "strategies of biblical subversion" present an argument, saying "that either the Bible was misread by Christians" or is just "mired in patriarchy and oppression and the biblical authors were flat wrong."