There is a movement in the Southern Baptist Convention, a denomination that is often a bellwether for evangelical America, to purge women from its leadership.
-- "Southern Baptists Move to Purge Churches With Female Pastors," NYTimes
The right wing of the Southern Baptists, the largest Protestant denomination in America, is now — like conservatives more broadly — cracking down on what it sees as dangerous liberal drift. Most people in the denomination have long believed that the office of head pastor should be reserved for men. But an ultraconservative faction with a loud online presence is going further, pressing for ideological purity and arguing that female pastors are a precursor to acceptance of homosexuality and sexual immorality.
Wow. Whatever else, Southern Baptists are now not only tops in membership but tops at driving away young people.
The annual Southern Baptist Convention is going on this week in New Orleans, and a proposed amendment to the S.B.C. constitution would further restrict the role of women. The amendment sez a church can be Southern Baptist only if it “does not affirm, appoint or employ a woman as a pastor of any kind.”
Tops at driving away educated women too, especially at a time when the whole church is under federal investigation for concealing and allowing widespread pastoral sexual abuse.
What's the polemical temperature of the "messengers" at the convention this week in New Orleans?
On Tuesday night, Mr. [Rick] Warren made that appeal [to have Saddleback Church reinstated in the denomination] from the floor of the convention to more than 12,000 delegates who would vote on whether to readmit his church.
“If doctrinal disagreements between Baptists are considered sin, we all get kicked out!” he said, noting that the S.B.C.’s theological statement is 4,032 words. “Saddleback disagrees with one word,” he said. “That’s 99.99999999 percent in agreement! Isn’t that close enough?”
The crowd shouted back at him, “No!”
The trumpian psyche in religion. But by their fruits you shall know them. Perhaps not incidentally, yesterday the Convention voted against allowing back into the denomination Saddleback Church and one other in Louisville that had allowed the ordaining of women.