BREAKING: SBC Decisively Approves Law Amendment, Restores Male-Only Pastorship

The Southern Baptist Convention passed an amendment that clarified the role of women / barred women from holding pastoral roles at their annual convention being held in New Orleans. 

The amendment, introduced and spearheaded by Pastor Mike Law of Virginia’s Arlington Baptist Church, passed overwhelmingly with the support of approximately 80% of the SBC’s messengers by raised ballot. A subsequent motion to count a paper ballot was rejected by the messengers.

The amendment reinforces traditional Baptist teaching on the role of women in the Church, citing scripture which has informed Baptist tradition for centuries. 

Southern Baptists reinforced that tradition with the SBC’s Baptist Faith & Message (2000) that reads: “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 now-passed amendment’s text is straightforward, leaving little wiggle room for potential undermining from “egalitarian” activists in the SBC.  

Mike Law presented his own amendment to the floor: “I move that the Constitution of the Southern Baptist Convention be amended to include an enumerated 6th item under Article 3, Paragraph 1, concerning composition. The enumerated 6th item would read: ‘6. Does not affirm, appoint, or employ a woman as a pastor of any kind.’”

The amendment’s necessity was reinforced by a recent study from Kevin McClure exposing that nearly 2,000 women in the SBC were serving in pastoral roles, explicitly defying the SBC’s biblical tradition and stated constitutional principles. His study found that 1,844 women were serving in pastoral roles in 1,255 SBC churches. 

Despite clear evidence that the Baptist Faith & Message was flouted by over 1,000 churches, the SBC’s Executive Committee recommended that SBC messengers vote against the proposed amendment. 

Despite the Executive Committee’s interference, the majority of messengers voted to clarify the role of women in the Church. 

Tom Ascol, Pastor of Grace Baptist in Cape Coral, Florida spoke on the amendment: “I am grateful that the Lord has given us victories on two fronts. Many have worked diligently to see the historic, Southern Baptist position solidified in the amendment to the constitution. But all SBC churches owe a debt of gratitude to Mike Law who has tirelessly and humbly shepherded this amendment through to its approval this year. Though we must reaffirm it next year for it to take effect, I believe his efforts will inspire many others to follow his example and bring it to completion in 2024.”

Recent candidate for SBC President, Pastor Mike Stone had this to say about the amendment: “Southern Baptists have spoken much more clearly that our leadership committees. That is why this clarifying amendment is so important for our future practice.”

From the floor, Mike Law stated: “We are not ashamed of 1 Timothy 2:12 or afraid of what the Bible teaches. We are not ashamed of our God and His Word.” 

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American Reformer

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