I want to know JESUS About the SBC Contact  
 Information and Inspiration on Issues of Importance to Baptists
Sixth and Final Report of the SBC Funding Study
The Fifth and Final Report of the SBC
Stand For Marriage
Final Report of Ad Hoc CP Committee
Final Report of Ad Hoc CP Committee (Appendices)
Cooperative Program Advance Plan
Fourth Report of the SBC Funding Study Committee
Review of NOBTS's Sole Membership Charter Amend.
Response to reservations about sole membership
Reservations Concerning a Charter Amendment Prop.
Sole Membership - A Florida Layman’s Perspecti
A Letter to Dr. Denton Lotz
Letter from Albert W. Wardin
The Relation of the SBC to its Entities
SBC Funding Study - State of Giving
What is Sole Membership?
Sole Membership
Letter to Missouri Churches
Questions and Answers
Behind the Scenes at the SBC
Response by Morris H. Chapman to the BGCT
Does It Matter What Missionaries Believe?
Letter to the Baptist Standard
On Facts and Fallacies
Letter by SBC EC President to Dr. James L. Hill
A View from the Other Side
Carter's rift with SBC not a new development
SBTS Response to BGCT Seminary Study Committee
Response to BGCT Seminary Study Committee Report
SBTS Response to BGCT Seminary Study Committee
Exec. Comm. Interacts with BGCT Funding Proposal
The Pastor's Point of View on the BGCT
Feasibility Study for Name Change
Report of the SBC Peace Committee
Doctrine, Cooperation, and Association
Report to the Fellowship of Deacons
Too High a View of Scripture?
The Truth about the SBC and Texas
Christ, The Bible, and Human Experience
Bibliolatry — A Fraudulent Accusation
BFM - Still Thoroughly Baptist!
Texas First, Texas Only - Not the Spirit
Anti-SBC Leaders Threaten Cooperative Program
Southern Baptists and Women Pastors
The Root of the SBC Controversy
Your Church Reaching the World for Christ
Together We're Carrying Out the Great Commission
Doctrinal integrity paramount for Serminary
Have Baptists replaced Jesus with a book?
Why theology matters for the Great Commission task
A survey of the 2000 BFM
Baptists, the Bible and confessions
Southern Seminary and the Abstract of Principles
An Open Letter to Southern Baptists
A Statement About the Baptist Faith & Message
An Example of the Need to Change The BFM
Incredible Vanishing Corporations
Committee on Cooperation - Report and Findings
An Open Letter from Dr. Allen to Dr. Wade
Why Cooperate?
The Southern Baptist Convention is Alive and Well
Letter by SBCEC President to TX Church Leaders
  Home > Reports, Articles & Papers
Selected Quote

"There should be an 'Abstract of Principles', or careful statement of theological belief, which every professor in such an institution must sign when inaugurated, so as to guard against the rise of erroneous and injurious instruction in such a seat of sacred learning."

James P. Boyce
from "Three Changes in
Theological Institutions"
- summarized by John Broadus, 1856

Southern Baptists and Women Pastors
by staff of the Executive Committee of the SBC

The revision to the Baptist Faith and Message which 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," has received a great deal of attention. Some critics have charged it is not baptistic for a convention to take a position on this. Others charge it is anti-woman, while others still wonder whether it ought to be addressed at all in a confession of faith. Does the BF&M get it right? What are the facts?

The preamble to the Baptist Faith and Message states that confessions of faith "constitute a consensus of opinion of some Baptist body." The consensus opinion of Southern Baptists is obviously that the pastoral role is to be filled by men. The vast majority of Southern Baptist congregations call only men to serve as pastor. About 30 of over 40,000 churches currently have a woman as pastor – only 2 of 5,000 Southern Baptist congregations in Texas. Even those most vigorously promoting the idea of having women as pastors are not in fact calling women to pastor their own churches. Some wonder whether they actually believe in the importance of women pastors, or are they hoping for political advantage by making the SBC appear anti-woman?

Critics argue that Baptists are merely behind the times, or have been unduly influenced by a "patriarchal" society. However, we think Baptist churches have male pastors because they believe they are so instructed by the New Testament.

Southern Baptists believe the place to begin in this, as in all doctrinal questions, is to ask, "What does the Bible say?" Even a cursory reading of the pertinent texts prompts three important observations: 1) there were no known women pastors in New Testament times; 2) none of the instructions regarding church order include instructions for women pastors; and 3) some texts on church order explicitly forbid women to occupy that role. In 1 Timothy 2:12, written with the specific purpose of regulating the office of pastor and the orderly function of the churches, Paul writes, "I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man" (NIV). Paul does not expect that women will not or cannot learn or teach (compare with Titus 2:3-5 and 2 Tim. 1:5; 3:14,15). He concludes women cannot have a pastoral position, or perform the pastoral function, for that puts them in authority over men in the life of the church.

The question at hand is not whether women are of equal value to men, nor is it whether they can minister effectively. They are, and they do! Nor, is it an issue of the autonomy of the local church. It is, rather, that the Scripture assigns the role of pastor to males.

The Bible's teaching on pastoral qualifications does not mean it is anti-woman. On the contrary, numerous passages speak clearly and forcibly to the inherent worth and value of women. Women in the New Testament engaged in significant ministry, performing valuable service in sometimes difficult situations. This is readily seen in the Acts of the Apostles. Both Priscilla and Aquila spoke privately to Apollos at Ephesus (Acts 18:24-26), correcting his incomplete and flawed theology. Further, women clearly played a considerable role in the work of the apostle Paul. In his letter to the Romans, Paul identified sixteen noteworthy helpers in ministry (16:1-16), and at least ten of them were women. Women in the New Testament, as they do today, participated in varied ministry, which served to strengthen and conserve the churches.

Southern Baptists are not anti-woman; indeed, they affirm the leadership of women in family, business, politics, and a wide array of human endeavors. Furthermore, women are an integral and invaluable part of the Body of Christ, serving in a broad variety of important roles both as volunteers and vocational ministers. We don't know how to say this more strongly: women and men are of equal value! However, because Scripture speaks specifically to the role of pastor, churches are under a moral imperative to be guided by that teaching, rather than the shifting opinions of human cultures.

Reprinted from The Truth about the SBC & Texas , by the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee.
Copies of this brochure are available at no charge by
clicking here or by calling (866)722-5433.

Back to Top of PageBack to Top
Print PagePrinter Friendly version

Copyright © 1999-2024, Southern Baptist Convention.
All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use
Website Comments?