Recent months have seen a growing number of popular female teachers and leaders casting aside the biblical admonition of 1 Timothy 2:12. Sadly, it is not uncommon in evangelicalism to find on any given Sunday that one of these women has filled a church’s pulpit and willingly has presented biblical instruction to a crowd of mixed genders.
It has now been brought to CRN’s attention that Kay Warren preached the Sunday, 21 October, sermon at Northwood Church in Keller, Texas. Warren’s message was entitled “Beyond the Walls,” and the church website description reads,
What does it take to change the world–is just being a Christian enough?
The answer to that is a resounding “No!” Just being a Christian is like having a tool box and never fixing anything. You have what you need to make an impact, but if you don’t apply those resources, you’ll never see that changes in yourself, your marriage, your family, your finances or your city that you’re looking for everyday.
So we’re going Beyond! We’re going to go Beyond just asking Jesus into our hearts to allowing Him to direct what we do for God’s kingdom. We’re going Beyond knowing the Bible to allowing its truths transform us. We’re going Beyond the Sunday morning church service to change our city and the world. We’re going Beyond ourselves to build community that will make a difference when all of us work together!
Interestingly, this past week at Northwood Church was not the first time that Kay Warren has stepped into this role. In 2012 alone, Kay Warren has not only preached several weekend services at her own church, but also took to the pulpit of the Crystal Cathedral.
The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) agrees with the biblical standard that women are not to hold the position of elder or pastor within a church. Below is the SBC’s official position on the role of women in the church (emphasis added):
A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an autonomous local congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel; observing the two ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws, exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word, and seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth. Each congregation operates under the Lordship of Christ through democratic processes. In such a congregation each member is responsible and accountable to Christ as Lord. Its scriptural officers are pastors and deacons. 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 & MESSAGE, VI. THE CHURCH
While other SBC documents may offer a perceived loophole in this instruction, most Southern Baptists would affirm the position stated above.
Rick and Kay Warren’s Saddleback Church is officially registered with the Southern Baptist Convention, so it is presumed that they would adhere to the biblical standards set forth by the SBC in regard to women preaching. It seems quite odd, then, that Kay Warren would continue to disregard this clear teaching set forth in Scripture. In preaching Sunday services, Kay Warren undoubtedly found herself teaching a mixed audience of both men and women. How can this be reconciled not only with the SBC’s stated position on this topic, but with the biblical prohibition against women taking authority within the church?
This growing phenomenon of women usurping the role of pastor, if even for one week, has been on prominent display with some of evangelicalism’s popular female Bible teachers. As only two examples, earlier this year, SBC Bible teacher Beth Moore preached at the church of Louie Giglio. Christine Caine of Hillsong Church has preached at Steven Furtick’s Elevation Church as well as Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church. Should the body of Christ remain silent on this issue? If it was important enough for God to offer explicit instruction in His Word, then it ought to be of equal importance to Christians today.