(JD Hall – Pulpit & Pen) After a quick survey of American evangelicalism in 2019, it’s been suddenly discovered – much to everyone’s surprise – that there are no egalitarians any longer in existence. This may be hard for some to believe, given the radical shift toward acceptance of females in ministry, but egalitarianism apparently has been totally eradicated.
Egalitarianism is the theological term for believing that because men and women are equal in God’s sight, they must have the same roles within the home and church. Egalitarians believe that women are called to the highest forms of church leadership, in spite of what the Scriptural epistles say.
The Conservative Resurgence in the SBC began in 1979 with the election of Adrian Rogers. The battle was over Scriptural inerrancy, with much of the warfare conducted over female ministers, in which conservatives claimed that upholding inerrancy would prevent. Moderates, who denied inerrancy, demanded female preachers. The conservatives won that battle by 1993 and had sent the moderates packing (or in reality, hunkering down and waiting).
In the year 2000, the Baptist Faith and Message was revised in Article VI and XVIII to reinforce the SBC’s complementarian position. Adrian Rogers, who again served the SBC as president in 1986 and 1987, iterated to the press that the revision was designed to stop egalitarianism in its tracks.
When asked about the changes to reinforce the SBC stance against female pastors and preachers, Rogers complained, “Many denominations are being swept along by the culture,” before adding that “The Jesus that we love is the Jesus of the Bible, not the Jesus of the imagination.”
Arguing that women should not be preachers during the 2000 BF&M revision, Southern Seminary president, Albert Mohler, said that complementarianism and egalitarianism represented “two different versions of the Baptist faith.”
Richard Land, Russell Moore’s predecessor at the ERLC, said, “You don’t have a right to believe whatever you want to believe, and still call yourself a Southern Baptist.”