A week ago, Rick Warren(tm)’s Saddleback megaChurch went full frontal feminist with the appointment of three witches to the clergy. I’ve been waiting for an explosion of condemnation… and heard nothing but crickets. This harlot complaining about people noticing her spiritual harlotry will have to do.
‘Historic night’: Saddleback Church ordains first female pastors
By Michael Gryboski, 8 May 2021
Saddleback Church, the California-based megachurch headed by Pastor Rick Warren, announced that they ordained their first three female pastors, despite being affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, which prohibits female ordination.
In an announcement posted to their Facebook page on Friday, Saddleback said that they had a “historic night” on Thursday when they ordained their first three female pastors.
“We ordained our first three women pastors, Liz Puffer, Cynthia Petty, and Katie Edwards,” Saddleback Chuch said in the post. “We commissioned three new elders, Anthony Miller, Jeremiah Goley, and Jason Williams! And we appointed Pastor Johnny Baker as the new global leader of Celebrate Recovery!”
What an odd ceremony. I doubt Thursday is normally a busy day at the church and this historic ordination was buried in a bunch of other appointments. Why wasn’t it celebrated on Sunday morning? It’s common to want lots of witnesses to these types of life-changing events.
“Okay folks, we’ve got a few items to announce from the Elder Board meeting’s minutes. The fundraiser bake sale has been scheduled for the Fourth of July weekend, Asmodeus was ordained by Pastor Greg and let’s give a big welcome to our sponsored missionary team visiting us from out of town! Does anybody have questions about the bake sale?”
Of course, people DID notice… but the appropriate people first:
As of Saturday afternoon, the Facebook post garnered around 575 likes and over 360 loves, but it has also garnered some critical comments from those opposed to female ordination.
The Christian Post called Saddleback Church on Saturday afternoon for comment and to confirm whether the church will continue to be part of the Southern Baptist denomination. The church was closed at the time, however.
Owen Strachan, a theology professor at Grace Bible Theological Seminary, posted a comment labeling the ordination as an example of “unbiblical developments,” adding that the “time to leave is NOW.”
“Now is the time to leave and find a sound congregation. Do not delay. There is no spirit of competition in what I write here; what Saddleback is doing grieves me, and I have no doubt grieves many in the congregation,” posted Strachan, himself getting more than 140 likes and loves as of Saturday afternoon.
“Churches that affirm women pastors are opposing the Word of God, and opposing the Word of God means opposing God himself,” Strachan added.
Well said, Owen!
To justify his stance, Strachan cited 1 Timothy 2:9-15, which includes the verse in which Paul writes: “I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.”
In recent years, there has been much controversy over the SBC’s stance against the ordination of female pastors, with some churches and individuals leaving the denomination over the position.
One side of that “controversy” needs to burn the other side at the stake for witchcraft.
In 2020, before the lockdowns in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, some SBC pastors demanded that Hosanna Wong, teaching pastor at EastLake Church in Chula Vista, California, should not be a featured guest of the SBC Pastors’ Conference.
That didn’t sound like a witchburning. Bueller? Torquemada?
Anyway, well said Owen and what a shame that nobody else spoke up. Not until Eve decided to complain that people were still whispering about that Garden of Eden incident!
I Got Ordained So I Can Talk About Jesus. Not the Female Pastor Debate.
As a priest, I’m tired of a political battle that distracts from the gospel.
By Tish Harrison Warren, 11 May 2021
Rick Warren’s Saddleback…
Whoa. Whoa, whoa whoa.
This author is… female pastor Tish WARREN?! *checks* No relationship. She’s an Anglican with a long history as a college chaplain.
Rick Warren’s Saddleback church recently made headlines by ordaining three female leaders. I was grateful to see these women recognized and lent both the public authority and institutional accountability that comes from ordination.
Real priests don’t need public authority, least of all from ordinating institutions.
But when I read the news, I also thought with a heavy sigh, “Oh, here we go again.” I knew the debate about women’s roles in the church would dominate conversation all week, and I could already predict the rutted arguments I’d hear recited over and over.
Here’s an open secret: You know who hates talking about women’s ordination? Female pastors. Not all of us, of course. Some women have a special unction to debate this topic, and honestly, more power to them.
But the reality is that few of us become pastors in order to talk about women’s ordination.
No shit, Sherlockette.
We get ordained because the gospel has captured our imaginations. We get ordained to witness to the beauty and truth of Jesus. We get ordained to serve the church in the ministry of Word and sacrament. (And, for the record, don’t get ordained for any “cause” other than the ministry of Word and sacrament. Nothing else is worth it.)
“I minister the Word of God to you!”
“The Word of God says you’re an illegitimate priest and a rebel against male authority.”
“Not those words. Shut up!”
I wasn’t always in favor of women’s ordination. Until my 30s, I was a so-called soft complementarian. But I was also a woman in ministry. People in my church assumed that I’d eventually marry a pastor (as an unofficial way “in” to vocational ministry for laywomen).
This is what the male side of Original Sin looks like: he acts like she’s doing nothing wrong and even grants legitimacy & opportunities to her misconduct.
Tish is still guilty. She chose to cross that line. She is unrepentant. But her cheerleaders-in-drag are also guilty.
I interned at a Southern Baptist church in its youth group and a PCA church in “mercy ministries,” working among immigrants, the homeless, and the poor. Then I went to seminary, discovered I loved and had a knack for theological study, and eventually worked for years as a campus minister.
“I’m not technically disobeying God yet.”
I spent time carefully studying the ordination debate and, over the years, changed my views.
“Now I am!.. but it’s okay, I just changed sides in a debate. I still love Jeebus.” *cuts her hair*
But once this long theological work was done, my decision to get ordained was a rather organic and practical one. I didn’t get ordained because I wanted to prove that women should be pastors or to make some statement about justice. I didn’t get ordained because I think women (or men) have an inalienable right to ordination.
That was not the ordination debate, witchy britches.
I got ordained because I was already serving as a lay minister and had a high enough view of the church and a high enough view of the sacraments that I could no longer understand my ministry as separate from the life and authority of the church.
I was already doing the work. I was already teaching people and forming disciples. I wanted to do it under the gaze and in the name of the body of Christ.
“I was already rebelling against God and everybody was okay with it. You only complained when I started using the correct term.” Hmm, that would actually be a good point. Not only should women not be allowed to cross the line, they should not be allowed to approach the line either.
As Christ Himself put it, sin starts in the heart and before lines get crossed.
Now, when I preach, when I put my hand gently on the shoulder of a weeping woman and take her confession, when I write an essay, when I go on a walk with a student asking questions about the Bible, when I hold up the body of Christ before weary men and women and proclaim in the clearest, loudest voice I can that these are “the gifts of God for the people of God,” I’m not thinking about women’s ordination. I’m not thinking about Greek verbs or biblical womanhood. I’m silently praying that the Spirit draw us to himself in order to make his people whole and teach us to believe again.
Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” When I was a child, I sometimes wondered if that could apply to me and how I might know. Not anymore. The only people who will be surprised to find themselves locked out of a Heaven they had thought they were serving, are the liars who lied first to themselves.
Of course, women’s ordination is an important issue. I am very grateful for biblical scholars and theologians who are doing the work of looking closely at biblical arguments (most recently Beth Allison Barr and William Witt, who both have great new books out on the topic). We need to have these arguments. And I will keep having them.
But online and in the church, this issue is often bandied about, mostly in abstraction. For those of us in ministry, the work we do is rooted in the concrete—the lives of real men and women we love and serve. Although this topic rarely comes up among parishioners who just need to be cared for, too many people on the planet want to talk about ordination too much of the time. I don’t know a female pastor or priest who hasn’t sat by someone on a plane, train, or bus who, upon finding out she’s a lady preacher, feels a trill of righteous zeal and launches into a long lecture on how women’s ordination is wrong.
Good on them! You witches should never have a moment’s peace. The problem of your open disobedience is far too important to drop just because it interferes with the “real” business of Christianity: membership and Mommy Cares!
Which is it? Do you preach Scripture or do you complain that it crimps your style?
But while half of the church is trying to convince us to quit our jobs, the other half wants to cheerlead for us as gladiatorial smashers of the patriarchy.
Sounds right. So, which side do you listen to? Neither. You listen to Father God aka the Patriarch.
Actually, she should listen to a husband but she doesn’t have one. She gave up having a family for the chance to bitch about frequently being called out for hypocrisy. With public authority!
Early on after my ordination, when I was in between meetings and still in my clerical collar, I’d pop into my local, hip coffee shop and get thumbs-up and enthusiastic smile-nods from customers cheering me on. I appreciated the response. I really did. But I knew they were seeing me as a symbol of feminist triumph, not as a preacher of the gospel. Plus, sometimes a gal just wants to be able to get coffee and read a book without being a walking theological “take.” I am a Rorschach test. I represent something to people, whether I want to or not. (Precisely for this reason, I don’t often wear my collar in public anymore.)
My very existence is troublesome to some or encouraging to others. And almost everyone assumes a lot about what I do or do not believe about the Bible and gender and Jesus.
There is an added complexity for those of us who are willing to collaborate with and even learn from complementarians. We love the church and the Scriptures and don’t want to “burn it all down.”
Progressives see us as “fraternizing with the enemy,” and yet we never fit into complementarian circles. So we end up feeling like misfits in the conversation—buffeted by both sides of an immensely polarized church, which often regards the gospel of Jesus as second fiddle to the debates of the day.
In my own denomination, my sisters who are clergy are lightning rods in ways they never asked to be. They serve their churches. They each submit to their bishop. And they often have to navigate criticism about everything from their voice to their theology in ways that men do not.
Oh really? With that attitude, we can be thankful that she’s not leading any blind people.
And yet, they continue to be pastors. Because that is what they are: pastors, shepherds, mothers, servants.
Traitors. Rebellious servants. Man-hating hags. Living, walking curses against the Father Of All.
Yesterday, a younger woman in ministry sat on my couch and said, “I’m doing this to see people set free.” Because what draws us into ministry is Jesus and his mission. We aren’t motivated by second wave feminism or by “the impulses unleashed by liberation theology,” as Al Mohler put in his recent response to the Saddleback news. We want to serve the church with the gifts God has given.
Typical for a complementarian, he found some men to blame for female misconduct.
As a female priest, I often feel like an unwilling pundit in a culture war that I frankly find boring. What’s interesting to me about ministry isn’t convincing anyone that I’m worthy of a particular office. What’s interesting about ministry is participating in Jesus’ work in the church.