Rick Warren, other church leaders appeal Southern Baptist ouster at annual meeting

by | Jun 14, 2023 | Religion

(RNS) — Bestselling author and former pastor Rick Warren made an impassioned plea for reinstatement of Saddleback Church’s affiliation with the Southern Baptist Convention, after the megachurch he founded four decades ago was ousted from the Protestant denomination for naming a woman to its pastoral team.“I’m not asking you to agree with my church,” Warren told the messengers, or delegates, who totaled more than 12,700 on Tuesday (June 13). “I am asking you to act like a Southern Baptist, who have historically agreed to disagree on dozens of doctrines in order to share a common mission.”
The debate — which has been fought over social media, via documents and through a website campaign spearheaded by Warren — came to the floor of the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center late on the first day of the two-day meeting.
Former pastor Rick Warren speaks in support of Saddleback Church at the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, La., on June 13, 2023. RNS photo by Emily Kask
The SBC’s Baptist Faith & Message states the role of pastor is limited to men. But Baptists differ over whether the SBC faith statement currently refers to barring women from all pastoral roles or only from serving in the role of senior pastor.
Saddleback has embraced women in ministry in recent years.

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