By Christian Research Network Associate Editor Erin Benziger of Do Not Be Surprised…
This is a repost of an original article on Do Not Be Surprised…

As December approaches, Saddleback Church appears poised, like many churches, to deliver appropriately themed sermons throughout the month. It seems as though Saddleback’s sermon series will be titled, “Christmas Is…” and will feature not only lead pastor Rick Warren, but also Warren’s wife, Kay, and Mars Hill Church pastor Mark Driscoll.

This past Sunday, a Saddleback attender would tweet, and Saddleback Church would retweet, the following:


While it does not seem that Saddleback’s website is yet sharing its upcoming schedule of speakers, the fact that their official Twitter account not only retweeted this comment and picture, but also responded to it, appears to validate its accuracy.

Once again, then, Saddleback will welcome a woman to preach weekend services on 1 and 2 December. It was not too long ago that Christine Caine took to the Saddleback stage for this task. It also was demonstrated that, earlier this year, Kay Warren herself preached an entire series at her home church. As was noted in the Christian Research Network article “Kay Warren Preaches Sunday Services at Saddleback Church,”

The Bible is not ambiguous in describing the necessary qualifications and characteristics that must be met by a man who desires to hold the role of pastor, or elder, within a church. In Titus 1:5–9 and 1 Tim. 3:1–7, Paul, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, clearly outlines these requirements.

The Apostle Paul also delivered instruction regarding the role of women within the church:

Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. (1 Tim. 2:11–14)

This is the biblical admonition against a woman being ordained to the role of pastor in the church. While passages such as Titus 2:3–5 encourage women to live godly lives and to mentor and teach other women, Scripture is clear in its call for the role of pastor to be held by a man who has met the biblical qualifications. Though women are equally gifted and important to the vitality of a church, God is clear that they may not hold any authoritative position over the men of the church. The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) agrees with this biblical standard. This 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. Saddleback Church in Southern California is officially registered with the Southern Baptist Convention.

It seems odd, then, that this large SBC church would continue to blatantly defy the clear commands of Scripture by continuing to allow women to preach to mixed audiences during weekend services. Will the SBC, as well as the larger body of Christ, continue to remain silent in the face of such blatant disregard for the Word of God?

The invitation of Driscoll to Saddleback also ought not surprise. Last month, Warren was a featured speaker at Driscoll’s 2012 Resurgence conference. Prior to that event, it was noted by Apprising Ministries that Driscoll actually was present at Saddleback to teach at a staff meeting.


As has been noted in the past, there is a new, ecumenical, evangelical magisterium that appears to be forming, and it undoubtedly includes the overwhelming personalities of Warren and Driscoll. With Warren’s obvious influence, then, we wonder: how long will it be before some of these other magisterium members begin to see fit to invite women into their own pulpits? The slope of compromise is a slippery one indeed.

Further Reading
Kay Warren Preaches Sunday Services at Northwood Church in Texas
Saddleback Church Wants You to Know: “God Knows How Great You Are”
Rick Warren Says Annual Campaign Is the “Single Most Important Ingredient” in Saddleback’s Growth

The original appears here.

Further reading