The Southern Baptist Convention in New Orleans is not yet concluded, but a few key votes have been taken. The Christian Post reports:
- The moderate Bart Barber has been re-elected as president in spite of the rapidly deteriorating financial position of the denomination because of its mishandling of sexual abuse allegations; and in spite of its overall leftward drift.
- The convention made the first move toward an amendment that bans female pastors; and re-affirmed its removal of Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church over this issue.
These votes were overwhelming. Barber defeated the conservative candidate by a 2-to-1 margin. Approximately 80% voted in favor of requiring male pastors.
How do we reconcile these votes? It appears that conservatives within the convention placed the moderates in a position that made them feel compelled to deliver a biblically conservative outcome. But the vote to require male pastors does not address all the other issues that remain.