A Southern Baptist church in South Carolina is looking for a new senior pastor – a him or a her – to lead the congregation.
In an online ad, First Baptist Church of Allendale promises a competitive salary and lays out the responsibilities of the man, or the woman, the hire.
Christian apologist and author Alex McFarland points out that the SBC is not in the habit of allowing women to lead a congregation.
“Southern Baptists hold to that doctrine scripturally and historically, and I think philosophically,” he says, “and it largely goes back to First Timothy 3:12 that the pastor is to be the husband of one wife.”
Since news of the ad spread, it has now been pulled from the SBC website.A spokesperson for First Baptist tells OneNewsNow the church did not remove the ad and did not know it was taken down.
McFarland tells OneNewsNow the denomination has taken the authority and inerrancy of the scripture very seriously – until recently.
“I'm meeting a number of younger clergy,” he says. “I know they mean well, or I would assume they mean well, but they don't have the commitment to inerrancy that maybe many of their predecessors had."
Although a First Baptist church hiring a female pastor will not end the so-called “conservative resurgence,” which fought and defeated liberal theology within the SBC 30 years ago, McFarland says it is certainly a sign the denomination must decide what it believes about scripture.
“You can believe in female senior pastors if you want,” he says, “but don't try to spin the scriptures and say that that's scriptural or historical. It isn't.”