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Pastor Denounces SBC for Removing Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church
Posted by Temmy
Fri, July 05, 2024 4:43pm




North Point Community Church pastor Andy Stanley criticized the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) for removing Saddleback Church, founded by Rick Warren, from the denomination in 2023 for eliminating women as pastors.

“Last year, his denomination kicked him out of the denomination. For something immoral? No. Something illegal? No. Something that had to do with money? No. Because he’s had some addiction? No. None of that glamorous stuff,” Stanley said of Warren on Sunday in a sermon titled “Broken and Grateful.”

“They kicked him out because he had the nerve to ordain three female staff members who were functioning as pastors,” Stanley continued.

During the SBC’s annual meeting in New Orleans in 2023, Warren, Saddleback Church’s founder and former senior pastor, pleaded with SBC messengers not to vote Saddleback Church out of the denomination. As reported by Church Leaders, he was appealing a ruling of the SBC’s Executive Committee that Saddleback Church was no longer “in friendly cooperation” with the SBC after the church ordained three women in 2021.

On Sunday, Stanley claimed that Warren ordained the women to provide them with the legal benefits a pastor receives.

“They’re doing the work of all the other male pastors,” Stanley continued. So Warren thought, “Well, why in the world would we not make them pastors? They’re pastoring.”

“They weren’t going to go out and lead a church,” Stanley added. “They were working on his staff.”

“You don’t get any more insider-focused than that.”

“Evangelical leaders are prioritizing politics over mission. And the people in their churches are buying it, hook, line, and sinker and globbing on all their political views,” Stanley said.

Moreover, Stanley contended, “They’ve taken Old Covenant terminology, Old Covenant stories, blended it with their politics, and globbed that on to the message and the person of Jesus. And it’s just sick, and they’re prioritizing politics over mission.”

In closing out his sermon, Stanley criticized church leaders and Christian influencers who said that if someone is a Democrat or votes Democrat, then they are not a “true Christian.”

That is “absolutely absurd,” Stanley said. As these church leaders “demonize Democrats, they basically go against one of Jesus’ primary teachings…Instead of loving their enemies, they demonize them.”

SBC President Clint Pressley and Boyce College professor Denny Burk responded to Stanley on social media.

“Andy Stanley claims that the SBC’s removal of Saddleback was due to people putting politics over mission,” Burk wrote. “He calls what we did ‘sick.’”

“He couldn’t be more wrong. We did it because we were putting Scripture over pragmatism. It’s called faithfulness.”

In his post, Pressley wrote, “It’s called faithfulness.”





 

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