Letter to the Editor
Nov. 7, 2022
Right now, an amazing opportunity lies before the Southern Baptist Convention. We all know the polarization in our country is at an all-time high, which gives us the opportunity to show the unity found in Jesus to this broken world.
Our country and our churches desperately need leadership who will unite around the gospel rather than polarize. I believe the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is powerful enough to do this, do you?
There is an amazing opportunity right now for the SBC to bring together what was broken so many years ago. Right now, there isn’t a home for the conservative-moderate. SBC, why not choose to seize this moment? Why allow women in ministry to be such a divisive issue when it doesn’t have to be?
There are many of us who are still trying to figure out the issue of women in pastoral ministry, and I assure you struggling to figure out this issue isn’t a slippery slope for everyone toward what many call “full-blown liberalism.” The Bible is clear that men are supposed to be head of the home. The Bible is also clear on sexual immorality being a sin, but from what I have read, Paul doesn’t seem to be as clear on women in pastoral ministry. We all may never agree on this issue, but we can agree that there are many conservative scholars who have written plenty about this topic who do not dismiss the authority of the Bible. Can’t we agree they have some great points — even if we don’t agree with them? Are we mature enough for that?
I believe there are some things that can simply be left up to the conscience of the local church and this is one of them. We can still agree on the importance of God’s word, the unity of the church (which must include the denomination or we simply don’t need you), the priority of reaching people with the gospel, and discipling them into Christ-like maturity.
SBC leadership, why not take this amazing opportunity to bring together all those moderates who left years ago, rather than polarize everyone? If you need an example of what this could look like, perhaps you can check out what Virginia Baptists have done for all these years. I have never met a more loving group of people who stand on God’s word and intentionally disciple the next generation.
My point is, it can be done. So why not take this opportunity for unity? What we need as pastors is your help in carrying out the Great Commission. We need you to help us with missions, we need your expertise and advice and leadership on reaching the world for Christ. After all, isn’t that the point of us partnering together?
Brian Hoffman, Conway, S.C.