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Andy Stanley criticizes Southern Baptist Convention for ousting Rick Warren’s church

Andy Stanley, pastor of North Point Community Church in Georgia and son of Charles Stanley, is upset with the Southern Baptist Convention. He says the SBC shouldn’t have removed Saddleback Church after it ordained female pastors.

“Last year, his denomination kicked him out of the denomination,” Stanley said, defending Rick Warren. “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. They kicked him out because he had the nerve to ordain three female staff members who were functioning as pastors.”

During the SBC’s annual meeting in 2023, Warren asked 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.Stanley claimed 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,” he said. “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. They were working on his staff./ You don’t get any more insider-focused than that.”

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 closing out his sermon, Stanley also criticized church leaders and Christian influencers who say that if someone is a Democrat or votes Democrat, then they are not a “true Christian.” That is “absolutely absurd,” he said.  He didn’t provide examples of any Christian leaders making that statement causing some to question why he included it in a conversation about Warren.

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice

Image: Stanley: North Point Publishing 4.0

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