Moore Baloney: Russell Moore Redefines True Complementarianism at SBC19

Q: Should a woman teach or preach to men?
A: We can have some different applications sometimes.

The following is an unofficial transcript of a question to Russell Moore at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Russell Moore is president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.

The video is available here.



In a 2007 podcast with 9Marks, you were asked whether women underneath the authority of a pastor could teach or preach to men. You said:

“If the Apostle Paul wanted to say that, he would have said it. Everybody in the churches remain under the authority of the pastor. It doesn’t mean you now have the authority to sin — to go against the creational order. It would be very much akin to a woman saying, ‘I’m going to commit adultery under the headship of my husband. I have my husband’s permission to commit adultery.’ Nor does it allow a woman to do what is forbidden in Scripture, which is to teach and exercise authority over a man.”

Is this still your position on women preaching in the church? Thank you.

Russell Moore:

Well, thank you brother for that question. What I would say to you is this:

I have very strong convictions about biblical complementarity — that God has gifted both men and women for service within the church, and that God has distinctively given callings to men and to women in some specific ways.

Our Baptist Faith and Message confessional document is very clear in terms of our parameters of understanding complementarity there. We have issues on which we all agree, and issues that we need to agree completely in order to cooperate and to have a mission together.

There are lots of other issues where we have a common agreement but we have different ways of applying that at the secondary or at the tertiary level.

I think that the New Testament pattern is to have the Lord’s Supper weekly. I’m not only happy to cooperate with churches that have the Lord’s Supper monthly or quarterly or at other times — I don’t even go to a church that has the Lord’s Supper weekly. And I’m happy to be there.

We can have some different applications sometimes about what our biblical complementarity looks like in some ways, but we are united around the fact that, as our Baptist Faith and Message says: The office of pastor is limited to men.

What I would say to you at this point — and what I would probably say to myself in 2007 — a lot of things I would like to say to myself in 2007— is to say that complementarianism requires complementarity; and that means that we need both men and women serving in every biblically appropriate way.

As a social conservative, I believe that children need both a mother and a father. There are two ways that you can destroy that. One of those ways is to say, “It doesn’t matter whether this is a mother or a father — all you need is a parent.” The other way is to say, “All you need is a mother or all you need is a father.”

We need both fathers and mothers within the church of Jesus Christ, and we live in a denomination where we have firm convictions on biblical complementarity; but we are the denomination that was sending out Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong before women could vote in the United States of America.

The idea that we are listening too much to women in the Southern Baptist Convention is not an idea that makes very much sense to me right now. Instead, I would say, let’s be complementarian and let’s try some true complementarianism, which means empowering men and women to serve under faithfulness to the inerrant word of Jesus Christ.

Video Source for the Transcript



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