FWIW: I have no problem with the TBC ousting FBC Jefferson City, which called a woman to be their pastor. I see no Biblical precedent for women pastors, I see plenty of Biblical admonition against women pastors, and the TBC has the prerogative to decide which churches with which they will associate.
OTOH, I do agree with Deb when she excoriates the SBC for their duplicity: the same SBC that has taken decisive action against churches that recognized gay “marriages”, and called women as pastors, refuses to show similar zeal toward stamping out child molesters and other predators from their ranks.
If the SBC would show the same sense of urgency about ridding their churches of pedophiles–and forcing churches to recognize their “family jewels”–the Church would be a safer place for women and children.
And no, this is not a “church autonomy” issue. Issues of autonomy do not include things that ought to be fundamental. After all, if a congregation denies the Deity of Jesus, I hope we all would consider that grounds for expulsion.
A church, for example, is free to determine the way in which they deal with immorality that becomes known. Whether they excommunicate an adulterer, or put him (or her) under discipline as he or she demonstrates repentance, it’s a judgment call. But what they cannot do is call immorality a good thing or ignore it altogether.
This is why churches that have decided to recognize gay “marriage” were given the left foot of disfellowship.
The problem, however, is that the SBC has done exactly that: ignored obvious immorality. After all, when the SBC decides to form a committee to investigate the sexual abuse epidemic in their ranks, but then refuses to fund the committee charged with that investigation, that is tantamount to ignoring obvious immorality.
To be fair, this is not just an SBC issue; this dynamic has been prevalent in other evangelical, particularly neoCal, circles.
But the SBC has the golden opportunity–I would suggest a golden imperative–to lead the way on this.
So far, their response doesn’t rise to the level of underwhelming.