Two questions and some comments:
1. This is a bad thing for the SBs?
2. If the SB's views on women in formal leadership are so important, what in the world took him so long?
Having been raised as a Southern Baptist and considering that upbringing to be one of God's major blessings in my life, I recall no lack of leadership influence among the strong women in our church community. The question is formal leadership versus informal leadership, and what that does to a voluntary organization when the rules of the organization require that men only occupy the formal offices. Given what I know about how men can act in voluntary organizations when they compete with strong and intelligent women, the idea of reserving official leadership to men is not a bad strategy.
On the other hand, I don't want to stand in the way of God calling anyone into ministry, whether male or female. I concede that there is scripture that supports the idea that there are roles into which God calls that would discriminate between men and women. (Only women have babies, if you want a metaphor.) There is, however, also scripture that shows God calling special women into plainly male roles, especially when the male leadership fails in its calling - Deborah is my favorite example. So, then, I can support the openness to women of PCUSA (and ECO) to official leadership positions. I just think that women usually have better things to do than serve on Session or Diaconate. (As a matter of fact, I often think I have better things to do - but I think that's the male in me speaking.)
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