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Rick Warren Finds Flaws With Both Views of Women in Ministry

Rick Warren Finds Flaws With Both Views of Women in Ministry

In a recent video series, Saddleback Church founding pastor Rick Warren has rejected both prominent schools of thought on women in ministry: complementarianism and egalitarianism.

“There are biblical alternatives to both complementarianism and egalitarianism,” Warren said in part one of the four-part series titled “SBC at the Crossroads.” “And while both of those positions have strengths, they both, in my opinion, have unbiblical weaknesses, and they ignore important Bible verses.

“So actually, I’m neither. I’m neither one of them. I reject them both,” Warren shared.

Warren founded Saddleback Church, a former SBC-affiliated church that recently ordained a handful of women in ministry. The church was kicked out of the SBC due to their conflicting stance on complementarianism, which is the belief that the pastoral office is limited to men.

Warren said that while he was raised with certain “cultural views on women,” after three years of biblical study and exegesis, his personal views shifted.

“It was a difficult journey to have my biases and cultural traditions blown away by the Word of God. But when I was confronted with the truth, I had to humbly repent, no matter what my friends would think of me,” he said.

Warren said Jesus’ confrontation with the Pharisees played a major role in transforming his viewpoint.

“They loved making rules,” Warren explained. “They loved being legalistic. They loved protecting traditions, and they loved judging others, and they came to Jesus, and they said, ‘Lord, why do you break the traditions of the elders?’ And Jesus asks them a question … ‘Why do you break the commands of God for the sake of your traditions?’ Well, that did it for me. That was the thing that pushed me over.”

While Warren says he will further discuss the role of women in the church in the third installment of his series, “New Testament Case for the Ministry of Women,” he also says he “doesn’t expect to change many minds.”

“Honestly, it took me years of Bible study,” he said.

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