Home Muslim religion SBC President Bart Barber defends tweet praising Rick Warren’s advocacy for Muslim religious freedom

SBC President Bart Barber defends tweet praising Rick Warren’s advocacy for Muslim religious freedom

Pastor Bart Barber, candidate for president of the Southern Baptist Convention, speaks during its annual meeting in Anaheim, Calif., Tuesday, June 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Newly elected Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) President Bart Barber defended himself on Twitter over a tweet in which he expressed his gratitude for Pastor Rick Warren. muslim awareness.

“I am grateful for @RickWarrenCourageous advocacy of for full religious freedom for Muslims, notwithstanding our differing views on pastoral complementarism,” Barber tweeted on June 16. “It was a pleasure to meet him this week. #SBC22.”

While some responded positively to the tweet, a number of people reacted negatively, taking Barber’s words as an endorsement of Islam.

Bart Barber begins his presidency of the SBC

At the annual meeting of the SBC in AnaheimCalifornia This Week Bart Barber defeated fellow candidates Tom Ascol, Frank Cox and Robin Hadaway to win the election for SBC President. His tweet’s reference to “different opinions” with Rick Warren alludes to the decision Warren’s church, Saddleback, made in May last year to ordain women and give them the title “Pastor.”

One of the consequences of this decision was that SaddlebackSBC’s status as an SBC church was questioned at the annual meeting. In discussion Tuesday, June 14, some, including Ascol and the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Albert Mohlerpleaded for Saddleback to be excommunicated for violating the Faith and the Baptist Message 2000 (BF&M). The BF&M states, “While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to scripturally qualified men.”

During the debate, the Credentials Committee recommended that a review committee consider how Saddleback’s use of the title “pastor” applies to women on his staff. Hours later, Warren made a surprise appearance, taking seven minutes of a miscellaneous 15-minute commercial slot to read a “love letter” to those in attendance in which he expressed his debt to the SBC for the success of his ministry.

“You’ll never find another Baptist who completely agrees with you on everything,” Warren said, later adding, “But we somehow manage to get along with them. As Western culture grows darker, more evil, more secular, we must decide: are we going to treat each other as allies or adversaries? »

After Warren’s speech, the Credentials Committee announced that it was withdrawing its recommendation to evaluate the Saddleback Church’s use of the title “pastor”, leaving Saddleback in the SBC for the time being. The Credentials Committee will meet throughout this year and may take action on this at a later date.

Bart Barber responds to criticism

Among the negative reactions to Barber’s tweet of appreciation for Warren was one from a user who said, “Americans love lofty ideals whose consequences are lost on them. I don’t think you understand what rampant Islam looks like.

“Celebrating ‘the defense of full religious freedom for Muslims’?” said another. “When did we start celebrating other gods?”

One user commented, “Sir, congratulations on your election victory. How does Mr. Warren’s view of pastoral complementarism fit with the latest BFM?

Yet another asked, “How many other SBC ‘pastors’ (whoever they are) would be given an untethered platform to talk to SBC messengers on the spur of the moment?” To this, Barber replied, “Any of them whose theological fidelity was questioned and whose exclusion from the church was debated. See Robert’s Rules on Trials of Members and on Questions of Privilege.