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Georgia Baptists’ Anger over Women Pastors

The Georgia Baptist Convention recently declared the Druid Hills Baptist Church no longer a “cooperating church” because the church has a woman pastor. Mimi and Graham Walker are co-pastors of the church.
 

Congratulations to Mimi for answering God’s call.

 

The Georgia Baptist Convention is guilty of transference. The convention’s messengers are apparently upset and inappropriately blame Mimi and the good people of Druid Hills Baptist Church. If messengers have a beef, they need to direct their anger where it belongs; the messengers should have voted to withdraw fellowship from God.

 

God is the “bad guy” here. Mimi is the Gospel messenger. God is the one who started “the problem” in calling Mimi to pastoral ministry in the first place. Georgia Baptists missed the mark. They should have voted God out!

 

Congratulations to Mimi for staying the course and remaining faithful to her calling. As a called one, Mimi’s responsibility is first to the One who called her into ministry.

 

 

 

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In the face of mounting criticism from the very far right, Mimi has quietly gone about her ministry. Have you read articles written by Mimi where she whines about the criticism she has been facing? I don’t think so. She is a trooper. She served as a Southern Baptist Convention missionary for a dozen years, for heaven’s sake. While others bad-mouth her, she goes about her ministry. Good for her.

 

Congratulations to Mimi for being a reasonable Baptist; there is another kind. I grew up in sweet-spirited Virginia Baptist fundamentalism, and some of that DNA remains in me. But the Georgia Baptist Convention’s actions reveal a small-minded, mean-spirited brand of fundamentalism that is profoundly out-of-touch with the Spirit. While I respect brothers and sisters with very conservative perspectives, at times it is appropriate to call a spade a spade.

 

Mimi is a splendid example of a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The action of the Georgia Baptist Convention is an embarrassment to the larger Christian family.

 

There is no egg on Mimi’s face, but Georgia Baptists need a truck load of paper towels to clean the mess off theirs.

 

Ron Crawford is president of the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond. This column first appeared on his blog.