#1 Can Southern Baptists Perform Weddings?
Yes, Southern Baptists pastors can officiate marriages of believers of Christianity.
An SBC pastor may not officiate the weddings of:
- Polygamist unions
- Or same-sex marriages
There will typically be a pre-counseling service with the pastor in which the future-newlyweds will determine a religious plan for their future as a married couple.
The rules are dictated on a church-by-church-basis, due to the Southern Baptists’ affinity for autonomy within each denomination and subsect of the greater SBC group. Still, most will require an application to be married within the Church, taking 4-6 months to process.
A popular evangelical pastor, Russell Moore, writes to Southern Baptist Pastors:
“Do not do wedding ceremonies for couples living in sin.”
Figure 1 – Southern Baptist Leaders to Millenials – ‘Get Married Already’
- “But you say, ‘Why does he not?’ Because the LORD was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant.” – Malachi 2:14-15.
- “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” – Genesis 2:24.
- First – and Last- Southern Baptists Ministry for gay marriages? – Alabama Living, Published February 13th, 2015.
#2 Can A Southern Baptists Pastor Become Divorced?
Strongly opposing divorce, it is not recommended or advocated – But divorce is legal within the Southern Baptist Convention church. Being that there is no official policy regarding divorce or separation by the SBC church, this is a concept left up to the discretion of each individual and autonomous Church.
Figure 2 – NYPost – Divorce
As with many Southern Baptists’ notions, there will be believers on either side of the spectrum. Meaning you will experience:
- Those that embrace divorced members into the Church, not caring about one’s past, focused on their future of devotion to the Lord.
- Those that determine a once-divorced couple may not be married in the Church if on their second marriage, finding it inappropriate and sending them to another SBC church to perform the ceremony.
- And everything in between these philosophies. This goes for pastors and non-pastors of the SBC church.
- “The man who hates and divorces his wife,’ says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘does violence to the one he should protect,’ says the LORD Almighty. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful.” … ‘To divorce your wife is to overwhelm her with cruelty,’ says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. – Malachi 2:16.
- Are Divorced Pastors Disqualified? – Published by Southern Equipe – Equip.sbt.edu; By Thomas R. Schreiner, Professor of New Testament Interpretation and Professor of Biblical Theology.
#3 Who Can Baptize Within a Southern Baptist Church?
Leading to the name of the entire denomination, baptisms are of the utmost importance and purity within the Southern Baptist religion.
Seen as the highest state of connection to God while on earth, Baptisms can only be administered by a deacon of the Southern Baptists Church. The only exceptions to this rule if a deacon is absent, include:
- A clergy member or cleric
- Or a parent if they are fully aware of the baptism process
John, The Baptist, was known historically only to baptize people who were adult and circumcised. Infants are not allowed to be baptized because they have not had a chance to display repentance and faith.
Figure 3 – Learn Religions – Southern Baptism
- “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” – Matthew 28:19-20.
- Baptism Sunday – Published by Alabama Baptists State Board of Missions – September 8th, 2019.
#4 Can a Woman Be a Southern Baptist Pastor?
Women in leadership roles of ministers, priests, and pastors is a controversial subject within the larger scope of Christianity. Presently, female pastors are not acceptable within the Southern Baptists denomination, and they are not allowed to be ordained by the SBC church.
There are many reasons utilized in the artillery belt of male counterparts in the Church, using rationals for all-male pastors such as:
- Jesus is a man
- God is a male entity
- Jesus’ twelve apostles were men
- God typically spoke to men, leading to a mostly male-named scriptures
- Men are ‘clearly’ the chosen ones for clairvoyance, connection to God, and divine predisposition
They will also utilize distinctive scriptures that discredit women’s leadership abilities:
- “Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. (35)If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the Church.” – 1 Corinthians 14:33-35.
- “(11)A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. (12) I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man;[b] she must be quiet.” – 1 Timothy 2:11-12.
Figure 4 – Most Southern Baptists Women Would Welcome a Women Pastor – It’s Unlikely to Happen
- “Now Deborah, a prophet, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time. (5) She held court under the Palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites went up to her to have their disputes decided.” – Judges 4:4-5.
- Thousands of Southern Baptist Women Denounce Southern Baptists Leader for Gender-biased Statements – Washington Post, Published May 7th, 2018.
If you are interested in learning about other Religions in the world, then check out this book on World’s Religions on Amazon.