Organizers of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Pastors’ Conference are facing backlash from some SBC pastors who’ve reportedly threatened to boycott the conference over the inclusion of female teaching pastor and spoken word artist Hosanna Wong in the lineup of featured guests.
Wong is a network associate teaching pastor at the Chula Vista campus of the multisite EastLake Church in San Diego, California.
She is expected to appear at the conference in her capacity as a spoken word artist but some SBC leaders, such as Sam Bunnell, pastor of worship and discipleship at South Reno Baptist in Nevada, have raised concerns about her planned appearance at the pastors’ conference on June 7-8 in advice of the SBC’s Annual Meeting that same week in Orlando, Florida.
“The last thing I want to do is sow discord in the body of Christ. And I do not believe I’m doing so. I must, however, question @PastorDavidUth on @SBCPastorsConf including @waynecordeiro & Hosanna Wong. This does not represent the majority of the SBC. We will fight for right,” Bunnell noted in a statement on Twitter.
Dwight McKissic, senior pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas, was quick to point out, however, that: “A ‘teaching pastor’ is not the lead pastor. If Phoebe could be entrusted to deliver the Roman epistle to the church at Rome, & the church be told to ‘receive her in the Lord…and assist her,’ …then the pastors conference can receive Hosanna Wong. Churches are autonomous.”
Michael Frost, a missiologist and theologian who founded the Tinsley Institute at Morling College in Australia asked his nearly 9,000 followers on Twitter to pray for Wong as he outlined efforts by objecting pastors to get Wong removed from the lineup.
“This is Hosanna Wong, the teaching pastor at EastLake Church. She was invited to speak at the SBC’s Pastors’ Conference, but SBC pastors have written a letter of protest, demanding that she repent, and threatening to withhold all funding until she is disinvited. Pray for her,” he said.
Frost also noted in a similar message to his more than 17,000 followers on Facebook that the pastors planned to organize a boycott of the event if Wong isn’t disinvited and it set off a firestorm of comments with many objecting to the negative reaction to Wong.
David Clemons, an instructor at Howard Payne University in Brownwood, Texas, argued, however, that the objecting pastors are acting on a valid interpretation of Scripture.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair