Christian women, Church, Southern Baptist/SBC

Is the SBC’s Tent Big Enough for ALL Marginalized Christian Women?

Originally published June 22, 2018

It started with Paige Patterson’s gobsmackingly horrible and unbiblical advice to an abused wife to return to her husband. Then it was the lurid remarks he made about a teenage girl, with which he regaled a congregation during a sermon. Next came the allegations of his mishandling of two separate sexual assault cases at two different seminaries.

In response to all this turmoil, Beth Moore added to the conversation some vague stories of various unnamed men in Christian circles who had, in her perception, condescended to her or otherwise not treated her as an equal, leaving the impression that there is widespread, systemic misogyny within modern evangelicalism. Jen Wilkin, from a more biblical – yet, troublingly, similarly vague – perspective, joined the chorus, and has been afforded a wider audience for the “they can’t be pastors, natch, but we need more women in church leadership” platform she has been advancing for the past several years. (Which leadership positions or roles? We’re still waiting for Jen to specify.)

And the icing on the cake was SBC pastor, Dwight McKissic, publicly declaring that the way to “heal” all of these woes against Christian women and “right historic patterns of wrong against women” is to elect Beth Moore as president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

So this nebulous idea has been introduced that Christian women are getting the short end of the stick across the board in evangelicalism (specifically in the SBC) and that the way to fix things – all the way from genuine abuse and rape on one end of the spectrum to women whose feelings have been hurt because they’re not seen as equal to pastors on the other end – is to make sure, somehow, that women’s voices are heard and validated.

That’s a pretty “big tent” idea. And if it’s going to be a big tent, there’s room under there for everybody, right? To be consistent, compassionate, and fair, wouldn’t these folks have to make space for the voices of, and give influential positions to, any Christian woman who feels she’s been diminished? Let’s find out.

Allow me to introduce you to a group of Christian women who have been silenced and brushed aside for years, often by the very same people who are now hypocritically crying out that women need to be heard in order to keep them from being marginalized.

I give you discerning, doctrinally sound, often Reformed, Christian women.

We are women who have been subjected to insults, and accusations of heresy and hatred of the lost, because we hold to the doctrines of grace. We are women who have been attacked by pastors, pastors’ wives, women’s ministry leaders, and fellow church members for pointing out the false doctrine of popular women’s “Bible” study materials and merely asking to properly be taught the Word of God in our own churches. We are women who have been shouted down or ruled “out of order” at denominational meetings for asking that our Christian retailers stop selling materials containing false teaching. We are women who have been forced out of our own churches for taking a biblical stand against women preaching to, teaching, or exercising authority over men in the church. We are women who have been called haters, legalistic, divisive, threats to unity, jealous, and all other manner of slander simply for holding to Scripture and refusing to budge from it.

All this mistreatment of women at the hands of Christian celebrities, denominational leaders, pastors and other church leadership, and fellow church members.

Do we qualify as marginalized? We’ve been hurt, and in many cases, sinned against outright. No church discipline. No redress or recourse. Nobody wants to make sure we have a voice or a place of power – quite the opposite, in fact. A lot of us saw our own pastors hand-wringingly share Beth Moore’s detailing of her grievances against Christian men even as they pushed us and our biblical concerns aside.

Everybody feels sorry for Beth Moore. Who will cry for us?

We don’t want much, just a return to what’s biblical.

We want sound doctrine in the church and solid preaching in the pulpit.

We want this nonsense about a female SBC President – especially a false teacher like Beth Moore – to stop. Not only is it not biblical, it’s a patronizing toss of a trinket or pat on the head attempting to dry the tears of fussy little girls, and it won’t work to solve any of the real problems that are going on.

We want false doctrine off the shelves of LifeWay, and for LifeWay, the ERLC, and others in leadership to stop organizing and promoting conferences and other events headlined by people they have already been informed (yea, as seminary trained pastors and leaders, should know without having to be told) are false teachers. Among the many things Jen Wilkin has rightly said is that we need to promote biblical and theological literacy among Christian women. When you go on a diet, the first thing you do is go through your kitchen and throw out all the junk food. You’ll never start eating healthy if you have an endless supply of candy bars in the pantry. The only way to begin to properly train women in Scripture and theology  is by “putting off” false doctrine in order to “put on” sound doctrine.

We want LifeWay to demonstrate that it actually cares about the spiritual health of women by putting its money where its mouth is. Ridding the shelves of false doctrine and the event docket of false teachers is going to cost LifeWay a lot of revenue. Women who want their itching ears scratched will quickly find another source of false teaching to pour their cash into. There’s not a lot of money to be made in encouraging women to study straight from their Bibles, sit faithfully under the teaching of a doctrinally sound pastor, and humbly serve the local church. Are Christian women worth it to you, LifeWay?

We want a strong doctrine of sin and church discipline to be understood and taught by our pastors and denominational leaders. The fact of the matter is that a woman who has been genuinely sinned against by a man who has abused her is in a different category from a woman whose feelings are hurt because she’s been told she can’t teach a co-ed adult Sunday School class. The first woman needs compassionate brothers and sisters in Christ to come alongside her and walk with her as God begins to heal her body and her heart. The abuser needs to be prosecuted to the full and appropriate extent of the law as well as to be placed under church discipline. The second woman is either in sin and rebellion (in which case she may need to be placed under church discipline) or she just hasn’t been taught God’s Word properly and someone needs to disciple her in that area. To put these two women underneath the same “big tent” just because they’ve both experienced some sort of hurt diminishes and confuses their situations and the solutions that would be biblically appropriate for each.

We want pastors and leaders to herald, praise, and validate the biblical role of women in the church. Women should not be taught only the things we cannot do in the church, we must also be taught what we must do in the church – what only women are uniquely and ontologically gifted by God to do. Women need to hear – particularly from the mouths of pastors and denominational leaders – the vital necessity of women discipling other women, women training the church’s children in the Scriptures, women serving in hospitality and mercy ministries, women properly using their administrative gifts, and so much more. Train us to teach. Equip us to serve. Encourage us to use our gifts in obedience to Scripture and for the glory of God.

We want men – from the heads of our denominations to the newly saved sinner in the pew – to step up and be godly men. We desperately need you to biblically and fearlessly lead the church. Don’t be afraid to stand up and put your foot down squarely on Scripture. Even if it makes you unpopular. Even if it rocks the boat at church. Even if people leave and never come back. As godly women, we can’t do our job if you’re not doing yours.

So how about it, brothers and sisters who are crying out for Christian women to be heard? Do doctrinally sound women get a seat at the table? Do we get to be heard? Will anything be done to correct the mistreatment we’ve received?

Do doctrinally sound women get a seat at the table? Do we get to be heard? Will anything be done to correct the mistreatment we’ve received?

Or are there only certain women you want to hear from? Women who fit the popular social narrative. Women the world and most of the church will applaud you for listening to. Solutions that do more to glorify people than to glorify God.

Just how big is that tent…really?

Complementarianism, Movies, Southern Baptist/SBC

Movie Tuesday: Battle for the Minds

Originally published May 21, 2019

Ladies- did you read yesterday’s Mailbag article, Counter Arguments to Egalitarianism? If not, I would encourage you to read it before watching today’s movie. And if you’re new to the complementarian vs. egalitarian kerfuffle, I would encourage you to read, not only that article, but all of the articles in the “Additional Resources” section of that article as well.

Why?

Because today’s Movie Tuesday movie, Battle for the Minds, approaches the issue from the egalitarian perspective, and you need to be sure you’re firmly grounded in the biblical perspective so that “no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.”

Also, today’s movie is kind of like a homework assignment. How would you apply the complementarian apologetics you learned in yesterday’s article as well as your knowledge of Scripture to the egalitarian arguments and pronouncements being made in this movie?

Battle for the Minds was released on PBS in 1997. It presents the egalitarian viewpoint on the stage of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary’s transition from theological liberalism to biblical theological conservatism under the then-new leadership of Dr. Albert Mohler, and delves into a bit of the Conservative Resurgence in the Southern Baptist Convention around that time as well. (As an aside, I am not familiar with any of the people in the film presented as being on the egalitarian side except for Anne Graham Lotz. I’m only familiar with a few of those on the complementarian side: Albert Mohler, David Miller, and Paige Patterson.)

If you are Southern Baptist, I strongly encourage you to watch and carefully consider these events from our history in light of the battle we are now facing in the SBC concerning the role of women in the church and in the Convention. Because what Nancy Ammerman says at the 37:04 mark is correct. Since all SBC churches are autonomous, many Southern Baptists only concern themselves with their own churches and don’t trouble themselves to worry about what’s going on at the national level. But when you do this, you fail to take into consideration that what’s going on at the national level trickles down to your local church in the form of what’s being taught to your next pastor or staff member at our seminaries; the authors, musicians, and other content creators being sold (and not being sold) at LifeWay; the theology in the Sunday School and VBS curriculum your church uses, etc. It also affects the theology and ecclesiology our IMB and NAMB missionaries and church planters use and teach. And finally, the leadership and issues at the national level are the face the Southern Baptist Convention presents to the world.

But even if you’re not Southern Baptist, you will probably still find this movie informative to the way your own church or denomination is responding to the issue of the biblical role of women in the church.

A couple of things to be on the lookout for, and give consideration to, as you watch Battle for the Minds:

•Notice the amount of Scripture presented in the movie. Is any Scripture presented that backs up the egalitarian view? Is egalitarianism vs. complementarianism presented as a biblical and spiritual issue or an “our position vs. their position” issue?

•Note the sex of each person on the egalitarian side and the sex of each person on the complementarian side. Are any complementarian women presented? Do you think there were absolutely no women on the complementarian side of the issue when these events were transpiring? Do you see how the exclusion of complementarian women in this film gives the subtle illusion that a) all women are egalitarian, and b) the reason men are complementarian is because they’re sexist and trying to protect their power and position – the same argument people like Beth Moore are attempting to make today? Do you think it was sexist to exclude women from the complementarian side?

Mailbag, Southern Baptist/SBC

The Mailbag: When is it time to leave the SBC?

Originally published June 14, 2021

In the past, I’ve received some responses/comments on this issue from Christians who seem very angry that anybody is still in the SBC. While I share your righteous anger at the sin being committed in the SBC (and at those committing it), please don’t let your anger spill over onto your brothers and sisters who are still attempting to navigate this situation in a godly way in the context of their own families and local churches. Extend grace and patience and trust God to work in their hearts His way and in His timing.

At what point does one leave the SBC? I know there are other doctrinally sound churches where one could worship. When would “guilt by association” turn into a stumbling block for others?

How will you be handling the possible debacle with the SBC? We are so torn about this situation. Any advice or words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.

These are just a couple of the “Should I stay or should I go?” questions and comments I’ve received about the current state of the Southern Baptist Convention.

There’s no denying there are, and have been for decades, serious problems in the SBC, mainly at the national leadership level. If you’re a regular reader of my blog, over the past several weeks, you’ve been reading about those problems, both old and new.

How do you know when it’s time to stand and fight to correct the problems, and when it’s time to declare it a total loss and walk away? How long until staying in the trenches, pleading with the SBC to repent becomes, functionally, being unequally yoked with unbelievers, when it becomes apparent they have no intention of repenting and we refuse to break fellowship with them? Indeed, how can we know when or whether it’s time to leave any church or denomination with such seemingly insurmountable biblical problems?

I don’t know.

But I can tell you there’s Biblical support for both staying (for now) and leaving. As Ecclesiastes might say, “A time to contend for the faith, and a time to shake the dust off your feet and leave.”

In the Old Testament, we see God bearing with Pharaoh’s stiff-necked rebellion through ten plagues. We see Him patiently calling Israel out of idolatry for hundreds of years.

But He did destroy Pharaoh and his army at the end of those ten plagues. And He did eventually send Israel into exile when the time for His forbearance came to an end.

But we also see Jesus leaving the ninety-nine and pursuing the one sheep that went astray. We see the father of the prodigal watching and waiting for his son’s return.

Jesus brought that sheep back. And the prodigal did return in repentance.

God knew whether and when they would all come back, and how long to persist with each. How can we?

The only way to know is to ask Him. This is something every individual Southern Baptist, every Southern Baptist family, and every Southern Baptist church needs to be praying about, asking God for wisdom to know what to do and when the time is right.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

James 1:5

And the answer is probably going to look different between different churches, different members of the same church, even different members of the same family.

And that’s OK. Already, some godly churches, families, and individuals have cut ties with the SBC. And that doesn’t mean they didn’t have enough faith or enough patience. Some godly churches, families, and individuals have determined to stick it out until things turn around or until the bitter end, whatever form that may take. And that doesn’t mean they’re compromising or naive.

God works in different ways in different hearts and circumstances because He created us as unique people and placed us in varying situations. He does that for His glory and our good. It’s a testament to how big and capable He is and His special care for each of us as His “one of a kind” child.

But, in addition to the privilege of prayer and God’s promise of wisdom, there’s another blessing God has given us in this situation – the blessing of authority and structure.

God has given us a hierarchy of authority in the church and the home that, when followed, pools the wisdom He has imparted to individuals and prevents any one person from bearing the responsibility for making this decision alone.

As an individual, you pray and search the Scriptures earnestly about this issue. If you’re married and your husband is a Believer, the two of you bring your individual convictions to the table, and pray and study on it, and, hopefully, come to a consensus on it (and, if not, you’ll need to submit to your husband’s position), together.

Next, married or not, you, or you and your family will need to find out where your church leadership is on all of this, if you don’t already know. If your pastor and elders haven’t already come together and talked to the church body about staying in or getting out, and why, you’ll need to set up an appointment with whichever one of them is appropriate and ask about their thoughts and position. If the issue of leaving or staying isn’t even on their radar yet, it would be an appropriate time for you and your husband to share your concerns and ask when they might address this issue.

My encouragement to you would be that if you are in a doctrinally sound Southern Baptist church, with trustworthy pastors and elders who are trying to do the right thing, biblically, give strong, prayerful consideration to following their leadership on this issue, even if you don’t see exactly eye to eye with their position.

Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.

Hebrews 13:17

Pray fervently for your pastor and elders about this. Pray for your husband as he seeks to lead your family in a godly direction. If you’re married, submit to your husband’s decision about whether and when to leave. If you’re single, if at all possible, submit to your pastor’s and elders’ decisions about staying or leaving.

There’s not a “one size fits all” solution to this issue. You, as an individual have to seek the Lord and obey Him in your unique situation.

May our gracious Lord give all of us wisdom and humility, and carry us through this difficult time.


If you have a question about: a Bible passage, an aspect of theology, a current issue in Christianity, or how to biblically handle a family, life, or church situation, comment below (I’ll hold all questions in queue {unpublished} for a future edition of The Mailbag) or send me an e-mail or private message. If your question is chosen for publication, your anonymity will be protected.

Church, Southern Baptist/SBC

10 Things I Wish Southern Baptists Knew About Southern Baptists

Originally published June 26, 2015

Some things have changed in the SBC, at LifeWay, the ERLC, etc., since this article was originally written in 2015 (see footnotes), however the bulk of what is mentioned here is still relevant. It also helps us see just how longstanding and pernicious many of these problems are.

Earlier this week, Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission3 published a nifty little article called “10 Things I Wish Everyone Knew About Southern Baptists“. Although I disagree with Dr. Moore on a number of things, I thought the article was pretty good, overall.

But it got me thinking. Yes, there is a lot of ignorance about Southern Baptists out there among those who aren’t part of our denomination. However, there’s also a lot of ignorance inside the SBC about what’s really going on in our denomination, our doctrine, practices, leadership, and so on. These are ten SBC realities I wish the average Southern Baptist church member were more aware of.

1. LifeWay sells lies and heresy, and they don’t want you to know.
Now I’m not saying everything they sell is lies and heresy. I’ve bought lots of good doctrinally sound materials from them over the years. However, the fact remains that they continue to sell books and materials from false teachers like T.D. Jakes, Sarah Young, and Andy Stanley on their shelves. They will order books by false teachers like Joyce Meyer and Joel Osteen for you if you just ask at the counter.¹ They continued to sell The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven (a book recounting Alex Malarkey’s supposed trip to Heaven after a car accident) for nearly a year even after Alex, his mother, Beth, and respected SBC pastor, speaker, and author Justin Peters repeatedly told LifeWay leadership that the story was a lie. Emails and phone calls about heretical materials at LifeWay are either ignored or the caller placated (I know this from first hand experience). Questions from the floor at the Southern Baptist Convention about LifeWay carrying false doctrine are quashed.

This entity of your denomination which purports to love and serve the Lord Jesus Christ is selling lies about Him to make a fast buck, and they need to stop.

2. There are plenty of apostate Southern Baptist churches, and we have no mechanism in place for kicking them out of the SBC.
This is a verbatim quote from the FAQ section (5th question from the top) of the SBC’s web site:²

“According to our constitution, if a church no longer makes a bona fide contribution to the Convention’s work, or if it acts to ‘affirm, approve, or endorse homosexual behavior,’ it no longer complies with the Constitution of the Southern Baptist Convention and is not permitted to send messengers to the annual meeting. These, however, are the only explicitly stated instances in which the SBC has the prerogative to take action.”

What does that mean? As long as your church doesn’t affirm homosexuality and gives to the Cooperative Program, you’re in. Never mind if your pastor twists God’s word until it’s unrecognizable. Or lets women and false teachers get behind the pulpit like Steven Furtick does. Or plays AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell” on Easter Sunday and says he probably wouldn’t have strippers on stage like Perry Noble does. Or any of the other ridiculous and blasphemous shenanigans so many of the seeker sensitive types in our denomination pull. Nope, as long as you give your money and stand on the right side of homosexuality, you’re good to go.

3. Beth Moore is a false teacher.
That’s right, the queen of SBC3 women’s Bible study, divangelista Beth Moore, does not rightly handle God’s word, partners with false teachers, and violates Scripture by preaching to men, among other things. And Priscilla Shirer is right there with her.

4. Having a small church isn’t a sin and it doesn’t necessarily mean your pastor (or your church) isn’t trying hard enough.
The average church size in America is 186 members, and 94% of church goers attend a church of 500 or fewer people, yet the constant drumbeat of SBC leadership is “bigger is better.” Countless articles harangue exhausted pastors about breaking the 200 or 250 or 300 member attendance “barrier.”

Listen, if your pastor is faithfully preaching and rightly handling God’s word and your church members are serving one another and carrying out the Great Commission in their daily lives, that’s what counts in God’s eyes, not how many butts are in a pew.

5. The Bible doesn’t require you to tithe, and neither should your church.
The tithe is part of the Old Testament law that Christians today are no longer bound by because we are under the covenant of grace, not the Mosaic covenant. Christians are to gladly give the amount we determine in our own hearts to give out of love for our Savior and a desire to serve Him- not under compulsion from someone else.

6. The “sinner’s prayer” won’t save you.
If you think you’re saved because you parroted a prayer someone led you in when you were five but your life shows no love of Christ and no evidence that you belong to Him, then your faith is in the prayer you prayed, not in Christ, and you are not saved. The evidence that you’re a Christian is that you love the Lord, and are growing in holiness, not that you once repeated a prayer (or that you were baptized, attend church regularly, are a “good person,” etc.) Examine yourself to see if you’re really in the faith.

7. Your church probably has a significant number of lost people in it.
Jesus Himself said, there are few who find eternal life and that there are many who call Him “Lord” whom He does not know and will turn away on the Day of Judgment. This is why it is absolutely imperative that pastors, Sunday School teachers, and all other church leaders know the gospel inside out and teach it incessantly, even to people who claim to know Christ.

8. Lots of Southern Baptist churches violate 1 Timothy 2:12ff.
We do fairly well at not permitting women to serve as pastors, but beyond that there are plenty of churches and pastors who sin by allowing women to serve in positions in the church that are restricted to men. Do women in your church preach the Sunday sermon or teach co-ed Sunday School classes? Do they head up committees or ministries that put them in authority over men? Do they, as worship leaders or in some other capacity, stand before the congregation and instruct or exhort them? Then your church is in sin.

9. Politics won’t save America.
This country is imploding. You don’t have to be a prophet to see that. Voting according to biblical principles, running for office, working through the system to right wrongs, signing petitions, and other political activity is fine, but don’t put your eggs in those baskets. The Titanic has hit the ice berg, and Christians in this country will soon be facing real persecution like we see overseas. We need to rescue the perishing with the gospel. It can’t be done with the White House or the state house. When is the last time you shared the gospel with someone?

10. Jesus wins.
Things are bad and getting worse. In our world, in our country, in our denomination, in our churches. But the good news of Scripture for all people is that, in the end, Jesus is coming back for His bride. He will conquer evil and those of us who truly belong to Him will spend eternity with Him. This world is not all there is. Jesus wins.


¹It is possible LifeWay has changed this policy. I called my local LifeWay last week (Jan. 2017) and asked them to order a Joyce Meyer book and a Joel Osteen book. I was told the store could not order books by either of these authors. I applaud LifeWay for this step in the right direction.

²As of 2019, this verbiage has been removed from the FAQ section of the SBC website. Conceptually similar language can be found here (see Article III: Composition).

3Russell Moore and Beth Moore (no, they’re not related) both left the SBC in 2021.

Southern Baptist/SBC

What’s Going On in the Southern Baptist Convention?

This article was last updated on April 29. Today’s (May 5) updates include:

May:

  • The ineptitude or sabotage (it’s unclear which) of Baptist Press’ interview with Tom Ascol
  • The video of the SBC presidential candidate forum

I’m still collecting proposed resolutions for SBC 2022. I invite anyone submitting a resolution to send it to me for inclusion in this article. (More under “April”)

The 2021 annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention opened the eyes of a lot of Southern Baptists to the sin and corruption infecting our cooperative of churches.

The foremost question on the minds of many doctrinally sound and discerning Southern Baptist pastors and church members is whether or not the SBC is too corrupt to be saved. “Should we shake the dust off our feet and leave the SBC, or should we stay in and fight for fidelity to Scripture?”

If you and your church are choosing to stay in and fight, it is crucial that you be well-informed enough on the issues and the candidates to vote biblically when you attend the 2022 annual meeting in Anaheim. And that also means you’re going to need to know your Bible well enough to vote biblically on those issues.

Because what really hurt doctrinally sound Southern Baptists at the 2021 meeting (and previous years’ meetings) was not just those who were consciously pushing an unbiblical, liberal agenda, it was also the messengers who were ignorant of the issues and the candidates, and just voted according to whatever sounded good on the surface, or just blindly trusted whoever was on stage at the moment.

Representing your church (and millions of other Southern Baptists) as a messenger at the annual meeting is a grave responsibility and it should be treated as such. You’ve got to get informed. Your church and pastor have to get informed. The other churches in your association, and your associational leadership have to get informed.

That’s where this article comes in.

I know it’s hard to keep up with the issues when you’ve got a life you’re trying to live and responsibilities you’re trying to take care of. I want to try to make staying informed a little easier for you, your church, and your association, so please share this around.

This article (initially published in the summer of 2021 and subsequently updated) is a timeline of significant events in the SBC at the national level starting with the 2021 annual meeting and moving forward from there. I’ve tried to keep things brief, so you may need to take what you see here and do some more digging on your own if you want an in depth look at a particular issue.

I’ve also posted a few “Points of Order,” things that aren’t really a current event, but more along the lines of SBC polity or information you might need.

If you think I’ve left out something significant (I’m trying not to get bogged down in too much minutiae), please leave a comment and a link, if possible.

Acronyms you need to know:

  • SBC: Southern Baptist Convention
  • BFM: Baptist Faith and Message
  • IMB: International Mission Board
  • NAMB: North American Mission Board
  • EC: Executive Committee
  • GCR: Great Commission Resurgance
  • ACP: Attorney-Client Privilege
  • SATF: Sexual Abuse Task Force
  • SWBTS: Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • SEBTS: Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • CRT: Critical Race Theory

The 2021 Annual Meeting

For a recap of the major decisions and happenings of the 2021 annual meeting, please read my article: SBC21: Aftermath, Thoughts, and Where Do We Go From Here? There are lots of informative links at the end of the article in the “Additional Resources” section.


June 2021

Point of Order: Financial Contributions

If you’re staying in the SBC, you might be concerned about your offerings being sent to the Cooperative Program to fund SBC entities which are operating unbiblically. This is a dilemma for doctrinally sound churches and individuals, because, until fairly recently, making a financial contribution to the SBC at the national level was a requirement for being “in friendly cooperation with the SBC.”

So how do we stay in the SBC to fight ungodliness by sending messengers to the annual meeting, yet maintain our financial contribution without funding ungodliness? [Now former – see “October” below] Executive Committee member Rod Martin explains:

I have been repeatedly asked how the formula works that determines how many messengers an SBC church may send to the Annual Meeting. Here’s the deal:

  1. Under the recent constitutional amendment, every church now gets two messengers whether they give or not. Previously you had to give a minimum amount to get any messengers at all.
  2. The previous maximum number of messengers was 10. That number is now 12.
  3. You can get one additional messenger (up to the maximum) for every percentage point of additional giving out of undesignated receipts. That’s fair for every church: if you’re giving 5%, you get five more messengers. If you’re giving 10%, you get ten more messengers. The dollar amount doesn’t come into play.
  4. That said, and I very much disagree with this, you can also get one additional messenger (up to the maximum) for each $6,000 in giving. That means megachurches can have 12 messengers by giving next to nothing as a percentage of their budgets. I think that was a big mistake. But the vast majority of SBC churches are small, so they greatly outnumber those churches, and also, the 12 messenger cap greatly limits the power of those giant churches on the floor.
  5. The “giving” I just described can be through the Cooperative Program, but no longer has to be: it can be to any convention entity. So let’s say you wanted to give all of it to Lottie Moon, or give all of it through IMB but designated for certain specific missionaries: you could do that and get all ten additional messengers. There are many other possibilities as well.

    I think this change to our system (which was part of GCR) was a giant mistake, as was GCR generally. However, while I know some people disagree, I don’t think it actually disadvantages smaller churches in practice, and it definitely creates a lot of flexibility for churches to give creatively while also maintaining their maximum possible messenger representation.

You can read the official version of this in the SBC Constitution, Article III.

xxxxx

Trinitarian Heresy on Litton’s Church Website

On June 16, the second day of the 2021 annual meeting, a messenger mentioned in a question from the floor that the “What We Believe” page of the church Ed Litton pastors (Redemption Church in Saraland, Alabama) contained a heretical view of the Trinity called partialism.

Photo courtesy of onenewsnow.com

Quietly, and almost immediately, the heretical wording was deleted from the website, as you can see in the “before and after” screenshots above.

It’s not just that the wording was heretical. Redemption Church’s statement of faith – the core of its identity as a church – was changed without a vote by the church body. Indeed, without even notifying or consulting the church body. How would that go over at your church?

To date, neither Litton nor Redemption Church has offered any official explanation regarding why a multi-SBC seminary degreed pastor would lead his church to codify a heretical statement of faith in the first place, nor how that statement of faith was able to be altered without input or permission from the church, nor why it took outside publicity to spur the change.

Unofficially, the explanation some claim Litton has given is that the original heretical wording was some sort of typographical error by the person who typed it into the website. (I want to stress that this is hearsay.)

HERESY? SBC President Ed Litton’s church holds potentially heretical view of Trinity at Capstone Report

A check reveals a change – which deserves an answer at One News Now


The Plagiarism Fiasco

About a week after the convention ended, starting during the week of June 20:

A side by side video surfaced of Ed Litton (Jan. 2020) and J.D. Greear (Jan. 2019) preaching the same (Greear’s) sermon on Romans 1.

The sermon was Greear’s infamous “The Bible whispers about sexual sin” sermon, so there was not only the plagiarism aspect, but, just as when Greear originally preached it, there was outrage over the bad theology contained in the sermon itself.

Greear and Litton each issued statements explaining, justifying, and excusing the plagiarism.

Litton removed 143 sermons from his church’s website and YouTube, leading most to surmise that these sermons probably also contained plagiarism, due to his explanation of his “sermon by committee” paradigm explained in his statement.

The secular news media began reporting on all of this.

Justin Peters posted a very thorough video biblically explaining and providing documentation for all of this:

Greear and Litton: Plagiarism and Sin in the SBC | Justin Peters | June 28, 2021

Almost immediately, three more side by side sermon comparison videos of Litton and Greear surfaced showing even further plagiarism by Litton. Romans 8 sermon Romans 13 sermon* Romans 14 sermon* (The Justin Peters video above includes the Romans 1 sermon side by side video.)

*I am citing Reformation Charlotte for the purpose of these videos only. It is not a site I endorse.

Somewhat simultaneously, some of Litton’s scrubbed sermon videos begin reappearing on his church’s website and YouTube, and both he (in an interview with the Washington Times) and the leadership of his church (in a statement obtained by Baptist Press) issued statements about why the videos had been removed in the first place. The reasons given by Litton and his church leadership did not match.

For another timeline of these events with additional links, click here.

Further examples of Litton’s sermon plagiarism, some instances going back years, continue to surface.

The Ed Litton Sermon Plagiarism Scandal by Gabriel Hughes


Point of Order: Removing a sitting SBC President

With all the outcry against current SBC president, Ed Litton, and calls for his resignation, you might be surprised to learn that there is no mechanism in place for removing a sitting SBC president. For the office of president to be vacated, he has to resign, die, or be incapacitated.

The only official governing statement about replacing a sitting SBC president is this sentence from Article V of the SBC Constitution:

In case of death or disability of the president, the vice presidents shall automatically succeed to the office of president in the order of their election.

Maybe plagiarism and heresy don’t seem like that big of a deal to you. What’s going to happen when a sitting president commits adultery, steals SBC funds, comes out of the closet as a homosexual or transgender, or is discovered to be a child molester, and refuses to resign?

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July 2021

EC SATF Named

Prior to the 2021 convention, allegations were made that the Executive Committee mishandled some charges of sexual abuse by SBC pastors / at SBC churches, which the EC vehemently denied. At the convention, a motion was made that President Ed Litton appoint a task force to investigate these allegations. That task force was named on July 9:

Litton names task force to oversee third-party review of SBC Executive Committee at Baptist Press

The purpose of the task force is to objectively examine whether the EC handled these charges of sexual abuse fairly and appropriately with regard to recommending whether or not the church should be disfellowshiped from the SBC.

You’ll notice many of the members and advisors work or volunteer in the field of victim advocacy. While it is good to have people with experience on the task force, that has to be balanced with their ability to be objective if this is to truly be an independent review.

For example, Rachael Denhollander has been a polarizing figure in victim advocacy because she has a reputation for never having met an accusation of abuse she didn’t believe, or “having an ax to grind” when it comes to allegations of abuse. If anything, she has a reputation for being biased in favor of alleged victims and unable to objectively assess when false charges have been levied.

When someone (such as some of the members of this task force) has made victim advocacy his career or life’s mission, that person is heavily invested in one side of the issue. It raises the question, “How objective can some of these task force members/advisors be?”.

You can read about the SATF’s progress and work at Task Force Updates.


Litton’s Lies
(Week ending July 10, 2021)

I’m sorry, but there’s just no polite way to say this, and sometimes you have to call a spade a spade. Ed Litton has been caught in two obvious, public lies about the plagiarism fiasco and his wife co-preaching with him.

Kathy’s Co-Preaching:

This is an issue that came up prior to the 2021 convention so it is not included in this article, but I referred to it in this pre-convention article regarding Ed Litton’s wife Kathy:

This man who wants to be at the helm of your entire denomination, violates Scripture by allowing Kathy to “co-preach” the Sunday sermon at their Southern Baptist church here, and here, and several more sermons can be found at their church’s website.

If you try to click on the links above you’ll notice two of them yield no results. That’s because once Ed Litton was publicly taken to task for allowing his wife to preach, he deleted the sermon videos, which is covering up sin, rather than biblically repenting of it.

When first questioned about allowing his wife to preach, Litton explained that this was because it was a sermon series on marriage and family and he wanted Kathy to provide her perspective. (Scripture doesn’t allow for this, but some accepted this justification.)

It has now been discovered that Litton had Kathy co-preach at least one other sermon series in 2013 which had nothing to do with marriage and family.

Litton co-preached with wife far more extensively than previously known at Capstone Report

(If you’re unclear about why this is a violation of Scripture, please click here, here, and here to read up.)

Plagiarism (see “June” above):

In a news interview with his local CBS affiliate, Litton clearly says the allegations of plagiarism came from “unnamed sources”.

(See 2:40 for the “unnamed sources” segment.)

This is patently untrue. Many SBC pastors and others have publicly sounded the alarm about the plagiarism issue, and all the ones I’m aware of have used their real names.

Ed Litton is an unrepentant liar and this interview proves it at Capstone Report

September 2021

SWBTS/Greenway Provide Cover
for Litton’s Non-Repentance

On September 14, during SWBTS’ chapel service, seminary president Adam Greenway interviewed Ed Litton on a variety of topics, first – and most notably – the plagiarism scandal (3:50). Once again, Litton finessed instead of repenting.

You can tell where Greenway stands as he prefaces his question to Litton by disparagingly referring to the “snark” he received from “anonymous social media accounts” when he announced that Litton had been invited. (“Anonymous”? What I saw when I commented on his Twitter announcement was, I’d estimate, well over 90% non-anonymous, concerned, yet frustrated Southern Baptists wanting the plagiarism issue addressed, and for Litton to resign.)

And, of course, you’ll notice that Litton doesn’t repent over this sin, and even characterizes those who exposed his sin as meaning evil against him in the Genesis 50:20 sense. (More here.)

A Conversation with Ed Litton – #SWBTSChapel | September 14, 2021

October 2021

EC Waives ACP

“In a 44-31 vote Tuesday, Oct. 5, the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee (SBC EC) opted to waive attorney-client privilege in connection with a third-party investigation of itself [see “July” above]. Ahead of the special called meeting, six committee members resigned, and Chairman Rolland Slade noted during the meeting an expectation that other resignations may soon follow with the passage of the widely-debated waiver of attorney-client privilege.”SBC Executive Committee votes to waive attorney-client privilege in sexual abuse investigation at Conservative Baptist Network

Waiving ACP was not necessary in order for Guidepost Solutions (the firm retained by the SATF to investigate allegations of mishandling of abuse cases by the EC) or the SATF to investigate allegations of the EC’s mishandling of abuse cases. It put the SBC in jeopardy of losing its legal representation and insurance coverage, and left individual EC members vulnerable to lawsuits (thus, the aforementioned resignations). And since any compensation paid to abuse victims would have been covered by the insurance policy, it was a very foolish decision indeed.


Multiple EC Resignations

As a result of the EC voting to waive ACP, fourteen committee members resigned effective in late September and October – including President Ronnie Floyd and Rod Martin – due to personal legal vulnerability and frustration.

More Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee members resign — new leadership announced at The Christian Post

SBC Executive Committee breaks deadlock to waive privilege, loses 10% of board at The Baptist Paper

On October 11, Guenther, Jordan & Price, the Nashville firm which had provided legal representation for the SBC since 1966, terminated its relationship with the Southern Baptist Convention

The Executive Committee’s board of directors, by a majority vote, has acted to prospectively and preemptively waive the Executive Committee’s attorney-client privilege without knowing the communications affected by the waiver and without knowing the effect it will have on the Executive Committee, the Convention, and those who have served as members or employees of the Executive Committee…For these reasons, we believe our commitment to a certain standard of professional conduct leaves us no
choice but to advise you that we are withdrawing from our role as general counsel to the Southern Baptist Convention and the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Guenther, Jordan & Price resignation letter

SBC legal team resigns after vote to waive attorney-client privilege in sex abuse investigation at The Christian Post

On October 28, the EC trustees met and retained Bradley Legal to provide legal services on an interim basis. (See “February” below for more information on Bradley Legal.)

November 2021

A Discussion of the Issues

On November 19, the Conservative Baptist Network hosted a panel discussion centering on problematic issues in the SBC. Led by SBC First Vice President, Dr. Lee Brand, participants included (L-R: Randy Adams, Tom Ascol, Russell Fuller, Rod Martin, and Allen Nelson)

There was a problem with the audio the night of the recording that caused the first 10-12 minutes of the video’s volume to be extremely low. It clears up after that.

UnMerritted Praise

On November 22, James Merritt – multi-seminary degreed pastor of Cross Point church (SBC) in Duluth, Georgia, former SBC president, chair of the 2021 Resolutions Committee, former chair of the EC, former president of the SBC Pastors’ Conference, visiting professor at SEBTS, etc. – posted this tweet regarding his son Jonathan’s sermon at his (Jonathan’s) “church” the day before. Jonathan is openly homosexual, and his “church” is homosexuality affirming, egalitarian, and universalist, among other anti-biblical beliefs:

Obviously, it should go without saying (especially to someone as biblically knowledgeable as a pastor, former SBC president, and SBC seminary professor should be) that a practicing homosexual is not saved and has, therefore, rejected the gospel. How could any sermon he preached be “faithful to the gospel”?

STATEMENT: Promoting homosexual preachers is not loving, biblical, or Baptist at Conservative Baptist Network

Naturally, his appalling statement received pushback from biblically faithful Christians, and James Merritt once again showed his baser nature by lashing out at those taking him to task.

James Merritt defends gay son’s preaching by attacking Trump supporters at Capstone Report

Homosexuality, Universalism, The Gospel, and the SBC | Justin Peters | November 28, 2021

A Gospel Without Merit by Gabriel Hughes

Likely facing pressure behind the scenes, James Merritt resigned his position as visiting professor at SEBTS (but not his pastorate). For this, he was practically lauded as a hero by SEBTS president Danny Akin

…and by Vance Pittman, president of Send Network (NAMB’s church planting division):

Send Network, SEBTS, and Salvation by Merritt by Allen Nelson

December 2021

BinderGate

Someone gave reporter Liam Adams of the Tennesseean James Merritt’s binder from his tenure as 2021 Resolutions Committee chair. The binder contained private emails between Tom Ascol and James Merritt as well as other confidential Resolutions Committee communications and information, some of which was used in an article Adams wrote.

Bindergate: An Appeal for Honesty and Integrity in the SBC by Tom Ascol

February 2022

Is the SBC Moving Toward Affirming Homosexuality?

In this video, Justin Peters examines four incidents in recent SBC history that seem to demonstrate a gradual progression toward affirming homosexuality. Two of the incidents took place at First Baptist Church Orlando, pastored by David Uth (president of the 2020 Pastors’ Conference who was roundly criticized for inviting false teachers and a female “pastor” as speakers), one incident involved James Merritt, and another involved former SBC President J.D. Greear.

FBC Orlando’s Shocking Capitulation | Justin Peters | February 15, 2022


A Pride Full Firm

Following a tweet by pastor and EC member Adam Wyatt singing the praises of new interim legal team Bradley Legal, questions began to be raised about the many ties the firm has to the homosexual and woke agendas. From sponsoring Nashville Pride to a glowing report on Bradley’s “inclusivity” from the Human Rights Campaign, Bradley is proud of its “diversity”.

A Different Kind of Nashville Statement: New SBC Lawyers Full of Gay Pride at Servants and Heralds


Coming to Terms

On February 28, in the middle of a self-aggrandizing video noting his past and anticipated accomplishments, and breaking with decades of tradition, Ed Litton briefly announced he would not seek or accept a second term as president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Dr. Ed Litton addresses the SBC | Redemption Church | February 28, 2022

Ed Litton says he won’t seek reelection as SBC president, prompts mixed reactions at The Christian Post


Point of Order: The SBC President’s Term of Office

“The officers shall be elected annually and shall hold office until their successors are elected and qualified. The term of office for the president is limited to two (2) years, and a president shall not be eligible for re-election until as much as one (1) year has elapsed from the time a successor is named.” The Constitution of the Southern Baptist Convention, Article V, Point 2

In plain English: There is an election for SBC president (and other officers) every year at the SBC annual meeting, which means we could elect a new president every single year. However, the SBC Constitution allows the president to serve two consecutive one-year terms, and, in recent history, most SBC presidents and messengers have taken the Constitution up on that offer. The last single-term president was Adrian Rogers, who (though later elected to two consecutive terms in the mid-1980’s) served from 1979 to 1980, 43 years ago.

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March 2022

Willy Run?

March 1, one day after Ed Litton announced he would not seek re-election for a second term as SBC president (see “February” above), Willy Rice, pastor of Calvary Church in Clearwater, Florida, announced that he would be nominated for SBC president at the annual meeting in June. (See “April” below)

Fla. Pastor Willy Rice to be nominated for SBC president, says ‘faith family’ is all he’s ever known at The Christian Post

Calvary follows the multi-site model with three locations in Florida. They also have an “online campus” which they seem to equate with the three physical locations. Though there’s nothing wrong with a church live streaming its worship service, leading people to believe that watching a video of a worship service is equal to being a faithful member of a local church and physically gathering with that church body for worship and fellowship is an unbiblical ecclesiology. The Greek word for “church” in the New Testament is ἐκκλησία, or ekklesia. It literally means a gathering or assembly. No gathering, no church. The Bible commands and assumes that we physically gather as the church.

Calvary will be hosting the LifeWay Women Live Simulcast which features Jackie Hill Perry, Jen Wilkin, Jada Edwards, Jennifer Rothschild, Kelly Minter, and others.

Willy’s wife, Cheryl, is apparently a fan of Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, and Lysa TerKeurst. (Click here for more info.)

Willy Rice on the January 6 Capitol protest, race, and social justice:

Willy Rice Nominated for SBC President | Conversations That Matter | March 4, 2022


Two Good Men to Right the Ship

On March 22, it was announced that Tom Ascol – pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, Florida, and president of Founders Ministries – would be nominated for SBC president, and Voddie Baucham – author, sought after conference speaker, and currently dean of theology at African Christian University in Zambia – for president of the Pastors’ Conference.

Both men have an outstanding record of fidelity to Scripture, biblical ecclesiology, Christian ethics, and sound doctrine. Both have spoken unashamedly against sexual sin, false teachers, Critical Race Theory and racialism, egalitarianism, and the social justice movement. Both are dedicated to the bold proclamation of the mercy and grace of God in the biblical gospel rather than the watered down gospel of seeker sensitive easy believism.

There could be no two better men than these to begin the hard task of turning the SBC back to faithfully believing and obeying God’s Word. If at all possible, my Southern Baptist sisters, I urge you to talk to your pastor about representing your church as a messenger at the SBC annual meeting in Anaheim in June (along with as many other messengers as your church qualifies for) and vote for Tom and Voddie.

Statement from Southern Baptists Nominating Tom Ascol and Voddie Baucham

Southern Baptists Nominate Tom Ascol, Voddie Baucham To Leadership To Combat Woke Drift In Largest Protestant Denomination at The Daily Wire

Why I Am Willing to Be Nominated for SBC President by Tom Ascol

Change the Direction – With SBC Presidential Nominee, Tom Ascol at A Word Fitly Spoken

TS&TT: The Nomination of Tom Ascol for SBC President And The Need To #ChangeTheDirection | Founders Ministries | March 22, 2022

TS&TT: Voddie Baucham | SBC Pastors Conference Presidency and How We #ChangeTheDirection | Founders Ministries | March 29, 2022


The Missionary Candidate

On March 23, a third candidate for the SBC presidency was announced. Former IMB missionary, Robin Hadaway. Hadaway served for many years as a missionary in Africa and South America. Following his time on the mission field he spent twenty years at Midwestern Baptist Theological seminary as a professor of missions and in several different administrative positions. He has also served in various offices and capacities in the Southern Baptist Convention.

Former missionary Robin Hadaway to be nominated for SBC president at Baptist Press


Blackmailing the Bucks

In late March (spilling over into April), a situation began to unfold in which Tom Buck (and his wife, Jennifer), pastor of First Baptist Church, Lindale, Texas, who has battled valiantly against corruption in the SBC, was maligned, lied to, and threatened with blackmail. The situation involved not insignificant figures in SBC life, including SEBTS professor Karen Swallow Prior, SEBTS President Danny Akin, former 2022 SBC presidential nominee Willy Rice, and others.

This is the same type of “dirty tricks” move from the liberal contingent of the SBC we’ve come to expect over the last few years in the weeks immediately preceding the annual meeting, as they attempt to sully the reputations of those on the biblical side of the aisle in an attempt to influence, or even derail, the SBC presidential election.

The story is both heart wrenching and enraging, and provides insight into just how evil and corrupt the SBC has become at the highest levels. The story is somewhat lengthy and involved, and the timeline intricate, but I urge you to peruse the following pertinent documentation:

A Story of Restorative Grace by Jennifer Buck

A Statement Regarding Tom and Jennifer Buck by the elders of First Baptist Church, Lindale, Texas (BNG article referred to but not linked)

The Essential Facts and Concise Timeline of the SEBTS Coverup against Tom and Jennifer Buck: Questions We Should Be Asking at Servants and Heralds

Tom and Jennifer Buck’s Story | Tom Buck | April 22, 2022

April 2022

Willy Run? Apparently Not.

On April 1, potential SBC presidential nominee, Willy Rice (see “March” above) announced that it was about to be made public that a deacon in his church had committed “sexual sin” in his past – prior to his salvation – “that could also be described as abusive” but which did not involve criminal charges. The deacon was removed from his position. (I would like to point out, for clarity, that the 2021 resolution Rice quotes from near the end of the video says that anyone who has committed sexual abuse is permanently disqualified from the office of pastor. The man in question was a deacon, not a pastor.)

Willy Rice blames political rivals for Deacongate at Capstone Report

On April 6 – likely under pressure from “progressive” SBC leadership because he was the progressive candidate, and abuse is a major plank in the progressive platform – Rice announced he was withdrawing his name as a candidate for SBC President.

Willy Rice drops out of SBC Presidential race after Deacongate at Capstone Report


The “Progressive” Candidate

Texas pastor Bart Barber announced as candidate for SBC president at Baptist Press

On April 7, it was announced that pastor Bart Barber would be nominated for president of the SBC. Barber was appointed by current SBC president Ed Litton (see above) as chair of the Resolutions Committee, and will serve in that capacity at the 2022 annual meeting.

Though he may not consider himself progressive, Barber is the candidate most progressives will likely end up voting for, simply because a) he has greater name recognition than Robin Hadaway, and b) they want the least conservative candidate possible to win.

You can read about Barber’s positions on various issues at Bart Barber FAQs on his church’s website. You may find the following sections to be informative:

  • Critical Race Theory– in which Barber says it is problematic there is no agreed upon definition of CRT, yet conducts a Twitter poll (which any marginal statistician could tell you is hardly reliable) about this undefined concept of CRT, and uses those results to conclude that CRT is “far from being an urgent issue to address in your church or in the Southern Baptist Convention.”

    (Barber also served on the 2021 resolutions committee which quashed a resolution condemning CRT as incompatible with the BFM signed by 1300+ Southern Baptists. Tom Ascol, on the other hand, at that same meeting, made a motion to rescind 2019’s Resolution 9. Read more here.)
  • Plagiarism– in which Barber asserts that, since the authors of Scripture, young pastors, and those newly converted on the mission field may not have access to advanced theological training, the internet, commentaries, methods of attribution, etc., and, thus, may repeat things they’ve been told by others with no attribution, this excuses someone like Ed Litton – who does have all of those advantages and should know better – from plagiarism. How does Ed telling JD Greear’s personal life experiences as though they were his own fit into that paradigm? It’s not readily clear.

You can read the rest of Barber’s defense of Litton – as well as his opposition to the CBN (Conservative Baptist Network) here. Tom Ascol was, at that same time, vocally decrying Litton’s sin of plagiarism.

On the author of the gospel of Mark (see the remainder of the thread for context):

On a few other notes…

Though the content of his interactions with her are benign, Barber seems to have a friendly Twitter relationship with false teacher Beth Moore (here, here).

Barber has allowed the women’s ministry of his church to schedule a “Bible” study using a book by false teacher Priscilla Shirer:

In 2020, Barber invited Dwight McKissic to be a guest on his podcast, and recorded the episode in the sanctuary of his church. McKissic is an SBC “pastor” (he is biblically disqualified) who plays the race card in nearly every conversation, is a rabid egalitarian, and defends false teachers such as Beth Moore (McKissic suggested that she should be nominated as president of the SBC a few years ago) whenever he gets a chance.

It’s an Issue with the Network: The Platform and Anaheim 2022 by Allen Nelson


This Year’s Resolutions

On April 15, the resolutions portal opened for submitting a resolution to the 2022 Resolutions Committee. The 2022 resolution submission window closes May 30.

Resolutions are essentially position statements messengers may have the opportunity to vote on at the Convention. (Parliamentary procedure or committee action may preclude a vote.) I would love to publish the text of, or information regarding as many resolutions as possible so messengers can take the time to read, inform themselves, and especially pray about how they should vote that they may not have once at the convention site.

If you know someone who will be submitting a resolution at the Convention and would like to have it published here, please comment below or contact me as soon as possible.

Resolutions

This is the original text that will be submitted to the Committee on Resolutions. Please bear in mind, the Committee on Resolutions has the authority to “reword” these resolutions in any way they choose and then present the edited version to the Convention for a vote. (This was a major issue with Resolution 9 on CRT in 2019. The Committee “reworded” the original resolution so much that the edited version ended up saying basically the opposite of the original version.) The Committee also has the authority to decline to present a resolution for a vote. When you arrive at the Convention, please carefully read the versions of the resolutions you are given before voting on them, since they may have been altered.

Resolution on the Sacredness of the Southern Baptist Pulpit submitted by Pastor Allen Nelson, Perryville Second Baptist Church, Perryville, AR

Resolution on Beholding the Majesty of God submitted by Pastor Allen Nelson, Perryville Second Baptist Church, Perryville, AR


Point of Order: Resolutions

A resolution has traditionally been defined as an expression of opinion or concern, as compared to a motion, which calls for action. A resolution is not used to direct an entity of the Southern Baptist Convention to specific action other than to communicate the opinion or concern expressed. Resolutions are passed during the annual Convention meeting. Resources in Resolutions at SBC.net

As I mentioned above, a resolution is akin to a position statement on anything from abortion to a war in another country to National Ice Cream Day if you like. Individual Southern Baptist church members write up resolutions and submit them to the Committee on Resolutions within the allotted time frame. The Committee on Resolutions processes each resolution. Most, they will decline to present for a vote. Some, they will tweak, re-word, edit, beef up, or water down, before presenting. Some, they will present as is. Sometimes, when several similar resolutions are submitted, they will write a new resolution, combining the ideas they like from each, and present a resolution from the committee for a vote. Messengers then have the opportunity to vote in agreement or disagreement with each resolution the Committee on Resolutions presents.

Resolutions are non-binding. This means neither you nor your church nor any other Southern Baptist individual or church has to abide by any resolution. Resolutions serve mainly to make a public statement: This is what the majority of Southern Baptists believe about this issue this year.

Each year, no later than 75 days prior to the SBC Annual Meeting, the SBC president, in conference with the vice presidents, appoints a Committee on Resolutions whose task is to consider and recommend appropriate resolutions to the messengers attending the annual meeting….Only members in good standing of churches entitled to send messengers to the next annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention may submit resolutions.

For more information on how to submit a resolution to the committee click here: Submit a Resolution

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Change of Venue

On April 28, the Executive Committee voted to move the 2023 SBC annual meeting from Charlotte, North Carolina (the site approved by messengers in 2016), to New Orleans, Louisiana. Due to increased attendance over the past few years, it was anticipated that the Charlotte venue would be too small.


SATF Cost

Also on April 28, with regard to the Sexual Abuse Task Force:

EC members were informed that since Oct. 1, a total of $1,661,530 has been paid toward Guidepost Solutions [the independent investigating agency] and $17,478 toward Task Force travel and meetings.

In September, the EC voted to allocate up to $1.6 million toward the work by Guidepost Solutions. In February, they voted to increase the funds allocated to $2 million for the investigation or the “coverage of any other direct expenses without further approval.”

SBC Executive Committee approves 2023 Annual Meeting move, provides financial update at Baptist Press

May 2022

Baptist Press’ Tomfoolery

“Baptist Press recently released an interview that Jonathan Howe and Brandon Porter conducted with me…on April 5. Both they and I recorded the interview. They did so indicating that they would edit out the “ums,” “uhs,” and “wells,” etc. from the transcript in order to make the article flow well without losing the contextually understood meaning of my words.

In the interview that they posted, however…my responses were largely left unedited except for the exclusion of certain things I said…There are other misquotes throughout the article…in the interest of openness and transparency, I am making available the full audio below. In it you can hear a more complete and accurate version of the how the questions were phrased as well as my exact answers.”

Tom Ascol in What I Really Said in the Baptist Press Interview (with audio)
You can read and compare the Baptist Press article here.


Candidate Forum

Tom Ascol, Bart Barber, and Robin Hadaway participated in a panel discussion on issues facing the SBC at First Baptist Church, Keller, Texas, on May 4. The discussion was moderated by Joe Wooddell and Tony Richmond—both of FBC Keller.


SATF Report and Recommendations

Guidestone Solutions, the firm hired by the SATF to investigate the EC for mishandling cases of abuse is to submit its report to the SATF 30 days prior to the SBC annual meeting in Anaheim (June 14-15, 2022). The report is to be made public one week after receipt, along with the SATF’s recommendations on any action the SBC should take as a result of the report.