Southern Baptist Convention Sliding into Oblivion!
By Don Boys, Ph.D.
The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), after more than a hundred years of standing for biblical truth, has taken a left turn and is sliding into oblivion. Panic has set in since the denomination has lost over a million members since 2003! Something must be done—and in my opinion, that something, will destroy them.
The SBC has been plagued for decades with accelerating dangers that all denominations have faced. Local independent Baptist churches are having similar problems but not as pressing because they have no organizational structure. Thousands of churches have departed the convention over the years for what is perceived as a falling away from its original theological positions.
Some of the major SBC problems are female pastors, wine bibbing clergy, Calvinism, Pentecostalism, post millennialism, unbelief in their pulpits, their colleges, and seminaries, the sex scandal and sacking of Frank Page, president of the SBC Executive Committee, etc.
But the crux of the matter is a weakening of biblical inerrancy. With the younger generation of clergy, it does not seem to matter what the Bible says. They are determined to take the SBC in a “new direction” even if it means the group is totally transformed into their loose, modern image. Some of the changes are an improvement such as more Hispanics (as long as they are not tokens) and more females in their organizational structure; however, that does not justify the radical departure including female pastors. Their position on sexual matters would delight the political leaders in Sodom in yesteryears.
Older, traditional SBC members are aghast, angry, and anxious as they watch the denomination that highly dedicated, educated, and selfless leaders built being destroyed by the “young Turks.”
The next major issue that will face the SBC is the leadership of women in their bureaucracy adding to the problem of female pastors. At present time, there are about 30 SBC churches that have a female pastor. The argument is since the SBC is not a local church the usual arguments would not be germane. Look for a female SBC president by 2020. Following that will be the acceptance of female pastors. Following that, the SBC will simply be another mainline liberal denomination.
I predict that this issue will split the SBC like an overly ripe watermelon.
Dwight McKissic, senior pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas, is pushing hard to bring women into SBC leadership declared, “If I thought Beth Moore would accept the nomination or be agreeable to being nominated, because of her qualifications and the current context the SBC finds itself in, I would nominate her for SBC president.” McKissic admits to speaking in tongues during devotional times and is pushing very hard for Blacks (McKissic is black) and women in places of leadership in the SBC.
Sure, that’s all the struggling denomination needs—a woman whom God speaks to directly!
Beth’s website boasts, “God recently took me into seclusion for a week and placed these instructions before me…I feel I have never been given a more serious assignment for a single night gathering in my ministry…He [God] instructed me to listen carefully as I have ever listened and He would tell me the Scriptures and the sequence to place on the screens…Our deepest desire here is that God would grace us with His presence.”
I will be very surprised if Moore does not become a major SBC leader in the next few years. After all, she’s a better preacher than many SBC and independent Baptist pastors I’ve heard! However, ability is not the criteria. The Scripture is and that’s why the convention has all these problems—a low view of the Word of God by many leaders.
Not to be dismissed is the problems that follow Dr. Russell Moore, leader of the SBC’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC). Moore habitually rises each morning with plans to poke in the eye with a stick of every Conservative in the convention. Moore is soft on homosexuality, immigration (supporting Soros-financed groups), and was an early “Never Trumper.”
Recently the SBC chose a new president that represents a definite rejection of the much touted “conservative takeover” started in 1979 by Judge Paul Pressler and Dr. Paige Patterson, former president of the SBC. Patterson was fired as President of Southwestern Baptist Seminary and was dumped as the SBC keynote speaker in Dallas recently. He has not reacted toward women the way his leftist brethren wanted him to do. Pressler has been accused of molesting or raping at least three boys followed by a cover-up by Patterson.
The Pressler accusations go back decades so I don’t know if he is a pervert or not. If the charges turn out to be true, then there should be a double hanging. Pressler and Bill Clinton should hang from the same tree.
As to Patterson’s guilt, it seems the charges against him are contrived or overblown or maybe totally false. The main accusation against him seems to be the advice he has given to abused women. He suggested they go slow about leaving their husband. I do to. Is the abuse physical abuse or is it yelling at her and putting down? I would tell my daughters, leave him immediately if he gets physical.
The SBC overwhelmingly (almost 70%) chose as President J.D. Greear who is soft on homosexuality and almost everything else. He was chosen over Ken Hemphill, former president at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. And make no mistake, this was payback against the conservatives who took over the seminaries and convention decades ago. Patterson, Paige, and Company are the past.
But it seems all is fair in love and denominational politics.
Greear ridiculed Dr. Richard Jeffress of First Baptist in Dallas who had Roman Catholic Sean Hannity of Fox News in a Sunday service, “I think very quickly after I had grown a little disillusioned with the SBC, I found out that every other network I started to get in, there was like: They have crazy uncles in here too.”
Richard Jeffress, a crazy uncle! I am not Southern Baptist (but some of my best friends are) and I would not have invited Hannity for a church service but that is Jeffress’ business and the business of First Baptist. No one else. And nothing he has done even remotely qualifies him being called a crazy uncle.
In a message delivered in 2014, the youthful Greear said we have to “love our gay neighbor more than we love our position on sexual morality” which means you must surrender what the Bible teaches to appear loving and compassionate to the homosexual crowd. He added more gas to the fire by adding, “I cannot compromise, but I love you more than I love being right.” He is clearly saying that in a choice between loving (or more correctly, appearing to love) a homosexual and the Bible truth on the issue, I will reject the Bible truth and go with my feel-good position on perversion.
There is mass confusion about love that is destroying not only churches but homosexuals! One cannot have true love without truth. It is not love to permit a homosexual to believe that God looks upon his sin as benign or innocent. Like fornication and gluttony, perversion, is wicked. For a minister of the Gospel to tell a homosexual that his perversion is not sinful is itself a perversion of truth.
The Apostle Paul commands us to “speak the truth in love.” Preachers who speak of “love” without truth are not lovers. One must know the truth and abide in the truth as Paul wrote in John 8:31 “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
However, the SBC is not abiding in the truth. It has been skirting the truth for more than 50 years. While there are thousands of good, dedicated pastors in the convention, they have lost their viability, if not their voice and vote. I’m afraid in my lifetime the great SBC will be a dinosaur. Members and former members will longingly speak of the “old days” when there was excitement, enjoyment, and expectation in their church services. Now, there is a lot of noise in many churches.
The Southern Baptist Convention has cut loose its anchor and will continue to keep drifting out to sea with little hope of returning to solid ground. It will soon lose sight of land.
The demise of the SBC is one of the worst tragedies to befall America. Very sad.