Akin continues trend of SBC employees campaigning for Greear

It is wrong for our Southern Baptist servants to use their entity positions to influence the election of the man who will appoint their overseers—our entity trustees. There is no way to spin it. It is repugnant to honest elections and the integrity of our entire trustee system to allow the outsized voices of our entity presidents and celebrites to subvert the process.

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary President Danny Akin knows this has become an issue. He wrote, “I am well aware of an ongoing conversation about the role of SBC entity leaders in the discussion of the SBC presidency. As a voting messenger to our convention, I have personal opinions just as many others do. And I am supportive of an open discussion about the future of our convention. But this is not about that.” (Source: BRNow.org)

Akin does the right thing and confronts the most important question his support of J.D. Greear’s presidential candidacy would prompt—the propriety of someone paid through funds given to Southern Baptist Convention Cooperative Program attempting to influence the election of the man who will appoint his bosses (entity trustees) who conduct oversight and decide on salaries and other governance matters for our entity employees like him.

Unfortunately, he then uses his outsized platform created because he is the president of a CP-funded seminary to try to influence the election of the next president. He can have an opinion. He can vote for whomever he wants.

However, his advocacy for Greear raises the most important problem facing Southern Baptists today—should Southern Baptist elites control the convention, or should it represent all its member churches?

The elite angle is hard to miss. Akin can’t help himself with dropping names. He wrote, “This is the J.D. Greear who has the support of Jack Graham, James Merritt, Bryant Wright, Johnny Hunt, Ronnie Floyd and Steve Gaines.”

Mega-church pastors from big cities and Cultural Marxists at The Gospel Coalition—that is the extent of Greear’s appeal. Honestly, the celebrity power created through the Mega-Church-Publishing Complex and exacerbated by the power of CP-funded entity conferences could be enough to win Greear the SBC presidency. (Though Akin’s writing this essay published at BRNow, raises the specter that Greear’s campaign is flat and the election of Hemphill is becoming more possible by the day.)

That doesn’t mean the celebrity system is right.

As Southern Baptists, Akin and his cohort of SBC elites should have no greater voice than the bivocational pastor in the rural Black Belt of Alabama. Unfortunately, the real world of denominational politics is different from the ideal.

If Akin’s arguments in defense of Greear are any good, then anyone could make them. The reason Akin made them was because of his profile. It is an unfair advantage in the election, but the ethical considerations are dire. Everyone trusts Al Mohler and Danny Akin, but what of the next generation of leaders? Will we always have a good man or will we occasionally (as SBC history shows) have a bad apple on the record?

Akin’s entire article can be summarized as an argument from authority. You can trust Greear because the elites trust Greear, and Southern Baptists should trust these elites to make the choice of our next president. If Southern Baptists follow this model, we can be sure that Greear’s presidency will be a presidency of the elites, by the elites and for the elites.

That isn’t what the Southern Baptist Convention needs. That isn’t what the Southern Baptists deserve.

11 Comments

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  1. 1
    gss2131

    Let’s see: should the SBC membership seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit in selecting its leadership or consult a blogger who was so bad at writing about Alabama football that he abandoned that to write badly about religion?

    I think I’ll go with that first option. I actually trust that the Holy Spirit knows what He is talking about.

    • 2
      Capstone Report

      The typical snide reply of someone without an argument, and who can only resort to a genetic fallacy–it doesn’t matter if the voice is crying in the wilderness or not–what matters are the facts. The facts are that it is highly unseemly for men like Akin, etc. to attempt to influence the process when the trustees set their salary. It is crass and looks more like the world rather than the Church.

      As for how I did writing about Alabama football, I still have Paul Finebaum’s column in the Mobile Press Register calling my blog the “most influential” Alabama blog. I put that aside for two reasons: Alabama always wins, and sometimes it becomes time to put away childish things for bigger things.

      • 3
        Robert

        Capstone, I’m just shaking my head at the comments of gss2131; the extraordinary self-righteousness of people who may not even be saved Christians. My implication for gss2131 is harsh, but may very well be justified. As you already fully understand, Christianity involves the recognition that we are sinners in need of a Savior. Jesus is everything. I cannot stand on a soapbox and shout how important I am, how I hear from the Holy Spirit and you don’t, I’m somebody big and you’re just a blogger, pew sitter, etc. God calls on us to be humble, not religious blowhards. I’ve been burned by these blowhards before. If gss2131 represents the mentality of the russell moore crowd, I know that I want to stay away from them.

      • 4
        Robert

        I just noticed this morning that russell moore said on his twitter account, “Having breakfast with the legendary @JohnMPerkins this morning, who is the only person alive allowed to call me, as he does, “Little Man.”

        I personally don’t want to get close enough to him to call him anything. But out of curiosity, how does the 5’4” russell moore enforce this rule?

        • 5
          gss2131

          For the record, I professed Christ as my personal savior as a nine-year-old boy in a revival service in 1982. My mother and I prayed in the altar together and I asked Christ into my heart.

          I have worshiped in Baptist churches my entire life and in Southern Baptist churches for the last 19 years. But my identity as a Christ follower is not defined by what pew I sit in. To quote the old hymn: You ask me how I know He lives, He lives within my heart.

          If questioning my salvation because I support the teaching and work of Russell Moore and J.D. Grear helps you sleep at night, go right ahead. It affects my walk with the Lord not one bit.

          But know this also: the Lord I walk spent the overwhelming majority of his ministry on earth in the company of the outcasts and the marginalized, people the religious leaders of the day looked down upon and thought less of. He fed those who were hungry, physically and as well as spiritually.

          The gospel that Moore and Grear and others that you attempt to demean as SBC “elites” preaches Christ crucified and arose, just as Paul did. It preaches that Christ who said, “whosever does it unto the least of my brothers has done it to me.” You can try and ration that away by using alt-right buzzwords like “cultural Marxism”or “virtue signaling.” You can invoke the big bad boogeyman George Soros. But it doesn’t change who Christ was, what He taught, or what He expects of his church.

          Whoever the SBC selects as it leadership will have my prayers. I will support them when I prayerfully believe they are following the guidance of the Holy Spirit and I will hold them accountable when I prayerfully believe they are not.

          I will not publish a blog calling into question their faith or their beliefs, however. People who do, or take to Twitter or Facebook to comment about it are fair game. I will mock THEM with all the snark I have in my body. It’s not at all Christ-like and I’ll have to repent of it, but I’m simply a Christ follower and not Christ Himself. I’m not perfect, just forgiven.

          In closing, Mr. Capstone, I couldn’t help notice that elsewhere on this website resides a headline that compares a thrice-married former TV reality show host who bragged about committing sexual assault and stands accused of an affair with an adult film star with the man who midwifed the Protestant Reformation. I’m not sure what state of mind one has to be in to even think that, let alone publish it on the inter webs for all the world to see. But knowing you went there is all the motivation I need to hide His word in my heart on a daily basis to make sure I never do.

          • 6
            Capstone Report

            My comparison was over Trump’s use of hateful rhetoric on Twitter and I added a few sampling of Luther’s hateful rhetoric published in his writings. Also, I compared with Luther’s disintermediation and use of technology of his day (printing press) to go over the heads of the priests and popes with Trump’s ability to go over the heads of today’s media gatekeepers and our elite Baptist thought-leaders like Russell Moore. Sorry that offends, but too many people worship Luther and fail to note his historical failings—and I say that as someone who is firmly in the Luther view of 2 Kingdom Political Theology.

            Your name calling and self-righteous excuses for snark, says more about you than you realize. The problem with Russell Moore and his fanboys like you is the self-righteousness. You think your view of politics is the only “Gospel” view and so you are entitled to insult fellow Christians. That’s the big problem in the church today.

            Anyway, thanks for the comments. Unlike Dr. Moore and his cohorts, I’ll always welcome those who disagree.

          • 7
            Capstone Report

            Also on my Trump-Luther thing, I wanted to point out how evangelicals who get so upset at Trump’s rhetoric on Twitter almost universally worship the Reformers and what Luther said was, often, far worse. Just go play around with the Luther insulter on the Internet. 🙂

  2. 8
    Robert

    When Theresa Won’t of the UK made the false allegation that Russia had used a nerve agent against Sergei Skripel, little rusty moore twerked out the following tweet on March 12, “Good leadership from the UK.”

    But now, the UK’s Sky News reports, “Gary Aitkenhead, chief executive of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) at Porton Down, told Sky News they had not been able to prove the Novichok was made in Russia.”

    Is little rusty, friend of george soros and supporter of globalist neocons, going to admit his error?

  3. 9
    George Soros

    I’m curious,

    Are you comfortable with the Louisiana Baptist Convention using their power, influence, and (allegedly) their money (C.P. dollars) to campaign for Ken Hemphill?

    You can read about it here:
    March 16th: https://brnow.org/News/March-2018/Hemphill-unveils-campaign-website-backed-by-Louisi

    March 20th: https://brnow.org/News/March-2018/Hemphill-No-CP-funds-used-for-SBC-candidate-websi

    March 21st: http://sbcvoices.com/more-inappropriate-lbc-campaigning-calling-up-disaster-relief-workers-for-hemphill-rallies/

    April 2nd: http://baptistmessage.com/lbc-pastors-presidents-endorse-ken-hemphill-for-sbc-president/

    If your opening sentence is true, that “It is wrong for our Southern Baptist servants to use their entity positions to influence the election of the man who will appoint their overseers—our entity trustees,” then that would make the actions of LBC wrong.

    Do you agree? I am sincerely interested in hearing your opinion.

    • 10
      Capstone Report

      Two quick things. First, that is an issue for Louisiana Baptists not all Southern Baptists. Second, does the SBC President appoint the leadership/overseers of the LBC? No. So, I have less of a problem with that since unlike Akin or Moore or Mohler, their salaries are not set by men appointed via the SBC trustee process. My real problem is not say Akin saying something about perhaps a theological issue facing the convention (ie: marriage, gambling as examples), but on the political ramifications of men subject to the Trustees appointed via the presidential process. While Louisiana Baptists should govern their own entities and officials, that is far outside the swampy problems facing the SBC.

  4. 11
    Frank

    The Louisiana Baptist Convention is literally using CP money to campaign for someone openly. Look forward to you write up about that!

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