Southern Baptist Swamp: Why are SBC employees like Russell Moore telling Southern Baptists how to vote for SBC President?

The moment is now for Calvinists & Non-Calvinist Traditionalists to unite and offer a real alternative to the SBC status quo

The coronation of the Southern Baptist President presumptive began in earnest Monday with stories that J.D. Greear would be nominated for President of the Southern Baptist Convention. Immediately (almost as if planned!), elements of the Mohler-Moore wing of the Southern Baptist Convention began tweeting their rapturous approval.

Al Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, tweeted as if the election were already decided. Mohler wrote, “Thankful to see that @jdgreear will allow his nomination as SBC president in June. He will lead us well with Great Commission passion and vision. Incredibly gifted leader.” Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, offered more of a campaign message. Moore tweeted, “Very good news. @jdgreear is one of the most impressively missions-focused, evangelistic, and godly leaders I’ve ever known.”

Greear is no doubt a fine man, a great pastor and might be an exceptionally gifted SBC president. However, there are enormous problems arising from Greear’s nomination and the Mohler-Moore reaction.

Why do we allow someone like Russell Moore or Al Mohler or anyone who will be supervised by appointees of our presidents to participate with their outsized voices (thanks to the positions entrusted to them by Southern Baptists) in the selection of the convention president? Why do we tolerate Southern Baptist employees using their platform paid for by Southern Baptists to tell us what to do and how to think about selecting leaders?

We’d find this type of situation repugnant in politics. It would be like government employees at the FBI trying to dictate the next President of the United States or the intelligence community working to discredit a political rival.

If you think Washington, DC is a political swamp, then don’t look at the Southern Baptist Convention.

We have seminary trustees serving on one board supervising a seminary administration while being adjuncts at other Southern Baptist seminaries. We have one church located in the political swamp with four or five of its leadership team serving as trustees—one of the trustees was head of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission’s trustee board all while this trustee served as a lobbyist on immigration issues. Conflict of interest? Perhaps it is. Perhaps it is only a sincere commitment to Gospel-based open immigration for farm laborers. We don’t know, but it sure looks swampy.

The outsized influence of Calvinists associated with The Gospel Coalition is a mortal danger to the future of the Southern Baptist Convention. Calvinists and non-Calvinists (Traditionalists) should keep this in mind. The SBC meeting in Dallas is a critical moment calling for a unified opposition candidate to the march of progressivism into the Southern Baptist Convention.

This moment calls for unification.

I have been told by a few of my Calvinist friends they cannot and will not support Greear’s nomination. They want an alternative to the continued Good-Old-Boy elitist network forcing TGC-inspired politics on the convention.

This is the moment for outsiders of all theological views—Traditionalist and Calvinist—to unite. Any vote for Greear is a vote for the status quo in the Convention. A status quo where progressives like Russell Moore are allowed to muddle our pro-life witness by trying to make every issue from immigration to creation care into a pseudo-Pro-Life-Cradle-to-the-Grave political theology.

There must be an alternative, consensus and unified opposition to this.

We must not allow ourselves to be divided when the only chance of stopping the progressive juggernaut is through cooperative action. The SBC needs a candidate who can appeal to both non-Calvinists and Calvinists outside The Gospel Coalition influence.

We must have change. That is something of which all outsiders can agree.