J.D. Greear is the wrong man to be President of the Southern Baptist Convention for one simple reason—he doesn’t really like being a Southern Baptist. His church doesn’t know it is Southern Baptist. So, what keeps him in the Southern Baptist Convention?
Here are the facts. Many members of Greear’s church The Summit Church were not even aware the church was part of the Southern Baptist Convention. Shocking, but Greear said as much in his February 4, 2018, sermon:
“The third question some of you just asked is, ‘Since when did we become Southern Baptists?’ And I get that. That’s not something we really wear on our sleeve here. There are obviously parts of the Southern Baptist Convention that we’re not excited about, that we don’t really feel represent who we are as a church. But I will tell you that on the whole, we are very grateful to be a part of a network of churches that cooperate for the purpose of mission.”
This echoed something Greear said to The Gospel Coalition in a November 2017 podcast. Greear told TGC, “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.”
How can someone who doesn’t lead a church steeped in a commitment to the being Southern Baptist be expected to lead an organization that needs a spokesman for being a Southern Baptist?
My wife made a great analogy. This is like a man who is ashamed of being an American, doesn’t identify himself as an American citizen because he “doesn’t wear it on his sleeve” and then wants to be President of the United States. She carried the analogy even further and pointed out how Greear would be like a governor of a state whose people don’t even know they are part of the United States.
It is staggering that someone who doesn’t educate his church about the Southern Baptist Convention is the presumptive choice of Southern Baptist insiders. Why?
J.D. Greear dislikes Southern Baptist common folk because of their politics. He is cozy with the Southern Baptist elites in their Ivory Towers. The Southern Baptists he praises and holds up as an example are the likes of progressive Russell Moore.
He told The Gospel Coalition podcast, “Kevin Ezell at North American Mission Board is fantastic. I think he is very humble and approachable, and of course David Platt at the IMB. Russell Moore is a great representative at the ERLC.”
For the record, Ezell is facing a lawsuit for allegedly un-Christian conduct in retaliating against a Southern Baptist, David Platt had IMB join an amicus brief in support of a mosque and later apologized for the error, and Russell Moore is, well everyone knows Russell Moore insulted Southern Baptists who voted for Donald Trump.
That’s a triumvirate of bad. Yet, in Greear’s mind these are “great representatives” of Southern Baptists.
If Greear’s idea of great is Russell Moore, then it is no wonder he wants to hide his SBC affiliation. Southern Baptists are far closer to Dr. Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Dallas than Greear. And Greear even mocked the First Baptist Church of Dallas pastor on that same The Gospel Coalition podcast. Shameful. You might not like Dr. Jeffress, but Southern Baptists shouldn’t go on other media platforms and trash one another over politics.
Southern Baptists must ask if Greear is even capable of representing the Southern Baptist Convention given his lack of enthusiasm for its people and its politics.
Also, Southern Baptists must ask about Greear’s commitment to the Cooperative Program. What is Greear’s The Summit Church percentage of giving to the CP? How much does the CP benefit The Summit Church and its members?
Southern Baptist messengers should compare Greear’s history with Dr. Ken Hemphill’s history of participation and pride in the Southern Baptist Convention. When weighed in the balance, one is found wanting in enthusiasm for being a Southern Baptist.
The church Hemphill attends has a two-year CP giving average of 12.2 percent, according to The Baptist Message. Hemphill’s record of service to the Southern Baptist Convention includes running a seminary and top positions with the North American Mission Board and The Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee.
Southern Baptists and messengers should consider these facts carefully.