Highly placed Southern Baptist leaders express alarm at the reckless legal arguments advanced to defend Keven Ezell and the North American Mission Board.
An important article written by Baptist News Global attracted attention and reaction around the Southern Baptist Convention this weekend. The report published Friday, October 25, 2019, outlined legal dangers to the Southern Baptist Convention created as the North American Mission Board (NAMB) defends itself in a lawsuit over its president’s conduct. The legal arguments likely expose the SBC’s entities to new liabilities if the court adopts NAMB’s novel arguments.
According to Baptist News Global, “Should NAMB prevail in its argument that national leaders had an absolute right to act in ways that may have led to his termination, McRaney said, it will be only a matter of time before some lawyer uses it in another court of law to establish connectionalism between, churches, associations, state conventions and the SBC that the denomination’s governing documents claim does not exist.”
Such connectional ties would spell financial liabilities in sex abuse cases.
And it won’t take long before the public understands this issue too. Even a reporter at the Houston Chronicle tweeted out a link to the article and the article’s key point: “Every attorney out there that’s got half a brain is going to pick up this case and is going to use NAMB’s direct argument in future liability cases against the Southern Baptist Convention,” the former official said. #SBCtoo #ChurchToo #CaringWell.”
“Every attorney out there that’s got half a brain is going to pick up this case and is going to use NAMB’s direct argument in future liability cases against the Southern Baptist Convention,” the former official said. #SBCtoo #ChurchToo #CaringWell https://t.co/L7Ad9kj0yH
— Robert Downen (@RobDownenChron) October 25, 2019
Two longtime Southern Baptist leaders at the highest levels expressed concern that NAMB has placed the entire Southern Baptist Convention into financial jeopardy. This sentiment is shared by a current state convention executive, who expressed concerns but wished to remain anonymous. They were all aware of the lawsuit, but when presented the details of NAMB’s legal arguments were highly concerned. One highly placed source said he was “alarmed.” A member of a Southern Baptist Convention entity board said he didn’t like it.
However, it is unlikely, according to these sources, that anyone can stop NAMB’s legal defense of Ezell’s actions against McRaney. For those interested in understanding more about this lawsuit and Ezell’s un-Christian conduct toward McRaney, check out these documents showing NAMB and Ezell’s inappropriate conduct.
The consequences for Ezell’s leadership of NAMB could last decades, we were told.