How not to run a church: First Baptist Naples church leadership’s PR virtue signaling is disgusting

Racism has no place in the church. So, if the leadership of First Baptist Church Naples, Florida had actual evidence of racism in the church’s recent rejection of a new senior pastor, then the proper response would be church discipline for the offenders. The church leadership team’s actual response? Whine.

Welcome to 2019 America and 2019 Big Evangelicalism.

Don’t get your way? Throw a hissy fit and claim you lost a vote because of racism.

It’s the perfect plan. You make yourself and the leadership team look good by throwing in your lot with the Anti-Racists. You are immediately rewarded.

It also has the benefit of being unverifiable.

Those on social media have no way to verify the smear against the local congregation. And when Big Eva names share the story, it takes on a life of its own.

Racism might be the culprit.

It appears Marcus Hayes, the rejected candidate, is a highly qualified leader and a gifted preacher. He’s praised by the likes of conservative Southern Baptists like Jack Graham.

Of course, there might be other issues too.

Reformation Charlotte was provided an email circulated to members of First Baptist Naples, Florida. The emails raise a few key issues that have nothing to do with race. Specifically, the emails allegedly circulated point to the pastoral candidate’s support for Eric Mason’s Woke Church book (for a critique, see this review by Founders) and a tweet promoting the pro-abortion, pro-LBGT Democrat Kamala Harris.

Leaked Emails Show That FBC Naples’ Members Had Serious Concerns About Marcus Hayes’ Biblical Qualifications

The problem with the church leadership’s PR campaign—it even includes promises to the Southern Baptist elites of punishment for those who didn’t vote the right way—is how convenient it all is. Nameless, faceless church members are the problem, and the hero church staff will fight the evil.

Virtue signaling run amok.

Being an outsider, we don’t know what happened. Racism might’ve played a role. It might not have.

It isn’t racist to oppose a black man who allegedly supported a pro-abortion Democratic politician or who boosts Social Justice Wokeness. And, that’s what one report says was the basis of at least some opposition to the candidacy.

We don’t know. We shouldn’t know. This is a local church matter turned into a black eye for the local church, the Southern Baptist Convention, American evangelicals and all Christians because of the immaturity of the leadership team at First Baptist Church Naples, Florida.

Good job guys.

If there is evil, do your job. Deal with it locally. Releasing PR statements to virtue signal your righteousness and attack those under your care is pastoral malpractice. In fact, it is so egregious, you guys are the ones who should face church discipline.

22 thoughts on “Was it racism, abortion or Wokeness that had a SBC church reject a black pastor candidate?”

  1. How about you keep your thoughts and writings to yourself if you aren’t on the inside to know what’s really going on before you judge, bash, slander the church’s name and the candidate and write articles on something you know NOTHING about?

    1. Now Renee, I can’t do that because the incompetent pastoral leadership made this a public issue and have apparently lied about good church members. It is my duty to report and comment. You can thank the incompetent pastoral team.

      1. The pastoral staff has been incredible through this ordeal and our church has remained steadfast in its efforts to reach southwest Florida and beyond. The true measure of leadership is how one has served, and our pastoral staff has given of themselves beyond any human expectation or ability. Only by the power of the Holy Spirit have they remained steadfast in spite of the spiritual warfare being waged against them.

      2. How do you know they were @good church members”? Do you know them personally? How do you know the leaders are liars? Do you know them personally?? I have a feeling that your sources are coming from these so called “good church members”.

        1. Of course they are coming forward. They feel they’ve been slandered by the church leadership.

          I can safely say the church leadership is bad because you don’t handle church discipline such a cavalier manner. The accused have a chance to defend themselves, etc. There are biblcal patterns. None were followed. So, easy to say one side is bad here.

          As for the sources coming forward, when someone has been a member of a church for more than a few years, been involved (which is easily verified), etc., and when it is more than just a couple, one is safely able to say these were good church members.

          Were they wrong in this case? That’s possible. The church leadership should’ve engaged with them. Talked respectuflly instead of engaging in name calling.

  2. I am always amazed by outsiders with biased information and half-truths who represent their opinions as fact. You don’t know the level of discipline used in this case nor do you know the whole truth. There is so much back story that goes into this very sad situation. The email you’re quoting was only sent to members of our church. And our leadership has taken the initiative to root out the sin. I don’t understand how you can make these incorrect and inflammatory statements without all the facts, which in your own words, are not known and shouldn’t be known

    1. Your leadership is acting sinfully. It isn’t sin to be concerned about those issues. What is sin is to label people who aren’t racist as racists. I’ve heard from those harmed by your pastors. They deserve an apology from the likes of you who enable such sinful pastors to act in your name.

      1. One last thought, your pastors are the ones who made this public. They’ve acted like children like those who lost the US election of 2016. They need to man-up. Learn from this and stop calling people names like racist.

      2. You are spot on. ..keep up the doos work.

        Intimidation has become a part of everyday life. Being publicly labeled a racist or sexist, etc., can cause one to lose one’s job, positions of responsibility in the community, and important relationships.

        I see this in the schools, universities, politics and now in the Southern Baptist Church. Those making the charges are never held to a reasonable standard of proof, and are not required to pay a price for their recklessness.

        The leadership of this church has a lot of to answer for yet they won’t have too. The good people will simply move on to mother churches rather than being incorrectly shamed and shunned by folks of dubious character.

  3. The pastoral staff has been incredible through this ordeal and our church has remained steadfast in its efforts to reach southwest Florida and beyond. The true measure of leadership is how one has served, and our pastoral staff has given of themselves beyond any human expectation or ability. Only by the power of the Holy Spirit have they remained steadfast in spite of the spiritual warfare being waged against them.

    1. They haven’t served the people they’ve smeared in the court of public opinion. Since they made this public, they can either put up the evidence of the racism, or they will be ascribed as liars and we all know the part liars have in the Kingdom of Heaven.

      1. Thank you so much for seeing through the falsehoods spewed by this paltry bunch of ‘pastors’. Since they didn’t get their way, they chose to charge the members who voted against hiring Pastor Hayes with racism. How very interesting that now they feel justified in kicking out godly men and women from the church on false charges. Hmmm… this should pave the way for a revote in their eyes. In addition, what happened to abiding by God’s will for the church? Was that even a consideration? Racism, by the way, had nothing to do with the vote, but everything to do with opposition to the obviously power-hungry ‘Leaders’

  4. Under what circumstances should the church elders accuse, in public, its members of unproven sinful actions? It seems the public virtue signaling by the elders is lacking in Christian perspective and likely to inhibit spiritual reconciliation and growth.

    Charges of racism are often made with little thought of the harm they do to the innocent. Those making false charges receive little or no punishment for that transgression, yet the innocent will endure long-lasting injury as a result of those baseless charges. Sadly, the entire 20% that did not vote to accept the pastor will be tainted by the elder’s public statement, not just the few, if any, bad actors.

    Most devastating of all is that many Southern Baptists voted for someone that appears to be pro-abortion (he has a history of supporting pro-abortion candidates like Kamala Harris and others). It seems like just yesterday that we, as biblically based Christians, believed babies were created in the image of God and deserving of life.

    If we as a church won’t stand against abortion, we should not stand as a church at all.

  5. Calling someone a racist is the new pharisaism of the CRTized modern church. Every time you call someone a racist, it is a declaration of your own self-righteousness. And true to the Pharisees, one’s self-righteousness is to be declared loudly, publicly, and often.

    1. Kerry Rard

      Brad, I taught you when you where in 5th grade….I was a deacon at FBCN for the last 24 years. I turned in my deacon badge last May…….After attending FBCN for almost 26 years, I’ve seen to much and know too much.
      In the capacity of a Bible and life group teacher (11 years 5th grade on Saturday night, 18 years college age and senior members on Sunday morning, 26 years in jail and prison ministry) the one verse that I repeated time after time was Acts 17:26 Paul talking to the lost people on Mars Hill, said. “From one man came all nations, but God chose the exact time and place for each man to live. If everything in the Bible is true, and it is. God chose your mother and your father, He chose your eye color, your skin color and your DNA. We are all related
      as brothers and sisters in Christ. You don’t like your skin color or where you were born. blame God. He can handle it. The leadership is in a position they never envisioned. Some have openly admitted to supporting social justice. There in lies the fix all cry of racism…… You know who you are and you know what you have done. Shame on you. What took place was God’s will. Marcus Hayes did not want to subject his loved ones to the mess you have created.

      The greatest judgement God can inflict on us is to let us have our own way. (Warren Wiersbe)

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