Conservative church members labeled racists, purged by elite Southern Baptists
FBC Naples leadership sinfully violated Matthew 18, smeared church members concerned about pastoral candidate’s support for pro-abortion, pro-LGBTQ Democrat
Report: Coup forced out longtime pastor who wanted period of transition to new leadership
The situation at First Baptist Church of Naples, Florida is much worse than originally thought. Southern Baptist elites tweeted and re-tweeted assertions from the pastoral leadership team of FBC Naples that attributed the failure to affirm a new pastor to racism. However, those assertions appear to be progressive lies. According to church members, their concerns were limited to moral, theological and political issues. Other reports show that legendary pastor Hayes Wicker was deposed by the present leadership staff despite wanting a slower transition out of the pastorate.
Conservatives at First Baptist Church Naples are speaking out and it now looks like the church leadership has disqualified itself from leading a church with blatant violations of Matthew 18. The abusive leadership has allegedly removed church members without submitting it to the entire church as required by the New Testament. This is what happens when a church violates biblical church government.
Southern Baptists churches are typically formed on some type of polity that involves the congregation in major decisions. This varies substantially between churches, but in most cases the people—church members—participate. Of course, the people often don’t vote the right way.
And by right way, we mean the way the elite rulers want.
Such was the case at First Baptist Church Naples, where a seemingly qualified and highly recommended black candidate was submitted to the church to fill the role of senior pastor. Unfortunately, some members were concerned about the nomination. What motivated their concerns? Some reports attribute the rejection to concerns over abortion, support for Black Lives Matter and Wokeness. Others attribute the rejection to racism.
The church leadership released a statement complaining about the impertinence of some members not voting the right way:
“As most of you know, in Southern Baptist life, when a Senior Pastor comes in view of a call by the recommendation of a Search Committee, the actual vote is most always viewed as a ceremonial and celebratory affirmation of the Spirit’s leading within the hearts and minds of the Search Committee that has extended the call. Most church experiences, when it comes to a new Senior Pastor, are just that, a celebration and a time of looking forward with hope and optimism to what God has for the future. Our Pastoral Search Committee, lay leadership, and the Pastoral Staff all anticipated that our vote would be nothing less than an affirmative statement from our people that God had sovereignly chosen for Marcus Hayes to be our next Pastor. Sadly, that did not come to fruition. Our constitution and bylaws stated that a Senior Pastor must be affirmed by at least an 85% or higher vote. It is widely known that an 85% affirmative vote is unusually high. Our church voted by a percentage of 81 % to bring Marcus Hayes as our next Pastor. Unfortunately, this did not meet the threshold. If all things had been equal and fair, our story would not have reached as far and wide, and stoked the emotions that it has. But what was concluded was that all things were not fair nor were they right. A portion of the 19% that voted against Marcus Hayes did so based on racial prejudices. We know this because of the campaign that started just days before by a few disgruntled people in our church.”
Of course, they offer no evidence it was racial prejudices. We must take their word for it. Of course, the opposition has provided emails showing their concerns weren’t about race, but exclusively focused on issues like the candidates alleged support of a pro-abortion, pro-LGBTQ Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris.
Whatever the case, the heart of the matter is that the little people didn’t do their job.
They were supposed to rubberstamp the elite’s decision.
Notice the similarity to Managed Democracy? The US elites didn’t get their way in the 2016 Presidential Election. So, everyone who didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton was a misogynist.
What’s next, a re-vote? A do over? Purge everyone guilty of WrongThink and change the ballot counters to make sure you get the results you want?
Everyone who didn’t vote the way the FBC Naples leadership wanted is a racist.
What’s sad is this cheapens problems of actual racism in churches.
And like petulant political dictators these spiritual tyrants set out to purge WrongThink.
This is retaliation and not correction.
The leadership of First Baptist Church of Naples, Florida has through their actions violated Christ’s commands for dealing with church discipline. Their sinful conduct vis-à-vis their church members renders them no longer suited to leadership—they should be and must be deposed by the church. Or, the church kicked out of the Southern Baptist Convention.
There is no room for tyrants in the SBC.