Conservative Southern Baptists expressed their cautious optimism that a new Study Committee will “Ask the hard questions” about the progressive-leaning politics of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC). The Study Committee was announced February 18 by the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention. The committee members were announced Thursday, February 27, 2020, in a release by Baptist Press.
Committee members include:
SBC Executive Committee Chairman Mike Stone
Ron Hale, retired pastor, Jackson, Tenn.
Mike Lawson, senior pastor, First Baptist of Sherman, Texas
Cheryl Samples, retired, Dallas, Ga.
Hoyt Savage, lead pastor, Foothills Baptist, Las Vegas, Nev.
Monte Shinkle, senior pastor, Concord Baptist, Jefferson City, Mo.
Rolland Slade, senior pastor, Meridian Baptist, El Cajon, Calif.
The consensus was positive about the committee and the announced members among Southern Baptists worried about Russell Moore’s leadership of the ERLC.
The Study Committee even drew praise by the new Conservative Baptists Network. In a press release following the announcement of the committee, the CBN said, “We are grateful for the steps our Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee took on Feb. 18 on two specific fronts: First, the formation of a task force to review the work of the SBC Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission and any related effect the ERLC may have on the Cooperative Program; and second, the decision to allocate meeting space for the 2020 SBC Pastors’ Conference contingent upon acceptable changes being made to the current program.”
Several individuals concerned about the Leftward Drift of the Southern Baptist Convention told the Capstone Report they were “encouraged” by the committee appointments and that “the membership seems loyal” to the conservative principles of the Southern Baptist Convention’s rank-and-file pastors and pew-sitting Southern Baptists.
“I believe this committee will ask the tough questions,” one longtime conservative critic of Russell Moore said.
So, for those wondering if this committee will do the right thing, conservatives are encouraged.
That doesn’t mean the fight to reclaim the SBC for conservative principles is over. No. Far from it. But, at least this committee will likely give conservative a fair hearing.
We must continue our work.
On a personal note: Sorry for the lack of writing this week. My wife had ankle surgery and has been in hospital for the last four days. She will be released later today. Surgery was a success but will require six weeks of recovery.