The Southern Baptist Convention’s bureaucrats are trying to ignore and bury the disturbing story of SBC President J.D. Greear sharing a stage with an anti-Israel, anti-Semitic Imam. Greear and Omar Suleiman shared the stage during an interfaith dialogue event last week. The SBC failed to respond to a request for comment by national radio host Todd Starnes. Why did they ignore the request for comment? What are they trying to hide?
This isn’t the first time the SBC’s leadership has minimized the story. We reported earlier that a Southern Baptist church member wrote to the SBC over concerns that Greear appeared on-stage with an allegedly anti-Semitic Imam. The response was to exclaim: Fake News!
But it isn’t fake news. As Janet Mefferd explained during Starnes Radio Show Wednesday. (You can listen in the player at the top of this story.)
“It was unwise, and I also question how this represents the views of the Southern Baptist Convention when it is officially on the record supporting Israel,” Mefferd said. “This was a man who has said all kinds of things calling for the destruction of Israel, calling Jews the enemies of Allah, championing another Intifada, and it just goes on and on.”
This deserves an official response. But so far only silence.
Starnes detailed the questions he asked the SBC Media Relations team:
“This morning, I knew we were going to talk about this, so early this morning I went on the Southern Baptist Convention’s website, and I wanted to get in touch with their media relations. There is no direct contact there. So, you have to fill out a form and at the very end of it to prove that you are not bot or a spammer, you have to add 1+1, which is 2. I double-checked just before and I have not received a response.
“And they have had plenty of time to respond to my questions.
“Again, for the sake of being fair and balanced here, we reached out to the Southern Baptist Convention to give them a chance to respond to this.
“I want to read the questions that we asked of the Southern Baptist Convention that they have not responded to:
“Was the SBC aware of Suleiman’s past anti-Semitic statements regarding Israel? If so, could you explain why the SBC president agreed to share the stage with someone who made such statements about Jews?
“Does the Southern Baptist Convention regret its participation in the NC State event?
“Dr. Greear posted a message on social media calling the Imam a man of graciousness, peace and kindness, Does he still stand by that remark?
“Why did Dr. Greear not call out the Imam’s past statements regarding Israel during the panel?”
As of Wednesday evening, Starnes had still not received a reply to his questions from to the SBC.
Mefferd noted a “lack of coverage” of this story in “Christian media.”
“What is going on here? I just think they don’t want this story to gain any traction,” Mefferd said.
Do they think silence will make this scandal disappear?
Is there a grudge against anyone attempting to bring this story to light?
Why did the SBC fail to even respond with a curt no comment?
Failing to even reply was rude.
It isn’t the first time a Southern Baptist official was rude to Starnes.
Ashford was recently named to the SBC’s Resolutions Committee by none other than J.D. Greear.
Will the SBC continue to reward those waging a war on the free press with positions of importance?
Can anyone get control of the SBC before it is too late?
And what about the ties of other prominent Southern Baptist leaders to the anti-Israel Imam? Southern Baptist megachurch pastor Matt Chandler called the anti-Semitic Muslim “Good people.”
“Is that not a problem that one of the major SBC pastors (Matt Chandler) looks at a Sharia Supremacist and says, ‘That’s good people right there.’ I wonder what the persecuted Christians around the world would say about that,” Mefferd said.
Unlike the silence from the Southern Baptist Convention, earlier this week, the newly formed Conservative Baptist Network of Southern Baptists made its position clear: It Stands with Israel.
The CBN tweeted, “Messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in St. Louis in 2016 adopted a resolution on prayer and support for Israel. The longstanding Baptist commitment to standing with Israel is a sentiment the Conservative Baptist Network still holds dear.”
Messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in St. Louis in 2016 adopted a resolution on prayer and support for Israel. The longstanding Baptist commitment to standing with Israel is a sentiment the Conservative Baptist Network still holds dear. https://t.co/4DioMnNTG9
— Conservative Baptist Network (@BaptistNetwork) March 8, 2020
That’s leadership. That’s what the SBC needs. It doesn’t need Elites ignoring the Little People and the press.