Well, what should one expect from a lifelong Democrat?
The desperation of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) and the North American Mission Board (NAMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention is so palpable that the ERLC lied about the Southern Baptist Convention’s governance in an amicus brief to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The brief filed contra Will McRaney’s lawsuit against NAMB contains this explosive and false claim on page 10: “McRaney directed a state-level body of the Southern Baptist faith tradition, an organization that supported 560 Southern Baptist churches. The primary, leading convention, or group, is the Southern Baptist Convention which is the umbrella Southern Baptist governing body over all the various groups of churches…Within that hierarchy are several organizations, including McRaney’s previous employer and defendant NAMB…McRaney disagreed with the direction that NAMB wanted to go in terms of church governance.”
This is stunning.
First, the 560 churches support the state convention. Next, there is no hierarchy in the SBC. Each church and state convention is autonomous.
According to the SBC Constitution, Article IV, Authority, “While independent and sovereign in its own sphere, the Convention does not claim and will never attempt to exercise any authority over any other Baptist body, whether church, auxiliary organizations, associations, or convention.”
What this means is that the ERLC deliberately lied about how the SBC operates in an attempt to bamboozle federal judges.
That is stunning.
And the repercussions do not stop there. This type of hierarchy would pierce the SBC’s defense against local church sexual abuse issues. The SBC has always claimed that and operated under view that the local church is autonomous. Today, the ERLC is claiming just the opposite.
Is this intentional? Does the ERLC want to expose the entire SBC to an abuse claim in a local congregation?
If not intentional, this legal claim hands abuse victims a ticket to lawsuits against the entire “hierarchy” of the SBC.
Is Russell Moore trying to destroy the Southern Baptist Convention? If not, his incompetence is leading to its downfall.
Why do conservative Southern Baptists put up with this?
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The Episcopalians were able to use the hierarchy language to take all the money and property from the churches that tried to stay conservative in that denom. They took the buildings, contents including artwork and furniture, other property, any other financial accounts, defrocked the clergy, and stripped them of their retirement accounts. They convinced courts that the property all belonged to the “national church” in order to take everything from those who tried to resist the woke agenda. Of course the Episcopalians *really are* a hierarchy but if Moore can convince the courts that the SBC is a hierarchy it can rule that cases against the “national organization” are already settled precedent in favor of the national church.
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