ERLC admits to unspecified legal process now underway to protect convention from its incompetent legal filing
Who holds a Southern Baptist entity accountable when it goes rogue?
The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) of the Southern Baptist Convention blamed the Thomas More Society for a false legal brief. The scapegoating took place in a memo to the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention from ERLC trustees that was leaked to the Capstone Report. Not content to insult the fine lawyers at Thomas More Society, the ERLC memo insulted the Executive Committee for its probe of the rampant problems and Leftward Drift at the ERLC.
In a response to a December 4 email from the select Executive Committee investigation subcommittee dated today, December 11, 2020, the ERLC blamed lawyers and absolved itself of responsibility for the brief. The memo declares, “The clumsy and mistaken wording in this brief written by lawyers for Thomas More Society is an aberration from our consistent advocacy on these issues.”
In an important legal development, the ERLC admits to working on some “necessary steps” to create “legal documentation” that would protect the SBC from the ERLC’s false amicus brief filed in defense of Russell Moore’s friend Kevin Ezell and the North American Mission Board.
According to the memo, “The ERLC was clear in its recognition of the concerns, immediate in its affirmation of autonomy, and unmistakable in its willingness to work in partnership with both the Executive Committee and Convention attorneys to assess risk and determine what steps ought to be taken. All parties are in agreement that the necessary steps are being taken to make sure that legal documentation is in place to guard against and counter any legal consequences. We hope that will encourage you.”
No word in the memo of an apology to those wronged by the ERLC’s false legal filing. So, no apology yet to Will McRaney or the judges of the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. These are the ones injured and harmed. And McRaney suffered real harm–legal harm. The ERLC has a moral obligation to repair the legal harm done to McRaney. The world waits to see if the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission takes ethics seriously.
And of course, the ERLC made sure to attack the Executive Committee for daring to ask questions about Russell Moore and the ERLC’s significant problems—problems like the false filing in the lawsuit involving Will McRaney.
The ERLC said, “The ERLC has not only long opposed state interference with internal, church affairs, but has also regularly affirmed autonomy and rejected interference from any other church or religious bureaucracy as part of fulfilling its ministry assignment. So much so that these very convictions, as you may remember, were right at the core of the ERLC Executive Committee’s protest of this very task force, namely, that the SBC Executive Committee functionally acted as a hierarchy itself—in our view, overruling the will of the messengers of the SBC and inappropriately seizing the responsibility and work the of the ERLC Board of Trustees by creating this task force.”
Quick question: What body is empowered to act for the Southern Baptist Convention between sessions?
If you answered the Executive Committee, you would be right.
So, to answer the question of who holds an SBC entity and its trustees accountable when they go rouge—it is the Executive Committee.
Why is the ERLC and its trustees so interested in empowering lifelong Democrat Russell Moore and his good friend Kevin Ezell all while putting the SBC into legal jeopardy with false legal filings?
That’s a question the all Southern Baptists should be asking.
Of course, the ERLC and its trustees won’t answer that question just like they refuse to apologize or seek biblical justice with Will McRaney—the man wronged when the ERLC lied in its amicus brief.
What would Jesus do?
Not act like Russell Moore and his ERLC trustees.
That’s the best reason for a leadership change at the ERLC and in many SBC institutions.
And here is an image of the memo leaked to the Capstone Report: