The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) faces grave danger from a lawsuit that could be headed to the Supreme Court, according to SBC Presidential candidate Randy Adams.
“If NAMB prevails at SCOTUS it will mean that NAMB can interfere with any organization that cooperates with the SBC (Churches, Associations, State Conventions, etc.), including defaming the leaders of organizations that partner with the SBC, and they can do so with legal impunity,” Adams said. “Does the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution allow NAMB to do and say whatever it chooses about any minister simply because they serve a church that cooperates with Southern Baptists? NO. And if SCOTUS rules otherwise, God help the SBC.”
The North American Mission Board (NAMB) of the SBC appealed a verdict of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to SCOTUS.
SCOTUS is now awaiting a brief in the case from Will McRaney. McRaney claims that NAMB President Kevin Ezell slandered and otherwise harmed him. McRaney was executive director of the Maryland-Delaware Baptist Convention at the time he alleges Ezell and NAMB retaliated against him. (Ezell faces other allegations not connected to the lawsuit about abusive conduct and behavior that was disgusting and un-Christian.)
NAMB claims it is protected from the slander claims and other allegations because of religious liberty. This defense was rejected by the Fifth Circuit which noted that so far, nothing in the lawsuit had anything to do with religion belief or religious practice.
Of particular concern to Southern Baptists is the fact that the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) intervened in the case not once but twice with amicus briefs.
The first ERLC amicus brief was filled with lies. So many lies that when it was exposed, the ERLC was forced to file an apology with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Now, the ERLC filed a new amicus brief with the Supreme Court. This new brief has the ERLC joining Muslims and Mormons in a new attempt to mislead the courts about the nature of the lawsuit.
Adams highlights the latest ERLC attempt to mislead the Supreme Court. He writes, “The ERLC claims that ministries that serve churches who cooperate with SBC missions are not separate and autonomous when it comes to legal jeopardy regardless of the SBC bylaws and constitution. ERLC is basically saying we are just like the Methodists. This means that whoever has the money and the power can run roughshod over a church, association or state convention with absolute legal impunity, simply because we serve the same churches. That’s their argument.”
Adams says this is the most pressing issue for Southern Baptists.
“No current issue facing Southern Baptists is as important, and potentially dangerous, as NAMB’s appeal to SCOTUS. This could change Southern Baptists forever,” Adams said.
He then called for leaders to step forward to repudiate the false claims of the ERLC, led by progressive and lifelong Democrat Russell Moore, and Kevin Ezell’s NAMB.
Adams said, “It’s time for leaders to take a stand. Where are the voices of the Executive Committee of the SBC? Where are the voices of our entity leaders, SBC officers, pastors, and state executives?”