SBC Elites want to retain power and have created a controlled opposition; however, SBC Elites are not unified and this presents an opportunity for conservative Southern Baptists.
As noted yesterday, all organizations, no matter how democratic in organization and creation, tend toward oligarchy. The Southern Baptist Convention has its own Elite—its own oligarchy. This oligarchy wants to survive the conservative rebellion. So, it will do what oligarchies always do; it will adapt and coopt members of the opposition.
Or, more specifically, it will attempt a controlled opposition first. If that fails, the SBC Elites welcome some cooperative (ie: compromisers) conservatives into their ranks.
At the moment, the SBC is facing a conservative rebellion. Conservative leaders are rallying to expel the Progressive, Leftward Drifting, Elites who now control most if not all the SBC’s entities. Of course, SBC Elites want to retain control. Thus, the Annual Meeting takes on serious importance. It will not be the typical rubberstamp. Both sides are mobilizing the masses.
As James Burnham noted of politics, “If a division occurs among the leaders, one section or both is forced to seek help from the masses of the membership, and is able to organize their strength. The opposition leadership is sometimes successful in eliminating the old leadership. Second, new leaders may, and do, arise as it were ‘spontaneously’ out of the masses. If the existing leadership is unable or unwilling to crush or assimilate these ‘outside’ leaders, then it may be overthrown.”
We are at the stage where Elites are following both courses to ensure their survival in power.
They are wooing potential messengers to the Annual Meeting. More on this below.
Also, they are attempting to assimilate a few conservative voices.
The first tactic is the creation of a controlled opposition. One example is Neil Shenvi. Shenvi is an apologist who says many good and right things about Critical Theory and its divisive threat to the church. Yet, Shenvi attends J.D. Greear’s church, praises J.D. Greear along with Tim Keller and even John Piper, writes for The Gospel Coalition and attacks conservatives like Michael O’Fallon, Enemies Within the Church led by Judd Saul and podcaster Jon Harris
An example of Shenvi’s propaganda for Big Eva Elites like John Piper, Tim Keller and J.D. Greear is his new review of Cynical Theories by Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay. Piper and Keller were noted Never-Trump radicals and have done significant work to promote Critical Theory. J.D. Greear let everyone know where he stands as he promised to “tear down all hierarchies.” Yet, Shenvi anoints these radicals responsible for much of the rise of Critical Theory in Evangelicalism as heroes fighting the movement.
Shenvi claims in this TGC review, “Fortunately, more and more evangelicals are beginning to take this threat seriously. Last August, Tim Keller wrote a long article listing the ways in which ‘postmodern critical theory’ is incompatible with the Christian worldview… In a two-part article, John Piper warned against critical race theory… Recently, six SBC seminary presidents and convention president J. D. Greear issued a statement affirming that ‘Critical Race Theory, Intersectionality and any version of Critical Theory is incompatible with the Baptist Faith & Message.’”
This is manipulative. It is a rewriting of the record. It is fake news. It is misinformation.
Ordinarily, one could attribute this to a lack of judgment or discernment. However, given its blatant value as propaganda and its placement in The Gospel Coalition—a major spreader of Critical Race Theory into Evangelicalism’s blood stream—it is unlikely a mistake.
This is intentional. It is an intentional misleading of the Church.
However, a controlled opposition is not the only tactic available for a desperate oligarchy hoping to survive.
If the controlled opposition fails (as it appears to have failed), then the Elites will attempt to assimilate certain acceptable conservative voices.
The SBC Elites will coopt some of the Johnny-come-lately voices and status seekers into its ranks.
They will write books on Critical Theory now that everyone knows its danger. It is no longer risky to stand and proclaim the truth.
They will not name the names of the great threats to the Church.
Yet, they will be hailed as heroes by the very same Big Eva Elites who spread Critical Theory to the masses.
And they will pave the way for a Third Way approach. They will welcome dialogue that will in dialectical fashion synthesize a new poison for our churches since many are now aware of the dangerous venom of Critical Race Theory.
And there was War in Heaven
The SBC Elites may very well be divided. Many of the Conservative leaders are in fact part of what could be considered the SBC ruling class. They are well known and respected. However, they are not part of the clique that presently wields power. Thus, the Conservative Baptist Network with Mike Stone and other outsiders led by Northwest Baptist Convention Executive Director Randy Adams present a real threat to the status quo Leftward Drift.
However, there is more.
Ed Litton is clearly the candidate of the North American Mission Board and its tyrant Kevin Ezell. (Ezell is the embattled leader of NAMB who faces a rebellion against his insulting, autocratic and let’s be honest here, sinful character.)
How you ask do we know Litton is NAMB’s, Ezell and the Woke candidate? Because NAMB’s Send Network is putting him on stage. It is the oldest play in the Southern Baptist political book.
Litton was hosted at several events by NAMB and its SEND Network. A Las Vegas conference just prior to Litton’s announcement and Texas and Florida conferences following Litton’s announcement as a candidate. Note that no other candidates received this type of promotion.
The fact that NAMB and a few other SBC entities are working to aid Litton’s campaign is stunning given the connections between Ezell and Mohler. Ezell was Mohler’s pastor. Ezell owes his elevation to Mohler (as almost every SBC entity head does today.) Yet, Ezell appears to have his own candidate. And more than a few Mohler cronies are using platforms to promote Litton.
What does this mean?
If the SBC Oligarchy is in this much turmoil with no consensus candidate, then conservatives very well might have the chance to overthrow the Leftists who are now in control.
Have those Mohler raised to great heights now forsaken him? Is the great empire builder now betrayed? It calls to mind the drama of Oliverotto da Fermo and Cesare Borgia as told in The Prince.
Or, perhaps since I have compared Mohler to Mr. Speaker Harley before, this little fight is similar in nature to the cabinet battle between Harley and Henry St. John.
In any case, the division among the SBC Elites provide an opportunity for conservatives.
All conservatives must do to gain victory is remain vigilant and send every available messenger to Nashville to vote.
 James Burnham, p. 162.