Unrepentant: Ed Litton clings to power in Southern Baptist Convention

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Ed Litton justifies plagiarism and his lie to the Washington Times in interview with SBC This Week

The new President of the Southern Baptist Convention Ed Litton told Southern Baptists that he was sorry he got caught and will do things differently in the future. In an interview with SBC This Week, the official podcast of the SBC, Litton did not confess plagiarism was sin and did not admit he lied to the Washington Times in defending the removal of many older sermons.

Notice how Litton artfully tells listeners that his story to the Washington Times was accurate and the statement of the elders was accurate. What he does not tell you is that even if his statement is true, he lied by omission making sure to deceive the Washington Times and its readers by not giving the reporter the entire story. Only now, do we get more details when the lie was exposed.

Howe of SBC This Week asked about the apparent conflict between Litton’s statement to the newspaper and the Redemption Church statement to Baptist Press, “A lot of people say those statements can’t live together. They don’t mesh.”

Ed Litton responded, “They actually do. I understand why people think that. But they actually do. Our elders and leaders made the decision to take down because they felt that people were going in and pulling things out, they believe, of context. And so, to protect the church, the wellbeing of the church and their pastor, they said we are pulling these down. But, what they left was the last 18 months, which was all of 2020 sermons and all of 2021 sermons. And at the same time, over a month ago, we began a process of migration from our current host of our website to a brand new one. The new website will go live at the end of this month…Both of those things are true. Both are happening at the same time.”

Pay attention to this statement.

Why did they leave 18 months?

Was there something hidden deeper in the archives that Ed Litton and his SBC Elite handlers did not want found?

The answer is yes. (You can read: How Ed Litton’s plagiarism of J.D. Greear dates back to at least 2015.)

SBC President Ed Litton says he is sorry…sort of

Litton explained his approach to not citing sources developed from how he was taught to preach in seminary.

“I am asked by good people, ‘Why didn’t you just credit J.D.?’ Now I want you to hear my heart, this is not an excuse or justification. I am sorry I did not. I had a preaching professor in seminary that we would preach in front of and he would evaluate us. He was one of the kindest people I ever met for evaluating. A student got up, probably the smartest guy in the class and every citation from ICC to Lenski, any critical commentary, he cited all of them, even his illustrations. ‘I got this from that book and this from 1,000 illustrations or whatever. When he finished the professor very kindly said, ‘That was a good sermon. I am just going to tell you something. When the diamond miner goes looking for diamonds, he doesn’t hold up the pick and the shovel. He holds up the diamond. Now, please hear my heart, I am not excusing myself. I am just explaining my heart. I love my people and I want them to see Jesus. He is the diamond.”

Talk about manipulative.

Ed Litton defends using word-for-word significant portions of J.D. Greear sermons (something he has done for years) because of Jesus.

This is an end justifies the means ethical approach. Litton is telling you that he has no problem taking anything, even personal stories told by Greear, to aid in the performative delivery of his sermon.

And he takes that lazy approach and defends it because it glorifies God.

The number of people stepping forward to defend sermon plagiarism, including SBC academics, is staggering. A prominent Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) professor tweeted this insanity, “Full disclosure: the preachers who mentored me considered plagiarizing a sermon to be an impossibility. Like Augustine, they believed that ‘the Word of God belongs to all who obey it.’ In other words, if a sermon truly is based on Scripture then no one owns it but God.”

What Christians understand here, that seems to elude SBC Elites is that even if using sermon points were acceptable, to borrow stories wholesale that did not happen to you and tell them as if they did, is a lie.

For example, this video of Litton telling a Greear story exposes the moral bankruptcy of Litton’s preaching method.

Litton is performing a sermon instead of preaching.

He is a fraud. He has defrauded the people in his church for years.

Now he is defrauding the people of the Southern Baptist Convention as he desperately and shamelessly clings to power.

“I promise I will do it differently,” Litton said.

That is hardly comforting. Without repentance, and what Litton has done shows no marks of repentance, why should we trust him?

Ed Litton and his handlers are clinging to power. It shows they only care about power. These men love power more than they fear God.