The spectacular humiliations of 2020 & 2021 show God is at work, but are any SBC Elites paying attention? Ed Litton failed to find consensus on the sex abuse investigation because he is a liar and laughingstock; thus, nobody trusts him.
And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore, every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire. —Matthew 3:10
Ed Litton was humiliated on the front page of the New York Times. What better proof does one need that God has set His face against the Southern Baptist Convention?
The man who was the toast of the secular, coastal elites was, well, toasted in the press. Litton appeared multiple times on MSNBC (the propaganda arm of the Democratic Party). He offered a message that the Southern Baptist Convention was safe from conservatives.
He told multiple MSNBC hosts that his brand of moderation was now in charge. He was telling Elites that Trumpism was dead but doing it with a wink and a nod.
Within a few days of those repeated appearances on MSNBC, Litton was enmeshed in the Sermongate scandal. The scandal was so serious it made Newsweek and Ed Litton was shamed on the front page of the New York Times print edition.
It was a spectacular fall.
Litton attempted to distract from his own scandal by turning the focus on the SBC Sex Abuse investigation. This is how politicians always act. They ignore their own sins and hope to distract you by the sins (or even alleged sins) of others. However, Litton does not have the moral authority to effectually deal with this investigation. And this is an important point—a real leader with moral authority would have found a way to build consensus. Litton failed because he is not a leader and has no moral authority.
If Litton cannot be trusted to preach, or even more simply, if Ed Litton cannot be trusted not to tell a lie, then how can anyone trust him to handle an investigation into alleged mishandling of sex abuse cases?
This gets to the deeper problem—the entire culture of the Southern Baptist Convention is corrupt.
Like Bill Clinton, Ed Litton is a symptom of the problem and not the problem itself.
Of course, that does not excuse Litton. The doctor treats both the disease and its symptoms. Like gangrene, the surgeon must do his work lest the body die.
The Corruption of the Southern Baptist Convention: Love of Lucre more than fear of God
“But thou didst trust in thine own beauty, and playedst the harlot because of thy renown, and pouredst out thy fornications on every one that passed by; his it was. And of thy garments thou didst take, and deckedst thy high places with divers colours, and playedst the harlot thereupon: the like things shall not come, neither shall it be so.” –Ezekiel 16:15-16
The Church is portrayed in the New Testament in the motif of a bride awaiting the bridegroom. Hopefully, the bride is unspotted. Her purity is an important part of her dowry.
Alas, the Southern Baptist Convention has long since lost its virginity.
Many wickedly pursue lucre. They seek power or reward for service not to God but to man.
There are SBC pastors who defend Ed Litton by claiming the Bible itself and the Apostles were guilty of plagiarism. These men will cheapen Holy Writ to maintain a wicked man in power.
But Ed Litton is not the only SBC scandal.
The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) filed false legal briefs with federal court to harm another Christian and help their good buddy Kevin Ezell and the North American Mission Board (NAMB).
When it was exposed, the ERLC was first silent, then sort of apologized with a non-apology apology, and finally repudiated the brief. For good measure, Russell Moore blamed the Catholic lawyers he worked with on the brief.
Do you detect a pattern?
The SBC Elites never apologize or repent until they have no other choice.
It is why so many scandals break. Scandals that cover pretty much the entirety of Southern Baptist life.
Remember, how one megachurch pastor who was chairman of the LifeWay trustees and publishing books with LifeWay (in violation of SBC bylaws prohibiting this type of benefit), awarded a sweetheart $1 million severance package to the failed former LifeWay CEO Thom Rainer.
There is another pattern one should detect in Southern Baptist life—love of lucre. In fact, too many of the SBC Elites love lucre more than they fear God.
Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil;
That put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
That put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! –Isaiah 5:20
Most of the men of the SBC stood around with hands in their pockets doing nothing for years as these problems grew. While many were doing nothing, either unaware or uninterested in SBC politics, some of the SBC Elites stood around with their hands out. They desired getting on the platform at the right conference or the book deal or the bit of patronage from their favorite entity. They obeyed the 11th Commandment because they knew that was the path to get ahead in the SBC.
Many sold themselves for a pot of porridge.
They called evil good and good evil. That is why the trustees cannot be trusted. The trustees of the SBC entities enabled Kevin Ezell’s bad actions against Will McRaney. The trustees of the ERLC enabled Russell Moore’s lies.
The trustees are not to be trusted.
And that leaves the SBC tearing itself to pieces.
This internecine fight will not abate. There will either be victory for the conservatives and purification of the SBC. Or the SBC will follow the progressive political machine into terminal decline.
The SBC needs healing; however, it can only begin by repentance. That requires removing the liar President Ed Litton. Until that happens, only more woe will fall on the Southern Baptist Convention.