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Charlotte, NC — The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is in trouble. Known for its theologically conservative stance on social issues and for its fierce support for Biblical truth and the inerrancy of Scripture, the SBC has been a champion for Conservative Christianity while being vilified by atheists, agnostics and others on the Left. However, there has been a shift within the SBC over the last 10 years or so.
The belief that we are all one in Christ (Gal 3:28 says “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus”) has seemingly been replaced by an obsession to prove to the world the SBC is not racist. With it has come the acceptance of a false, social gospel espoused by at least some at the highest levels of SBC leadership.
At the SBC convention in 2019, the now infamous Resolution 9 was passed that opened the door to Critical Race Theory as a “useful, analytical tool” for looking at race in America. Ten years ago, the thought of introducing ANY part of an un-Biblical, secular worldview into SBC seminaries would have been unthinkable. These days, however, things are different, though not so different from the ’80s when the SBC confronted and conquered another Leftist giant, liberalism.
In the late ’70s and into the ’80s, the SBC was run by theological liberals who believed the Bible was full of errors and mythology, among other things. Led by men like W.A. Criswell and Adrian Rogers, a strategy was put in place to lead the SBC back to its theologically conservative roots. Al Mohler was also a part of this movement and has been described as one of the movement’s “chief architects.” It took over 10 years to win back the SBC, and it came according to Al Mohler “at an incredibly high cost.”
Today, the SBC finds itself in a similar situation. One SBC leader espousing this false, social gospel says, “the gospel is not good news without spiritual redemption and restoration, but the gospel is also not good news without emotional, economic, and social restoration as well.” In other words, the gospel is incomplete unless accompanied by works, a belief that runs contrary to Scripture. To make matters worse, Ed Litton, pastor of Reformation Church and newly elected SBC President seems to suffer from either sloppy or radical theology specific to the Trinity.
According to his church’s website, Ed Litton espoused a heretical view of the Trinity known as “partialism” that explains the Trinity as “3 co-equal parts,” a view that was quickly and quietly replaced on their website once it came to light. Ed Litton has also been caught up in a plagiarism scandal having admitted to numerous cases of plagiarizing the sermons of JD Greear. While Dr. Litton had JD Greear’s permission to use his sermons, Dr. Litton never told his hundreds of followers, in effect taking the credit for the sermons himself. When this came to light immediately following his election to president, Ed Litton and Reformation Church again, covertly pulled down over 140 other sermons from their website leaving many to wonder if these sermons were plagiarized as well.
Many in the SBC are dismayed at Al Mohler’s relative silence on these issues and are looking to him for the leadership they saw during the Conservative Resurgence. Al Mohler of 15 years ago during a discussion on The Briefing talking with the dean of Southern Seminary’s School of Theology, made these comments specific to pastoral plagiarism: “I can’t imagine preaching someone else’s words or copying someone else’s works and claiming those (as) my own …. this is just one of the most despicable practices I (can) imagine.”
If plagiarism was “unimaginable” and a “despicable practice” in 2006, why is Al Mohler silent on the newly elected President of the SBC, Ed Litton’s plagiarism? Where is the leadership from Al Mohler we saw in the ‘80s? As he said back then, his leadership came “at an incredibly high cost” to the SBC, but it was obviously worth it to take the stand he did. Is the cost of leadership too high for Al Mohler today? Why is Al Mohler not calling out leaders in the SBC espousing what most believe to be a false, social gospel that must include social works in order to be “good?”
What is unimaginable to many who know, love and respect Al Mohler is his silence on these and other issues within the SBC today. Standing by while the SBC is led by a president who is anything but transparent, espouses a heretical view of the Trinity, and appears to be a serial plagiarizer is not the Al Mohler they know.
Saying nothing while SBC leaders profess a false gospel and actively teach it to seminary students and church plant pastors is not something many would have ever associated with Al Mohler. So they ask with all due respect, “Dr. Mohler, will you please count the cost, take a stand, honor the Lord and lead as you did not so long ago. We will stand with you, but we need you to lead.” What say you, Dr. Mohler? Will you lead the Conservative Resurgence 2.0?
This guest article was written by David Palmberg. For any questions or to contact David, you can reach out through The Liberty Loft website contact page.
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