Culture

Why the Coming Split in the Southern Baptist Convention Is Inevitable

The headquarters of the Southern Baptist Convention in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

Something is very rotten in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), which represents America’s largest Protestant denomination, and it is only a matter of time before it goes the sad way of the mainline Methodists and Presbyterians.

The rot at the core of the SBC is illustrated in three men who ought to be stalwarts of the Gospel, but who are instead leading the convention into Woke Hell. This trio includes Matt Chandler, lead pastor at The Village Church; outgoing SBC President J.D. Greear; and his successor, Ed Litton of Redemption Church.

Litton had no sooner eked out an unexpected victory in the race to succeed Greear over Conservative Baptist Network stalwart Mike Stone than he was at the center of a scandal informally known as Sermongate.

Briefly, Litton was found and admitted to plagiarizing a sermon originally delivered by Greear. Preachers using sermons originally written and delivered by others is not unusual and is no problem as long as proper credit is given. Litton didn’t.

And in a demonstration of the enduring reality captured by the truism among journalists and politicians that “the cover-up is worse than the crime,” the archive of Litton’s sermons on his congregation’s website mysteriously disappeared shortly after Litton’s confession.

Not an auspicious way to launch one’s SBC leadership. But that’s not the most significant sign of Litton’s part of the rot. That would be, for example, Litton telling an MSNBC audience that “in my community, a very conservative group of people, ‘woke’ is a pejorative, unfortunately. But the Bible tells us repeatedly that we’re to wake up and we all need to wake up.”

One would not expect a prominent spiritual leader who was trained in a reputable seminary and can read the Bible to equate in a positive manner the far-left-wing critical race theory term “woke” with anything in scripture.

That’s the logical equivalent of comparing bubble gum with soap bubbles. Or, as Mark Twain once said, lightning and lightning bugs. They sound an awful lot alike, but it takes about three nanoseconds of focused consideration to realize they have nothing to do with one another.

That Litton’s thinking is trapped in a CRT frame of reference became clear in his next sentence when he declared that he was awakened “when I looked around and started seeing some things, and seeing history that I’d never really been aware of. … I love my city, but my city has a terrible scarred past when it comes to race.”

How long before the new SBC president declares that only White Southern Baptists suffer the Original Sin of racism?

Which brings us to Greear, who devoted a significant amount of his third term leading the SBC to pushing to change its name to “Great Commission Baptists.” Now, I have no particular problem with the alternative name. What I do have a problem with, however, is playing word games in an effort to attribute something hateful or ignorant to one’s innocent opponents.

“Our Lord Jesus was not a White Southerner but a brown-skinned Middle Eastern refugee. Every week we gather to worship a savior who died for the whole world, not one part of it. What we call ourselves should make that clear,” he was reported as saying by the Washington Post.

Did you catch what Greear did there? He used a classic CRT logical fallacy in attributing two false beliefs to those who disagree with him. I’ve been a Southern Baptist all of my long life and I’ve never once heard or read of any Christian, let alone a fellow Baptist, claim that Jesus was a “White Southerner” who only died for such individuals.

But in CRT-land, everything in opposition must ultimately be attributed to white racism, even if that means fundamentally misrepresenting the facts at hand.

Related: Study: White Privilege’ Lessons Make Liberals Less Empathetic to Poor Whites

And that brings us finally to Chandler, whose church has sanctioned a “worship song” with lyrics that could have been adapted from the pages of Robin D’Angelo’s White Fragility. D’Angelo is getting rich writing books and delivering well-paid lectures to white audiences explaining why they can never escape their inherent racism.

Here’s just a sample of the lyrics of “Walk With You” from the YouTube page of Chandler’s church:

Broken mirrors give us all a false perception

Broken systems teach us all false lessons

And the evil one so crafty in all of his deception

To keep us divided is to keep all of his lies protected

So you can’t see that you’re treated as superior

While I’m left fighting off the lie that I’m inferior

Chandler and Greear are among the SBC’s most well-known Bible study leaders. I’ve been though several by both in recent years, not because my home church has succumbed to the False Gospel of CRT, but because those studies apparently were produced before the authors were infected.

But here’s the bottom line that the SBC’s “woke” leaders better wake up to (no pun intended): Most of the 14 million Southern Baptists in the denomination’s churches will not sit and be propagandized with CRT or any other false gospel much longer. Keep it up and the SBC will soon be just another dying Protestant has-been.

It may well already be.