SBC: The Game is Rigged

Newly elected SBC President Bart Barber

I watched some of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Annual Meeting in Anaheim online, and my suspicion that the SBC game is rigged was confirmed. The elites on the platform, like Ed Litton, were in full control, and the average messenger had little to no say in what transpired. The disdain that the Ed Litton’s have for the average messenger is disgusting. If messengers are treated this disrespectfully and not allowed to make their voices heard, what is the point of the annual meeting except to promote the agenda of the powerful elites in charge of the entities?

Predictably, the moderate candidate, Brett Barber, defeated the conservative one, Tom Ascol, for the SBC Presidency. This was a major blow to conservatives. Furthermore, Litton rudely interrupted Jennifer Buck as she was speaking at the microphone and basically shut her down. Apparently, the SBC Credentials Committee couldn’t find the courage to disfellowship from Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church, which is ordaining women pastors. They decided to revisit the issue in the future sometime. I also watched as the elites rallied to defeat a motion to replace an ERLC (Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission) trustee, who had already served his term, with a humble pastor. The elites seem to always defend their own.

One messenger stood up and made a motion that the contact information of the trustees of the various SBC entities would be made readily available. He explained that he could not reach the trustees by voicemail or email, and he could not find a valid address for them. It is hard to effect change when the trustees won’t make themselves available to people.

It’s disheartening to watch conservatives get their hopes up each year, thinking that this year might be different, while knowing that it won’t be. The outcomes are virtually predetermined by those in power, those who love the status quo. Let me also just say that the method of counting votes does not promote confidence in the integrity of the system. How can those on the platform determine whether or not there’s a 2/3 majority in two seconds just by looking at the raised ballots?

And it’s not just this way at the annual meeting. It’s this way at the SBC throughout the year, even down to the local church. I’ve experienced similar frustration myself. I was in a committee meeting at a church, and the pastor at the time said that when he would see someone walk into the church, he saw a dollar sign over his head as he thought about all the money that person was going to tithe. That one statement confirmed my worst suspicions that for some in the SBC, it is simply about bringing in the money and numbers, or as one pastor put it, nickels and noses.

I’ve come to the conclusion that if you genuinely want to serve the Lord and you are an outspoken conservative, those in power in the SBC will make it hard for you. They will blacklist you. They want company men who are going to play the game and participate in the good ole boys’ club. SBC leaders don’t care about the truth that much. They just want you to be winsome and nice. Because they care more about what people think than what God thinks.

So I’m about done with the SBC. I can’t follow leaders who are afraid to be authentic and take bold stands for the truth. I can’t take the “nice” fakeness that ignores the problems at hand. The SBC is becoming a toxic environment in which I feel more and more alienated. And I don’t want to play that rigged game anymore.

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