The lineup for the SBCPC 2020 was announced and a pattern or statement is being made that are in the same pattern of the rise in theological liberalism in the Southern Baptist Church. The entire lineup can be viewed here. The first eyebrow to be raised is Hosanna Wong. According to the bio on her website, she is an:
Author, Bible-Teacher, and Spoken Word Artist, sharing captivating stories of a powerful God with churches, conferences, prisons, & other events around the country year-round.
Her sermons & spoken word pieces are rooted in her upbringing on the streets of San Francisco, her first-hand experiences with loss, hope, & redemption, & her innermost desires to see lives healed and restored by the power of Jesus.
She’s a product of marrying a pastor and becoming a pastor, as is common in Pentecostal churches. She is a pastor being invited to speak at a Pastors Conference. She’s a special guest, not a speaker. It is implied that her performance will be a spoken word. But spoken word is like comedy without laughs. It’s singing without any vocal inflections, maybe there’s a beat, so even lazier rap music than what’s played on the radio. It’s poetry for people who can’t write poetry. This is to say, she will be preaching to men in an SBC event under the guise of “spoken word.” Spoken word is her style of preaching. It quite literally says as much on her website under sermons that her sermons use “spoken word.” So because she’s a pastor who does spoken word the distinction between the two speaking forms is meaningless, unlike if it would be if she were not ordained by a different denomination. Her presence, at the very least, endorses her profession.
A little history lesson is needed here. The Southern Baptist Convention went to great lengths to fight egalitarianism in its ranks. The Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood was formed to preserve complementarianism. The BFM2000 codifies complementarianism in the doctrine of the church. And yet the Southern Baptist Convention cannot escape this battle. Egalitarianism gains a foothold with the use of terms like soft complementarianism. It has a solid foothold since Beth Moore is promoted by the elites at the top. So how are we supposed to view this speaker booking other than an affront to complementarianism?
She is not a Baptist. So why is she at a Baptist conference. It’s not an ecumenical event; it’s a strictly denominational event. Other non-Baptists are present. This would include Wayne Cordeiro, pastor of a Pentecostal spinoff founded by “faith-healer” Aimee McPherson, a female pastor. Then there’s David Hughes who is had a risqué storm trooper dance at his megachurch and his megachurch is affiliated with Hillsong through television partnership. It’s worth noting that Brian Houston of Hillsong is an egalitarian false teacher, and even Al Mohler has condemned Hillsong.
The reaction on social media to the lineup was so great, that the higher ups in the SBC actually issued a response. David Uth, President of the Pastors Conference went to Baptist Press, the SBC media arm to respond to concerns by not responding to the actual concerns.
All preachers and presenters were chosen after prayer with God’s guidance, with the intention of edifying and encouraging pastors, Uth said. None of the speakers or performers are intended to cause confusion or create dissension, he said.
He goes on to suggest that the opposing voices may endanger Wong, as though we are violent.
Uth’s staff is monitoring social media to determine whether sentiments are voiced that would endanger Wong for participating, he told BP.
“If we sense that it is going to be an environment that’s not going to be helpful to her,” Uth said, “or it’s going to be in some way hurtful, I would not risk that for anything. She is a precious lady. She and her husband do a great work in San Francisco.”
Judging by the guest list, of which Wong is not the only problem, the prayerful consideration seems lacking. It’s one thing to include members of other denominations to speak, it’s another to include those who actively oppose the BFM2000. The concerns raised on social media by Tom Ascol, Michelle Leslie, and many others are about how this is a statement meant to signal the denomination’s slide back into the days prior to its own reformation. The road to apostasy has long been paved with egalitarianism. Furthermore, the response issued by Uth via Baptist Press overlooked and trivialized these concerns of the other speakers as merely not being SBC.
It appears that we cannot trust Uth to do the right thing with the $100000 allocated for this event, nor is there an adequate means of accountability should he pack this event with those of questionable theological background.
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