Virtually everything that’s not virtual is getting cancelled as a result of the Wuhan Coronavirus, however, events that are moderately down the road in terms of the year are still on as schedule. While the 2020 Olympics are postponed a year, this changes the date of an event that is not annual. The Olympics also rely on events that would otherwise currently be taking place for athletes to qualify. Similarly timed, neither college nor professional football have postponed the start of their seasons, nor has Major League Baseball cancelled their season altogether. So the Southern Baptist Convention cancelling their annual June convention should raise all sorts of questions.
This announcement came after President Trump sparked optimism into the country with a push to reopen by Easter and ongoing talks of a “stimulus” package that would only repay workers for a short period of wages they were forced by the government to forego. Outside of the discredited Imperial College model, there is no data to suggest coronavirus will be this omnipresent in June outside of the economic impact. The stock market is also beginning to recover, yet the Southern Baptist Convention went against all these trends opting to wait another year. At first glance this move may come off as a coronavirus induced overreaction, but this option does not hold water in face of the broader context leading up to SBC2020.
SBC2020 was set to be a highly contested affair. This comes after SBC2019 when the Resolutions Committee squeezed in a resolution endorsing the use of Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality as analytical tools. Essentially they passed Resolution 9 which endorses the use of cultural Marxism as a way to see (analyse) the world (worldview). For obvious reasons, this served as a massive wakeup call in which Baptists both reformed and traditional see the changes that are happening within the denomination. Documentaries like By What Standard have been produced along with the upcoming Enemies Within The Church. How has the leadership within the Southern Baptist Convention responded to the alarm bells?
Well, it’s been a bold year. The leadership has not responded well to pushback or criticism. In October, employing Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality, SBC elites attempted to ramrod Marcus Hayes, a man well-connected to SBC President JD Greear, in to a megachurch senior pastor role. He was rejected over concerns, among them a suspicion of social justice. SBC leadership took to calling the dissenters racist, employing the full might of identity politics in doing so.
Theologically conservative baptists have been organizing. In addition to Founders Ministries, the Conservative Baptist Network formed with goal to rescind Resolution 9. This occurred at the same time when the Pastor’s Conference announced a speaking lineup with multiple egalitarians and a carnal Popularity Gospel preacher.
The last event that necessitates mention is the race for SBC President. JD Greear was set to step down and a race between establishment Al Mohler vs grassroots Randy Adams would determine the next president. Randy Adams has been speaking to a number of issues including church involvement. Among his solutions was to enact remote voting. The SBC claims that remote voting would violate the bylaws of the convention but the “grave emergency” that is COVID-19 should merit a remote conference, instead of giving JD Greear a term beyond his term limit. The threat of coronavirus two months from now is not substantial enough to cancel at this time when the threat will be subsided, especially with the warmer weather, in a matter of the next few week. This abuse of bylaws is to deny the baptist grassroots a voice in convention affairs in a time when they are more organized. This is a power grab, plain and simple. JD Greear gets an unelected term beyond his limit. Elitism will fend off the grassroots for another year, giving the powers at the national level the time to further run NAMB into the ground and shift the denomination further towards theological liberalism and postmodernism.
Elitism is measured by the ability to fail upward, and due to the cancellation of SBC2020, the elites will fail into another year at their posts.
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