There is a debate among discerning Christians as to whether the Southern Baptist Convention can be saved. There are those like the Conservative Baptist Network that think they can save it. Then there are those like JD Hall who have already left the denomination, denouncing it as an irredeemable parachurch organization. While most eyes are on the race for the Southern Baptist president, an integral power structure that is at the head of the rot within the Southern Baptist Convention will survive, regardless if Mike Stone gets elected or not. This spring of corruption is the Baptist Biumvirate.
If one knows anything about Roman history, they are familiar with the concept of a triumvirate. The first triumvirate consisted of Gaius Julius Caesar, Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, and Marcus Licinius Crassus. Together they carved the empire and shared power. However the triumvirate was doomed to fail when Crassus died in battle. The Southern Baptist Convention operates similarly with a biumvirate, meaning two. However, JD Greear, current three term president of the Southern Baptist Convention, is not one of those two.
Predictably, Al Mohler is the first one within the triumvirate. Having been entrenched in the flagship seminary for decades, Al Mohler built a network of loyalists who have risen to powerful positions. In essence, Al Mohler has a tentacle in most if not all of the seminaries within the SBC and most of the other organizations within the Cooperative Program. Al Mohler is so influential he has never needed to become the denomination’s president, but has likely long wanted to be the denomination’s president, which is why he has renewed these ambitions the last two years.
The other member of the Baptist Biumvirate is Kevin Ezell, the head of the North American Mission Board. Because of Al Mohler’s influence in the rise of Kevin Ezell, it may seem incorrect to view him as such a power entity. However, Kevin Ezell, during his time at NAMB, has proven to be a wanton political juggernaut. Kevin Ezell has ruthlessly attacked state conventions like the Baptist Convention of Maryland and Delaware as well as the Northwest Baptist Convention. Ezell is even willing to defend his corruption before the Supreme Court of the United States. In addition to fueling the leftward drift via ecumenical church plants, Ezell has also used to the Cooperative Program funds to groom megachurch pastors within like JD Greear and court heretics like James MacDonald.
Both the seminaries and the North American Mission Board are fueling the decline of the Southern Baptist Convention. Al Mohler influences an entire generation of new pastors and Kevin Ezell puts them to work. In other words, Al Mohler supplies the manpower and Kevin Ezell wields them. This is even true of Mohler’s creatures like Russell Moore who is supporting the North American Mission Board in their lawsuit against Will McRaney.
If Mike stone is victorious in SBC21, this does little to save the convention, even if it sends a message that Critical Race Theory is not welcomed any longer. The Baptist Biumvirate will remain in power until meaningful reforms can be enacted. While delivering a wound to the woke evangelicals is a decisive victory, taking on the corruption within the Southern Baptist Convention requires recognizing the intricate power sharing dynamic between its most powerful operatives.