The contention leading up to SBC2021 keeps getting hotter. Yesterday we broke down Russell Moore’s leaked letter. The former President of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission penned an extremely self-indulgent letter praising his work on sex abuse and characterizing his opponents as supporters of child molesters and white supremacists.
Since the letter two people have been implicated in the sins Russell Moore has namelessly described: Paige Patterson and Mike Stone. Paige Patterson is accused of demeaning Trillia Newbell. As Evangelical Dark Web pointed out, he would have been correct in questioning a woke author being hired by a Southern Baptist entity. As for Mike Stone, he is one of the ones specifically referenced for going after Russell Moore in an investigation.
Mike Stone clapped back at Russell Moore in a press release of his own, Thursday evening. He begins:
Russell Moore’s back-door press release of June 2, 2021, was filled with mischaracterizations of who Southern Baptists are. The release of the letter is clearly an attempt to influence the upcoming presidential election in the SBC. And I think Southern Baptists can see this letter for exactly what it is.
Right out of the gate, Mike Stone accuses Russell Moore of leaking the letter to the pagan Religion News Service. He states that the motivation was to be a Baptist version of an October surprise.
His sharp accusations against the SBC and its leadership were supposedly made in private correspondence in February of 2020. It seems odd that the author of “The Courage to Stand” would sit silently on such troubling accusations for 16 months and longer.
In this mic drop paragraph, Mike Stone insinuates that Russell Moore is a coward, referencing his own book to do so. He also implies a distrust that the letter was genuine in the first place. The rest of the press release is a campaign statement.
Mike Stone took his sweet time in responding to these allegations but this is a loss for him. Russell Moore is the most despised false teacher in the Southern Baptist Convention. And while being Russell Moore’s enemy is good for Mike Stone, Stone appears highly inept at driving these wolves out of the church. In partaking in an investigation of Moore’s leadership of the ERLC, Mike Stone failed to reach a meaningful conclusion. Discernment bloggers drew far more blood in combating Russell Moore’s influence.