Disclaimer: Denominationally, I am a Southern Baptist. I do not define my views based on Baptist theology (which does not really exist since each local church is completely autonomous from the denomination). I see myself as a follower of Jesus and study the word of God to form my thoughts. I do follow what is going on in the Southern Baptist church. Things seem pretty rocky right now.
Here is some great insight from Mark DeVine. Mark serves as associate professor of divinity at the Beeson Divinity School of Samford University in Birmingham, where he directs the Center for Faith, Work, and Economics. DeVine served as a missionary to Bangkok, Thailand, and has pastored churches in five states.
Mark makes a great point that the elite leaders are out of sync with the average member. This seems true of many denominations these days. Jesus encountered the same issues with the Pharisees, Scribes and Sadducees. You can read much more on this here.
“India is the most religious country in the world, Sweden is the most secular country in the world, and America is a country of Indians ruled by Swedes.” The late dean of American sociologists of religion Peter Berger would have trouble defending his most famous observation today, but his aphorism eerily reflects current conditions within the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). The overwhelmingly un-woke, Donald Trump-supporting, 14 million conservative Southern Baptists find the SBC institutions they fund controlled by social-justice warrior elites.
In Nashville, Pastor Ed Litton, the most woke of four candidates, won election as president of the SBC in a 52 percent to 48 percent second-ballot runoff victory over un-woke Georgia pastor Mike Stone. With fewer than 12 percent of the some 50,000 Southern Baptist churches present, the election results cannot and do not represent the views held by rank-and-file members of SBC-affiliated churches.
Why didn’t conservative Baptists show up to elect Stone? Partly because they don’t fear the SBC. The SBC exercises no authority over any Southern Baptist congregation. Each church is utterly autonomous. They own their property, adopt their own doctrinal standards, and send as much or little of their money to the SBC as they choose.
Southern Baptists trust their leaders and assume those who run the SBC seminaries, mission-sending agencies, and other institutions share their theological convictions and moral vision. Usually, that’s true. But not now.