In the midst of a great scandal in the Southern Baptist Convention perpetrated by the newly-elected Southern Baptist president, Ed Litton–who has been caught plagiarizing a multitude of sermons from JD Greear and other pastors dating as far back as 2013–another conservative church has announced that they will be departing from the Southern Baptist Convention.
Jonathan Sims, the senior pastor of Shelbyville Baptist Church in Tennessee, gave a sermon on July 4 where he lambasted the spiritually weak state of Southern Baptist churches.
You know, I’ve thought about this a lot. I’ve had the privilege…of living in the midst, I believe, of every important leadership dispensation in the Southern Baptist Convention. I was alive in the 70s and 80s–Roy Honeycutt and Russell Dilday brand of liberalism and their leadership. I was alive for the 80s and 90s Morris Chapman, Adrian Rogers conservatism. And now the 90s to 2000s, Al Mohler, Russell Moore, JD Greear Calvinism. But one thing has been constant through each of these dispensations: biblically weak, sick, and unhealthy local churches.
Sims stated that he has been “grieved for decades” over the fruit of the Southern Baptist Convention and that we can have no doubt about the state of the denomination based on its fruit.
Two years ago, the church voted unanimously to defund the Southern Baptist Convention and reduced their giving from “tens of thousands of dollars” down to one hundred dollars a year just to give the church time to deliberate and decide how to move forward.
On July 4, Sims declared that “the Southern Baptist Convention has reached a point that my conscience will no longer allow me to even be loosely affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.” He continued, “I believe it’s time for us to formally withdraw from the Southern Baptist Convention.”
This falls on the heels of a stark moment of division within the denomination as conservatives are leaving in droves as neocon liberals advance a social justice agenda, embrace egalitarianism, and essentially replace the gospel with Critical Race Theory.
The entire sermon can be heard at the church’s website at this link: https://smbconline.com/sermon/departure-from-the-sbc/