In June, in response to a political hit job perpetrated by former Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) head, Russell Moore, Southern Baptists elected Ed Litton, pastor of Redemption Church in Saraland, Alabama to be the president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) partly because he promised a swift and strong response to the allegations of sexual abuse in the denomination.
Earlier this year, a few weeks before the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting, a trustee of ERLC leaked a letter that had been penned by Russell Moore alleging cover-ups of sexual abuse, including child abuse, in the denomination, particularly against members of the SBC Executive Committee which is now headed by Ronnie Floyd. The “leaked” letter was followed up with recordings of a meeting between Russell Moore, Ronnie Floyd, and other members of both the ERLC and the Executive Committee discussing these allegations.
Multiple sources, including Ronnie Floyd himself, contradicted the claims and allegations made by Moore and it has now come to light that Moore’s letter was never actually penned for the purpose of actually getting to the bottom of these allegations, but primarily to later be used in a political hit job against conservatives running for SBC president in 2021.
Moore’s letter, which was “leaked” right before the annual meeting where the president would be elected, made allegations against the Executive Committee of which a conservative, Mike Stone, was a member of. Mike Stone was also a leading contender for the presidency. When the letter was leaked, much of Stone’s support plummeted as he was now–through shock and awe–made to look like a Villian who was against investigating sex abuse while Ed Litton, on the other hand, was made to look like the “hero” who would surely get to the bottom of it.
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Once again, it was nothing more than dirty, Chicago-style politics which has now turned into a witch hunt that could cost real people–who serve on the Executive Committee–real hardship.
In the midst of the investigation that Ed Litton promised to carry out, one of the demands the investigation committee is making of the Executive Committee is to waive attorney-client privilege. The argument is that the messengers at the annual meeting voted for this, so the Executive Committee is obligated to comply with it. Despite the fact that the messengers were actually manipulated into voting for something they had very little knowledge or understanding of, the ramifications of waiving attorney-client privilege would have real-life consequences for real, innocent people. Among those would be opening up individual Executive Committee members to individual lawsuits of which would then have to be self-funded.
To be clear, Ronnie Floyd is not innocent. Floyd himself has made a lot of mistakes and caused a lot of these problems through incompetence. Floyd has been the subject of many polemics and discernment articles over the years. Yet, we have this entire scandal now brewing and it’s being overseen by one of the most incompetent, unrepentant, self-serving pastors the denomination has ever seen: Ed Litton.
Litton, if you’re not aware (you should be), has been embroiled in a plagiarism scandal involving the verbatim copying without attribution of multiple sermons by other pastors, primarily JD Greear, but also Tim Keller and others, spanning multiple years. For the last several months, Litton has been on public relations tour making excuses for his actions and pretending like it’s not a big deal.
Ed Litton recently visited his alma mater, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary where he painted himself as the victim of envy and rivalry in the midst of his plagiarism scandal. Following his scandal, he has become entangled in a seemingly never-ending web of lies as he continues to excuse his behavior, deny any wrongdoing, and insist that those who are criticizing him are not worthy critics.
Allegedly, he also told other Southern Baptist leaders during a phone conference that members of his church were making threats against those who are speaking out against Litton’s qualifications.
To be sure, Litton’s subsequent and continual lying and evasion about his plagiarism has become an even bigger scandal than the actual plagiarism itself. And yet, the plagiarism itself, even if truly repented of, would disqualify him as a pastor and elder in a Bible-believing church and certainly disqualify him from leading an entire denomination.
With the task of overseeing the investigation into the alleged sex abuse cover-ups, one must ask themselves if they can really trust a man who lies, cheats, and steals from others to carry out such an endeavor. Further, why would you want someone like this overseeing it?
Now that they are neck-deep into this witch hunt investigation, Litton’s committee has already been exposed as having carnal motivations. First, if there are allegations of illegal activity taking place, they should be turned over to the police for a criminal investigation. To my knowledge, that is not the case. Instead, the committee is hiring a private investigation team which is being represented by a pro-LGBTQ, progressive law firm, Linklaters, that carries with it the stated purpose of advancing sexual deviancy and feminism.
If the allegations are not criminal, but merely immoral, then why would Southern Baptists support involving anti-Christian Pagans who are hell-bent on destroying Christianity in the investigation. If the allegations are not criminal, but merely immoral, that would make this an ecclesiastical matter which should be dealt with by the Church, not Pagan homosexuals.
Whether or not one believes that the investigation is truly necessary or not, I think everyone could agree that Ed Litton isn’t the only person capable of doing so. Yet, the progressives in the denomination have relentlessly defended Litton against critics of his plagiarism scandal because they believe that he was elected to carry out the investigation. Despite the fact that Litton is unqualified to carry out an investigation, they’re going to defend that tooth and nail because, if they didn’t, they would have to admit they were wrong.
Personally, I don’t care who carries out the investigation. Personally, I don’t care who carries out the investigation. Admittedly, I revel in the notion that this could possibly spark the end of the SBC. Yet, this is not how it should end—not so some leftists could virtue-signal at the expense of innocent people simply trying to serve.
Maybe an investigation is needed and maybe there has been some wrongdoing. But one thing is for sure, Ed Litton has no moral high ground to conduct the investigation. It is clear that he and his progressive cohorts have an agenda and they intend to carry it out at all costs, despite his disqualifications.