Al Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS), has been desperately trying to rebrand himself after a nearly decade-long stretch of bad decisions and poor leadership. Mohler, who is an excellent theologian but is noted for his “leading from behind” strategy of leadership, is responsible for the trainwreck that has now turned into the Southern Baptist Convention’s multiple scandals.
In 2013, Al Mohler recommended Russell Moore, a Democrat and former Dean of Theology at SBTS, to lead the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC). Since his appointment to that post, Moore has single-handedly led the Southern Baptist Convention on a crusade against conservatism and stirred up more division than the denomination has seen in decades. After Moore did his damage, the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee (EC)–which was led by Ronnie Floyd, who was nominated for SBC president also by Mohler–decided to launch an investigation into Moore’s ERLC to see if Moore’s leadership was having a detrimental effect on income from donations to the SBC.
This investigation led to an alleged retaliatory effort by Moore who then made unsubstantiated allegations against the Executive Committee and its leaders of covering up sex abuse. Moore’s retaliation against the EC has now led to a sham investigation into the EC and its members, the loss of legal representation for the denomination, the possible and probable loss of insurance, funds which should be spent on missions being redirected to pay legal fees of alleged abuse victims, the loss of jobs and good repute among innocent EC members, the narrow election of a far-left social justice feminist to the SBC presidency against the conservative nominee who was falsely accused by Moore prior to the election, and the loss of trust of Southern Baptist institutions which will ultimately lead to either a split or entire death blow to the denomination.
All of this can be traced back to Mohler’s poor leadership and refusal to address issues before it’s too late over the last decade.
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In the wake of all of this destruction, Mohler has been desperately trying to rebrand himself. Mohler typically will eventually land on the right side of issues–but it’s almost always after the irreversible damage has been done. For example, Mohler has employed multiple woke, Critical Race Theorists as professors at SBTS and has refused to address the issue. Yet, now that Critical Race Theory has become the prevailing issue within Southern Baptist Ranks–causing irreversible damage to our schools, churches, and institutions–Mohler finally comes out against it in word. But not action.
Mohler, for several years since its inception, has been an integral and influential part of the bi-annual conference known as Together 4 The Gospel (T4G). The conference, which is held every other year and put on by Ligon Duncan and Mark Dever, has primarily served as a way to integrate social justice into local churches. T4G has successfully lured many churches and church leaders into adopting the social gospel–at least on some level. And it’s main converts over the years has been the likes of men like David Platt, John Piper, Sinclair Ferguson, Alistair Begg, Kevin DeYoung, and others.
Mohler has been right in the middle of it…until now.
Mohler, according to Dever’s and Duncan’s discussion in the video below, has abandoned T4G because, according to the two, Mohler has other things to do. One can only speculate that since T4G has been one of the main propaganda outlets of Christianized social justice activism–and conservatives don’t like that, and Mohler lost the SBC presidential election because conservatives don’t believe he is conservative–that he has walked away in an effort to rebrand himself as more conservative.
While this is admittedly speculation, if the shoe fits, wear it. And the shoe fits quite nicely. Mohler needs to become more conservative if he’s going to hold on to any leadership position in the SBC for much longer. And while Mohler isn’t a far-left progressive, he hasn’t been a true conservative either. He’s been a fence-rider and bridge builder…and that simply isn’t going to work anymore in our current political and theological climate. He’s going to be forced to figure out which side he wants to be on and then have some actual convictions about it and acknowledge that he’s failed to address these serious problems within the church if he ever wants to have any respect again. Otherwise, he’s going to go down in history as another failed church leader of the 21st Century.