Ed Litton, the current Southern Baptist president announced he would be moving on and not seeking a second term—which most Southern Baptist presidents do—in 2022.
After he was narrowly elected to the presidency of the Southern Baptist Convention in June 2021, Litton soon became embroiled in a plagiarism scandal that haunted him during his entire term. While he was elected to lead Southern Baptists in a mission to follow Christ and make Him known, instead, he found himself in constant defense of his actions.
Time after time, Litton made excuses for his actions and refused to acknowledge that his plagiarism was sinful. He would acknowledge that he failed to show attribution to JD Greear—whose sermons he plagiarized—but not admit that the lack of study and preparation and the blatant copying, nearly word for word, while attributing even the illustrations that Greear used in his sermons to himself, was sinful.
However, in an RNS article released yesterday, Litton seems to take a different posture. While he still doesn’t directly mention everything, the way he worded his statement, particularly in reference to being “exposed,” perhaps demonstrates true remorse. I am not a judge of hearts, therefore, I can only take him at his word, and to be clear, I will—at least for this particular issue.
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“I consider it a blessing to have been exposed in a way that, even though it’s humiliating and shameful, I can repent,” Ed Litton said, according to the RNS article. “I know who I am in Christ Jesus.”
Reformation Charlotte has on good faith that some good, solid, well-meaning pastors and leaders have encouraged Litton privately to examine himself and consider stepping down. Again, while I am not a judge of hearts, I am obligated to take Litton at his word that he is remorseful unless he proves otherwise.
…and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.” —Luke 17:4
Further, it is not up to us, but only to his local church, how he continues to operate within his church as he will no longer serve as SBC president. Let it remain clear that Reformation Charlotte still stands opposed to much of the progressive agenda that Ed Litton intends to pursue, and that acknowledging his apparent repentance on this single issue should not be construed as an endorsement of Ed Litton or his associates.