Last June, arguably the most unqualified pastor in the modern history of the Southern Baptist Convention was elected to the presidency of the denomination and has held the highest office for nearly a year. Shortly after his narrow victory in a run-off election against Mike Stone, Ed Litton became embroiled in a plagiarism scandal of epic proportions.
After Reformation Charlotte broke the story that Ed Litton, like his predecessor, JD Greear, preached a sermon on Romans 1 stating that the Bible merely “whispers” about homosexuality, others then soon caught wind and began passing around the video and it soon blew up. Not only had Litton plagiarized that particular sermon, but video evidence began mounting that Litton had plagiarized hundreds of Greear’s sermons verbatim and also plagiarized sermons by other pastors dating back several years.
The Southern Baptist Convention’s president is a serial plagiarist.
But Litton was the choice of the progressive establishment of the Southern Baptist Convention—he was the man to carry out the deeds and make the dreams of the leftists that control the denomination come true. Litton, and those like Danny Akin who put him in office, never had any intention of correcting the liberal drift of the denomination. The denomination, since at least 2013 when Russell Moore took office at the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), had taken a sharp turn toward embracing worldly ideologies. Of them when the core tenets of Critical Race Theory and Cultural Marxism neatly packaged into a Christianized theme and dubbed “racial reconciliation.”
The “racial reconciliation” movement was quickly embraced by well-meaning Southern Baptists as on the surface, it sounded good. And while we spent years covering the “racial reconciliation” movement and urging people to understand that this movement was nothing but Marxism packaged inside a trojan horse, it wasn’t until around 2018 that some of the more conservative wing of the denomination began to wake up.
In 2019, after the Southern Baptist Convention passed a resolution embracing the use of Marxist Critical Race Theory as a “useful analytical tool” for Christians to observe racial issues in society and the Church, Tom Ascol, president of Founders Ministries, began to speak out against the movement. Recognizing that this movement was incompatible with Scripture, it was no longer just the “far-right” “ultra-conservative” “fundamentalist” “discernment bloggers” that were making a stink about it.
The opposition to the liberal takeover in the Southern Baptist Convention began to grow, and these “far-right” outlets had been vindicated. It appears, however, that the efforts were too little too late.
Fast forward four years later, as current president, Ed Litton finishes out his first term while not seeking a second term due to his scandal, the denomination is at a final crossroads. It appears that Litton’s scandal was too much for even the establishment to ignore and many have called for his removal. The establishment desperately wants a candidate to replace Ed Litton—so much so that they’re willing to do anything in order to see to it that it happens. After Tampa Bay pastor, Willy Rice—the establishment’s first choice—proved to be an unmanageable liability, they immediately dumped him and replaced him with Bart Barber.
Actually, however, Barber is literally the perfect establishment candidate for the Southern Baptist Convention elite club. He’s willing to do whatever he’s told and has no real convictions about anything. He’s simply the marionette on the stage with the puppetmasters pulling his strings—just like Joe Biden. What’s most sad about the whole charade: he actually has a very high chance of pulling off a win. After all, he has all the SBC money-changers behind him.
The Southern Baptist Convention, in 2022, is at a turning point. It will either die completely or live a few more years on life support. With the three candidates for the presidency now on the table, only two of them are well-known. Barber, the establishment’s choice, and Tom Ascol, the conservative’s choice. There is Robin Hadaway, but at this point, not much is known about him—which could actually be a good quality.
As we watch the lead-up to the 2022 annual meeting and election unfold, we see the leftists and the establishment desperately trying to sabotage any chance of Ascol winning. Texas pastor, Tom Buck, who is well-known for his association with Tom Ascol, has been an outspoken critic of the Southern Baptist Convention’s leftward drift. Buck has been the target of relentless attacks by leftists, particularly leftists associated with Danny Akin’s Southeastern Seminary, Dave Miller’s SBC Voices, and various factions of the SBC’s North American Mission Board (NAMB)
You can read more about that at Protestia. To summarize, however, two weeks ago, Buck’s wife, Jennifer, released a story of God’s redemptive grace on the G3 Ministries website. The story described a rough start to the young couple’s marriage that lasted a few years but ultimately ended with God’s restoration. While some of the details may be hard to endure, it is nonetheless a beautiful story of God’s grace and encouragement to any other couples that may be facing hardships in their marriage.But the establishment, it seems, was hell-bent on using the Bucks’ story not to draw people to Christ, but to make a political statement and use it against him.
Shortly after, a story surfaced on Baptist News Global, the leftist rag of a news outlet associated with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship—a denomination that separated from the Southern Baptist Convention during the Conservative Resurgence. I won’t link to the article because the article is a slanderous hit job against Buck, his wife, and conservative Southern Baptists as a whole.
The author of the article, David Bumgardner claimed to have received an “earlier draft” of the article that Jennifer published that he says used stronger language to detail Jennifer’s experience during this time. However, Jennifer herself has taken to Twitter to discount that notion and says that, instead, she actually feels abused by SBC leaders.
It is worth noting that David Bumgardner is now, as of just last week, serving as a pastoral intern at Canal Street Church in New Orleans, a church that is partnered with the Southern Baptist Convention’s North American Mission Board for funding. NAMB is vice-chaired by Willy Rice who just recently stepped out of the race for SBC president.
According to Protestia, Tom received a phone call from a prominent SBC leader and was “told in no uncertain terms that if he did not effectively drop out of Southern Baptist Life, stop tweeting, and stop opposing the liberal takeover of the convention, a story would be released that he beat his wife.”
After Tom received this phone call, he reached out to Todd Benkert and Jay Adkins, two Southern Baptist pastors who also write for the progressive blog, SBC Voices, to find out who was behind the leaking of Buck’s rough draft. You can listen to the audio of this phone call below:
It has since come to light that two professors at Southeastern Seminary, Karen Swallow Prior and Dean of Graduate Studies, Keith Whitfield, are the likely culprits behind the blackmail attempt. Others allegedly implicated in this scheme include Southern Baptist pastors, James Merritt, current SBC president, Ed Litton, and one of Litton’s associate staff members, Josh Wester, according to the report from Protestia.
While Benkert and Adkins made sure they left room for plausible deniability in their phone conversation with Tom, it is clear from the audio that Benkert slipped and did not mean to mention Karen’s name. Anyone in their right mind can see right through this. And we should all find it completely laughable that these men would claim to be on Tom’s side while refusing to do what is right and release the names of those involved.
Further, according to the report from Protestia, Tom reached out to Danny Akin to ask for his assistance in persuading Karen Prior to revealing who she leaked Tom’s rough draft to which Akin allegedly agreed to get to the bottom. After not hearing anything, Tom then reached back out to Danny who then changed his tune and said that he would not push her to reveal anything.
Then the following post on Twitter directly implicating Danny Akin’s Dean of Graduate Studies appeared.
It then became apparently evident the reasoning behind Akin’s change of tune in pushing Karen Swallow Prior to revealing to who she leaked the rough draft.
Akin has since confirmed that it was his Dean of Graduate Studies professor, Keith Whitfield, who went to Karen Swallow Prior to confirm the rough draft of the article used to blackmail Tom and Jennifer Buck.
Prior, of course, downplays her involvement while attempting to whitewash a scandal of epic proportions that she is clearly involved in at least to some degree. The question is “why?” Why in the world do these people hate conservatives so much? Well, the reason is simple, those who pull the strings want it that way. The Southern Baptist Convention is the largest non-Catholic denomination in the country and those who play dirty in politics fund the liberal drift by placing non-conservatives like Karen Swallow Prior and the rest of these men in strategic places to move the needle.
The progressives need the Southern Baptist Convention and all its members to drift to the left if by nothing else, becoming more tolerant of the left. Those who offer any pushback at all immediately become the primary targets and puppets like Karen Swallow Prior, Danny Akin, James Merritt, Ed Litton Keith Whitfield, Josh Wester, Russell Moore, and the list goes on, will swoop in for their kill and not give a second thought to the personal damage that it might cause.
The question now is, how much more are we willing to tolerate these wicked people in our midst? God is a God of purging—and it’s time to purge or get out. No more games.