Southern Baptist Convention presidential candidate, Tom Ascol, answered several questions about his presidential campaign during an interview last night with Bobby Gilstrap. Ascol also answered several questions regarding multiple controversies that the Southern Baptist Convention is facing currently including the recent blackmail scandal launched against outspoken anti-social justice pastor, Tom Buck as well as scandals that took place at the 2021 annual meeting.
Ascol was asked for his thoughts on certain Southern Baptist Convention pastors and leaders using sex abuse victims to advance their own political agenda. “I think we’ve seen that happen over the last year,” Ascol explained, ” with some of the sex abuse victims that were used by different ones that were signaling their virtue to us about how much they care about this issue and this whole thing has turned into a fiasco.”
Last year at the convention, Grant Gaines paraded an alleged sex abuse victim up to the microphone during the annual meeting where she was used as a prop to advance a political candidate. The victim later denounced Gaines along with others including Dean Inserra—who promised to stand by her no matter what—as abusers themselves which prompted these men to abandon her as she was no longer politically useful to them.
“It’s not been helpful to these dear ones who have suffered and sometimes suffered long without anyone recognizing or trying to come alongside of them to help them,” Ascol explained. “I believe what happened last year at the convention and the misuse of people in that way and the aftermath of that is tragic and those involved should be repentant and take a seat.”
“Southern Baptists may well have been listening to the wrong people on this issue of sex abuse and how to deal with it in a God-honoring way.”
Ascol was then asked about his thoughts on what has been dubbed “Buckgate” referring to the scandal involving “SBC elites” conspiring to blackmail Texas pastor, Tom Buck, and his wife Jennifer over the unauthorized sharing of a rough draft of their personal story with progressive media.
“I am grieved, and I have to confess I’m angered about this,” Ascol said.
Ascol went on to say that there is a plethora of evidence already and that there is more evidence to come out.
“You have pastors, again, who have positioned themselves among Southern Baptists as being those who care well and those who ought to be the spokesmen and the ones who set the pace on dealing with the sex abuse issue who have just lied,” Ascol said. “They’ve lied about this. There is no other way to say it.”
“I’m not trying to be ugly, the evidence is overwhelming. It’s undeniable; they have lied. And rather than simply repent of their lying and admit…they shouldn’t have done that…they’ve tried to cover it up,” he continued. “I think that’s an example of some of the problems I see going on in the SBC in terms of our culture.”
“It’s as though we’ve forgotten that we have a savior and a gospel and that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
Ascol said that there needs to be accountability and that if it becomes evident that there are employees of SBC institutions involved in this scandal, they “ought to lose their jobs.”
Ascol also spoke about the broken trustee system in the SBC whereby he said the system needs to be repaired. If we have problems with a Southern Baptist entity, Ascol said, “you lay it at the feet of the trustees.”
Ascol promised to do what he could to repair the trust among Southern Baptists and its entities, agencies, and leadership, if elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention. The entire interview can be viewed in the Southern Baptist Issues Facebook Group.