In June 2021, Ed Litton was narrowly elected to serve as the Southern Baptist Convention’s president on the basis that he would oversee an investigation into the alleged covering up of sex abuse among the denomination’s entities–specifically, the Executive Committee. The investigation became a primary issue among Southern Baptist messengers at the annual meeting after former ERLC head, Russell Moore, dropped questionable, at best, accusations against the denomination. Almost a year later, the investigation has produced absolutely nothing.
On the other hand, within a few days of Litton’s election to the presidency, an investigation by Reformation Charlotte, Capstone Report, and several others produced a multitude of evidence of sinful and doctrinally aberrant behavior by Ed Litton stemming back multiple years. Breaking the story of Litton’s years-long plagiarism scandal was a report by Reformation Charlotte that found Litton had “borrowed” a phrase from JD Greear while preaching in Romans 1 claiming that the Bible only “whispers” about homosexuality compared to its “shouts” about other sins.
From there, several joined The Dissenter (formerly Reformation Charlotte) in uncovering a years-long scandal of plagiarism by Ed Litton. Since then, several Southern Baptist pastors and churches have called on Litton to resign which has landed on deaf ears. The latest to join the increasing calls for Litton’s resignation is a Unity Baptist Church, a Reformed church in Millington, TN.
Ed Litton is no longer the president of the Southern Baptist Convention, but his plagiarism scandal continues. In the video below, he claims he made up a story for a sermon about a Roman soldier demanding a Jewish boy to carry his backpack down the road for one mile, and despite the cost to himself, he goes the second mile.
That story was actually NOT made up by Ed Litton and is actually from a 2016 article by O.S. Hawkins as part of his devotional collection. The Hawkins article is strikingly similar to the illustration that Litton claims he made up, as it reads, in part:
It is this miracle mile that separates certain individuals from others. The second mile is only made possible by being obedient to the first mile. The second mile has a way of brightening our own road. Think about it. Imagine a first-century boy working at his trade. A Roman soldier comes by, calls to him, and demands that he carry his backpack for one mile down the road. Now, this command interrupts the lad’s whole day and takes him away from his work. But he has no choice. However, this boy is a second miler. They approach the one-mile marker and instead of putting down the pack, spitting on the ground, and marching back home, he volunteers to go an extra mile with the soldier. Along the way, he pleasantly inquires about life in Rome. The soldier is baffled. I have often wondered if that Roman soldier at the cross who said, “Truly this was the Son of God,” had had such an experience earlier with a second-mile follower of Christ (Matthew 27:54).
Someone who journeys on the miracle mile also has a way of lightening the load of those around them. One cannot travel the second mile without influencing others. It only takes one second miler in a home to change the entire environment. It only takes one second miler on a team or in the office to do the same.
As you can see, Litton’s scandal is deeper than even we could have imagined.