Brent Leatherwood, the current president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), epitomizes the progressive agenda that seeps through some corners of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). His ascension to this role followed the tenure of Russell Moore, another figure known for his progressive leanings. Leatherwood’s actions and policies reflect a continuation of this progressive infiltration, diverging from traditional, conservative Baptist values.
The growing concern among conservative Southern Baptists has now manifested in the form of a petition demanding Leatherwood’s removal from the ERLC. This petition, having amassed over 700 signatures, resonates with a significant portion of the SBC community.
The petition accuses Leatherwood of using his influential position to advocate for policies contrary to the wishes of those he represents. His prominent role in advocating for red-flag laws and other gun control measures, especially following the Covenant School shooting in Tennessee, has been a focal point of contention. His efforts to suppress the shooter’s manifesto, only to later condemn its leaker calling for his arrest and prosecution, further fuel the discontent. The petition also highlights Leatherwood’s absence in other critical battles such as opposing child mutilation “trans-affirming” surgeries along with his willingness to attack those upholding truth.
Diving deeper into Leatherwood’s progressive agenda, one finds a compromised stance on important doctrinal and practical issues, particularly abortion. Along with his association with the National Right to Life (NRLC), Leatherwood’s positions have repeatedly contradicted his supposed commitment to unborn rights. For instance, his opposition to a Louisiana bill that aimed to criminalize abortion, thereby removing accountability from women seeking to kill their children, demonstrates a significant deviation from the gospel’s emphasis on responsibility and the need for repentance. By portraying women as “victims” in all scenarios, Leatherwood undermines the gospel and dilutes the moral clarity and urgency of the call to repentance that is central to biblical Christianity.
During his tenure the ERLC, Leatherwood has aggressively championed progressive initiatives under the banner of “racial reconciliation.” Yet, a discerning examination of this pursuit unearths a troubling reality—they are tools for perpetuating divisive, anti-white social narratives. His efforts, fixated on a false narrative of racial dynamics, have systematically alienated a substantial segment of Southern Baptists, sowing seeds of division and fostering a lopsided view of race relations that overlooks their intricate and diverse nature.
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Leatherwood’s extreme push for gun control is another area where his progressivism is brought to bear in his activism. His push for gun control measures while attempting to conceal the manifesto from the Nashville shooter was an effort to exploit tragic circumstances to advance such measures. This not only undermines the Second Amendment rights but also diverts attention from the root causes of such violence, thereby failing to address the issue effectively.
Some have argued that Brent Leatherwood doesn’t represent the entirety of Southern Baptists, but that the ERLC is essentially a rogue entity. It is clear that there is a large portion of Southern Baptists who reject Leatherwood’s agenda. But with the direction of the Southern Baptist Convention in the last decade, it’s hard not to believe that Leatherwood is exactly what Southern Baptists want.
But for those who still believe that there is work to do, the situation calls for a decisive response from the Southern Baptist community. This petition is a rallying cry for those who stand for traditional, conservative Baptist values. The surge in signatures reflects a growing awareness and concern among Southern Baptists who recognize the urgent need to realign the ERLC with rank-and-file Southern Baptists.
As the petition gains momentum, it becomes increasingly important for every Southern Baptist, especially those with a deep commitment to conservative, orthodox theology and orthopraxy, to lend their voice to this cause. Signing this petition is not just an act of dissent against a single individual’s policies, it’s a stand for the truth of the gospel, the sanctity of life, and the preservation of fundamental Baptist beliefs. Southern Baptists are urged to unite in this cause, ensuring that their leaders truly represent their convictions and values. If you’re a Southern Baptist who would like to sign the petition, you can do so at this link.