New Documentary Has SBC Buzzing and Bickering


Enemies Within the Church, a documentary long in arriving, is live and available for viewing.

Just a few days after being made available to the viewing public the documentary has made clear that the doctrinal rift in the Southern Baptist Convention, thrust into the spotlight with Resolution 9 at the Birmingham Annual Meeting, is as deep as ever.

Whether or not you are convinced by the documentary’s thesis that false teaching is colonizing evangelicalism it appears there is no debate there are indeed enemies in the church, enemies defined by their reaction to the documentary.

The Screening That Created a Storm

The brouhaha began when The Conservative Baptist Network tweeted they would be hosting a screening of the documentary at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary (MABTS) on November 20th, 2021.

The Tweet That Created a Controversy

This prompted Adam Greenway, President of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS), to publicly appeal to MABTS to cancel the screening. Considering Greenway’s previous, generally supportive, approach to Ed Litton’s ongoing plagiarism controversy some found the aggressive posture Greenway took toward the film more than a little inconsistent, perhaps none more powerfully than Tom Buck.

Nonetheless, Greenway’s choice to take his grievances to Twitter created just the roiling controversy one might expect.

And this is where things get really interesting.

Big Names Go to Battle

On November 17th Steve Gaines, current pastor of the historic church that sits literally across the road from the MABTS campus, followed Greenway to Twitter to weigh in on the film and MABTS with a striking subtweet.

This log-on-the-fire from Gaines drew out Mrs. Dorothy Patterson – wife of Paige Patterson, former SWBTS President and controversial figure in his own right – who issued a forthright and direct reply to Gaines‘ tweet.

Where Does the SBC Go from Here?

The battle of SBC Blue Bloods fed attention into a panel discussion on The Current State & Future Direction of the SBC led by SBC First Vice President Lee Brand featuring Tom Ascol (Founders Ministries), Rod Martin (formerly of the SBC’s Executive Committee), Randy Adams (Executive Director of the Northwest Baptist Convention), and a Piratey Pastor you might have seen around these parts.

You can watch the panel discussion for free here.

So What is a Southern Baptist to Do?

Considering the high profile controversy around Ed Litton and the ongoing conflict brought about by Resolution 9 a Southern Baptist may wonder what they should do with this new front line in the ethical and doctrinal fight currently defining the SBC.  I suggest getting some fellow Southern Baptists together, watching the film, talking it over, and deciding if the SBC has a doctrinal problem. Give Lee Brand’s panel discussion a watch then ask yourself what God’s future holds for the Southern Baptist Convention and what faithfulness looks like for those of us in Southern Baptist Churches.

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3 thoughts on “New Documentary Has SBC Buzzing and Bickering

  1. Hmm… I’d like to watch the video but it concerns me that this seems to be a money grab. At $12.95 a pop for individuals and the expensive group pricing there’s a lot of money to be made here.
    Now that doesn’t mean I contend with the content of the film. Obviously, I haven’t watched it. I made up my mind that the SBC has a plethora of false teachers long ago. But I have to question the integrity of people charging a fee to expose them. It smacks of greed, which is one of the signs of a false teacher. False teachers exposing false teachers isn’t very impressive to me. Honest men with an honest message wouldn’t be charging people to get it.
    Just an opinion. If I’m missing something I’d be open to correction, but that’s my initial impression, non-Baptist stirring the pot over issues that I already believe to be true to make a buck. I’m not interested in giving them my money. And I sure can’t justify spending church funds for a group showing. They lost me at the cash register.

    1. D.E., I get that false teaching & money go hand-in-hand. On this one, though, I suspect the cost is simply to recover the costs of production. Do with that what you want, obviously.

      1. Maybe. But as I understand it they had a good bit of financial backing from contributors prior to making the video. And it would be a fairly low budget project as film goes.
        I would like to see it. I saw a review from Phil Johnson that intrigued me. I trust Phil and he says it has some merit. But I’m still having trouble getting past the $$$. Maybe after the initial rush is over in 6 months or so there will be a bargain price for sceptics and tight-wads like me.

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