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.