Not Your Bulldog – The Passion Conference and the Pulpit & Pen

Imagine, if you will, a homeowner in his bedroom who hears someone breaking into his house. He cracks open his bedroom door and unleashes his ferocious bulldog upon the intruder. He cowers, shuts his door, and listens to the ensuing carnage. The intruder gets mauled and the bulldog bears the brunt of his defensive kicks; maybe the pooch even takes a bullet. The homeowner avoids the fray altogether; eventually the police come to clean up the mess.

The Pulpit & Pen is not your ferocious bulldog.

This week I got a PM from a Facebook friend whom I know from First Baptist Church of Woodstock. It read:

Former SBC President Charles Stanley endorsing Passion Conference. Word of Faith Women’s Pastor Christine Caine Spoke there…SHE’S SPEAKING AT FBC DALLAS’ WOMEN’S CONFERENCE IN FEBRUARY. Sad days for SBC!!!”

This message was not from my friend but a career Baptist pastor; my friend was merely passing the message along to me from a source who wished to remain anonymous. The source wouldn’t even let my friend tell me his name. The source provided screen shots of Charles Stanley on stage at the Passion Conference praying over Louie Giglio. He also provided screenshots from the Facebook page of Wayne Bray. Wayne Bray is the “lead pastor” of (multi-campus) FBC Simpsonville in South Carolina.  Bray reportedly brought some of his staff and church members to the Passion Confernce and was complimentary of Christian Caine, the prosperity preaching female “pastor” from Hillsong Church.

Obviously, the anonymous source wanted two things: 1) to have Pulpit & Pen publishing a biting story about the folly of big-time SBC Pastors endorsing Christine Caine and 2) to remain employable in the SBC.

Pulpit & Pen can report the news, take the resulting kicks, and he can keep his reputation. I guess I can use my hard-earned seminary degree for wallpaper while the men who see something and say nothing publicly hang their degrees in plush church offices, complete with a secretary out front.

The Pulpit & Pen is not your bulldog.

Yes, its news that a man of Stanley’s standing is on stage at Passion. He shows just as much poor judgement as John Piper to participate in that affair. It’s well known that Stanley’s son Andy is a longtime friend of Louie Giglio, the Passion Conference’s founder. For all the 84-year-old Stanley knows, his son’s friend is putting on a nice youth conference. I’d be surprised if Charles Stanley was very familiar with what really goes on at Passion and just what nefarious rouges Giglio invites. Still, Charles Stanley is Charles Stanley. John Piper is John Piper. They should be more responsible as to lend their credibility to the disaster that is the Passion Conference. As for Wayne Bray, he’s nobody particularly famous, but clearly his church has problems. As far as FBC Dallas, who is really surprised the Robert Jeffress would allow Caine at his church?  (After all, he laid hands on Donald Trump with prosperity hucksters Kenneth Copeland and Paula White.)

Now, his news has been reported. Is it mission accomplished for our anonymous tipster? Not really. Pulpit & Pen likely won’t win his brothers as effectively as he could win if he spoke up with his own name. Yes, Pulpit & Pen has a bigger megaphone but a story with the name of witness is always more effective. Pulpit & Pen is happy to help give people a voice, especially frightened young women like the victims of Clayton Jennings. We’re even happy to keep sources anonymous but, seriously, can people not even tell us who they are when we stick our necks out and criticize the celebrity preachers? Don’t treat the Pulpit & Pen like that kid in middle school who you could talk into eating a bug or saying something outrageous in class. How about you show some guts of your own instead?

I’m not sure what culture cowards afraid of losing their jobs ever changed. I, for one, am glad the founding fathers of the United States pledged their fortunes and sacred honor when they stood up for what they thought was right . If not, I’d likely be paying taxes on my sweet tea to the Queen of England.

At least this one thing is clear, people (inside the SBC) are reading Pulpit & Pen and agreeing with our findings. If only they’d start living like it.

*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.

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@gsethdunn

Seth Dunn

Editor at Pulpit & Pen
Host of the Christian Commute Podcast
Member, Evangelical Theological Society
@gsethdunn

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