“They say that patriotism is the last refuge
To which a scoundrel clings
Steal a little and they throw you in jail
Steal a lot and they make you king” Bob Dylan
If the Southern Baptist Convention is God’s Country, then Ronnie Floyd is its President. Thom Rainer and Ed Stezer are its secretaries state and education, respectively. Bucky Kennedy is a loyal citizen of this country. In the latest piece of desperate propaganda posted to Peter Lumpkin’s blog, Bucky Kennedy clings to patriotism as he invokes the names of these men in a desperate attempt to associate himself with a crowd of men who aren’t set to go down in flames for an abject failure to steward the resources of Georgia Baptists. Ronnie Floyd, Thom Rainer, and Ed Stetzer, for all their faults, did not foist the charlatan Ergun Caner upon the citizens of Mt. Vernon Georgia and the students, faculty, and staff of Brewton-Parker College. Bucky Kennedy did that. Johnny Hunt backed the decision.
The tactics Kennedy uses to distract from his culpability in the matter are as obvious as Ergun Caner’s bold charlatanry.
“Ronnie Floyd has called our convention to prayer and repentance and some have responded by questioning his motive and mocking his effort.”
So what? Ronnie Floyd didn’t do what Kennedy did. Kennedy did what Kennedy did. Kennedy knows country-baptists go all googly-eyed when pastors talks about God, country, and revival. Hopefully, they’ll see through the smoke screen Kennedy throws up by making these comments about Floyd.
Now, Johnny Hunt is arguably culpable for the hiring of Caner along with Kennedy.
“Johnny Hunt has worked to restore pastors and their families, giving generously of his own personal income, as well, as leading his church to be incredibly generous in the area of missions and evangelism, and he gets ridiculed and slandered.”
Whatever “restoration” is, if it is done at all it is done by the Holy Spirit and not Johnny Hunt, his megachurch, and his megachurch’s money. It’s not slander but a documented fact that Johnny Hunt declared Ergun Caner “restored”. Such a declaration was made barely a year before Caner resigned in disgrace amongst allegations of obscene language and sexual misconduct.
Kennedy found a black person to say that Caner is not a racist. This one:
If the phrases “n*ger-d*cked” and “n*gger-f*cked” aren’t racist, then what are they? They are at least vulgar. These are the phrases Caner has alleged to have said. It’s worth noting that Kennedy did not produce a resident of a “Mexican trailer park” that’s decorated like the Brewton-Parker Café to say that Caner loves Mexicans. Consequently, the Pulpit & Pen is told by sources that black students have made up as much as 30% of the student population at Brewton-Parker.
Kennedy leaves the readers with these comments:
“Know I intend this to be my final plea for common decency and Christian duty in dealing with the long public dispute concerning Ergun Caner.”
Kennedy can only hope this about Ergun Caner because perhaps, finally, the long and checkered “ministry” career of Ergun Caner may be over. Kennedy’s lingers on, as does Hunt’s. However, this is not about Ergun Caner, it’s about an environment that allows men like him to thrive. As long as Kennedy is a leader of that environment, “a wilderness of our making” he calls it, the dispute will carry on.
Thom Rainer and Ed Stezer sell books for a living. They don’t run Georgia Baptists causes. Bucky Kennedy does. Kennedy and Hunt are Georgia Baptist Royalty. Gary Campbell, who fired CB Scott and later resigned is, according to a Pulpit & Pen source, a deacon at Kennedy’s church. How long can their kingdoms endure when people find out that it was them who boldly acted to put an unstable, unrestored, unrepentant charlatan into a position of influence?
In writing this, Kennedy tacitly acknowledges that he has heard the bell and that it is he for whom it tolls. As more details of the story emerge, the ringing should get louder and louder.
[Contributed by Seth Dunn]
*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.