The Baptist Press revealed yesterday that Pastor J.D. Greear of Summit Church, Raleigh-Durham, NC, has nominated current
pope president of the Southern Baptist Convention, Ronnie Floyd, to a second term. This comes as no surprise, as Floyd is adored by the neo-evangelical leadership who have now mainstreamed the denomination. One of the problems with this neo-evangelicalism is that many of them are solid bible teachers, and are solid in their doctrinal beliefs, but outside of the pulpit is where they break down. They see no problem associating with, and promoting emergent leaders such as Rick Warren, and they tend to blindly support each other, as I reported before, without any accountability, in order to re-elect and maintain leadership positions within the SBC. This appears to be the same thing here.
J.D. Greear, who pastors a seven location megachurch in North Carolina, and avid supporter of emergent leaders like Warren, has stated his reasons for nominating Floyd, and they seem to fall right in line with the current line of thinking among our current SBC leaders. Greear says of Floyd:
Pastor Ronnie filled his first term with repeated calls to prayer. Every time I hear him speak, he lifts our eyes beyond what we can do to what only the Holy Spirit can do. He really believes a move of God is possible in our generation. And he makes me believe it — a true and essential message for every generation, but one especially pressing in our own,” Greear wrote.
I can only suppose that Greear “heard him speak,” when he was quoting and promoting false teacher Robert Morris, while making an unbiblical push to his congregation for money, known as “first fruits tithing.” Morris and Floyd teach the Word-Faith heresy that if you aren’t giving the first ten percent of your gross income to his 501(c)(3) organization, then you are under the curse of God, and that you have “the supernatural power of God working against you.” Floyd doesn’t use any scripture to support his teaching, only Robert Morris.
While it sounds great that Floyd has repeatedly called for prayer during his first term as president, as reported before, his method of prayer is quite concerning. He is an avid supporter and promoter of Mark Batterson, author of The Circle Maker, in which Floyd says of Batterson:
This is one of the most motivating books on prayer that I have read in years. As a committed prayer warrior and one who has written on prayer as well as prayer and fasting, I was ministered to greatly. This is a book that will be around for many years, one that any Christian can benefit from reading.
Batterson teaches a method of prayer that is based on twisted scripture and an old Jewish legend from the Talmud. Batterson says “But there are also situations where you need to grab hold of the horns of the altar and refuse to let go until God answers. Like Honi, you refuse to move from the circle until God moves.” This is nothing more than Word-Faith heresy that teaches you can manipulate and use God to gain material blessing.
Floyd also has long ties to a very strange ministry, known as Life Action Ministries. I really don’t get what the fascination with circles is, but they teach the same thing. Life Action is a peculiar new-age group disguised as Baptists, that goes from Church to Church performing “revivals,” and this group seems to believe along the same lines as Floyd in the ability of man to awaken their spirit, as well as discover (multiple?) pathways to God.
Is this what Greear is referring to when he says that Floyd lifts his eyes beyond what we can do, and to what only the Holy Spirit can do? Greear goes on to say:
Second, Pastor Ronnie possesses the convictional graciousness we believe honors the Lord in our convention. I am amazed by the diversity of Baptists who call him friend and look to him as leader. He unifies Southern Baptists. He is clear on the Gospel and gracious in those matters of secondary importance.
I tend not to be as excited about this as J.D. is, as I don’t view the type of unity he stands for necessarily all that God-honoring. Floyd’s unification efforts tend to be centered around pleasing man, rather than God. Floyd’s focus has always been on numbers, i.e. church growth, and income. And his vision of “Spiritual Awakening” appears to be an agenda he has, in which he has now unified the SBC around his idea that through these other unbiblical, man-centered methods of prayer, money and growth, he will somehow bring about a “great movement of God.” This unification around man-centered ideas is typical of the world, but Godly unification involves being unified around the unshakable truth of Scripture.
Greear’s third reason for nominating Floyd appears to be personal:
Third, Pastor Ronnie loves young leaders. My first memories of Pastor Ronnie are of him reaching out to me when I was a very young pastor, taking interest in me, speaking courage into me and vision over my life. Pastor Ronnie’s focus is not only on the achievements of our past, but the possibilities in our future.
First, I’m not exactly sure what Greear means by “speaking courage into me and vision over my life,” but it sounds troubling. It sounds a lot like Joel Osteen’s “name-it-and-claim-it” heresy. The Bible doesn’t teach anywhere that I’m aware of that we, as human’s can speak anything into existence, including “courage” or “vision.” Man does not declare the things of God, only God does, and Matthew 6:26-33 teaches that we are to seek first the kingdom of God, and God will provide for us.
A very good friend of Floyd’s, and one who Floyd names as a co-leader on the 2015 Committee on Committees, is Alex Himaya. Alex Himaya promotes this idea of being able to bind and loose Satan by speaking directly to Satan himself. This is a further twist on the power of speech heresy, in which Floyd seems to have problem with.
Gotquestions.org has a good take on this type of Word of Faith teaching:
The roots of the Word of Faith movement and the name it and claim it message have more in common with new age metaphysics than with biblical Christianity. However, instead of us creating our reality with our thoughts, as new age proponents advise, name it and claim it teachers tell us that we can use the “power of faith” to create our own reality or get what we want. In essence, faith is redefined from “a trust in a holy and sovereign God despite our circumstances” to “a way of controlling God to give us what we want.” Faith becomes a force whereby we can get what we want rather than an abiding trust in God even during times of trials and suffering.
While on the surface it appears to be a noble cause to invest in young leaders, it’s only helpful if our investment is biblical. It appears as though Floyd has been teaching his Word of Faith doctrines to young people for quite some time, and that Greear has been one of his disciples. So why wouldn’t Greear nominate Floyd again?
Greear’s final reason for nominating Floyd is:
Finally, Ronnie Floyd knows that the church’s ‘main thing’ is to exalt Christ by doing all we can to reach the lost. Jesus summarized His ministry by saying, ‘The Son of Man has come to seek and save the lost.’ I cannot be around Pastor Ronnie without developing a greater passion to see the lost reached and a greater conviction that God wants to use us to do it. Pastor Ronnie believes the greatest days of evangelism are ahead of, not behind us.
Great! So we have someone who’s main focus is to exalt Christ, and reach the lost. While I can admire the passion for reaching the lost, is our method biblical, or man-made? Greear says he can’t be around Floyd without developing a greater passion and conviction for the lost. That’s great, but what is Ronnie Floyd recommending that we do to make it happen? So far, I hear him lying about God to secure money from his followers, teaching people unbiblical methods of prayer, and declaring false visions over people without any real scriptural support. So is this the Gospel that he wants to take to the lost? Is the vision of “Great Awakening” that Floyd has actually a transformation of mainstream evangelicalism, and the SBC in particular into a Word of Faith, emergent, and mystical Gospel of contemplative prayer, name-it-and-claim-it doctrine and ecumenism? It appears to be that way, and it appears that J.D. Greear is on board with it.
The Southern Baptist Convention is quickly becoming a leadership cult. If you want to be in on it, you have to play the game their way. The SBC was once a great organization that worked fairly effeciently, from the bottom up. However, it’s becoming much like the Vatican in structure, wherein the current leaders pick the next leaders, and the system works from the top down. No longer does the average laymen, or even the lesser known pastor have any say-so in who gets elected to leadership positions. If you aren’t a well-known megachurch leader, seminary leader, etc., you have no voice. In other words, if you aren’t already a leader, you don’t get to play. Yes, you can work your way up, but you must play it their way. This Roman Catholic-like leadership cult is the big boys club of the SBC and they get to make all the decisions. It appears as though nothing will be changing any time soon.