Of all the tweets I’ve seen from the #sbc15 hashtag lamenting the “Mickey Mouse court” mentality and foregone conclusions of the convention experience, most of those comments from rank-and-file Southern Baptists ring true. This one seems to summarize them the best.
I couldn’t make the Convention, after sitting for five hours on the Tarmac in Fargo and three separate canceled flights to Columbus via Chicago on account of the storms. And so, I’m watching from a distance. Here’s the first thing I saw today – at least a modicum of courage regarding Danny Akin’s endorsement of Openly Secular, a group founded by the Richard Dawkin’s Foundation and funded and supported by folks like Americans United for the Separation of Church and State (we’ve written about his endorsement here, here, here and here). A Georgia messenger asked the following…
Ronnie ‘Armani’ interrupted the man, and then admonished questioners to “get to their question.” Of course, without any form of explanation regarding the question – as many messengers would not know about Akin’s endorsement of Openly Secular – the question would make no sense. Notice, it’s when the messenger stated an opinion (the horror!) that Floyd quieted him. No opinions here, thank you very much. Ken Fryer made a simple deduction from the incident…
Brent Hobbs, however, totally didn’t agree…
Right. Obviously. It was just a rules thing. Because, you know, any old knuckle-head would know better than to break the rules and be publicly scolded by Ronnie Floyd like that. But, hey. It’s just a rules thing. It’s nothing about stifling opinion, right? It’s not like the Oligarchy aren’t actively trying to take away the few tiny seconds the rest of us peasants have an opportunity to express a thought…right?
Well, Hobbs was pretty intent on telling Fryer and others that people should learn to follow the “rules” that really aren’t that complicated to understand – you bunch of ne’re-do-wells! Now, a little bit about Brent before we get to the next part.
In a previous article at Pulpit & Pen, we identified Brent Hobbs as a particularly good example of sychophancy in the SBC. Oh, sure. There are others; Joel Rainey, Samuel James, the list could really go on and on. The only unacceptable criticism, in their opinion, is any and all criticism of Southern Baptist leaders. In that article, we explained that Hobbs’ recent post at SBC Voices demonstrates an other-worldly, uncanny ability to be immune to facts when defending Southern Baptist celebrities. We laid out those facts in that article in relation to Lifeway’s peddling of gay-christian propaganda, Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer books, claims of direct revelation, erotic devotionals, Heaven tourism, Word-of-Faith, anti-Trinitarian and prosperity “gospel” books and asked him to respond in particular to those issues (he hasn’t – and he won’t).
In fact, when Hobbs was emailed to ask about the specific facts regarding Lifeway we presented in that post, Hobbs responded…
Now, keep in mind that Hobb’s post at SBC Voices was a response to this Pulpit & Pen post. Oh, but he “doesn’t read Pulpit & Pen.” Suuuure. Because if he did (which he totally does), then he would have to answer our very specific questions – you know, like why did Stetzer and Rainer not remove The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven after being told in emails by Lifeway trustee, Justin Peters, that the book was untrue…or why they sell gay “christian” propaganda and Word-of-Faith literature. But, you know. Hobbs doesn’t read P&P. Like a child with his fingers in his ears, Hobbs cries, “I can’t hear you.”
And, as we said in that post, sycophancy is the grease that lubes the wheels of the SBC. That’s been on full display in Hobb’s Twitter feed. I thought about posting a wide array of those tweets, maybe as a YouTube clip against the audible backdrop of the sound of smuckering lips, but you get the point and you can look for yourself. If you want to be on a committee – or if one of the kings smile upon you – a trustee, it’s no secret how you get there. Be the yes man, and you’ll follow The Man.
And so, Hobbs – like a gang initiation into a band of sycophants – was talked into proposing a shamelessly vindictive move by someone somewhere, to remove a member of Randy White’s church as a trustee with a member of SBC high-roller, Jack Graham’s church, Prestonwood Baptist. After all, Randy White was a member of #the15. He may be a staunch supporter of the SBC and “traditionalist” in his soteriology, but we can’t have a cohort of #the15 and somebody who would publicly criticize Danny Akin have a church member on a trustee board, can we? And so, Hobbs made this bold move…
And guess what…the king wouldn’t allow it. Now, is there a rule that Hobbs couldn’t express his opinion about the current office holder? No. Of course not. Why couldn’t Hobbs complain that Randy White criticized the IMB and therefore his church member shouldn’t be a trustee? It’s because the King has spoken.
Fryer critiqued Hobbs in his purely vindictive move, being a pawn in a game quite bigger than himself, a tool to be used by the SBC elite to make such motions – not in the hopes that they would pass, but like waking up with a horse head in your bed – as a sign that if you don’t assimilate, they’ll come after you.
Even Phil Johnson, from way over in Los Angeles, saw the irony of this:
As usual, Phil is spot-on. The irony here can’t be over-stated. And yet, the irony continued…
That was sent AFTER trying to remove a trustee for being a member in Randy White’s church, whose “sin” was opposing the appointment of Platt as IMB director. Because White disagreed with that appointment, Hobbs wanted his church member removed from the trustee board for the “sake of unity.” This is rich. We want a really, really big tent…from which, if you disagree, we want you kicked out.
I feel sorry for Brent, and it was pretty mean of whoever set him up for that. Whoever it was, was sending a message to Randy White and anyone else who would publicly criticize any Southern Baptist leader or entity decision. What Brent found out, is that the King doesn’t care who you are. The King doesn’t care what your opinion is, no matter how many boots you’ve kissed. He’s the King, baby. And frankly, your opinion is not desired.
The Southern Baptist oligarchy will not be questioned, unless it’s at a mic, with a time limit, once a year, and the convention president gets to interrupt you and tell you to hurry up or that you’re asking your question wrong.
That’s what you call messenger participation, right there. Please hurry up and send your CP funds, now. Feed the machine.
[Contributed by JD Hall]
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