This is an open letter to Southern Baptists who continue to support the Cooperative Program and fund its grievous errors. That caveat, in italics, is important. I wrote this as an email to a Southern Baptist pastor and I’m making it available as an open letter to all Southern Baptists who spit upon the Bible’s clear teaching regarding separating from error. I especially direct this to pastors, who should be leading the congregation away from sin and not into it.
The time has come and gone for your conscience to be fully decided on the issue of compromise in your denomination. As a former Southern Baptist – as one who was once where you are now – I looked at members of apostate denominations and derided them for decades for partnering with spiritual lawlessness. So did you. We both looked at United Methodists, Episcopalians, those belonging to the Presbyterian Church USA, American Baptists, the United Church of Christ, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and told them they were sinning by continuing to support organizations that deny or disobey the Holy Scriptures and who flaunt their rebellion. But now, you are one of them.
In the days of the Conservative Resurgence, Southern Baptists kicked out of their seminaries, schools, and institutions the very same kinds of people with the very same kinds of liberal, progressive, and ecumenical agendas who now run most Southern Baptist institutions. The Conservative Resurgence ran the liberals underground, but it did not drive them out. Being of their father, the devil, who is also the father of lies (John 8:44), they just claimed to hold to the Baptist Faith and Message while giving it insincere lip service. Demanding a high view of Holy Writ didn’t really permeate beyond the upper echelons of denominational power; other than high-profile leadership positions, the SBC never exorcized itself of liberal demons, with leftists and progressives remaining entrenched down into the grassroots. The denomination worshipped at the altar of mammon, refusing to diminish their nickels or noses by separating from those belonging to the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship or those who denied essential doctrines. To this day, you can find “Southern Baptist” churches who ordain female clergy, “affirm” homosexuality. and deny inerrancy. The SBC has not removed them from fellowship under the guise of church autonomy, as though this Baptist distinctive is a license to sin, or as though it somehow prevents the churches of the SBC from separating from wickedness.
If a liberal kicked out of the SBC in 1987 got into a time machine and visited 2019, they would rejoice under the assumption that the liberals won. Today it is not uncommon for Southern Baptist churches to have female pastors. At least three seminaries place women in pastoral degree programs. Most of them permit women to preach in classes designed to teach homiletics (at least one requires it). Two seminaries seem overtaken by the Social Gospel – the same ideology swallowed alive and ripped the soul out of the mainstream denominations mentioned above (even though they now call it ‘Social Justice,’ which is a Marxist term wed to Jesuit Liberation Theology, and in many ways is worse than Rauschenbusch’s Social Gospel). Southern Seminary is turning into a climate not altogether unlike that which Mohler invaded during the Resurgence. The gay Anglican priest, Sam Allberry, is being promoted by SBC entity heads Albert Mohler, Danny Akin, Jason Allen, and Russell Moore. The SBC is today where these liberal mainstream denominations were 30 years ago. How you fail to see it amazes me.
So then, I level charges of sin against you. In particular, I level this charge of sin against Southern Baptist pastors, who will be held to a higher account (James 3:1).
You are in sin because you have not marked those who have caused divisions by teaching contrary to sound doctrine (Romans 16:17). You have an explicit command to publicly name those who teach falsely. You have not named the false teachers in your denomination and those responsible for teaching heresies and subversive ideologies because likely your church would then ask why you are financially supporting it. When your church then decides not to financially support such wickedness, they will immediately blacklist you from denominational appointments, letters of recommendation, and callings to bigger and ‘better’ churches. You realize that your church abandoning the denomination will be a crucifixion of your “career” and you will not have it. So instead, you stand idly by while LifeWay Christian Resources whores out the SBC by selling pure, unadulterated heresy for the sake of profit motivation.
Your bookstores sell Word-Faith theology, hyper-charismaticsm, omen interpretation, New Age mysticism, Roman Catholic mysticism, egalitarian drivel, books claiming to be direct and divine revelation, theoerosism, and anti-Trinitarianism. LifeWay is kicking senior citizens out of their homes at Glorietta 2.0 and oppressing the elderly. LifeWay Christian Resources is demonstrably and objectively the largest retailer of heresy in the United States to be owned and operated by a religious organization.
Your seminaries teach Liberation Theology contrived in the mind of demon-possessed Marxists and Jesuits. Your denomination president spoke at a cult in Kansas City and commended them for their zeal. Your IMB president before-last squandered tens of millions of foreign mission dollars and your last IMB president (David Platt) allowed ecstatic utterance-speaking charismatics to serve as missionaries while regaling us with nonsense stories about absurd “miraculous” claims like he were a Baptist girl gone to a Pentecostal church camp for the first time. NAMB is so corrupt it should be broken up the RICO statute (see Spending God’s Money by Mary Kinney Branson for details). And yet, you’re silent. Even worse, you continue to fund it all sinfully.
The ERLC lobbied for a mosque to be built, promotes Critical Race Theory, Identity Politics, subversively promotes egalitarianism, animal rights, has downplayed the priority of abortion abolition, has been silent on the vast majority of freedom-of-conscience issues when it comes to the LGBTQ, promotes that queer priest, Sam Allberry, whose research fellows promoted Revoice. It is funded by James Riady. Its president is a professed communitarian (which is contra to individual civil liberties and subordinates personal freedoms to ‘societal good’), he serves on George Soros’ Evangelical Immigration Table, has retweeted Soros from the ERLC Twitter feed. He made an enemy of the President of the United States on behalf of the entire denomination. He’s a smarmy, politically correct, limp-wristed, gutless playboy with a Napoleon complex and has a metrosexual streak. Russell Moore is universally recognized as an enemy of political conservatives by anyone who understands our culture or the issues of our day.
The Executive Committee is now staffed (or soon will be) by that IHOP-speaking cartoon, Ronnie Floyd, who will be leaving his fire engine baptistry and confetti cannons for the position, and they covered up Frank Paige’s sin with all the transparency of the Catholic Church. SEBTS is a swamp completely taken over by leftists, Southern is on the brink, Midwestern president, Jason Allen, just spoke in partnership with Sam Allberry, Southwestern enrolled Muslims as an evangelism strategy (and a few Mormons, which got little coverage). They finally removed Rick Warren from stained glass, but only because it was part of eradicating remnants of the Conservative Resurgence from the chapel.
You are in sin because as an elder, you are the chief steward of your congregation and its resources, and you watch after their souls (Hebrews 13:17). Your church’s money is God’s money and you are the caretaker of his vineyard. That you would continue to financially support the Cooperative Program in spite of the wickedness of your denomination is unconscionable. Supporting the CP is sin, without question. We are told to take no part in the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather to expose them (Ephesians 5:11).
God hates the Southern Baptist Convention, even while he yet loves the churches that comprise it. The SBC is wicked. It is evil. Partnering with the SBC is partnering with the devil.
You are leading your congregation into sin. You are collecting their offerings for a cause no better than Johan Tetsel. If Martin Luther were here he’d make an angry speech and if Jesus were here he’d overturn your tables.
Churches need reform when they err. Denominations, however, need discarded.
God never asked us to reform denominations. Jesus didn’t die for them and he’s not returning for them. There is nothing to save, even if you were so foolish as to think it could be saved (which it can’t).
You are in sin because you prefer unity with men over holiness before God. While we recognize the necessity of a church member to bear with long-suffering patience the shortcomings of their church, we deny that any such patience is commanded toward extra-biblical ecclesiastical bodies which have no rightful standing before God and no place in his eternal kingdom.
By continuing to support the SBC, you are not partnering with brothers in Christ (a denomination is not a church; it is an entity not comprising the Body of Christ). Rather, you are choosing to yoke the Bride of Jesus with a whoremonger and derelict who God detests, one with bloated bowels, malodorous turgidness, and a rotting corpse.
We are commanded by God to “come out and be ye separate” (2 Corinthians 6:17). We are commanded to “separate ourselves from the congregation that is about to be consumed by God” (Numbers 16:21,26). We are told to “touch no unclean thing” (Isaiah 52:11). We are commanded to “come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins and take part in her plagues.”
Southern Baptists, every Sunday you remain in the Southern Baptist Convention you are letting more leaven in to ruin your batch (Galatians 5:9). Every Sunday you are silent, you are compliant with the sins of those with whom you are in unnecessary partnership.
God has equipped your local church to reach the nations, bind up the broken-hearted, do the work of evangelism and missions, provide acts of charity and mercy, and teach and preach God’s Word without the help of a denomination that is under the judgment of the Almighty.
[Contributed by JD Hall]