[Capstone Report] Want to be grossed out by the Southern Baptist Convention?
Learn About Christian ministry while staying at the Ritz Carlton and be sure to use the special code *BLESSED* to save $150 off your stay!
North American Mission Board: “Our 72-hour Timothy Barnabas sale is happening now! Use code *BLESSED* for $150 off a retreat in Gatlinburg, Atlanta or Branson. By using the code, you’ll also be entered to win a $500 gift card. Sign up for a time of refreshment and encouragement: http://bit.ly/TB-SALE”
As we reported earlier, many Southern Baptist pastors enjoy the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous while attacking American consumerism. David Platt being a notorious example of attacking the excesses of consumerism while flying first class on cross country trips and living in an $800,000 home in an exclusive suburb. How radical!
Of course, if you are an SBC pastor, you too can enjoy exclusive trips thanks to the ministry of the Southern Baptist Convention. And if you take advantage of the special 72-hour Black Friday sale, you can save $150 off your Ritz Carlton resort stay! Hurry and enter our code BLESSED to save!
The conferences in Atlanta cost $549 for pastor and $699 for pastor and wife.
There isn’t anything wrong with expensive resorts, first-class travel and fine dining. Those are things to enjoy. However, there is something that feels wrong in the way the SBC markets this conference.
From the discount code BLESSED to the $500 gift card not to mention the 72-hour sale coinciding with Black Friday, the methods of this world have infiltrated the church.
“Marketing. It is all marketing,” one theology professor remarked about the Southern Baptist Convention. “Ever notice how many people they employ in marketing? Is it ministry or business? Big business?”
The Timothy+Barnabas Retreats are part of the ministry of Johnny Hunt. Hunt preached his last sermons as pastor of First Baptist Church Woodstock this last Sunday morning (December 1, 2019.) He is moving on to focus on an evangelism leadership role at the North American Mission Board. Hunt’s title there will be Senior Vice President for Evangelism and Leadership.
Johnny Hunt is a legendary Southern Baptist pastor and former president of the Southern Baptist Convention. Hunt is respected and loved by his congregation and many other Southern Baptists. He wrote the Forward to Whosoever Will: A Biblical-Theological Critique of Five-Point Calvinism—a book featuring essays from Paige Patterson, Richard Land, David Allen, Steve Lemke and Kenneth Keathely.
“My priority will be to help facilitate the present and next generation of pastors to embrace gospel conversations, soul winning if you will, witnessing as a lifestyle,” Hunt said in a release from NAMB. “After being a pastor the last 42 years, with 32 of those years at First Baptist Woodstock, I have come to believe deeply that whatever is important to the pastor is what is important to the people. Evangelism must be the heartthrob of our pastors.”
Contrast the sincerity of Hunt’s evangelism statement with the crass marketing pumped out by NAMB for his conference.
There is a disconnect here.
But it isn’t really shocking. There is a culture at work in the SBC.
One SBC pastor in Kentucky remarked to multiple people that he prefers five-star hotels and refuses to stay anywhere else.
Who doesn’t prefer a top hotel? However, there is a culture of entitlement and a thirst for the things of this world among too many SBC elites.
Doubt it? Well, look at how NAMB markets to pastors. It looks like a typical Black Friday promotion from any national retailer. That speaks volumes about not only where the Southern Baptist Convention is headed but where it is right now.
Don’t forget, time is running out to win that $500 gift card!
[Editor’s Note: This article was first written and published at Capstone Report; first line and title changed by P&P]