When the last queen of France, Marie Antoinette, had her head taken in the French Revolution it was because of her alleged comment, “Let them eat cake.” As the French people suffered from a lack of bread, the queen’s total disconnectedness from the plight of people led her to verbal bewilderment as to why they couldn’t eat dessert instead. The masses were incensed at her total aloofness and cut off her head by guillotine in 1793.
From Antoinette’s position of privilege, everything in France seemed just right to her. She had luxuries, buffets, and endless spa days. All the while, the people of France suffered as things were going to hell in a handbasket.
Fast forward to 2020, and the Southern Baptist Convention is in incredible decline. With record-breaking and history-making dips in baptisms and church membership for close to a decade, the SBC is dying a quick death. The International Mission Board mysteriously lost hundreds of millions of dollars through inexplicable bad decisions. The North American Mission Board cannot plant churches faster than old ones are dying (their new church plants are dying just as quickly, but their deaths are rarely reported in NAMB’s figures). The majority of the SBC’s six seminaries have been overtaken by liberal ideologies like Critical Race Theory and Cultural Marxism. The entire Convention has been overtaken by Egalitarianism (although they now call it “Soft Complementarianism” so as to better sleep at night). The upcoming annual pastors conference is being hosted by a pro-gay pastor who has invited almost exclusively female pastors and Egalitarian male pastors. The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) works for George Soros and has made itself into an anti-Republican Political Action Committee. And Lifeway has shuttered all of its retail outlets and is a heresy-peddling super-whore.
In light of these things, hundreds of Southern Baptist churches have left the Southern Baptist Convention and thousands have stopped funding the Cooperative Program. Tens of thousands (at least) of former Southern Baptists have moved their membership to churches that don’t take part in the fruitless deeds of darkness. These are not figures reported by the SBC’s Executive Committee because they do not report bad news ever. The Baptist Press is a fake news outlet that is little more than a public relations entity that works for the Executive Committee. Perhaps that’s why Ronnie Floyd and JD Greear don’t know how most Southern Baptists feel about the state of the Convention.
A newly formed “Conservative Baptist Network” has developed, which honestly we know little about. The rumor has it that at least one of its founders isn’t a fan of Calvinism, but the network itself seems focused on merely providing a fraternal organization within the SBC for pastors and laymen who are sick and tired of the liberal drift that woke seminary presidents, Albert Mohler and Danny Akin, insist doesn’t exist.
The creation of the Conservative Baptist Network has the SBC’s pasty-faced, powder-wig wearing Queen Mothers slack-jawed and guffawing that anybody anywhere would have the audacity to claim the SBC wasn’t totes conservative.
The insistence by Mohler, Akin, Greear, and Floyd is so dug-in it makes me wonder if they genuinely believe it. Is it possible that someone like Albert Mohler, who on one hand warns of the evil of Critical Theory and on the other almost exclusively promotes those who teach it, doesn’t understand the SBC is liberalizing? Is it possible that Danny Akin, who did a video promo for an atheist campaign and who hired Karen Swallow Prior and whose seminary hosted a Malcolm X read-in genuinely doesn’t understand the SBC is liberalizing? Is it possible that the SBC’s fratboy president, JD Greear, who advocated for the use of preferred transgender pronouns doesn’t understand the SBC is liberalizing? Is it possible that Ronnie “Armani” Floyd, who caused SBC churches to leave the Convention after preaching at the Kansas City IHOP cult, doesn’t understand the SBC is liberalizing?
It’s possible, so long as these men operate under one of several simplistic notions regarding what is and is not conservatism. First, it’s possible that the SBC elite considers the Southern Baptist Convention and conservatism to be so synonymous that something is made conservative by the virtue of the SBC doing it. That notion is downright Nixonian, as Richard Nixon claimed, “Well, if the president does it, that means it’s not illegal.” By this standard, it’s impossible for the SBC to go liberal because it’s the SBC. If the SBC controls the Overton Window, then so long as it stays within the Window (even if it moves left), it’s still “conservative” on their sliding scale.
Secondly, it’s possible that the SBC elite thinks of conservatism only in terms of bellwether issues, chiefly inerrancy. Homosexuality and female clergy used to be bellwether issues, but those have already been compromised. So long as the SBC gives an occasional hat-tip to inerrancy, the liberal pedagogues of the SBC insist that we are conservative no matter how many queer women like Jackie Hill Perry preach at us from some venue created by the ERLC.
But even if SBC leaders like Greear and Floyd genuinely deny the denomination’s liberal drift, it still does not explain how they’re shocked the rest of us see the liberal drift. Twitter screams it. Facebook shouts it. Blogs pound on it. Churches secede on account of it. The only explanation for why these men seem taken aback by plebes and the proletariats who think the SBC has gone liberal is that they are utterly disconnected from the masses. In other words, these men are the spoiled brat children in Cooperative Program funded ivory towers that we think they are.
These men truly do live in a Southern Baptist Palace of Versailles and from their vantage point in Repunzel’s window cannot see average and ordinary Southern Baptists sharpening their pitchforks and torches below.