Julie Roys, formerly of Moody Radio, has done a fantastic job at exposing corruption at both Moody Bible Institute and James MacDonald’s Harvest Bible Chapel. Pulpit & Pen has repeatedly lauded Roys’ work on the scandals, which was necessary and superbly done.
However, Pulpit & Pen has also been dismayed as Roys has seemingly traveled down a path of baby-step progressivism.
With blood in her teeth from so expertly dispatching scalawag and abusive pastor James MacDonald, she’s begun taking potshots at evangelicals with a biblical and historical position on female clergy.
I’ve personally been saddened to see Roys transition from her days on Moody, when I was an invited guest on her Up for Debate podcast, in which she struck me as moderate and impartial, to her new position as an egalitarian-ish activist for the scornful and contentious women (Proverbs 21:9) of evangelicalism.
Roys recently hosted fringe Southern Baptist pariah Wade Burleson on her program, The Roys Report. She entitled the episode, “Southern Baptist Insider Accuses Denomination of Abusing Power and Silencing Women.”
Burleson, an incredibly nice man whom I personally like very much, is the opposite of an “SBC Insider,” as I tried to explain on Roys’ Facebook page.
Burleson is the pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Enid, Oklahoma. He is widely known as perhaps the most liberal pastor in the Southern Baptist Convention and, if he isn’t, he is certainly the SBC’s most outspoken liberal. Burleson, who defended pro-gay activist and uber-leftist Rachel Held Evans as a solid Christian believer after her death, is perhaps best known for officiating over the cyber-church of the survivor blog women at Wartburg Watch.
Or perhaps, Burleson is best known for spending decades on a crusade against Paige Patterson for his stance against women in ministry – a stance that, until recently, almost everyone in the SBC agreed with.
Burleson, an early proponent of snowflake culture in the SBC, engages regularly in the fragility movement in regards to catastrophizing, claiming that critics of Beth Moore’s back-peddling on homosexuality were guilty of “bullying” and “abuse.” In Burleson’s view, almost everyone is a victim of something, except for traditional and conservative Christians, who are always the victimizers by virtue of their convictions.
Burleson is “welcoming and affirming” of the LGBTQ, for example. Such language is almost foreign to the nation’s largest protestant convention. And while most Southern Baptists would draw the line at women preaching to men on Sunday during worship services, even though they are increasingly comfortable with women preaching at other times, Burleson said he would be fine with Beth Moore preaching from his pulpit on the Lord’s Day.
Burleson has recently been spending his time criticizing the SBC Executive Board for exercising stewardship over the 2020 Pastor’s Conference after gay-affirming pastor David Uth invited a speaker’s lineup consisting almost entirely of those who approve of female pastors.
Burleson regularly lauds his credentials as a “theological conservative” while taking the opposite positions on left-right issues like female clergy (his own church has female pastors on staff).
Whether you agree with Burleson’s feminism or not, it’s not a matter of subjective opinion as to whether or not Burleson is, as Roys describes him, “an SBC insider.” Objectively, he is not.
Burleson serve on no boards in the SBC, has no appointments, holds no titles, is engaged in no insider-SBC denominational affairs, and remains a pariah in the SBC.
Calling Burleson an “SBC insider” is just plain bad journalism. It’s dishonest, inaccurate, and unfactual.
On the Facebook thread with Roys’ announcement of him on the program, liberal animal rights activist and feminist Karen Swallow Prior, who said “abortion is not murder” in the pages of Christianity Today, chimed in to vouch for Burleson’s conservative credentials. Roys, in turn, vouched for Prior’s conservative credentials.
Watching a virtual Facebook orgy of famously liberal people coronate one another as true conservatives was surreal.
Now, I see that Roys has set her sights on Dr. John MacArthur, interestingly on the same day that Roys pointed out that MacArthur warned Moody about James MacDonald years ago. Apparently his forethought and integrity bought him no goodwill from the radio host.
While the facts are still being determined regarding what family members of MacArthur (not MacArthur himself) may or may not have done, it should be pointed out that Roys is becoming increasingly sloppy in her journalism. It’s right from this point forward to take what she writes with a grain of salt.
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