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Southern Baptist Elites May Be Woke, But Southern Baptists Are Not

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“India is the most religious country in the world, Sweden is the most secular country in the world, and America is a country of Indians ruled by Swedes.” The late dean of American sociologists of religion Peter Berger would have trouble defending his most famous observation today, but his aphorism eerily reflects current conditions within the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). The overwhelmingly un-woke, Donald Trump-supporting, 14 million conservative Southern Baptists find the SBC institutions they fund controlled by social-justice warrior elites.

In Nashville last week, Pastor Ed Litton, the most woke of four candidates, won election as president of the SBC in a 52 percent to 48 percent second-ballot runoff victory over un-woke Georgia pastor Mike Stone. With fewer than 12 percent of the some 50,000 Southern Baptist churches present, the election results cannot and do not represent the views held by rank-and-file members of SBC-affiliated churches.

Unwarranted Trust Keeps Conservatives Home

Why didn’t conservative Baptists show up to elect Stone? Partly because they don’t fear the SBC. The SBC exercises no authority over any Southern Baptist congregation. Each church is utterly autonomous. They own their property, adopt their own doctrinal standards, and send as much or little of their money to the SBC as they choose.

Southern Baptists trust their leaders and assume those who run the SBC seminaries, mission-sending agencies, and other institutions share their theological convictions and moral vision. Usually, that’s true. But not now.

Travel, lodging, and time are costly, so trusting conservatives stay home. Meanwhile, according to the Washington Post, an SBC entity used Southern Baptist monies to motivate and subsidize Litton voters — a potentially explosive breach of the default trust of ordinary Baptists.

Only one presidential candidate in Nashville boasted name recognition and long-familiarity with voters — Albert Mohler, president of the denomination’s flagship seminary. The other three candidates were utter unknowns. So why did Mohler only garner 23 percent of the vote on the first ballot?

Since the rise of Trump, Mohler has attempted to play on both sides of the woke fence. He ignored, canceled, and fired un-woke voices within Baptist

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