JD Greear for President of the Southern Baptist Convention: Since When Did We Become Southern Baptist?

Click on the picture below to hear Greear’s comments to his church.

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JD Greear announced to his church that he had been asked to allow his name to be placed in nomination for president of the Southern Baptist Convention. In his remarks he noted three questions that the church members would have and the third was an eye-opener. He said, “the third question many of you will ask is ‘Since when did we become Southern Baptist?” I get that. That is not something we wear on our sleeve here. There are obviously parts of the Southern Baptist Convention that do not excite us and represent who were are as a church.”

Here is a guy who pastors a multi-campus church that is not even aware that they are part of the Southern Baptist Convention and this is after he had run for the same position two years ago. So in the past two years, the Summit Church that Greear pastors still has no idea they are Southern Baptist.

It would also be interesting to note what there is about the Southern Baptist Convention that does not represent their church and who they are.

I do not know JD Greear. We have met. He seems to be a great guy and one that I do believe with all my heart loves the Lord and is faithful in being the servant God has called him to be. While this is a good start as a qualification to serve the SBC as president, there are other factors that do need to be considered.

Listen to Greear’s own words as he states why the Summit Church ought to be thankful to be part of the SBC. He notes that their church has 158 people serving on the foreign mission field. He notes that their church could not afford to send them and that the International Mission Board funds those members to the tune of $6 Million Dollars. What an incentive to continue to be part of such a wonderful organization!

Now, step back from Greear’s statement to his church for a minute. Understand something. The president of the SBC is not really a big deal with one exception. The president nominates the Committee on Committees that in turn nominates the Committee on Nominations who then nominates trustees to fill various positions of the entities of the SBC. 

Generally, the process described in the SBC Bylaws is as follows: 1) The president of the Southern Baptist Convention appoints the Committee on Committees; 2) The Committee on Committees nominates the Committee on Nominations [two members from each qualified state or region] to the messengers attending the next annual meeting of the Convention; 3) During the following year the Committee on Nominations reviews the qualifications of potential nominees to fill SBC trustee and committee vacancies whose names are brought to its attention by interested Southern Baptists; 4) The Committee on Nominations nominates to the messengers attending the next annual meeting of the Convention those nominees they believe to be most worthy of election; and 5) The Convention then elects its trustees and committee members for terms stipulated by the bylaws of the Convention and other appropriate governing documents [http://www.sbc.net/aboutus/legal/bylaws.asp]

This is important for one reason; the influx of Calvinism has brought the trustee nomination process into central focus because the direction the entities take with respect to Calvinism will determine the direction the SBC eventually goes and the Southern Baptist Convention is in serious trouble where the issue and influence of Calvinism is concerned, especially for those who are not Calvinist and have no interest in seeing the SBC become a Reformed denomination.

The truth is, JD Greear will in the selection process of nominating the Committee on Committees without question choose individuals who will advance the Mohler/Akin effort to Calvinize the entities of the SBC. This is a non-debateable statement. Some will argue that Greear is not a Calvinist but the Gospel Coalition would disagree with that position. In an article that lists the Top 125 Influences in the Gospel-Centered Movement, JD Greear is listed as number 52. Notice the following statement about the Gospel-Centered Movement: “Who has shaped this gospel recovery movement?”

Notice that phrase, “Gospel Recovery Movement.” Folks will say that there is no move to Calvinize the SBC but it appears the GC thinks there is. Ok. Some will argue that the “Gospel-Centered Movement” is not a Reformed Movement but rather a return to a solid Biblical Position. Once again, the Gospel Coalition clears that issue up very well with the following statement: “2. I tried to think keenly about all the folks whose voices have given shape to this still-developing movement, sometimes called “young restless and Reformed” (YRR), “neo-Reformed,” “gospel-centered,” etc.”

Note the top 15 influencers according to this article:

1. John Piper
2. Matt Chandler
3. Tim Keller
4. R.C. Sproul
5. Mark Driscoll
6. Al Mohler
7. D.A. Carson
8. John MacArthur
9. Justin Taylor
10. Francis Chan
11. Tullian Tchividjian
12. Collin Hansen
13. Tim Challies
14. Russell Moore
15. C.J. Mahaney
[https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/jared-c-wilson/top-125-influences-gospel-centered-movement/]

JD Greear is a Calvinist. He believes that God is the One who decides who does and does not get into heaven. He believes that men are totally depraved and totally incapable of repenting of their sin unless and until God gives them new life allowing them to THEN repent and exercise believing faith. In the Calvinist system, one does not repent and believe to be “born again”, one is “born again” so that he can THEN repent and believe. This is the direction the current tide is taking the SBC and a JD Greear president will further promote that agenda to move the SBC to a Reformed position.

Others have highlighted the CP giving of the Summit Church noting that their giving is half the national average of churches giving in the SBC. It should be noted that the Summit Church does give to other mission causes but to lead the SBC, one should first lead their church to support the Cooperative Program before asking the churches of the convention to do so. [See http://sbctoday.wpengine.com/a-true-cooperative-program-champion/]

The Southen Baptist Convention simply cannot afford to have JD Greear nominating the Committee on Committees for the next two years. This election places our convention is a critical position and the outcome may well determine the direction the convention goes in the very near future.

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About sbcissues

Interested in bringing the issues facing The Southern Baptist Convention to light.
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