WITH THE OPENING OF REGISTRATION FOR THE ANNUAL SBC MEETINGS IN NASHVILLE IN JUNE 2021, THE SBC EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE ROLLED OUT ITS NEW PRESS CREDENTIAL REQUIREMENTS ALLOWING SBC EXECUTIVES VAST CENSORSIP POWERS.
Rev Thomas Littleton
(NOTE: This author is a Southern Baptist and ordained SBC minister who has worked as a reporter for Worldview Weekend reporting LIVE at the SBC annual meetings since 2018. Worldview Weekend (WVW) is a major news outlet founded and led by author researcher and journalist Brannon Howse. WVW Network promotes news with a Christian worldview and historic context. Howse/ WVW also just helped launch FRANKSPEECH.COM with Mike Lindell ( My Pillow CEO and LINDELL TV.COM ) promoting Free Speech in America.
Upon requesting press credentials in early April 2021 for the upcoming June annual meetings in Nashville, this author was informed of the new SBC Executive Committee regulations aimed at controlling and denying media access and the nature of stories media outlets produce in coverage of the Convention meetings. The 3 week long effort of ever increasing requirements for the SBC credential vetting process ended in a rejection of the SBC Press Credentials request with no reason given. The SBC now joins Facebook, Twitter, major television network outlets like CNN and large national mega- publishing conglomerates in censorship of free speech and even the FREE PRESS.)
SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION NEW PRESS REGULATIONS
The April 16th request response for media credentials :
“Hello Mr. Littleton.
Thank you for your interest in covering the 2021 SBC Annual Meeting.
There have been many updates to the credentialing policies and application process this year. You can read those revised polices and apply online (also new this year) at the following link – https://sbcannualmeeting.net/media-registration/ “
Jon D. Wilke
Media Relations Director
Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee
THE NEW SBC MEDIA GUIDELINES
APPLICATION FOR 2021 SBC ANNUAL MEETING MEDIA CREDENTIALS
June 13-16, 2021 | Nashville, Tenn.
“The Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting is open to members of the working news media or those on assignment for news publications, programs, websites, or other news media that are generally recognized, and regularly updated, distributed or disseminated, where the primary purpose of registration and attendance is for legitimate news coverage of the Southern Baptist Convention.”
“Apply for media credentials by agreeing to the following guidelines, policies and ground rules along with filling out the form below.”
THE GUIDELINES RESTRICT THOSE MEDIA DEEMED PROBLEMATIC
“Press accreditation will NOT be granted to anyone whose principal purpose in attending this event is, in the judgment of SBC Executive Committee Communications staff, for reasons other than gathering details, interviews, and/or photos for a news report or feature. The SBC Executive Committee Communications staff also reserves the right, at its discretion, to reject the application of anyone who, in their judgement, may be attending the event under false pretenses or with ulterior motives or malicious intent.”
…”Misconduct or misrepresentation of position and/or publication/media organization will bar you and your organization from future SBC events.”
“Media representatives who violate guidelines or ground rules for coverage of the SBC Annual Meeting, whether written or oral, may have their credentials withdrawn and asked to leave the event location.”
(NOTE : The arbitrary nature of the guidelines provide the SBC executives virtually complete control over the message they wish to be presented by the press by putting restrictions on the nature of the stories to be published. The SBC is not satisfied with having it’s own Baptist Press operation for approved media and stories but feels the need to control all press.)
THIS AUTHOR WAS OPEN ABOUT THE NATURE OF PAST WRITINGS
(Email response to the newly appointed Credential/ Media Relations head.
“My work covers the evangelical community as a whole. I broke the story
exposing the Revoice LGBTQ movement and do some follow up on that.
The audience is not merely SBC but I am an ordained SBC minister
working in medical missions and evangelism so that brings perspective
to the stories as well. I do Conferences , Radio and Television with WVW
Network and work as a reporter. Those stories go behind a paywall
after two weeks or so.
In follow up to Revoice I did this story which also appears on my website
about the Revoice founder and the ERLC “Parents Guide to Talking About Gender”
Revoice greatly impacted the PCA and my coverage goes beyond the SBC on it
Hope this helps.
A BIT OF HISTORY
The SBC Executive Committee does have a history of removing at least one reporter (this author) from the annual Convention meetings.
Excerpt from article linked below after the 2018 SBC credentialed press removal to prevent exposure of the origins and supporters of the Revoice pro LGBTQ movement at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and the Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission.
” LIVING LIKE A REFUGEE IN THE SOUTHERN BAPTIST CHURCH: Why SBC Leaders Turned to Lying and Abuse Over Revoice in Dallas SBC 2018″
By Rev Thomas Littleton 6/17/2018
“By now word has spread that a member of the press was kicked out of the SBC annual meetings in Dallas last week. I am that person and make no mistake about the cause. I came to the SBC convention to follow up and seek to interview the SBC leaders whose institutions have disturbing ties to the upcoming Revoice conference in St Louis. At the same time leaders in the Presbyterian Church of America were doing the same in their annual General Assembly in Atlanta. I went to Dallas at my own expense and out of deep concern that the last two remaining conservative denominations have clearly been infiltrated and are on the verge of accepting EXTREME and Radically pro-LGBT+ language into the heart of their congregations. No denomination has ever returned from this abyss and all who fall into it remain in steep decline. This compromise always leaves the Gospel and those who need it harmed. A new younger President was elected who subscribes to a primary source (a Regent University Psychologist Mark Yarhouse) of the radical language. J.D. Greear. His campaign press coverage promised that the make-over of the SBC has only begun as change agents a plenty strutted through the halls of the Dallas SBC 2018 meetings.”
THE FINAL RESPONSE AND DENIAL
This response comes with no reason for the denial in keeping with the arbitrary powers over the press which the Executive Committee of the SBC have decided to grant themselves.
Hi Rev. Littleton,
“Thank you so much for your application. I appreciate you taking the time to send over additional information.
We are not going to be able to approve your application for media credentials for the 2021 SBC Annual Meeting.
As you know there are other ways to attend the SBC Annual Meeting, as a messenger or as an invited guest. Pre-registration information for messengers and invited guests can be found online at https://sbcannualmeeting.net/messengers/messenger-pre-registration.”
Jon D. Wilke
Media Relations Director
Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee
REQUEST FOR PUBLICATION OF A LIST OF “APPROVED MEDIA” GIVEN ACCESS FOR UPCOMING ANNUAL MEETINGS FOR 2021
No response so far to this reasonable request for public disclosure .
“Thanks for getting back to me. In the public interest can you provide /make public a list of which news outlets you have and will approve for media credentials?
Will CNN for example be there? NY Times?
Is RNS- Religion News Service approved ? As you may know it is funded in part by ARCUS Foundation which is an LGBTQ led foundation for promotion of LGBTQ in the evangelical community.So is RNS going to be allowed in? What about Baptist News Global? Also is Jonathan Merritt going to have SBC media credentials ?
I look forward to seeing the “approved list”.”
DO SOUTHERN BAPTIST LEADERS HAVE SOMETHING TO HIDE?
The Southern Baptist Convention IS IN FACT in trouble. The ongoing legal issues with the Lawsuit against the SBC North American Mission Board which is pushing for transparency forcing open books, disclosing financial, housing, other perks and hiring practices is just one of those issues. This lawsuit which is hoping to force transparency was ignored by Baptist Press but finally hit the headlines when the Baptist ERLC presented knowingly and admittedly false information to the courts in an amicus brief in defense of the SBC North American Missions Board. This situation is ONGOING.
The SBC is in steep decline with church plants, conversions, baptisms, and membership in general, ALL in decline. Controversies have arisen in recent years due to the promotion and tolerance of Critical Theories in race, gender, and even sexual minority theories in Baptist seminaries. Revoice in 2018 ,originating from SBTS, included the bold assertions of “Queer (LGBTQ) Theories” and even Feminist Theology redefining family. This perverted application of Feminist Theology stems from the early 1990s ad Drew Divinity School feminine activist. The ERLC and it’s chief Ethicist Russell Moore used the same theories ideology to promote his book and conference to redefine the nuclear family as ones “Church”.
In the Birmingham Alabama 2019 annual meetings a Resolution (#9) has caused great division in the Baptist ranks after a resolution condemning Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality was altered by the Resolutions Committee to affirm them “as useful analytical tools”. Those Committee members were employed by Baptist seminaries and other entities and were educated at SBTS and other Baptist institutions. Walter Strickland of SEBTS , who was on the 2019 Resolutions Committee which twisted “Resolution 9”, recently created even more broad controversy in the Christian Education when his new “Unified” organization announced its new partnership with the ACSI education organization. Strickland has yet to to called out by SBC or SEBTS leaders for his ongoing divisive activities in “Diversity and Inclusion.
Sexual Abuse charges which had been covered up for decades finally caught up with the SBC in a series of Houston Chronicle stories exposing the sorted history and the abuse and massive cover ups.
Where is the SBC headed? What is the future for a Christian movement whose leaders fell they have to protect themselves from a FREE PRESS – even Christian Press -and free speech? You can safely put away your shades. That future is no too bright.
The press are not always saints and are certainly not prophets but the press does play a vital role in speaking the truth….if it is allowed to, and does it’s job. The Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention is acting more like King Jehoiakim in Jeremiah 36 who burned the scrolls of the prophet Jeremiah in an effort to silence him. The king’s paranoia and egotistical actions were because Jeremiah’s writings spoke against his kingdom, proclaimed truth, and warned the people of Judah of their idolatry and pending Divine Judgement. In the end Jeremiah’s words went even further and reached more people. God saw to that.
Jeremiah Rewrites the Scroll (Chapter 36)
27 Now after the king had burned the scroll with the words which Baruch had written [f]at the instruction of Jeremiah, the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying: 28 “Take yet another scroll, and write on it all the former words that were in the first scroll which Jehoiakim the king of Judah has burned. 29 And you shall say to Jehoiakim king of Judah, ‘Thus says the Lord: “You have burned this scroll, saying, ‘Why have you written in it that the king of Babylon will certainly come and destroy this land, and cause man and beast to cease from here?’ ” 30 Therefore thus says the Lord concerning Jehoiakim king of Judah: “He shall have no one to sit on the throne of David