JESUS SAID IN MATTHEW 16: 18 “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” BUT THERE ARE NO GUARANTEES FOR THAT WHICH BEARS THE NAME OF JESUS BUT WHICH HAS REMOVED ITSELF FROM HIS FOUNDATION.
Rev Thomas Littleton
It is difficult to watch what has happened to the church in America so far this century. It is most difficult as a Christian and as a minister and as anyone who carries a heart burden for the church, its members in particular and for the fulfilling of the TRUE mission of the church which is THE GREAT COMMISSION. People need the Lord -therefore they need to hear a pure-powerful and ATONEMENT based Gospel.They need a refuge -a place of worship- of fellowship- or discipling -…a House of Prayer for all .
But as Jesus chased out the money changers and rebuked those making His Fathers House a “house of merchandise ” and a His “House of Prayer” into a “Den of Thieves” so it is today. A house cleaning is in order.
A PARABLE OF THE SOUTHERN BAPTIST AT THE GATES OF HELL: WHAT FOUNDATION HAVE THEY BUILT UPON?
Jesus makes clear the GATES of HELL will not stand against His Church -BUT no promises have been made to those who depart from His foundation to build their own kingdoms. In the case of the current leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention -these people have elected to rebuild the TOWER of BABEL by following global cultural and political trends and call it the church.
The point in specific is SBC leadership and its Executive Committee have gotten on board with the #metoo / #churchtoo movement of anger driven feminist theology which hates the ATONEMENT- forgiveness and ALL the Gospel offers. These leaders have hired one of the nation’s largest corporate Diversity -Equity – Inclusion consultants and “abuse investigation ” firms named Guidepost Solutions -and gone gunning for abusers and those they deem “credibly accused” of abuse.
THE RIDE ALONG FOR THE DRIVE BY
LIKE THE CHAIN GANG ESCAPEES HITCHING A RIDE WITH BABY FACE NELSON FRESH OFF A BANK JOB AND BEING PURSUED BY THE LAW-SBC LEADERS IN 2018 HITCHED A RIDE WITH THE #CHURCHTOO MOVEMENT. ( From O’Brother Where Art Thou” the 2000 Coen Brothers film)
“Three convicts, Ulysses Everett McGill, Delmar O’Donnell and Pete escape from a CHAIN GANG and set out to retrieve a treasure buried by Everett before the area is flooded to make a lake. The three fail to get on a train before getting a lift from a blind man driving a handcar He tells them they will find a fortune, but not the one they seek.”
It is the Depression Era – much like the state of the SBC and church at present. Everett is our unnamed visionary leader(s) in the SBC who has /have long sold his/ their vision casting to the highest bidder. Delmar and Pete are the foolish fellow escapees who simple mindedly go along for the adventure not thinking through the outcomes of this “search for treasure” or what is about to be lost. While on lam from the law ( their accountability to God ) and walking along a dike ( keep in mind the coming flood -like divine judgement and the loss of any hope for finding the true treasure. ) they see a fast approaching vehicle. Time is of the essence so they hitch a ride. The vehicle is the “get away car” of famed bank robber Baby Face Nelson. This fast and recklessly driven car is the #churchtoo movement .The driver is Feminist theology on its own mission to take aim at … well the very boys who just got onboard and their visions of treasure. Worse yet the driver HATES the core of Baptist theology of ATONEMENT and FORGIVENESS around which its past ,present and future hopes rest. These Baptist leaders have become like wandering vagabonds who have long forgotten their foundations and the calling they profess to possess.
MONEY MONEY MONEY
As the car speeds along with its new passengers – the ill gotten proceeds of past raids have “come unstowed ” and MONEY IS FLYING EVERYWHERE. Suddenly the good ole boys from the chain gang realize they are in a ride along with a criminal who has his own treasuring seeking agenda and in a shootout with the law. They also a flood is coming- as they too are being pursued by justice for their own crimes. Meanwhile the high speed at which this vehicle is moving poses many dangers in itself as Mr Nelson goes about the business of taking aim at his targets….leaving his passengers to figure out that they are not in control and finally begin questioning what they have just gotten THEMSELVES into.
THE SBCs FAILURE
The SBC has been in the firm grips of feminist theology promoting the #ChurchToo movement against its members, pastors and churches since 2018. The media and SBC insiders have helped move the SBC into the hands of Guidepost Solutions -an abuse “investigative firm” and DE&I compliance consultant. Joining the effort is a group of survivors – some very real and very sad and sadly used by a larger agenda. Also there are some perhaps who are not victims BUT time will reveal that. The survivors, though featured up front, are not the focus of feminist theology and its taking aim at the church in America.The survivors are part of the victim coalition building & merely the excuse used by the sirens in this sad retelling of a classic tale. The extended cruise is even more perilous than the ride along.
JEZEBEL IS ON THE MOVE AND KILLS PROPHETS : OR DID THEY FORGET ?
While charmed by the sirens song and promised treasure SBC leaders in the Executive Committee have given up their ATTORNEY /CLIENT PRIVILEGE- Lost the law firm which had represented them for over 2 generations /some 68 or so years. Now filling that void there are some 7 or 8 other law firms and a PR firm representing Guidepost who ALL subscribe to DE&I values internally and promote compliance to these metrics in their clients.
All this and more came to bear on the SBC this past week when the SBC Executive Committee met with its full trustee board to report on the state of the SBC , do regular business and to make ready for the coming June Convention
THE APPEARANCE OF A COURSE CORRECTION
On the one hand the EC disfellowshipped the Saddleback Church (one of two churches disfellowshipped ) founded by famed Baptist /Drucker Disciple Rick Warren. Warren had been pushing boundaries for several years by ordaining women as pastors and appointed a successor who are his and her “pastors”. So the headlines looked like the SBC EC are holding the line on the Baptist Faith and Message on the Role of Women in the Church . Good right?
Not so fast because in the same meetings the EC signed up for YET ANOTHER ride along with the Feminist Theologians driving the #churchtoo movement. The EC has agreed for the feminist theology driven machine to compile and operate a DATA BASE of Baptist they AGAIN ” deem credibly accused” of sexual abuse. Continue to keep in mind the Feminist theological systems HATE biblical ATONEMENT -demand justice and retribution and pounds upon pounds of flesh from abusers. It loathes orthodox biblical male /female roles in the church and the home – despises the nuclear family calling it an IDOL and it operates out of critical theories like gender theory- feminist theory and queer theory birthed from Cultural Marxist verbal revolutionaries. Feminism and its theology always carries racial and sexual minorities in its big tent and does not end with a single Gospel driven REDEMPTIVE outcome. Why ? Because it is not Gospel driven at all…and that is ALL by design. It is anti gospel.
“THERE’S NO TELLIN WHERE THE MONEY WENT “
Meanwhile a report on a financial audit ordered last year for 2021 REVEALED something the Executive Committee tried to shuffle past even while reporting to their own trustees.
NOTE THE NUMBERS :
The SBC Executive Committee 2021 Financial Audit Report revealed that the SBC EC is on an “Unsustainable”path financially- that “changes will have to be made” that “EVERYTHING is on the table”. After several relentless trustee inquiries EC spokespersons revealed that they have lost HALF of their assets from $12 million down to $6 million in 2021 alone. Nothing has yet been revealed about 2022 numbers . There was plenty of grandstanding about other giving while never any mention of outside sources of income. Long and short of it -the Executive Committee had to admit THEY ARE GOING BANKRUPT .
Though these problems stem from their ride along with the #churchtoo fast and reckless movement- the SBC EC has decided to go for another ride and let these forces run their database for sex abusers thus allowing them reach into all Baptist life and entities AND into the local church. The very feminist theology driven forces which hate the very core of Baptist life and theology and are taking aim at the heart of the church in America are NOW the “Gatekeepers” and accountability partners” for Southern Baptist. Insane ? Yes absolutely.
Ignorance is to blame with some who are along for the ride But for others behind the efforts to attach the future of the Church to this movement there a is a clear willingness to sell out of the household of faith . They are also saying yes at the highest COST possible – the loss of the Gospel hope in the Atonement. It is the one true treasure they actually have to offer fallen humanity INCLUDING VICTIMS OF ABUSE. They have exchanged the glory of God for that which does not profit and their own birthrights for a bowl of stew.
THIS TIME THE GATES OF HELL WILL WIN -WHY ?
The institutional church plae in American culture is likely done. Short of a massive move of the Holy Spirit to bring about deep repentance and judgement starting at the house of God bringing in a massive house cleaning – the SBC is DONE. And it has been done in at its own leaders hands.
As the Serpent beguiled Eve and then she gave to her husband and brought about the Fall of Mankind -so once again the enemy has persuaded them that they can reject the commandment of God and their identity as His image bearers and strike out on their own becoming “like God”. The best weapons the serpent has ever had is to slither in between these GOD ordained partners given full fellowship with God and suggest “Hath God said…?” Once men and women of God move out of God’s light and seek their own truth – they are done building their lives on God’s foundation and promises. Paul, when instructing about the roles of men and women in Ephesians, pointed out that he was speaking “a great mystery” which is that their roles serve as types of the relationship between Christ and the Church. That fail is a massive loss to couples and to the church.The same is true of the SBC and other Christian movements. Jesus has made no obligation to preserve that which is built on other foundations. In fact he has promised to uproot and shake it until it falls. HELL HAS ENLARGED ITS BORDERS .
Hear the Heavenly Voice
25 See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, 26 whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.” 27 Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain.
28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. 29 For our God is a consuming fire.”
13 But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. 14 Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch.”
O BROTHER WHERE ART THOU GOING FROM HERE ?
After the FALL- the complicit and willingly ignorant SBC leaders who are still standing likely hope to find new jobs in the “Pappy O’Daniel Brain Trust” given their history of faith based partnerships. That may happen in the short term but the long term outcomes will not be so comfortable given their accountability to the one who called them to serve His house.
THE BAPTIST TALE OF WRONG FOUNDATIONS /DECONSTRUCTING THEIR OWN HOUSE .
The SBC movement is a convention of autonomous churches in cooperation called the Southern Baptist Convention. At one time there were over 16 million people and over 47,000 churches in the SBC. Today actual Sunday morning services of regular attenders, according to Baptist research organization Lifeway Research, is about 3.6 million (down from @5 million less than a decade ago.) So the SBC is in STEEP decline from what are largely self inflicted wounds.
In mission they have departed the Gospel for decades with buying into the following:
THE CHURCH GROWTH MOVEMENT
THE MULTI-SITE/MEGA CHURCH MOVEMENT
NEO-CALVINIST FALSE TEACHINGS AND ALLIANCES LIKE “THE GOSPEL COALITION “
MASSIVE INFLUENCE FROM SOCIALIST IDEOLOGIES / ORGANIZATIONS- COACHING AND “TRAINING NEXT GENERATION PASTORS FOR THE NEW PARADIGM CHURCHES”, LEADERSHIP NETWORK SELLING THE SNAKE OIL OF PETER DRUCKER BEING THE WORST.
THE AGE OLD MOVEMENT KILLER OF “THE SOCIAL GOSPEL”. TODAY IT IS CALLED “SOCIAL JUSTICE” AND DIVERSITY, EQUITY ,INCLUSION & BELONGING.
FAITH BASED PARTNERSHIPS WITH GOVERNMENT AGENCIES AND PRIVATE SECTOR ENTITIES TURN THE SBC AND THE CHURCH INTO A COMMUNITY SERVICE ORGANIZERS AND VOLUNTEER BASES DELIVERING JUSTICE DRIVEN SOCIAL SERVICES/ WELFARE/ HEALTHCARE /HOUSING / DISASTER RELIEF/ REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT / FIGHTING CLIMATE CHANGE AND AN ENDLESS STRING OF CALLS TO DUTY IN REDISTRIBUTION AND ADDRESSING INEQUITIES. ( Note it is this false foundation which has the SBC and many churches compelled to comply with DE&I. PLUS the churches and ministries took some $7.3 billion in the the first round of Covid Pandemic bailouts so it is time to pay up and time to comply.
SEMINARY HEADS BEGAN IN 2009 TO TAKE DARK MONEY DRIVING FAITH DRIVEN WORKPLACE INDOCTRINATION FROM YALE CENTER FOR FAITH AND WORKS AND OTHER SOCIALIST /JUSTICE /EQUITY SOAKED “HUMAN FLOURISHING” AND “COMMON GROUND FOR THE COMMON GOOD” / “THRIVING ” GOALS.
GET THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM?
Can you see where along this path the foundations shifted and the Gospel has been lost? The SBC has no promise of survival since it has not allow the Lord to build it and the leadership have been building their own Tower of Babel across the cracked foundations listed above. Now ownership of and vision casting has been handed over to another who cares not for the Biblical foundations required for biblical faithfulness and future survival.
HOPE – CAN THEY KEEP HOPE ALIVE ?
When the ship is sinking the only hope is to abandon ship and swim for a lifeboat or floating debris. In the case of the current frigid culture “survivors” have virtually no chance of lasting for long unless they find refuge. Of course it is customary for captains to go down with the ship after doing all they can to save passengers.But it is not likely such nobel actions will be observed by current leadership. So if you are headed for a lifeboat- make way -the SBC leaders who ran the Ship into the rocky shores of #churchtoo likely will plan to be the first to abandon ship.
But Jesus will have a day of reckoning awaiting them…if not now- someday soon.
The entire tale of error and loss reminds one of the ill fated journey of those taking Paul to Rome for trial after he had appealed his case to Caesar. Warnings unheeded- shipwreck is certain .
Paul’s Warning Ignored
9 Now when much time had been spent, and sailing was now dangerous because the Fast was already over, Paul advised them, 10 saying, “Men, I perceive that this voyage will end with disaster and much loss, not only of the cargo and ship, but also our lives.” 11 Nevertheless the centurion was more persuaded by the helmsman and the owner of the ship than by the things spoken by Paul. 12 And because the harbor was not suitable to winter in, the majority advised to set sail from there also, if by any means they could reach Phoenix, a harbor of Crete opening toward the southwest and northwest, and winter there.
In the Tempest
13 When the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their desire, putting out to sea, they sailed close by Crete. 14 But not long after, a tempestuous head wind arose, called Euroclydon. 15 So when the ship was caught, and could not head into the wind, we let her drive. 16 And running under the shelter of an island called Clauda, we secured the skiff with difficulty. 17 When they had taken it on board, they used cables to undergird the ship; and fearing lest they should run aground on the Syrtis Sands, they struck sail and so were driven. 18 And because we were exceedingly tempest-tossed, the next day they lightened the ship. 19 On the third day we threw the ship’s tackle overboard with our own hands. 20 Now when neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest beat on us, all hope that we would be saved was finally given up.
21 But after long abstinence from food, then Paul stood in the midst of them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me, and not have sailed from Crete and incurred this disaster and loss. 22 And now I urge you to take [f]heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. 23 For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve, 24 saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ 25 Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me. 26 However, we must run aground on a certain island.”