(1/2) Southern Baptists Are Just Too Liberal. Introducing The Center for Baptist Leadership and the Credo Alliance to Purify the SBC.

“That was excellently observed’, say I, when I read a passage in an author, where his opinion agrees with mine. When we differ, there I pronounce him to be mistaken.”― Jonathan Swift.

It appears the SBC has become too woke and liberal, according to a couple of new groups who intend to help them become more conservative, just like Jesus intended. Even though the Southern Baptists count The Founders, 9Marks, and many Acts29 churches within their broad denomination, some folks think that the denomination has tilted too far left, and they intend to right the ship. I had a chuckle over that one. As of now, the SBC is poised to have a second vote to ratify the Law Amendment, which would give the left boot of fellowship to all churches with women who hold the title of ‘Pastor.’ This presumably includes “Pastors of Infants and Toddlers” since babies need men to help form their tender conscience.

To make matters worse, there is talk afoot of inspecting SBC churches to root out any funny business, such as changing their titles to Minister but still allowing them to be “Pastors of Infants and Toddlers in function, if not in the title. Many believe such an amendment is not in keeping with the SBC’s belief in the autonomy of local churches. As of now, I predict the amendment will pass. At this point, I will break out the popcorn and watch the fireworks.

The Center for Baptist Leadership: the Baptist hub for Christian nationalism?

Baptist News Global posted, Yet another group forms to turn the SBC in a more conservative direction. There are apparent two types of conservatives in the SBC: traditional conservatives and ultraconservatives. I’m pondering and pondering…Are Founders traditional or ultraconservative?

The Center for Baptist Leadership was introduced on social media March 8 by William Wolfe, a conservative political commentor who has claimed the label of “Christian nationalist” as a positive, not the negative his detractors have intended.

One of the things these new groups do is to issue very serious “statements” to which the faithful must adhere. For this group, we are presented with a “Statement on Christian Nationalism and the Gospel.” The originators quickly point out that their Christian Nationalism differs from other Christian Nationalism.

Christian Nationalism is primarily concerned with the righteous rule of civil authorities, not spiritual matters pertaining to salvation. The desire for a Christian nation is not a distraction from the Gospel but rather an effort to faithfully apply all of Scripture to all of life, including the public square. As such, Christian Nationalism is not just for civil authorities, just as submitting to Christ’s Lordship is not just for civil authorities but for all people. After the Lord Jesus declared His sovereign authority (Matthew 28:18), He gave the Great Commission and commanded His followers, empowered by His everlasting presence, to make disciples of “all nations”  and to baptize them and “teach them to obey all that I have commanded” (Matthew 28:19-20). Our Lord did not exclude all civil authorities from the command to submit to His authority and display allegiance to Him.

We recognize the existence of other definitions of Christian Nationalism. We certainly do not endorse every iteration of Christian Nationalism and explicitly repudiate some such forms, as will be evident in our affirmations and denials.

They must speak out against a “one world government.”

WE DENY that a nation should cede its sovereignty to international bodies that may subvert the will of the national interest for a global order. We deny any efforts to establish a “one world” governmental system before the return of Christ, as such efforts are a reenactment of the Tower of Babel.

Now, how in the world are they planning the following? A coup?

WE AFFIRM that civil authorities are God’s servants of justice who must know who their Master is and what He requires of them.

WE DENY the authority of civil officials and documents to contradict what God has said in His Word or to govern beyond the bounds God’s Word has established for them.

What happens when civil authorities don’t listen to Him?

We affirm that, in His mediatorial rule, Christ rules by His Spirit and Word through the saints in their earthly authority. We also affirm that as sovereign King of kings, Christ has commanded all civil authorities, Christian and non-Christian alike, to execute His will on the earth to orient humankind toward Himself through the moral law.

This statement is vague. What exactly are the duties that ‘properly’ belong to the family?

We affirm that collecting taxes are a legitimate right of government, but only insofar as they are used to finance the legitimate functions of government as it seeks to fulfill its God-given duties and not to wrongfully assume duties which properly belong to the Church or to the family.

Looks like I spoke too fast. Children’s education belongs to the family, not to civil authorities. So what happens when families cannot or will not educate their children? What constitutes “education?” It is my understanding that Christians were historically behind the promotion of education for all children.

WE DENY that civil authorities are tasked with being the caretakers of citizens or educators of children, as these duties belong primarily to the Church and to families, respectively.

So what happens if a magistrate is a Hindu like Nikki Haley? Tough beans.

regardless of the timeline and circumstances by which one believes Christ will return, full obedience to Christ today is an indisputable obligation of all magistrates.

That gives us a pretty good idea of what is going on. This document and William Wolfe appear to be bordering on a blend of Christian Reconstructionism and Nationalism, with a bit of federal vision thrown in for good measure. The chances of this making any inroads into traditional Baptist thought are slim to none.

The Credo Alliance ticket in the SBC

I discovered this group while reading William Thornton’s post at SBC Voices: If you’re standing for election to an SBC office, scrutiny is expected: 1VP candidate Michael Clary and miniscule cooperative giving.

Michael Clary is an announced candidate for SBC First Vice President and is running on the Credo Alliance ticket along with SBC presidential candidate, Jared Moore. Moore used to write for SBC Voices. He had over two hundred articles here but demanded they be taken down a few years ago.  Jared will nominate Clary.

A Credo Alliance ticket?

Credo Alliance is a unique Baptist union of confessional churches, elders, and individuals committed to building the Baptist future. Effective discipleship in an increasingly hostile world requires the church to lead the way in affirmatively building a distinctively Christian culture. We are Baptists with backbone who intend to work joyfully alongside any likeminded organization which supports our work, and offer encouragement and prayer toward that end.

Credo Alliance has no authority over any church(es), which are governed by their own members and leaders in accord with God’s word and their respective constitutions and bylaws. Credo Alliance may work alongside of but retains no formal affiliation with other Baptist (and non-Baptist) cooperative organizations. We are not beholden to any other organizations.

As you may be aware, the SBC holds no creeds or confessions. According to SBC Voices’ Jay Adkins in Who Are We? A Question of SBC Identity. Can We Please Get This Right?

…the SBC (1) is not organized in a hierarchical structure, (2) there is no top-down authority, (3) we do not have a system whereby local churches take direction from other ecclesiological bodies, entities, associations, networks, or affinity groups, and (4) we have no creed or confessional statement to which we are beholden.

…It is a fact that our confessional statement has never been a litmus test for entrance into the SBC. There is no requirement to adopt a particular statement of faith to join us in our work… not even the Baptist Faith and Message (BFM) in any of its forms.

I’m, of course, speaking of affiliation with the Southern Baptist Convention at the national level. There are a few state conventions and a number of local associations who require adherence to the BFM for affiliation, but that’s never been the case at the national level in the SBC. In fact, no church has ever joined the SBC by signing on to the Baptist Faith and Message. Rather, churches who join the SBC do so primarily through a financial contribution to our voluntary-oriented cooperative work in the form of CP giving (through the state convention), other Great Commission Giving, or allocation budget gifts sent directly to the SBC.

To what does the Credo Alliance hold?

It looks like lots and lots of creeds.

Credo Alliance broadly adheres to the New Hampshire Confession of Faith. Wecommend the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, the Danvers Statement, the Crossville Statement (a modified Nashville Statement), the Dallas Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel, and the Frankfurt Declaration as well. Credo Alliance is historically Reformed, meaning that we affirm the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, the Formula of Chalcedon, and the Five Solas of the Protestant Reformation, as well as the Reformation’s emphases on the areas of worship and vocational calling. Thus, while Credo Alliance is distinctively Baptist, we are also fraternal toward other traditions within the Protestant movement insofar as is possible.

Yikes. My church only uses the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed

In addition to the aforementioned confessional statements, Credo Alliance presents the following Statement of Emphases (matters of pressing concern where Credo Alliance will focus its effort):

Creation order

It doesn’t stop there. They also adhere to the creation order, which appears to have been taken out of a Bill Gothard gathering.

We believe every family in heaven and on earth is named for the Father above: the husband is the Christ-like head of the wife such that she must voluntarily respect and obey him and church leaders (elders, overseers, pastors) are men because Adam was created first and Eve was created to follow not lead Adam. The spiritual war waged on this world is best engaged in by men as distinctly men and women as distinctly women. The biblical norm is that a man will marry a woman and the two will have children. Singleness is the exception, not the rule, according to the Bible.

Christian education: “Fathers with their “brides by their sides.”

We believe Christian education is a task given to Christian fathers, as the heads of their households, with their brides by their sides, to lead their children in all discipleship. We believe churches should support Christian Education as a missions endeavor with the resources Christ has blessed them with.

Ordered worship, which means “chanting the Psalms.”

We encourage the reading, preaching, singing, or chanting of the Psalms, the ancient and divinely inspired songbook of the Church for all ages. We likewise would promote expositional preaching with prayer and the Lord’s Supper as the centerpiece of corporate Christian worship.

And many, many more things, but read it for yourself.

Final thought:

The SBC seems to have many groups vying for attention. Given the above, I predict all sorts of upheavals until the Lord returns.


(1/2) Southern Baptists Are Just Too Liberal. Introducing The Center for Baptist Leadership and the Credo Alliance to Purify the SBC. — 38 Comments

  1. I want to keep enough hope to be stunned each time I read something like this. This is about power, control, money, esteem, and serving self interest. It has nothing in common with Peter’s words:

    1 Peter 2:13-17
    13 Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, 14 or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. 16 Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. 17 Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.

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  2. “… root out any funny business, such as changing their titles to Minister but still allowing them to be “Pastors of Infants and Toddlers in function, if not in the title”

    One sure way to fix this is for women to refuse to accept any jobs associated with infants, toddlers, and children. The men would then have no problem calling then “Pastor” if they would go back to work pastoring those they don’t want to.

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  3. Max,

    Max, you and I both know from our own histories in SBC churches, these “Founders” are anything but traditional Southern baptists! There isn’t much traditional SBC left – Patterson and crew did away with that!
    The SBC is now teeming with rabid packs of single-minded control freaks…. just brimming over with “godly masculinity” – like Credo Alliance, and the Mike Law crowd, and so on.

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  4. This is from ‘The Standing for Freedom Center’ of Liberty University –

    “A 10-year veteran of the conservative political movement, William Wolfe served as a Senior Official in the Trump Administration, both as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon and a Director of Legislative Affairs at the Department of State. Prior to his service in the Administration, William worked for Heritage Action for America, and as a Congressional Staffer for three different Members of Congress, including the former Rep. Dave Brat. He has a B.A. in History from Covenant College, and a Masters of Divinity at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

    Combining his political experience and theological education, William plans to pursue a Ph.D. with a focus on Christian ethics and public theology, enter pastoral ministry, and engage at the intersection of faith and politics, cultural commentary, and Christian worldview issues.”

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  5. This post is REALLY depressing…. I could go on and on, but, IMHO this Credo group basically self incriminates itself with respect to biblical principles (as several of you above have already stated)…
    But, as Max likes to say, so many of the “rank and file” do not read the Bible themselves, they will not recognize how “off” these clowns are..

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  6. The real reason these groups and their statements exist is to provide platforms for their founders, who take themselves too seriously and feel certain they are just too insightful and gifted to “aspire to live quietly, and to mind [their] own affairs, and to work with [their] hands” (1 Thess 4:11). When you observe them from up closely you see that what is beneath all that overwrought and ostentatious rectitude and hyper-scrupulous stating of things is just the simple, contemptible desire to be the big man.

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  7. Edward the Lazy,

    Well said..

    I have been “stewing” on this post for awhile… I learned something similar from my growing up in a GARBC school/church… in all their “conservative piety”, some, but all, of them really are just works oriented/arrogant people… thinking they have it all figured out..

    When one looks at the Big picture of the Gospels (Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John) (not how the neo-cals defined GOSPELS) and, of all things, PAul (i.e. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus……. ), one DOES NOT see Christ in these people…

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  8. Random thoughts: Baptists are historically NOT creedal people. That is pretty much the biggie that made Baptists Baptists. Creeds and soul freedom do not go together. Maybe the SBC needs to change the name to Southernish Calvinistic Dunkers. (Reformed is not enough. Reformed hold to the 5 Solas but not necessarily to the TULIP. SBC is moving rapidly to both.)

    LCMS holds formally to 3 creeds: Apostles, Nicene, and Athanasian. And those are understood more broadly under the Augsburg Confession and Book of Concord.

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  9. Luckyforward: After the SBC moving away from me since as a Moderate I was considered “Liberal”

    During the Conservative Resurgence war, SBC kicked out one of their best (IMO) … Russell Dilday (who called himself a Moderate Conservative) but was considered by the powers-that-be a “Liberal”. I’m still amazed that God hasn’t vaporized the SBC by now.

    Of course, we all know now that the “Conservative” Resurgence was actually a “Calvinist” Resurgence in disguise.

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  10. Max:
    I’ve heard Southern Baptists called a lot of things … but liberal is not one of them (?!)

    Grew up SBC. The Independent Fundamentalist Baptists started off post-WW2 by charging that the SBC was “apostate” and “liberal” because seminaries.
    The 1980s was the post-war era redux, with the same tropes the present-day critics are using: “women pastors”, “not promoting family values” (aka “woke”), subsuming the BF&M to the latest GOP platform…and the beat goes on.

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  11. Mike Stidham: The 1980s was the post-war era redux, with the same tropes the present-day critics are using: “women pastors”, “not promoting family values” (aka “woke”), subsuming the BF&M to the latest GOP platform…and the beat goes on.

    Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

    Considering the “latest GOP platform is a combination of “Der Führer ist die Partei und die Partei ist der Führer” and “Putin Is Our Friend”…

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  12. Max: The NeoCals must believe that stealth, deception, covert behavior, and lies are OK if it’s good for their movement.

    Party First, Comrades.

    Surely, God would bless their bad-boy activity if it resulted in the Body of Christ bowing a knee to Calvin.

    Or better yet, Christ Himself bowing a knee and kissing Calvin’s ring.
    (Because THAT’s what their movement is saying)

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  13. Everyone should recognize that the “Christian Nationalist” label is the left’s latest boogeyman, because “White Supremacist” didn’t work. That said, there are all kinds of definitions. Some good, and some bad. Lots of confusion too.

    On another note, Nikki Haley is not Hindu. She converted to Christianity after marrying her husband, Michael, and attends a United Methodist Church. She occasionally attends Sikh services, probably because of her parents.

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