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Confession Without Conviction—Southern Baptist Annual Meeting Recap

The Christian Worldview / David Wheaton
The Truth Network Radio
June 25, 2021 8:00 pm

Confession Without Conviction—Southern Baptist Annual Meeting Recap

The Christian Worldview / David Wheaton

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June 25, 2021 8:00 pm

GUEST: TOM ASCOL, senior pastor, Grace Baptist Church (FL)

The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is the largest Protestant church denomination in North America, with six seminaries, 47,000 churches, 14 million church members, and affiliate entities in 41 states. Some of the largest churches and most influential pastors in America are part of the SBC, including Rick Warren, Ed Young, Kerry Shook, Jack Graham, Jonathan Falwell, Matt Chandler, and Steven Furtick.

Because of its size, one could say, “As the Southern Baptist Convention goes, so goes Evangelicalism in the U.S.” In other words, the doctrinal stances of the SBC and the pastors it educates at its seminaries will likely trickle down to a church near you.

Which is why we are going to recap some of the most noteworthy events at this year’s SBC Annual Meeting which just took place in Nashville, TN. Member churches can send up to 12 attendees or “messengers” to participate in the annual meeting, which includes voting on resolutions and leadership for the SBC.

One of those messengers was Tom Ascol, pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Cora, FL. He is also the president of Founders Ministries, which produced an excellent documentary on the 2019 SBC Annual Meeting, highlighting a resolution made on critical race theory (CRT).

Tom will explain some of the key moments of the Annual Meeting, including the election of a new SBC president, pastor Ed Litton, who came out on top over Mike Stone and Albert Mohler (who is the president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary).

Whether you’re Southern Baptist or not, please join us to discern the direction of this influential organization, and more broadly, Evangelicalism in America.

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Confession without conviction. The Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting recap is our topic today right here on the Christian Worldview radio program where the mission is to sharpen the biblical worldview of Christians and to share the good news of Jesus Christ. I'm David Wheaton, the host. The Christian Worldview is a non-profit ministry and a big thank you to our listeners for their support and also our national sponsor, Samaritan Ministries, who provide a biblical solution to healthcare. You can find out about the Christian Worldview and Samaritan Ministries by going to our website, The Southern Baptist Convention, also known as the SBC, is the largest Protestant church denomination in North America, with six seminaries, over 47,000 churches, 14 million church members, and affiliate entities in 41 states. Some of the largest churches and most influential pastors in America are part of the SBC, including Rick Warren, Ed Young, Carrie Shook, Jack Graham, Jonathan Falwell, Matt Chandler, and Stephen Furtick. Now, because of its size, one could say, quote, as the Southern Baptist Convention goes, so goes evangelicalism in the United States. In other words, the doctrinal stances of the SBC and the pastors it educates at its seminaries will likely trickle down to a church near you, which is why we are going to recap some of the most noteworthy events at this year's Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting, which just took place in Nashville, Tennessee. Member churches can send up to 12 attendees, or as they're called messengers, to participate in the annual meeting, which includes voting on resolutions and leadership decisions for the convention.

Now, one of those messengers was Tom Askel. He's the pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, Florida. He is also the president of Founders Ministries, which produced an excellent documentary that we featured here in the Christian Real View back in 2019 about the SBC annual meeting back then that highlighted a resolution that they made, Resolution 9, on critical race theory. Tom joins us today to explain some of the key moments of the annual meeting, including the election of a new SBC president, Pastor Ed Litton, who came out on top over Mike Stone and Albert Mohler, who is the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Now whether you're a Southern Baptist or not, we hope you join us today to discern the direction of this influential organization, and more broadly, evangelicalism in America. Now some of you might be thinking with regard to this topic, this is sort of like the term inside baseball, which the dictionary refers to as the minutia or the detailed inner workings of a system that are only interesting to or appreciated by experts or insiders. Or as you listen to the interview today, some of you might be thinking, boy, this is really a political organization. And political being maybe not so much like halls of government and that kind of thing, but political in terms of where there's maneuvering for power and influence that deals are being made behind the scenes, and there's messaging that needs to get out. There's campaigning, there's self ambition.

And that's all true, as you're going to hear Tom Maskell talk about. But political maneuvering is really part of every organization. Think about it, whether it's in business, or school boards, or nonprofit organizations, or churches, even in families. And the reason that is, is because self ambition exists within every one of those entities.

I'm not condoning that, I'm just saying political maneuvering is a reality in our world. Plus, there's lots of peer pressure in organizations like the Southern Baptist Convention. There have been longtime relationships formed over many years, maybe back to their times in seminary. Who is influential? What churches are growing? How are the positions we take as a church or I as an individual, how is that going to affect me?

Or how is our church going to be perceived or treated as a result of these positions that we are taking? But again, putting that aside, the Southern Baptist Convention needs to be understood because of its influence on broader Christianity in the United States. Now it's unsurprising in such a large organization that there would be a wide spectrum of beliefs and viewpoints on issues such as the inerrancy of Scripture, women teaching men in churches or church methodology, even on issues of homosexuality and critical race theory. You remember back in 2019 at the SBC annual meeting that there was much news came out of that when a resolution was passed resolving that, and I quote, that critical race theory and intersectionality should only be employed as analytical tools subordinate to Scripture, not as transcendent ideological frameworks, unquote.

Well, the question from that is, one wonders why the unbiblical worldview of critical race theory would be employed at all, except to completely repudiate it as unbiblical and divisive. There have been lots of other issues going on within the SBC recently. Beth Moore, the popular Bible teacher and author, has left the Southern Baptist Convention. Also Russell Moore, no relation there, who was the head of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, has just left the SBC to go over to Christianity today. That was a very noteworthy event recently.

And this year, there was an election for a new president. So there's a lot to talk about today. Let's get to the first segment of the interview with Pastor Tom Askel.

Tom, it's great to have you back on the program. It's been about a year and a half since you were last on the program, as we discussed your excellent documentary entitled, By What Standard? That was in January of 2020. And that was covering some of the important issues going on within the Southern Baptist Convention, the Resolution 9 and critical race theory.

We'll get into that today. But there wasn't a convention last year in 2020, I believe, because of COVID. So this was the first convention since that time. Now, before we get into actually some of the issues, the new president and so forth and so on, let's get to the why question first. There are a lot of people listening today who aren't Southern Baptists. And so why should the Southern Baptist Convention and what took place there be important to those listening who aren't even Southern Baptists? Yeah, well, it's a great question. And it boils down to the fact that the Southern Baptist Convention is the largest Protestant denomination that we have in this nation.

It might be in the world and maybe not quite that. But anyway, certainly in North America, we impact the evangelical world in North America, not just North America, but around the world because we have a very large missionary force as well that goes out through throughout the nations and praise God for that. But if things are not healthy, then that influence in the evangelical world is not going to be healthy. And those missionaries going around the world are not going to be healthy.

They'll be spreading things that will be lamenting in decades to come. So what happens to the SBC matters to the larger evangelical witness here and around the world? So everybody, even if you're not Southern Baptist, should be concerned about the direction of this convention of churches. Again, Tom Askell with us today on the Christian Royal View, the senior pastor of Grace Baptist Church and also the president of Founders Ministries.

The website is Tom, I want to read portions of a column by Ed Stetzer. Ed is an author, speaker, researcher, pastor, church planner, according to his bio, Christian missiologist. He's the Billy Graham Distinguished Chair of Church Mission and Evangelism at Wheaton College and the executive director of the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College. He writes for Christianity Today. He wrote a post-convention analysis piece for Christianity Today. And I want to read a couple paragraphs and then have you comment on some of his perspective, getting your perspective as a Southern Baptist pastor who was at the convention as well. The subtitle for his column was the election was a fork in the road, the election for a new Southern Baptist convention president rejecting a hard turn to the right or a hard right turn in embracing a multi-ethnic future. And even in the subtitle there, there's this implication that the hard right turn, those people who were for this, whoever these hard right people are, are against a multi-ethnic future. So you kind of have to read between the lines here on some of the things he's saying, but he starts out by saying, some thought the convention was like a building wired for demolition on the verge of imploding this year. Instead, this year proved to be refreshing as it confirmed the more hopeful direction the SBC, Southern Baptist convention, has been heading in recent years. People showed up and they made a difference. And the election was a fork in the road for several reasons.

His first reason that it was a fork in the road is this. It represents an approach from the posture of faith over the peddling of fear. Overall, the election of Ed Litton and most of the decisions of the convention show the Southern Baptist can face the challenges of our time in ways that are both biblical and wise. The election of Ed Litton is important, he says. He has been calling for and modeling racial reconciliation, encouraging people to listen to the lived experiences of African-American leaders. His election demonstrates how over half of the messengers, that's what they're called, the attendees to their convention, wanted to move forward in a posture of reconciliation, racial reconciliation, in a way that honors the scriptures and is sensitively aware of the challenges still faced by our brothers and sisters of color.

He writes, concludes, I know that Litton will continue to move the SBC more toward the posture of faith rather than the peddling of fear in this area. Now, Ed Litton, most of our listeners, I didn't even have never heard of him. He's a pastor, I believe, in Texas.

Alabama, excuse me. And we've already read things that they had to change their theological statement on the website because their statement on the Trinity was non-orthodox. He mentioned something to do with reports that he said the Bible whispers about homosexuality but shouts about other more important issues.

So there's been some things like this. What do you know about Ed Litton and what do you think of Ed Stetzer's response to his election? I don't know Ed Litton personally. So all I know about him is what I've learned as the North American Mission Board has kind of platformed him the last six months around the Southern Baptist Convention, him going around giving talks to their church planters and obviously trying to raise his profile for the vote. The Washington Post said that an insider told them that the North American Mission Board did everything they could to bring urban pastors in to vote for Ed Litton.

The North American Mission Board says that's not accurate but they've not repudiated the Washington Post story and they've not asked for retraction on it. So there's a lot of intrigue, denominationally, politically, that's behind that. I don't know Ed Litton. I've listened to one of his sermons this morning where he says that homosexuality is not in the Bible, that that's a Freudian word, homosexuality, heterosexuality and that it's just been kind of used for the common vernacular today but in ways that are not helpful. This is a sermon that he preached on Romans 1, I think it's 18 through 32. I wasn't encouraged by much of what he said there and he did say that the Bible shouts about greed, whispers about sexual sin, which I tell that to the people of Sodom and Gomorrah, if that was a whisper, what will shouting look like. So I'm disturbed by the way that Ed Litton seems to be reading the Bible on these issues. He has been prominent in trying to do some things in Mobile, Alabama to bridge some of the racial tensions and praise God for every good thing that he's done there. I would completely disagree with Ed Stetzer and I've known Ed Stetzer for probably 30 years.

I knew him back when he was a Calvinist and we would talk late at night on the telephone when he was a church planter up in the Philadelphia area, if I remember right. And you know, Ed does have his take on where things need to go, how to get us where he thinks we need to go. And I would disagree with his vision, with his understanding and with his goals of what ought to be done.

And again, I say this with no animosity toward him, but I could take the very same things he just, you read to me that he's written and use progressive agendas and justify everything that he said in terms of a progressivism that seems to be taken over the SBC. Do we want to go down the road that says God whispers about sexual sin? Do we want to go down the road where now we have Ed Litton who preaches with his wife? He said, we don't have women preachers in our church. And then within days, videos started showing up of him and his wife preaching together at Redemption Church in Mobile, Alabama.

And she's saying these are her words. This is our last sermon in this series. Now, again, I don't know his wife. I'm not casting stones at them personally.

I don't know them. But we now have a president of the Southern Baptist Convention who with his wife preaches on Sunday mornings to his church. And he says, I'm a conservative. Ed Litton has said there is no liberal drift. There's a drift toward fundamentalism. Well, no organization has ever drifted toward fundamentalism.

I mean, it's historically a joke to suggest that the drift is always downward, leftward. And to couch the election of Ed Litton over Mike Stone in terms of a choice to move forward in racial reconciliation and being more biblical and all the stuff that Ed Stetzer said, I think is just not it's not accurate. It's not fair.

It's certainly not charitable. Mike Stone was slandered and smeared by some leaders in the Southern Baptist Convention in the week leading up to our meeting in Nashville last week. He was accused of all kinds of things that if a man were guilty of them, he ought to be thrown in jail. He was accused of covering up sex abuse, accused by the outgoing president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.

I'm going to quote from Russell Moore here. He said that Mike Stone was a part of an effort to create a culture where countless children have been torn to shreds, where women have been raped and then broken down. Now, Mike Stone is a survivor of sex abuse himself as a child.

His church leaders are rightly angry about this, taking a page from the Democratic playbook to smear a fellow Christian. I mean, it's just horrific what happened despite all of those attempts. And they were very effective.

The vote, the final vote on the second ballot for the president of the SBC was 52 percent to 48 percent. And I talked to multiple people who said they simply could not vote for Mike Stone because of this cloud of suspicion that had been cast over him. So it was wicked. What happened to Mike Stone was wicked. And I think Ed Stetzer, if I could talk to him personally, and we tried to meet up at the convention, we just didn't.

I think Ed would have to agree that what was done to Mike Stone was wicked. It should not have been done. Russell Moore is no hero.

And I've known Russell for 30 years as well as not personal with him. It was cowardly and it was it was a self indictment. If you read the letters that Russ wrote that have been mysteriously leaked to the public, supposedly they were private letters, you read them, they sound like public documents, however. Russ is saying that for seven years he lived with this type of of what he calls psychological terrorism and he didn't say a word about it. Well, I want to ask you, where's your manhood, much less your Christianity? If this is going on behind closed doors and you were quiet, then you, my friend, are complicit in the very things that you are accusing others of doing.

So I was very, very upset. I'm very discouraged that these types of things would go on by some convention leaders and be allowed to go on by others. And I don't think the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention are going to put up with it. I'm going to do everything I can to make these facts known and to see churches rally and stand up and say, enough, we are simply not going another foot down this bad road. The Christian World View with David Wheaton returns in just a moment. David Wheaton here, volunteer host of the Christian World View radio program. Listeners are often surprised to learn that we as a ministry pay for airtime on the radio station, website or app on which you hear the program. The primary way this expense is recouped is through listeners like you donating to the ministry or becoming a monthly partner.

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Be sure to visit our website where you can subscribe to our free weekly email and annual print newsletter, order resources for adults and children, and support the ministry. Now, back to today's program with host David Wheaton. Sounds like the last minute slander of Mike Stone worked from a voting standpoint in just tipping Ed Litton over the line as the new president of the SBC for the next two years. And Russell Moore, by the way, who Tom was just referencing there, was formerly the head of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. Now he has left that organization, now is now going to be working over at Christianity Today, which is very telling in and of itself. That has become a very non-orthodox, biblically sound organization. Right. And he's joining a church that's not even Baptist. So it's interesting to see what's happened with some of these people that were in leadership in the SBC when they leave, where they go. They didn't flip overnight.

It's a commentary when you watch where they go. You're listening to Tom Askell today here on the Christian worldview, the senior pastor of Grace Baptist Church, a Southern Baptist church in Cape Coral, Florida, also the president of Founders Ministries. This is a great ministry, by the way. Go to

They have all sorts of great resources. We feature their documentary, By What Standard. They have another one coming up.

I'm going to ask Tom about that in just a little bit. Now, the one person we didn't mention—haven't talked about yet, Tom—is Albert Mohler, the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, who I would say is probably the most well-known, visible, and influential Southern Baptist of all. He was running for president as well, and yet he didn't even make it to the final two-person race between Ed Litton and Mike Stone.

In the end, two much lesser-known people. What happened to Albert Mohler? I've known Al a long time. He's done some wonderful things in his ministry at Southern Seminary.

You're right. Al is the best-known Southern Baptist, but he came in third on the first ballot. The people who are more progressive would not be happy with Al, because Al has been outspoken and very clear in opposing critical race theory, very clear on complementarianism and biblical authority. He speaks very clearly about those things, and so they would not be happy with him. The people who are wanting to be more focused practically on the implication of all those things have grown displeased with Al, because he says the right things.

He's never going to say anything wrong. But when, as he said a couple of years ago at the conference out at John McArthur's conference, Shepherd's conference, he said, just watch who I platform. Well, when you look at the people that Al has hired and the people that have promoted some of the things that are not healthy in the SBC, you have to say that what he has advocated theoretically doesn't correspond with what he's done practically.

And so there were many of us who said we need someone not like that. And I believe, I mean, Al's a denominational guy. He's worked his whole life in a denominational office. I believe we need a pastor.

I was advocating for a pastor. I want a man who looks people in the eye every week that he's going to give an account to before God, and he has to shepherd their souls. That's the kind of guy I want leading.

And a guy who has backbone, who's unashamed of the word of God, that was Mike Stone. Again, I don't know Ed Litton, but just listening to what Ed Litton has said since the convention and some of these sermons of his that are coming to light in the wake of his election, I'm concerned and I would not be an advocate for the positions that he is staking out. Al kind of lost all of his constituency. It's sad. I take no pleasure in it, but we need a leader like he was when he went to Southern Seminary in 1993, 94 and drew a line in the sand and said, we're not going forward.

We're going to fight these battles and God helping us, we're going to win. But that's not where he is today. So it seems like he was sort of the middle candidate. You had Mike Stone representing more of a conservative biblical worldview, Ed Litton more of a theologically liberal, possibly world biblical worldview, and then maybe Al Mohler in the middle and the people vote on one side or the other and Al ended up coming in third. And it's hard to use those taxonomies of how to classify him because Al's not a liberal. Probably Ed Litton is not a classic liberal either.

I mean, he calls himself a conservative. And part of the problem we have, David, is today we've got all of these people. They say we've signed the documents. You know, we're an errantist. We signed the Denver statement. We signed the Nashville statement.

We signed the Baptist Faith and Message. But it's like they're doing it theoretically. And so, yeah, theoretically, they believe they really are conservative. But, you know, for a guy to say, I'm a conservative, I'm a complementarian and to preach with his wife, that's the problem we're facing today is the vocabulary is still the same.

But the dictionaries changed. And we've got to drill down and say, what do you mean by this? You can't be a complementarian and advocate preaching with your wife. You just you can't be those those things do not go together.

And yet that's where we are. So it's hard to classify it. I don't I don't use typically the conservative versus liberal scale anymore. In these debates, I speak more in terms of theoretical, an errantist, theoretical confessionalist versus practical. Those that have backbone and skin in the game and are willing to take a stand on the things that they theoretically confess. Yeah, that's a good way of putting it. It's about saying one thing really and doing or living another preaching and actually acting another way.

That's right. Tom Askel with us today on the Christian worldview. Let's get to the second takeaway of Ed Stetzer from the convention has said this convention represents the choice of love over legalism. Southern Baptist for over a generation carry the reputation of having a strong stance on truth, but too often to the neglect of grace. Jesus warned the legalists in Matthew 23, who focused on toeing the line of their convictions to also focus on the weightier matters of the law, justice and mercy and faithfulness, words to be heeded today. The messengers of this year's convention seem to understand Southern Baptist must be people of truth, well being people who love our communities and neighbors well.

This includes in particular, how to learn to love people who are different than us people of other races, backgrounds and ethnicities. Again, the implication here is Tom that those who are biblically I'll use the word conservative are people who focus on truth, but are legalistic. They neglect grace as as Ed Stetzer said, your response to the Southern Baptist history being called, you know, truth tellers, but without grace or caring about those who are different than us.

So any slice of history you want to look among any people, you can find examples that would satisfy that contention. But let me just say that I am offended by the way that Ed has characterized this love versus legalism, really a truth versus love. I mean, the truth that the Bible commends and the love that the Bible commends walk hand in hand. Love rejoices in truth, Paul says in First Corinthians 13. So to pit love and truth against one another is to just admit from the outset, we're talking about something that is an unbiblical category. Now can a person hold the truth and unloving ways without a doubt? Can he be loving at the expense of truth?

No doubt. And what we've got to do is realize that we're not loving people when we don't tell them the truth. And again, for Ed's benefit, if he listens to this, I'll get a chance to talk to him.

I'll encourage him to do this. Just if you think that what we did last week by electing Ed Litton was showing a kinder, gentler Southern Baptist convention to the world, and now the world's going to like us, just read the headlines of CNN that say, well, it may look like the Southern Baptists have taken a turn toward a kinder, more loving ways, but don't be fooled. They still are opposed to LGBTQ people. They still believe that abortion is something that is immoral. You cannot pacify people that are radically opposed to God who hate God.

You can't do it. And you're not loving them by just simply trying to be nice. What we've got to do without any kind of anger or animosity when trying to, you know, just win arguments, we got to look them in the eye and say, you know what, friend, God made you. He made you for himself. You rebelled against him. You need to be reconciled to him. He sent his son in order to reconcile people like you to him. If you'll turn from your sin, trust his son, you will be reconciled to your maker. If you continue on the path, your own, then you will live under his wrath, under his ever lasting judgment.

And we don't want that for you. But see, that sounds harsh, unloving, bigoted, legalistic. And I think we have just been plagued by the world. The world has done a far better job discipling people than the church has. And whenever Ed Stetzer makes these kinds of dichotomies and these types of assessments, I think he's just playing right into the hands of the world.

That was well said, Tom, thank you so much for that. And it's just so interesting, as you were describing the gospel there, that the world thinks of that, trying to save people's souls as being hateful, because you're talking about God's judgment. It's like you're trying to save someone from going off a bridge that is, the bridge is out. And you're trying to tell them, hey, stop, you know, you're going the wrong way.

That seems like the most loving thing you can actually do to someone is to tell them that message. And I listen to Morning Joe or Joe Scarborough, I don't know who he is, somebody on CNN had a panel discussion. And he was talking about how harsh these some of these Southern Baptists are, you know, and they just demand that you say abortion is wrong. And, and they forgotten the gospel, we need to read the red letters of Jesus and in the Bible and focus on those because we got to be Christlike, you know, we're not being Christlike, and the world's not liking us. And I guess Joe says he's a Southern Baptist. And I'm thinking to myself, you know what Jesus was pretty Christlike, and the world didn't love him, they crucified him.

It's just like we don't know what we're talking about anymore. And we don't do anyone, either the world or the church, any favors when we start taking our cues from the world. And one of the things that was repeated multiple times at the convention last week in Nashville, is brothers and sisters, the world is watching the world is watching.

And of course, you had reporters from all over the place in the room. And I just want to shout a couple of points. You know what God is watching, too? Are we going to honor God? Are we going to dishonor God for the sake of trying to look nice in the eyes of the world? Yeah, the world is watching. In other words, we need to we need to present a certain front that's going to be palatable to the world.

You're never going to be able to do that to a non believing world. Tom Askel with us today on the Christian worldview, senior pastor Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, Florida, also the president of Founders Ministries. Let's talk about some of the resolutions that came up that were addressed. Of course, two years ago, the big one was on critical race theory. Now let me just read one more paragraph from Ed Stetzer's article. He says, Furthermore, the election revealed a false report about critical race theory. I can say without ambiguity, Ed Litton, the new president, does not hold or teach critical race theory, regardless of how you feel about critical race theory. He is he's in the space of pursuing racial recognition.

And some mistakenly conflate those two separate, though related spaces. Critical race theory has become for many a kind of catch all term regarding race issues in the boogeyman of our time. Southern Baptists have had their share of boogeyman over the years, the charismatic boogeyman, the Calvinist boogeyman, and how now the critical race theory boogeyman to name a few. I'm a Southern Baptist, Stetzer writes, and there's a significant number of us who believe that systemic racism and structural issues still exist, that elements of the past have been projected into the present.

While our nation continues to be formed into a more perfect union, there's still more work to be done. Now, this was a big issue last time at the convention. Tom, what happened this time with the response to that resolution nine from last time on critical race theory? I heard it wasn't even mentioned by name.

That's correct. I Well, it was mentioned just not from the platform in any kind of way to be deliberated. So I made a motion, as I promised to do since 2019 convention, that we rescind resolution nine that was adopted at that convention. And I was told leading up to it. In fact, I had some conversations with folks who were sent to try to persuade me not to do that and deals offered to me.

But I just said what I've been saying for a year and a half, two years. Look, I'm going to do it. I'm going to make a motion. Well, you'll be ruled out of order. You know, lawyers were debating it behind the scenes in the weeks leading up to the convention. What are we going to do with this motion?

And so I made the motion. And sure enough, they ruled out of order. They had a convention lawyer come to the microphone at the platform and explain why Robert's Rules of Order couldn't be followed at this point because of the standards of the SBC's constitution.

I didn't buy it. We could have done it. I had other attorneys tell me most certainly we could have done it. But my motion was ruled out of order. I tried to petition the ruling of the chair was resoundingly voted down.

So it didn't get that. Then over 1300 Southern Baptist submitted a resolution on the incompatibility of critical race theory and intersectionality with a Baptist faith and message, which is our doctrinal statement in the convention. Over 1300 signatures on one resolution. It took up four and a half pages of the daily bulletin just to list the names of those who signed this submission of this resolution to the committee. And the committee refused to bring it out. That's unprecedented. There's never been a resolution submitted to the Southern Baptist Convention with more than five names on it prior to this year.

And we had over 1300 Southern Baptist names on it. And the committee completely ignored it. And they tried to justify it in a lot of ways. They came out with what's called now Resolution Two, which disavows any kind of worldly ideologies or contrary to the scripture or override the gospel and praise God. All that's true.

But it's just like the elephant in the room that we refuse to acknowledge is there. And that was very disappointing. And I think the resolutions committee failed the convention at this point. And I think most of the we had more messengers show up than we have had in two decades to Nashville's convention. And we had more first time messengers from more churches than we typically have. I think it was like 50 percent more churches were represented than is typical at this convention. And they didn't come because they were just interested in seeing the city of Nashville.

They came because of critical race theory being so deadly in its poison that is spreading throughout our culture and the fact that we had said we were going to debate it at this convention and the convention elites refused to let that happen. The Christian worldview with David Wheaton returns in just a moment. Courtney was 17 weeks pregnant when she and her husband Greg learned that their son Shepherd had a heart condition that would require multiple surgeries and were uncertain about his future. But Samaritan ministries connected them with other Samaritan members who began to pray and share the financial needs of the pregnancy and the medical care Shepherd needed. I don't know how Samaritan could have answered any differently and done any better. I don't know.

And just to hear the confidence on the other end of the phone of this is not something that you need to be concerned about at all. You focus on the health of your family, the health of your baby, and we will walk with you every step of the way. Thankfully, through God's faithfulness and provision, Shepherd is surpassing all of the doctors' expectations. To read more about this family's journey and about how you can join a community of believers like them, visit slash TCW. David Wheaton here to tell you about a special offer on my boy Ben.

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Short takes are also available and be sure to share with others. Now, back to today's program with host David Wheaton. Another issue that came up had to do with abortion. Someone brought forward or a group brought forward a resolution on the complete abolition of abortion, that this should be something that Southern Baptists should support. And was there resistance to that and did that pass?

Yeah. Well, again, the Resolutions Committee decided they were not going to bring it out because they didn't like the whole call for the abolition, the complete abolition of abortion. The men who framed that resolution got to the microphone to spoke. My brother, Bill Askell, who's a pastor in Oklahoma, in Owasso, Oklahoma, he actually was the spokesman and was able to lead the convention to overrule the decision of the committee not to bring it out.

So you got to get two thirds vote. That's a hard thing to do, especially when you don't have any denominational machinery behind you, which he and this group did not. But they were able to persuade the messengers on the floor to overrule the committee to bring this resolution out for a vote. And then it was debated and there were ethicists that spoke against it.

I mean, there were seminary professors that spoke against it. It was really sad, but nevertheless, it passed. And so now we have this resolution calling for the abolishment of abortion on the books. And I'm grateful for it. But even in the last few days, there have been multiple articles written, one by a woman who was on the resolutions committee and another by a group of ethicists and theologians in the SBC saying that this is a really bad resolution.

This is bad. We shouldn't be staking out this position, which I think just describes it reveals another fault line that exists among Southern Baptists and the broader evangelical world. Again, Tom Askell joins us today on the Christian worldview. You mentioned earlier about people in the Southern Baptist Convention are really anywhere within professing Christendom. We'll talk about they believe in the inerrancy of scripture, the sufficiency of scripture, the infallibility of scripture. They'll talk about confessional statements and so forth.

I believe in the Bible. But then language is used and their actions are very different. They have a different interpretation on maybe the topic you're discussing of race or critical race theory or pick your topic of women in teaching leadership within churches. And they come to completely different conclusions. How is someone listening today to be able to discern when someone claims to be one thing but then does another thing? I think it's very confusing to try to understand where people stand. What is your recommendation as a pastor as to how people can be more discerning with what's going on within the church?

Yeah, well, it's a great question. It's much needed. You know, politically, we've seen it back when Bill Clinton was president. I remember there were those who are conservative politically say, don't listen to what he says, watch what he does.

And that's always good counsel. People can say a variety of things, but it's what they do that we really need to focus on to let us know what they actually believe. And our age is a postmodern age. And though I don't know many Christians would talk about my truth versus your truth, that is the lingua franca of the world. Everybody has their own truth.

We should just be willing to move along the road in light of it. And though the church won't say that, practically, that's what we're doing. Well, I'm a complementarian, but I believe in women preachers. Okay, I'm a complementarian.

I don't believe in women preachers. Well, I'm against CRT. You know, I believe CRT is incompatible with the gospel and with the Bible. But hey, systemic racism is a thing.

There's no doubt about it. And the structural racism is absolutely true. You have to accept that or you're just completely blind and ignorant versus, you know, I think CRT is contrary to the word of God and contrary to the gospel as well. And whenever you want to talk about structural racism, structural and systemic racism, can we look at what you're talking about? Can we ask the questions without being accused of being racist by having the questions and look at the data and actually try to have a simple, honest conversation about this? We may see things differently, but we ought to at least be able to talk about it. Whereas the worldview that arises from this critical race ideology, critical race theory ideology says, no, no, to question it is to show your white fragility. To question it is to prove that you're guilty of it, that you're complicit in it.

So that's the thing. You just have to keep asking questions, you know, what's behind this and and what do you mean by this and what are you saying and what does this mean in light of the scripture? So one simple thing that people of God can do is look at confessions of faith beyond modern ones. So if somebody tells me that they've signed Danvers and Nashville and they've signed the Baptist Faith and Message, I want to know, you know, what do you think about the New Hampshire Confession of Faith? What do you think about the 1689 Second Baptist London Confession of Faith, the Westminster Confession of Faith? Now, that's no guarantee either because we got people that are advocating even those ancient confessions of faith who nevertheless are riding on this train of critical theory, critical race theory, wokeness as well.

But you just have to drill down and ask the questions. And if they rule the questions out of order, well, then you ought to have some flags go up in your mind, because if Christians can't have honest, reasonable conversations about the meaning of words and concepts because to do so is inherently racist or inherently misogynist or bigoted, you know, we're operating on two different standards at that point. Tom Askell with us again on the Christian Real View today. Final question for you, Tom. Thank you for for taking the time to give us a recap of what took place at the Southern Baptist Convention. Tell us about the one-day conference that Founders Ministries held at the convention, that the theme was Be It Resolved. And also tell us about the upcoming docu-series titled Wield the Sword and when that's going to be released.

Tom Yes. Well, thanks for asking about that. On Monday before the SBC began officially on Tuesday morning, Founders Ministries and the Institute of Public Theology, which is a new ministry of founders, sponsored this conference called Be It Resolved. And the point was taking language from formal resolutions to argue that what we need are no longer we don't need more resolutions that are passed or defeated on the floor of the convention. We need the kind of resolve that we see in the scripture, the resolve of Joshua, who said, Choose you this day whom you serve. But as for me and my house, we're going to serve the Lord. The resolve that we see with Elijah, you know, if bails are God, then serve them.

But if God is God, serve him. So we just had a panel of speakers or we had one speaker after the other for the whole day. And man, it sold out.

We could have sold hundreds of more tickets if we'd had the space. And we'll get those recordings up on our website soon. Again, this was sponsored by the Institute of Public Theology primarily. And that's something that Founders has developed recently.

We got our classes beginning in the fall. Vody Baucom, Tom Nettles, myself, Jared Longshore, the founding faculty. We've created this because we see the need for that kind of resolution. We see the need for a rock ribbed commitment to scripture that is unashamed and unwilling to bow or bend or budge in the face of the onslaught of the world. And that's that's the same thing behind the wield the sword efforts that you've mentioned as well. We started this in the wake of the by what standard documentary. You can find that on our YouTube channel, Founders Ministries YouTube channel.

And you can find the first five of these episodes on the wield the sword. This is a this is a positive kind of teaching ministry where we deal with things like the word in the world, biblical manhood, womanhood. What does the Bible mean by vocation?

What about aesthetics? What about education? The church, family, sexuality, culture. We got 15 of these topics that over the next two years, we're going to release these 30 minute to an hour long teachings to help churches, help Christians think rightly about the world in which we live from an unapologetic commitment to the authority and the sufficiency and the clarity of scripture.

So, again, you can find that at as well. Tom, thank you just for coming on the Christian Rule of You. But even more, just for what you mentioned in your last answer about having and holding and encouraging and exhorting others to have this such strong conviction on really our only foundation for truth, which is the word of God, God's scripture. And we thank you for all that you're doing at your church and within the Southern Baptist Convention and at Founders Ministries.

So all of God's best and grace to you. Well, thank you, David. I appreciate you having me on your show.

Appreciate what you're doing as well. Well, I hope you enjoyed the interview with Tom Askel today. Again, he's a senior pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, Florida, and the president of Founders Ministry. is the website. And if you're interested in getting a copy of the documentary that he and Founders Ministries did on the 2019 Southern Baptist Convention with regard to critical race theory, it's well worth watching. You can order it from us at the Christian Real View.

It's entitled By What Standard. Just go to our website,, or give us a call at 1-888-646-2233. I really like Tom Askel. He really battles for truth.

And yet he's still gracious to those with whom he disagrees. It's a good example for all of us. Now, let's get to some summary thoughts on today's program. The title of today's program was Confession Without Conviction.

What does that mean? Well, in view of this program today, it's not being used confession as confessing sin, agreeing with God that you have sinned against him. But the way this term confessing or confession is being used is with regard to confessing or saying something, agreeing with something as true verbally. And then without conviction, it means then practicing something differently. So confessing something as true, but not having the conviction to actually live out or practice what you're confessing as true. Now, here's an example of a confession Tom Askel referenced, the 1689 London Baptist Confession. The first point reads like this. The Holy Scripture is the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience.

So that was just the first sentence. So what happens is, you have lots of Christians who may adhere to that confession about Holy Scriptures and say they're inerrant and infallible and inspired, but then they don't interpret Scripture or practice it as if they believe what they confess. I have a piece of audio that I think illustrates it well.

It's from Danny Aiken. He is the president of the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, one of the six seminaries of the Southern Baptist Convention. He first makes a confession about his orthodox beliefs, but then says one's background influences how one interprets Scripture as if that's okay, when in reality, your background shouldn't matter at all. It shouldn't have any influence on how you interpret Scripture, because we're all trying to get at God's one intended meaning of His Word. When I teach terminus in particular, one of the things I will point out is that none of us is a blank slate when it comes to interpreting the Bible. We all come to the Bible with a particular perspective, presuppositions, a particular worldview. And I will say something like this, Danny Aiken cannot help the fact that he comes to the Bible as a white male married who comes from the deep south who has rock solid convictions and commitments about the supernatural worldview about the inerrancy and infallibility of the Bible and who is committed to orthodox Christianity and finds his own worldview in terms of theology well reflected in the Baptist Faith and Message 2000, the abstracted principles, the Chicago statement on biblical inerrancy, the Danvers statement on biblical manhood and womanhood, and the Nashville statement on gender and gender identity. And so I acknowledge that that's who I am. Okay, so what Danny Aiken is doing here is saying that he is sound biblically. He agrees with all these confessions of faith.

But here's what he says next. I think we do better when we sit down to read the Bible. And we have brothers and sisters coming from all different ethnicities, all different socio economic standings, because they're going to have insights into this infallible and errant text that I, for example, will miss simply because of who I am, where I've lived, right where I was born, what I've studied, and who I'm influenced by.

It's subtle, but do you see what that opens the door to? It opens the door to saying, well, we really can't rightly and accurately handle the word of truth, unless we have people of diverse backgrounds. So we need to have some white people, we need to have some black people, we need to have some poor people, some rich people, some Hispanics, some Asians, in order to accurately interpret the word, which of course is false. Anyone, no matter what their background is, can accurately interpret Scripture through the leading of the Holy Spirit, through hearing sound preachers interpret Scripture, and through comparing Scripture with Scripture.

So this is undermining what Danny Aiken is saying here. This is what it means to be confessional, but not have conviction that the word can be rightly interpreted, no matter who you are. So just in summary, Christian, we have to be so discerning, even with those who profess to be confessional of Orthodox biblical Christianity. In fact, Paul says this in Romans chapter 16, he says, Now I urge you brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances, contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them.

And then he gets stronger. He says in verse 18, For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Jesus Christ, but of their own appetites. And by their smooth and flattering speech, they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting. Now, I'm not going to ascribe those motives to Danny Aiken. But you can see how what he said opens up the door to this idea of equity. And we need fair representation on a denominational board or a church board of those of different backgrounds, just because that's the way we're going to understand Scripture.

And there's just no biblical basis for that. So don't be deceived. Just be unsuspecting. Pray to God, asking him to help you accurately handle his word of truth. Thank you for listening today. You can hear past programs and order resources and support the ministry or become a monthly partner by going to the Christian world view dot org. And remember, while you're there, click on the Samaritan Ministries banner.

If you have any health care needs. Let's remember as we close, Jesus Christ and his word are the same yesterday, and today and forever. Until next time, think biblically, live accordingly, and stand firm on biblical convictions. The mission of the Christian worldview is to sharpen the biblical worldview of Christians and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.

We hope today's broadcast encouraged you toward that end. To hear a replay of today's program or to sign up for our free weekly email, or to find out what must I do to be saved, go to our website, the Christian or call us toll free at 1-888-646-2233. The Christian worldview is a listener supported ministry and furnished by the Overcomer Foundation, a nonprofit organization. You can find out more, order resources, make a donation, become a monthly partner, and contact us by visiting the Christian, calling toll free 1-888-646-2233, or writing to box 401 Excelsior Minnesota 55331. That's box 401 Excelsior Minnesota 55331. Thanks for listening to the Christian worldview. Until next time, think biblically, and live accordingly.
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