IMB’s Platt Denies Endorsing Greear for SBC President

April 5, 2016

Will Hall | Editor
Baptist Message, Louisiana

**This article was originally posted HERE and is used by permission**
For more information on Will Hall click HERE and www.baptistmessage.com

ALEXANDRIA – International Mission Board President David Platt denies he knowingly endorsed J.D. Greear for president of the Southern Baptist Convention, stating he was not aware Greear’s request for a video clip was for the purpose of creating a campaign ad.

The controversy emerged when Greear, pastor of the Summit Church in Durham, North Carolina, and a leading member of Acts 29, a neo-Calvinist church planting network, began circulating a promotional video March 14 featuring a number of Southern Baptist personalities, including three SBC entity heads: Platt; Russ Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission; and, Danny Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Platt responded to an IMB trustee via email March 23, explaining, “while I was overseas in the Middle East, J.D. asked me to shoot a 2-second video saying, ‘It’s tricky,’” a phrase repeated throughout the online commercial.

But Platt said Greear did not divulge how the clip would be used.

“I had no idea what it was for,” Platt clarified, although he said he knew beforehand Greear “had been nominated.”

Jimmy Scroggins, pastor of First Baptist Church, West Palm Beach, Florida, announced through a press release March 2 his intention to nominate Greear at the 2016 SBC Annual Meeting to be held in St. Louis, Missouri, June 14-15.

Platt said it was only when he came back into the United States that he heard about Greear’s use of his image and words for the electioneering piece.

“Please be assured (and please assure anyone who asks you about it) that I am not personally (and we are certainly not organizationally) endorsing anyone for SBC president,” Platt wrote, noting he would “be thrilled” to serve alongside Greear or Steve Gaines, pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee, who was named a candidate March 9 by Johnny Hunt, pastor of First Baptist Church, Woodstock, Georgia, or “any other faithful Southern Baptist pastor who might be nominated to serve in this important role.”

David Crosby, pastor of First Baptist Church, New Orleans, has since been named a candidate by Fred Luter, pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church, also in New Orleans, March 24.

“When I heard about the video, I called Steve Gaines to assure him that I was not in any way ‘endorsing’ J.D., and I expressed my delight in the prospect of Steve potentially being in that role,” Platt stated. “We had a great conversation about his vision for the SBC, and I am completely confident in the Lord’s leadership in whoever serves in this role for the next couple of years. I hope that gives some background, and again, please feel free to pass this on to anyone who contacts you about it.”

Platt also noted apparent disappointment with how Greear’s use of him in a campaign video had created an unnecessary distraction, saying “It’s definitely frustrating to come back to issues like this after a couple of weeks overseas, seeing massive needs among unreached refugees who are suffering and dying, and spending concentrated time with our front line leaders around the world discussing how we can take the gospel to them.

“May God give us grace together across the SBC to keep our focus on that which matters most, here in the U.S. and around the world.”

 

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norm

While I am grateful for Platt’s explanation, I think he ought to ask Greear to remove the clip. And if Greear were any kind of Baptist statesman, he should not need to be asked. But I think he already has tipped his hand as to the kind of statesman he is: unilateral. Additionally, his being a “leading member of Acts 29, a neo-Calvinist church planting network” tells everyone his soteriological commitments. In fact, Acts 29 requires its planters to be Calvinists and to have elders for church polity practice. Is Greear the kind of leader the SBC needs right now?

    Scott Shaver

    “May God give us grace together across the SBC to keep our focus on that which matters most, here in the US and around the world”.

    What “matters” most for many “SBC”ers at the moment is the INTEGRITY of our “leaders”…..both at home and abroad.

    Those “around the world” are already seeing the departure as a consequence.

Ryan Abernathy

You know I found that reference to Acts 29 kind of odd. Acts 29 is mentioned on the Summit site one time- as a sermon title from a guest pastor. The A29 site doesn’t list JD as a part of their leadership. His church is listed as affiliated.

His church website does have multiple references to the BFM2K and to planting churches and doing mission work via the SBC. The reference in Will’s article seems to be based on his opinion/suspicion rather than facts.

In fact, if you google JD and Acts 29 there are no recent references to their partnership at all. Which seems odd for someone who is such a “leading member.”

    Rick Patrick

    Evidence of Greear’s connection with the Acts 29 Network is abundant and incontrovertible.*

    http://www.jdgreear.com/my_weblog/2009/02/acts-29-and-the-sbc.html
    http://www.acts29.com/churches/the-summit-church-se/
    http://www.summitrdu.com/message/the-acts-29-network/
    http://www.summitrdu.com/message/the-acts-29-network/
    https://twitter.com/jdgreear/status/662038313453400064

    * “The Insight Podcast is hosted by Doug Baker, and recently he sat down with Acts 29 church planters J.D. Greear, Daniel Montgomery, Tyler Jones, and Sean Cordell to discuss a host of issues.”

      Ryan Abernathy

      Rick, once again you fail to read what was written. I mention in my post every one of your links except for the Insight podcast. The blog article is from 2009. The tweet is a reply after a tweet from A29. I mention they are listed as a partner church.

      None of that screams “leading member” to me. However, if that is all it takes, I am going to go and send a tweet that has both you and A29 in its reference. Then you will be a “leading member” of them as well by your standards.

        Rick Patrick

        Ryan,

        I merely made the claim that evidence of Greear’s connection with Acts 29 is “abundant” and “incontrovertible.” There is no point or sense in downplaying Greear’s involvement with this group. That you mentioned all of the links but one means we are evidently in agreement with the statement: “JD Greear is linked, clearly, to the Acts 29 Network.” Not only is his church a “partner church” as you stated, but Greear is even referred to as “an Acts 29 church planter” in the Insight Podcast.

        You seem to be making some point about one of the events taking place as recently as seven years ago, in 2009, but I’m not exactly sure what that point is. Are you saying that seven years ago should be viewed as ancient history? That JD should no longer be considered to be partnering with Acts 29 because a full seven years has passed? That you need something more recent to be found in a Google Search to establish that Greear is, in fact, a “partner” and a “member” with close personal ties to the Acts 29 Network? I remember 2009 very well. It was not that long ago. If JD Greear was a member of Acts 29 in 2009, and he has never publicly broken ties with the group, then he is still part of Acts 29 today.

        I think everyone knows JD Greear is linked to Acts 29—as a church planter, as the pastor of a partner church, and as one who has sponsored Acts 29 church planters. It seems you are being pretty picky with Hall’s language here, if you can accept Greear being a member of Acts 29 but resist the notion that he is a *leading* member. I don’t take that to mean that he is on their board or holds an office necessarily—just that he is among the leading Pastors who comprise their network. Perhaps our disagreement (if there even is one) is over the use of the term “leading.” Maybe you would have preferred Hall to say that Greear is a “following” member of the Acts 29 Network, or just a “member” with no adjective at all. I think that’s just splitting hairs.

        Greear is an Acts 29 guy. He just is. That was the thrust of Hall’s statement. I think all three of us know it. I think everyone else knows it too. So I see no need to quarrel with Hall about the matter when it seems like we all are in complete agreement.

        Lydia

        Here are some more links on the long time JD Greear/Mark Driscoll bromance….err…. connection. Mark Driscoll WAS Acts 29. His DNA is all over it.

        http://www.jdgreear.com/my_weblog/2009/01/mark-driscoll-and-the-nyt.html
        http://www.jdgreear.com/my_weblog/2008/11/the-economic-crisis-mark-driscoll-and-etc.html
        http://markdriscoll.org/the-proof-is-in-the-posture-j-d-greear-talks-with-mark-driscoll-about-salvation/

        There are plenty more. I know janitors who have more spiritual discernment than these guys with seminary degrees.

Paul

Platt responded to an IMB trustee via email March 23, explaining, “while I was overseas in the Middle East, J.D. asked me to shoot a 2-second video saying, ‘It’s tricky,’” a phrase repeated throughout the online commercial.

So J.D. is the one who got the quote from Platt. But the rap video says the video doesn’t necessarily represent the views of JD Greear. Odd.

I contacted IMB asking them if they or Platt would request Greear to remove Platt from the rap video campaign ad since Platt is not endorsing him and the rap campaign ad for Greear has all ready nearly 11,000 views. I also left a message with the ERLC asking them if Russell Moore or they were endorsing Greear for SBC president.
What’s tricky is this campaign ad for and,according to David Platt,at least in part by Greear.

Another quote from the article:
stating he [ Platt]was not aware Greear’s request for a video clip was for the purpose of creating a campaign ad.
It’s tricky.

Greg Roberts

I have never been to the SBC convention THIS HOWEVER IS ENOUGH to make me go and vote against this drivel and who ever it supports.

Paul

“Please be assured (and please assure anyone who asks you about it) that I am not personally
(and we are certainly not organizationally) endorsing anyone for SBC president,” Platt wrote,
And
“I called Steve Gaines to assure him that I was not in any way ‘endorsing’ J.D.”

But David Platt is ” ‘endorsing’ J.D.”by being part of his campaign ad and Platt has known about this for at least the last two weeks. Why didn’t David Platt fire off an email to JD — telling JD that he was not endorsing him for SBC president and to take him out of his campaign ad?Platt had the opportunity to email to a trustee about this on March 23 so even though he was overseas he had time and access to email to stop Greear from using him in his campaign ad.
Why didn’t he?
Or did he ask JD to stop and JD refused?
Or does Platt not count being part of a campaign ad as ‘endorsing’ that candidate?

Platt’s knowingly being part of JD’s campaign ad while “not in anyway endorsing JD” is confusing.

norm

Curious, Ryan, as to why you would replicate a behavior that you deem wrong? Wouldn’t that make you wrong also?
BTW: The “leading member” verbiage originates from Will Hall and not Rick Patrick. Perhaps you would address your concerns to Will?

Scott Shaver

Let’s assume (giving benefit of doubt) that Platt (though overseas) had no idea that Greear was allowing himself to be nominated for SBC presidency and that he had no idea what a “film clip” would be used for.

Is Platt willing to endorse his apparent friend, Greear, NOW that this particular communication breakdown and paper tiger is out of the cage?

If not…..why not?

Scott Shaver

Platt’s actually gonna try to convince people that he, Russell Moore nor any of the other participants in the “rap” video knew that it would be used as a cheezey, adolescent bid for a denominational elected post? And if they didn’t know, they need to pick better friends.

SBC has definitely lost it’s sense of “taste” if not its character.

    Tom

    Scott:

    I have heard for over 37 years how necessary the CR was and yet these happenings continue to occur in the current SBC. But ask the current leaders and yea sayers of the CR and all is well in the SBC.

    Delusional.

    Lydia

    “SBC has definitely lost it’s sense of “taste” if not its character.”

    That was lost the minute they took Mark Driscoll and the Apostle from the People of Destiny (Mahaney), seriously.

      Tom

      Lydia:

      For all the concern about “liberals”, it is amazing the “leadership” in the SBC never stands up against the squishy “character ” of such folk as Driscoll and Mahaney. If the people in the SBC pews were in the know about such things I would hope there would be a mass exodus from the SBC.

Lydia

“Platt responded to an IMB trustee via email March 23, explaining, “while I was overseas in the Middle East, J.D. asked me to shoot a 2-second video saying, ‘It’s tricky,’” a phrase repeated throughout the online commercial.

But Platt said Greear did not divulge how the clip would be used.”

Oh my. What class. A rap campaign commercial with SBC celeb endorsements. Cult of personality.

So Platt does not endorse him but is not asking him to remove the clip?

So does Platt often repeat what someone asks him to say on video yet has no idea what it will be used for? Are we sure he is mature enough for his job? He was not able to connect the dots nor ask JD what the phrase meant in context or where it would be used? Now, he wants us to believe he is not endorsing? I often wonder just how many times these guys can play people and get by with it.

Oh and btw, you sinners…you are making it an unnecessary distraction from the important work of throwing the over 50 crowd under the bus.

Lydia

Maybe the Trustees will put Platt on unpaid leave to show him just how serious a confidence breach of character this is for someone in his position and send a message to future presidents and other entity leaders and trustees. Nah. They don’t have the nerve.

These guys act like teen age boys given a nice car to drive. They cannot act responsibly with character and integrity. It is all about the stage, the title, the followers and admiration. .

Tom

Lydia:

When have the “trustees” ever stood up against a major SBC leader? They would lose their jobs.

    Lydia

    Tom, these days the Trustees work FOR the entity presidents. And most of the entity presidents work for Mohler. I was joking about them being grown up independent thinkers with serious responsibilility.

      Tom

      Lydia:

      Wonder if there are any women trustees in the SBC world?

        Lydia

        Tom, I don’t know. Perhaps if they have money or some sort of gravitas in that realm? I have seen exceptions made for such in other areas.

Jon Estes

This article is like the little chicken who kept screaming “The sky is falling…”

Is it really that big of a deal?

They are friends and if Platt wants to endorse him – so what? If he wants to stay neutral – so what”. It is not the end of the world or some ethical misstep or some childish behavior. If you don’t like the way some people do things (like this weird video), is it really a matter of SBC crisis?

To many ‘panties in a wad’ on this one.

    Rick Patrick

    “Is it really that big of a deal?”

    If a sitting entity President appearing to give a public endorsement to only one SBC Presidential candidate were NOT a big deal, then why would Platt call Steve Gaines as soon as he got back into the country to disaffirm any such endorsement? All entity leaders will have to work with the new SBC President—whoever it is. Showing partiality in the election process is indeed bad form.

    If you need more evidence of the preceding statement, a disclaimer was posted on the rap commercial both before and after the song played. Clearly, all the people participating in this endorsement would like to make it appear that they are not, in fact, making an endorsement.

    Why should RapGate be considered a big deal? First, it politicizes the SBC election process through advertising that is beyond anything we’ve seen in years. Second, it includes several entity leaders who are clearly giving their endorsement to this candidate, despite their disavowals. (Methinks they protest too much!) And third,it is rather unseemly, juvenile, sophomoric and frankly void of much in the way of entertainment value. Admittedly, I’m not a Run DMC fan, but I understand the song, “It’s Tricky,” was the final single released in 1986 from his third album entitled, “Raising Hell.”

    At best, this video was unwise and unpresidential. At worst, it shows a lack of discretion, worldly compromise (“Raising Hell,” seriously?) and no respect or appreciation at all for the time honored traditions of Southern Baptists who affirm that the job seeks the man, rather than vice versa.

    Even if one were to concede that it is not a “big deal” but is rather a minor detail, I want an SBC President who shows godly maturity and pays attention to the little things too. With all that Southern Baptists need to accomplish in our time, producing a cheesy parody of a lousy thirty year old rap video from an Album entitled “Raising Hell” was a very poor decision and an unnecessary distraction that contributes nothing toward solving the very real problems facing Southern Baptists.

    Lydia

    “Is it really that big of a deal?”

    In this day and time of “Kardashian Christians” your comment does not surprise me but only reaffirms how low basic decorum has sunk. To ask if it is that big of a deal begs the question…….evidently Greear thought so. Why go to the trouble to gather all those clips of name brands and others for a campaign video if it were “no big deal”? Greer is the one who is teaching us it is a very big deal….to him.

    At his consumer church, the nobody pew sitters would line up to have two words recorded for him. So why the need for entity presidents? Position and power? Why else would it matter to Greear? And why on earth did they not know better? Because they really are that self admiring and immature. They are from the “Christian” world using position and power to acquire partisan wins. They are from the world of using deception and stealth to gain access. That is who their colleagues and mentors are. It is what they know. It is their normal. Ethics, decorum and such never occur to them. They make the rules.

    Jon, your slip is showing.

      Scott Shaver

      Lydia writes “Ethics, decorum and such never occur to them.”

      As evidenced by the fact that the so-called “representative ethicist” of the SBC also has a smirking cameo appearance in the video.

      Disgusting. The fact that this guy is campaigning for a meaningless office is probably an indication that the “office” is the LAST thing he needs to get involved with.

        Lydia

        “As evidenced by the fact that the so-called “representative ethicist” of the SBC also has a smirking cameo appearance in the video”

        Exactly. Moore is the appointed arbiter of ethics for the SBC. So this opportunity to appear on camera for ONE candidate teaches his followers what about ethics? That Ethics are “situational”?

          Scott Shaver

          “Situational”? Exactamundo!

      Jon Estes

      “To ask if it is that big of a deal begs the question…….evidently Greear thought so”

      The issue is not if Grear thought it weas a big deal but that the complainers are making it such.

      “So why the need for entity presidents? Position and power? Why else would it matter to Greear? And why on earth did they not know better?”

      Because it is not a big deal, that’s why. Just because some bloggers think it is does not make it so. Just because Platt called Gaines does not make it a big deal.

      The sky is not falling Lydia, even if you think it is.

    Christian

    Apparently an IMB trustee thought it wasn’t a “little” matter. Actually this shows a trustee doing their duty! And I say thank you for that. I find Platt’s explanation lacking, does he do a video clip without knowing how it will be used? That’s not “presidential”! Greer without a doubt knew how it would be used. I believe the “others” also knew. My pastor says the convention is a “waste of time”! I disagree, however, I am beginning to wonder about the SBC’s future. There is a lack of transparency. Of all groups Christain organizations should be very transparent. One pastor in our association hands out a sheet listing every check that was written at each business meeting. He says why hide something if you have nothing to hide? I like that. When you are not transparent you are saying to the person in the pew, paying the bills, you cannot be trusted. My response, why should I trust you?

    Scott Shaver

    Tom:

    In retrospect, the the CR was “necessary” to put Paige Patterson, Al Mohler and subsequent others at the helm of SBC seminaries. By default, the chaos which has ensued is also “necessary”.

    I would describe it as the most destructive swing in the history of modern denominationalism.

Jon Estes

I see we disagree. For me it is not a big deal.

As far as time honored traditions of SB’s… There never would have been a CR, if the conservatives didn’t do things differently. I think it would be safe to say you supported the CRF… I did. And on top of that, is public airing of disagreements on such forums such as this part of those time honored traditions, or are we making nerw traditions with such? Not complaining about the blog just asking about time honored traditions and how such blogs fit that criteria you mention.

“With all that Southern Baptists need to accomplish in our time, producing a cheesy parody of a lousy thirty year old rap video from an Album entitled “Raising Hell” was a very poor decision and an unnecessary distraction that contributes nothing toward solving the very real problems facing Southern Baptists.”

Now to speak of the blogs again… Do you think more time was put into making that video than is spent on this writing things for this blog and others like it? Again, not criticising the blog but trying to put things into perspective concerning our time and facing real problems facing SB’s. The video is not a real problem,,, Is it?

Thanks for your time.

    Scott Shaver

    The problem, Jon, is folks like yourself who can look at this crumbling alliance of cross-bred “evangelicalism” and shrug it off as inconsequential.

    The proof is in the pudding, delusional positive thinking notwithstanding. So what are the “real problems” you mention?

      Jon Estes

      “The problem, Jon, is folks like yourself who can look at this crumbling alliance of cross-bred “evangelicalism” and shrug it off as inconsequential.”

      A weird video promoting Grear for President of the SBC is not a crumbling moment. The sky is not falling Scott – even if you think it is.

      “The proof is in the pudding, delusional positive thinking notwithstanding.”

      No proof, except what you want to make something proof of something not there. Did an acorn hit you on the head? I’ll pray for any delusional moments you may face.

      “So what are the “real problems” you mention?”

      Ask Rick… I was referring to whatever he was thinking of (besides a weird video), using his term in my respose to him.

Lydia

“Now to speak of the blogs again… Do you think more time was put into making that video than is spent on this writing things for this blog and others like it? Again, not criticising the blog but trying to put things into perspective concerning our time and facing real problems facing SB’s. The video is not a real problem,,, Is it? ”

Yes, the OP is about those involved in the video and whether such partisan participation is worthy or even ethical for an entity president. Not sure what “time” has to do with it since you are taking “time” to comment on a blog you are “not criticizing”. Just be thankful you are allowed to disagree here. It is verboten on many blogs catering to the gurus.

Had there been a “social media” I doubt Mohler could have gotten by with firing Paul Debusman, for example. Trying to position blogs and such as wasting time bringing ethical issues/questions to light says a lot about you, actually. There is nothing wrong with expecting those in positions of responsibility, in the Name of Christ, to be transparent with their agenda or OPM. If they want the exalted public positions they need to grow up. Trying to turn a discussion of their behavior into some sort of sin is the party line to shut it down. Sadly, it often works as people have been trained to be good little lemmings following their guru.

David R. Brumbelow

More on Acts 29:

Acts 29, Alcohol, and the Southern Baptist Convention
http://gulfcoastpastor.blogspot.com/2011/06/acts-29-alcohol-and-southern-baptist.html

David R. Brumbelow

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