SBC Presidency Too Tricky for Greear

April 7, 2016

Dr. Rick Patrick | Senior Pastor
First Baptist Church, Sylacauga, AL

raising_hell

In 1986, secular hip hop music group Run-D.M.C. released the album Raising Hell. The second cut was entitled It’s Tricky. We can be certain that when Def Jam Records produced the Raising Hell album, they had no inkling that thirty years later their music would be discussed in the context of a Southern Baptist Presidential election. In a video released last month, of all the songs that might have been chosen for parody, Ashley Unzicker, on behalf of J.D. Greear, selected the song It’s Tricky.

In the video, Ashley extols the virtues of J.D. Greear as a candidate, declaring that serving as SBC President is indeed tricky. Frankly, as one who typically loves satire and humor, this particular parody struck me as being wildly out of place. It’s only value is to serve as a metaphor illustrating that the SBC Presidency is indeed too tricky a position for anyone who would sign off on such an awkward and inappropriate appeal.

1. The song and album chosen for parody is blatantly offensive.

There may be some context in which an album entitled Raising Hell is an appropriate reference for Southern Baptist ministers, but if one is being nominated for our highest office, such foolishness has no place. In addition to the drug and gang culture associated with secular hip hop music generally, there are specific immoral references in the original song, It’s Tricky, making it particularly unsuitable for satire. Such lyrics include, “I went to her house to bust her out” (a slang expression for intercourse) and “these girls are really sleazy, all they just say is please me.” Why choose a song whose original lyrics glorify fornication and promiscuity? Is this really the song that will reach out and grab the interest and attention of Southern Baptists? Not only is the song immoral, but its use reveals an enormous lack of understanding concerning Southern Baptist identity. Is THIS really the one song that best speaks to Southern Baptists, that best reaches us for Greear’s candidacy? What must Greear think of Southern Baptists to assume that this type of stunt would appeal to us? Generally speaking, Southern Baptists are not really that into hip hop—and for very good reason.

2. Greear alone must bear full responsibility for the release of the video.

One might be tempted to excuse Greear from this foolishness on the basis that he truly did not know what was going on. But isn’t that itself a concern? Are we to believe that J.D. Greear had no idea that this video was being produced in support of his own candidacy? Politicians recite the well-known phrase at the end of their advertisements, “I’m _____ and I approve of this ad.” Greear needs to tell us if, in fact, he approved of this ad. If he did, shame on him for his poor judgment, and if he did not, shame on him for being unfamiliar with the activities of those working on his behalf, and for not distancing himself from it immediately, admitting the mistake, apologizing and moving on. The blame for introducing this parody of an outdated, secular, immoral song belongs to Greear alone.

3. Releasing ANY type of commercial is a break with our long standing custom.

Traditionally, in Southern Baptist elections, the philosophy has been, “The man does not seek the job, but the job seeks the man.” Greear’s stunt politicizes the race for the SBC Presidency beyond anything that we have seen since 1989 when Daniel Vestal purchased thirty minutes of television air time on a local network to promote his candidacy. Perhaps we can be grateful that Vestal did not even imagine making a parody of the Run-D.M.C. song It’s Tricky—which at that time had only been released for three years. I can already hear the objections of those who might claim that these sensitivities are old-fashioned and out of place, that over time, producing parodies of songs that glorify fornication and promiscuity has become more fashionable and acceptable in Southern Baptist life. Granted, I may be old-fashioned, compared to some, but it is not the “old-fashioned” part of me that is concerned with this video. It is simply the “good judgment, sober, exercising discretion” part.

4. The video includes tacit endorsements by various SBC leaders claiming neutrality.

A great deal of effort has been made to disaffirm that these appearances represent any type of official endorsement. Disclaimers are printed at the beginning and at the end of the video. Additionally, David Platt indicated by private email to an IMB Trustee on March 23rd that he was not endorsing anyone for SBC President. This raises a few questions. Why were all of these disclaimers considered to be necessary? Because, of course, when SBC leaders appear in a video in which Ashley sings and dances and extols the virtues of J.D. Greear, they are obviously associating with one candidate for office by their very participation in the video. Did these leaders know how the clip would be used? If not, why were they not informed? Why do the video credits read, “For Entertainment Only” unless the creators of the film felt that it could very reasonably be construed as a candidate commercial? Basically, we have been told that these endorsements are not endorsements and this commercial is not a commercial. Do they think we fell off a turnip truck and landed on our heads? Why even produce an “entertainment only” video if not to help the candidacy of J.D. Greear?

In the larger scheme of things, one slightly cheesy rap music parody is certainly not the end of the world. However, it does shed some light into the kind of judgment, discretion, wisdom and experience we can reasonably expect from a man asking Southern Baptists to elect him as our President. Was it unwise to release the video since the song upon which it is based is so morally questionable? Was it deceptive to use cameos of SBC leaders without telling them ahead of time how their likeness and words would be used? Was it honest to disclaim the video as purely entertainment when it is so clearly a campaign commercial? Is this kind of stunt really appropriate for one who aspires to be the President of the Southern Baptist Convention? Songs about sleazy girls and albums about raising hell may be part of our culture in America, but I believe Southern Baptists stand strongly and firmly for something else entirely. At least, I hope we do. The choice for me is clear. Under no circumstances will I consider voting for J.D. Greear as President of the Southern Baptist Convention. Fortunately, for me, coming to that conclusion was not the least bit tricky.

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Jon Estes

The world is changing and some do not like it. Gotcha.

My questions to this complaint would be…

1 – Is it degrading Christ and His message? I do not see it that way, no matter what the original source is from. The church (corporate and individual) has had from its beginning times of shifting methods. For me the importance is if it shifting the message.

2 – Is it exalting Christ and His message? I do not see this being done either. Yet, I think we all do things every day that do not exalt Christ. Or at least I do, after all I am of the reformed mindset. I cannot speak for the traditionalists concerning this

I do wonder if Dr. AKin ever was to be nominated for SBC President if some traditionalist would say he was unpresidential when he fell into that hole on the SBC platform because he only did it to draw attention to himself. I can imagine reading the articles now on the ineptness of where reformed thinking leads – to a really dark hole.

I am glad the traditrionalists are around though. It helps remind me of how glad I am to be chosen of Christ.

    Rick Patrick

    Jon,

    It’s nice to know you are glad we are around—no matter the rationale. And I must have forgotten about whatever incident you are referencing regarding Dr. Akin’s accident on the platform.

    Your two questions about degrading Christ and exalting Christ are not bad questions at all. They are simply not the questions I am asking in this post, and I do not feel they are the only questions worth asking.

    Specifically, I am asking questions like: “Was the parody really necessary?” “Was the song chosen for parody truly appropriate?” “Is the very idea of releasing a political commercial in good taste?” “Was it honest to claim this video was only for entertainment when the song provides data and statistics in support of Greear’s candidacy and was released during the election season?” “Were the SBC leaders appearing in the video made aware of the true purpose of their cameos or was the nature of the video hidden from them rather than made completely transparent?” “Was it unquestionably prudent, wise and presidential to engage in such a stunt?”

    It’s not that I disagree with your questions. I think they are good ones. But they are not the only ones we should be asking.

      Jon Estes

      ““Was the parody really necessary?””

      No but does that make it wrong?

      ““Was the song chosen for parody truly appropriate?””

      That is a matter of opinion. did the words of the original song get used? No. Was there a pointing to the message of the original song? No. Not the best choice – but not wrong.

      ““Is the very idea of releasing a political commercial in good taste?””

      I am going to imagine some people might have enjoyed it… Are we going to demand everyone have your taste… or mine? I Know we live in the world of “I’m offended you better stop or I am reporting you” but is this where we as Christians need to go on something not gospel threatening?

      ““Was it honest to claim this video was only for entertainment when the song provides data and statistics in support of Greear’s candidacy and was released during the election season?””

      I do not see it as dishonest. It is possible that the data and statistics were put in to fill space wher elyrics needed to be. It doesn’t matter to me. The sky is not falling on this one.

      ““Were the SBC leaders appearing in the video made aware of the true purpose of their cameos or was the nature of the video hidden from them rather than made completely transparent?””

      Platt siad he did not know – I have no reason to doubnt him.

      ““Was it unquestionably prudent, wise and presidential to engage in such a stunt?””

      Not for some, it seems. I don’ t think it matters. I’m not going to be there to vote and if I were I am not sure who I would vote for if there were more than one candidate. I have not even decided who I should vote for for POTUS.

        Rick Patrick

        “It is possible that the data and statistics were put in to fill space where lyrics needed to be.”

        How convenient that their “Entertainment Only” non-political advertisement video chose to “fill space where lyrics needed to be” with facts supportive of Greear’s presidential campaign.

        I’m sure we can all think of millions of entertaining songs playing on the radio right now that cite statistics of particular candidates running for office. I suppose you may be right…it was all just for entertainment purposes! :-)

          Jon Estes

          “3. Releasing ANY type of commercial is a break with our long standing custom.”

          Would this position include the 11 minute video out there with Steve Gaines being interviewed concerning his nomination and what he will do as the next president of the SBC if elected?

          If it a deal breaker for you – who will you vote for? I’m not runing so I can’t help in that area.

          If it is not a deal breaker is tht because Gaines just didn’t go as far as Greear in style?

          Gaines does wear a tie and sounds like a traditionalist pastor.

        Joe Blackmon

        Platt siad (sic) he did not know – I have no reason to doubnt (sic) him.

        Platt did know. It was intentional. It would be refreshing if he had integrity enough to admit it.

          Lydia

          Platt has that Opey Taylor innocent schtick thing going for him when he needs it, Surely he does not film something for which he has no idea how it will be used? But if the right people tell him, he might not ask questions. I can see that. However, I think he knew and is now trotting out the Opey Taylor act using plausible deniability. I mean, gullible people believed him about the need to throw the over 50 missionary crowd to the curb complete with clauses in the retirement contract guys like him get to define what is considered negative about their decision and process of harming people over 50. All they need is people who don’t dare question and keep paying their nice salary with tithe money.

            Scott Shaver

            Was it Opey Taylor, Lydia, or little Opey Cunningham?

          Les

          “Platt did know. It was intentional.”

          And you KNOW this how? Funny how on a site like this one and a formerly active site originating out of Georgia (hoot, hoot) if someone said such a thing from shall we say, the other side of the soteriological aside, he’d never get away with it without being called out on it. Kind of like the Dems. They know their allies will never call them out for such obvious false statements like this one.

          But maybe you do know. maybe you have found access into Platt’s thought processes. Please share how you were able to do that? Or, maybe you have a source. Please share.

            Ken

            Les:
            You wrote to Lydia, “But maybe you do know. maybe you have found access into Platt’s thought processes. Please share how you were able to do that? Or, maybe you have a source. Please share.”

            I find it hilarious that you Calvinists declare that you have been able to access God’s thought processes to know that you are one whom God chose for salvation before the beginning of the world while criticizing Lydia for making such a common sense conclusion about a mere human named Platt?

            Talk about doubletalk!!!

              Lydia

              “I find it hilarious that you Calvinists declare that you have been able to access God’s thought processes to know that you are one whom God chose for salvation before the beginning of the world while criticizing Lydia for making such a common sense conclusion about a mere human named Platt?”

              Ken, I have wondered the same. If they are “unable” to respond as humans with brains that work to think so it must be determined for them…how can they really know they are not being fooled? (Been asked that by a few teens in that world, btw)

              As for Platt, my views come from his actions and words over the course of years and insight from some former “Radicals” from Brook Hill. His “dangerous” Dubai debut was not well done, either, IMO.

            Les

            Ken,

            First, I was addressing Joe. That was his comment. It would not be inconceivable for Lydia to do the same though. Her pattern.

            “I find it hilarious that you Calvinists declare that you have been able to access God’s thought processes to know that you are one whom God chose for salvation before the beginning of the world…”

            Big difference. We know what we know about being a Christian (an elect who has been born again) from the scriptures. Joe can’t read heart intentions.

              Lydia

              ” Joe can’t read heart intentions.”

              My kids used to try this one in their middle school years. I would tell them that words and behaviors flow from how we think (Christians say “heart”) and our intentions can never really be proved which is why we don’t appeal to them instead of facing consequences for what we do and say. A pattern of declaring good intentions despite the behavior or words is the mark of a con.

              Les

              “My kids used to try this one in their middle school years.” Yeah, my kids too back when they were being childish…that is they tried to attribute things to people for which that had no way of knowing.

              This statement is calling Platt a liar. Platt says he did not know. Joes says, “Yes he did. I KNOW it.” i.e Platt, you’re a liar!

              Only in your world is it ok for you and others to call people out for all sorts of sins and then bear false witness about them. Pot/kettle. But not biblical Christianity.

                Scott Shaver

                Les:

                I beg to differ with you (as ususal). What makes it beyond/below decent nor biblical standards of normalcy (for Christians) to mark potential LIES with red-flags. Much to your chagrin, it is not beyond what you describes as “Libertarian Free Will” for human beings to exercise their discernment (especially within the confines of biblical mandate/instruction).

                Too bad that such scenarios do not exist in your God-as-the-author-of-both-good-and-evil theological template.

                By the way, I thought the exercise of such “LFW” was impossible from your framework of “truth”.

                Consequently, FMP, “quilty pigs (Cals-my designation) squeal loudest”….among whom u r chief :)

                Les

                Of Scott my brother in Christ, if you were any kinder in your commentary we would need to take the nickname “sweetness” away from one of the best all time NFL players and give it to you. And if you were right even a fraction of the times you think you are, well you’d be even righter than the rain CB often refers to.

                  Scott Shaver

                  Les:

                  “Kindness” is not my goal or objective in our dialogical interaction. You need to understand that.

                  Kindness is a welcome mat for the devil when dealing with Pharisees and hypocrites.

                  Les

                  Scott, I know. Dialogical interaction is excluded from the fruit of the Spirit. I remember that now.

                  Oh, and if you do run across any of those Pharisees and hypocrites, please point them out. We all need to know.

                    Scott Shaver

                    Les.

                    Whenever you don’t appreciate the viewpoints or words of others, you have this childish, one-note-Johnny habit of referring to the “fruits of the Spirit”.

                    You realize don’t you that resisting error is also a “fruit” so you’ll just have to get used to the marmalade.

                  Les

                  What you call “childish, one-note-Johnny habit” I call pointing out the truth of scripture. But hay, we’ve disagreed I think 100% of the time so far.

                Ken

                Les:

                You wrote to Lydia, ”
                Only in your world is it ok for you and others to call people out for all sorts of sins and then bear false witness about them. Pot/kettle. But not biblical Christianity.”

                Once again, what an irony that you criticize Lydia for calling Platt a liar and ignore the fact that you Calvinists, by rejecting God’s clear and unmistakable declaration of His desire that all men be saved while also mapping out the one and only way that every man can be saved, and instead substituting Calvin’s way to salvation, are thereby calling God and Jesus liars – a far more serious action than saddling a human being with that attribute .

                As was stated by others, if Platt wasn’t lying he surely was super-stupid for producing a video without knowing its intended use. I’ll cast my vote that he was lying.

                  Les

                  Hi Ken. Hope you had a blessed Lord’s day my brother in Jesus.

                    norm

                    Presbyterians DO believe in dancing. Just love how you gave Ken the old Calvinistic Side-step.

                  Les

                  Norm,

                  Sidestep? But yes, I took my wife dancing just a couple weeks ago at the Casa Loma Ballroom in downtown St. Louis. A historic dance hall for sure. Great fun too. You all in town in June should check it out. But here? Dancing? Nope. Ken had said that I and other Calvinists are guilty of:

                  “substituting Calvin’s way to salvation, are thereby calling God and Jesus liars.” I refused to get down in the mud of personal attacks Ken was engaging in. That’s all brother.

                  Lydia

                  Ken, I don’t think Neo Calvinists view deception as lying. You know they have a tendency to redefine words without telling you in a convo. Then, 50 comments later you finally figure out they have a different definition .

                  So either Platt is a clever deceiver (and we could list all the ways that is happened since day one) or we have put Barney Fife in charge of the IMB

            Joe Blackmon

            I don’t have to KNOW it to be able to state my opinion which is supported by his obvious lack of character. Example—his “drop the mic speech” at the SBC last year? Yeah, wouldn’t have had so many of you fan boys chest thumping if he’d admitted what he was already planning on doing with the missionary layoffs. Of course, then he wouldn’t have been able to get rid of the older, non-Calvinist missionaries and replace them with much younger, most likely reformed missionaries.
            So, is it unkind to assume the worst of his character and accuse him of things without being able to prove them? Yes. However, if you’re waiting for an apology I don’t recommend holding your breath.

              Les

              Hi Joe. I was not expecting an apology at all from you. Sometimes people will dig in on their mistakes. We’ve all done that before too. In this case for you, it’s like the pot calling out the kettle for being black while not recognizing he himself is black.

              “Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things.”

              Lydia

              “Yeah, wouldn’t have had so many of you fan boys chest thumping if he’d admitted what he was already planning on doing with the missionary layoffs.”

              There is a credibility problem. Either he was ignorant of the scope of the financial crisis or he wanted to garner support for what he made sound like “more” missionaries before the financial debacle came to light.. Either way does not bode well for his ability or character. So, was he ignorant or deceptive? Those are the choices

              What did be know and when did he know it?

              http://www.sbcannualmeeting.net/sbc15/newsroom/newspage.asp?ID=41

              How anyone can read this know what happened and trust these guys is beyond me. Why is deception the new normal for Christians?

              Les

              Joe,

              “Yeah, wouldn’t have had so many of you fan boys chest thumping…”

              I’m not a fanboy of Mr. Platt. Never met him and have only ever heard part of one sermon and have never read anything he’s written. You’ve mistaken me for someone else.

        Scott Shaver

        “We live in a world which says I’m offended, stop or I’ll report you.”

        Try it on for size from this perspective Jon Estes. ” I’m free to agree with other Christians about what is perceived to be poor form/taste without rationalizing such opinions to those offended by my opinion.”
        Strikes a perfect balance in my opinion;)

    Scott Shaver

    “The world is changing and some do not like it”…..Jon Estes.

    Don’t think “the world” is primary subject matter here. Primary subject matter is SBC and it’s adolescent and aspiring “leadership”.

    You’re right Jon, the world is changing including the sentiments and gifting/tithing patterns of thousands of life-long and disgusted Southern Baptists. Looks to me like some in the “world” aren’t happy with that kind of “change”.

    I’m glad Calvinists are around. Their “reforms” provide case studies in how to destroy local churches and denominations.

      Jon Estes

      “I’m glad Calvinists are around. Their “reforms” provide case studies in how to destroy local churches and denominations.”

      I am impressed that never has a traditionalist destroyed a local church. Only we pesky and on the wrong side of holiness reformers.

      Glad we can give you something to type about, even if it isn’t true.

        Scott Shaver

        Exactly Andrew.

        In hard-core Calvinism, context and sitz im laben mean NOTHING.

        Estes was there along with the twelve?……Balderdash.

          Andrew Barker

          Scott: Apparently the Acts 29 approach is to find some context and fit the text to it! Talk about wet behind the ears, there doesn’t appear to be much in between either sometimes!

        Scott Shaver

        “Traditionalists” when destroying churches, Jon, at least do so within their own crowd and not across denominational lines.

        Calvinists are not “pesky”, IMO. Deluded and arrogant perhaps but “pesky” is not fitting descriptor.

        I don’t see much “reformation” despite the implication of the word itself. I do see a lot of deformation and deceit however.

        If that what makes you “holy” there Jon, roll with it.

          Jon Estes

          ““Traditionalists” when destroying churches, Jon, at least do so within their own crowd and not across denominational lines.”

          Which crowd is that Scott? A Calvinist Southern Baptist is still a part of the SBC crowd and does not cross denominational lines when pastoring a SBC church. Whether you want them there or not does not remove them from the DBC crowd / denomination.

            Tom

            Jon:

            What is the DBC crowd?

              Jon Estes

              Tom – That should be SBC crowd.

            Scott Shaver

            Other crowd is “presbyterians” Jon.

            Regardless of whether they’re “presbyterian” under their own or another banner.

            I think you know exactly what I’m talking about.

        Scott Shaver

        Jon Estes says “not true”

        Scott Shaver says the horror stories of churches imploding over stealth Calvinist leadership are evidence that Jon picks and chooses his own form of “truth”.

          Jon Estes

          “Scott Shaver says the horror stories of churches imploding over stealth Calvinist leadership are evidence that Jon picks and chooses his own form of “truth”.”

          Please tell me who these churches are that are imploding over “stealth” Calvinism.

          There is always the accusation but never the substance to prove the claim.

            Rick Patrick

            Jon,

            I have received letters from all over the country. Most are not that high profile, so nobody has ever heard of them. I could name a large church in Mobile that split over Calvinism and you might recognize their name. This really is something that happens, although I think it is happening less now that more churches are clearly advertising that they want a “Calvinist” or they want a “Non-Calvinist” when they search for a Pastor. Once a church is “burned” by someone with a different theology than theirs who was not upfront about it during the search process, they do not repeat the same mistake twice.

              Jon Estes

              Rick – I can share stories of real churches who split or were on the verge of a split because people were being saved. These non-Calvinists church members would probably agree with you on the traditionalists position but were ready to throw their pastor out (or just did) because the church was growing.

              I wrote an article some years ago about this for the Florida missions magazine titled “Growing Pains still hurt ” or somthing close to that. I no longer have a copy and it was prior to the digital age, wish I would have kept a copy. I was one of those pastors. I taught FAITH clinics for LifeWay and stood, wept and cried with men who shared similar stories to my own. Had nothing to do with Calvinism.

              I doubt very seriously that most church splits are about doctrine but some trivial matter which a traditional church (not your type of traditional) just hated any change and any pastor who brought such was an enemy of God (in their opinon). Much like Calvinists are an enemy of God (in the mind of some of those who post here seem to be saying in their own typed words).

              Yet… a sound bite of those evil Calvinist church spiltters who arrive incognito at a church must be exposed for their evil intent.

              I just don’t buy that it is a one sided story. We all know all church spilts are the pastors fault.

                Rick Patrick

                Jon,

                The subject we were discussing was not “all church splits everywhere.” That’s a worthy topic. It’s just not the topic at hand. Neither is the topic really “Calvinism” or “doctrine” per se. The topic is “A Lack of Transparency Concerning Salvation Doctrine on the Part of Ministerial Candidates.”

                Many candidates have failed to be forthright about their Calvinism during the interview process out of fear that the church would not call them as their Pastor if they clearly knew what the candidate believed. Their hesitation is certainly understandable—they want a job—but the simple fact of the matter is that our clergymen are more Calvinistic than our churches, especially among the younger generations.

                This creates tensions and conflicts which I believe are best resolved up front—BEFORE the Pastor accepts the call. Basically, it boils down to this: many Southern Baptist churches do not wish to be “reformed” in the soteriological sense, so the technique of a Pastor coming in and gradually shifting the basic theological framework of the church is an approach that will usually meet strong resistance. As long as candidates are open and honest and transparent about their plans, I think many of these conflicts can be avoided.

                  Jon Estes

                  “The subject we were discussing was not “all church splits everywhere.” That’s a worthy topic. It’s just not the topic at hand. Neither is the topic really “Calvinism” or “doctrine” per se. The topic is “A Lack of Transparency Concerning Salvation Doctrine on the Part of Ministerial Candidates.””

                  I think when one wants to make a case for church splits (and we as SB’s have way too many) but only deal with one reason (stealth Calvinists), is failing to deal with the bigger problem. If you want transparancy, then wouldn’t it be the right thing to do to spak of those traditionalist pastors who split churches also? I know it does not fit the dialogue you want to push but to not speak of it seems like you want a stealth arguement to win the conversation. Lack of transparency in the discussion of church splits (overall) should be fair to the discussion.

                  Basically – which is more damaging… the stealth Calvinist … the stealth dictator traditionalist… or the apathetic church members who will fight at all costs to keep the status quo they so enjoy?

                  “As long as candidates are open and honest and transparent about their plans, I think many of these conflicts can be avoided.”

                  Yuup…Those secret Calvinists are the only ones in a pastor search process who are dishonest. A traditionalist could never be and the search committee doesn’t know how to be. You nailed it… or maybe the acorn nailed you on the noggin.

                    Rick Patrick

                    Have it your way, Jon. Let’s talk about all church splits everywhere. Any candidate that is deceptive in their calling process is not fit to be a minister. They should be run out of that church and never serve another one. And yes, there are various Pastors (with soteriologies ranging from Traditionalist, Arminian, Amyraldist, Semipelagian and Calvinist) who have been deceptive in the candidating process regarding their background, qualifications, reasons for leaving their former church, and in some cases, gross immorality and even criminal charges. Shame on all pastors who are deceptive in this way.

                    Now, finally, let me say that, of course, two wrongs don’t make a right, so apart from all of the other cases in which ministers are deceptive, there is one particular case that is also wrong and inexcusable, and that is when a Calvinist is deceptive during the candidating process, misleading the church concerning their doctrinal convictions in order to gain the position and attempt to reform that entire congregation toward differing doctrines. When such doctrines are resisted, frequently the result is a fired Pastor and a church split.

                    Notwithstanding all of the other cases of egregious pastoral candidate deception, this one example is worth considering as a separate topic, due to the fact that cases have risen with the rise of New Calvinism in Southern Baptist life. To be clear, pastoral candidate deception is wrong in all cases—no matter the subject of the deception. When the subject is Calvinism, this does not make said deception a greater or lesser concern than when the subject happens to be something else.

                    Jon Estes

                    Thats a mouthfull of covering all the basis so you can get back to your pet peeve – Calvinists who begin by…

                    …”misleading the church concerning their doctrinal convictions in order to gain the position and attempt to reform that entire congregation toward differing doctrines.”

                    As you say, all deception is wrong. I also get that this blog is not about the evils of Traditionalists or other stripped Baptist but about Calvinists who are dispicable. I am glad to see you make the statement.

                    I do have one question… Can it be shown that the intent was to deceive in order to gain the position to lead the church towards Calvinism?

                    I am not convinced most church people know Traditionalists views vs. Calvinistic views and could not choose one from the other if given a test. Not one made up by anti-Clavinist theologians to be asked so certain results will be shown or vice versa with a reformed Theologian.

                    I’ve had church members who were rabid against Calvinism but loved John Piper… Vodie Bauchum and others. They just don’t know or are misinformed. Most church members love Spurgeon (they know the name and have heard illustrations, so they love the guy).

                    I just found this and have not done a search for authenticity but will do so in the near future. It is interesting.

                    http://religionroundtable.blogspot.com/2007/05/billy-graham-falls-to-knees-admits.html

                    Rick Patrick

                    Jon,

                    I am only “covering all my bases” (as you put it) because you asked that we expand the topic of conversation more generally toward all forms of pastoral candidate deception. It is not fair for you to ask me to broaden the conversation, and then when I do exactly that, accuse me of just covering my bases. Yes, my specific topic was Calvinistic candidate deception, but I deferred to your request…and then you shot me down for it. It seems you are bent on attacking me no matter what I say. Brother, we are actually in complete agreement on the topic of pastoral candidate deception.

                    You used the term “despicable” to describe Calvinists, which is not a term that I have EVER used to describe them. I disagree with them, but I cooperate with them in ministry. I am working with three specific Calvinists on differing matters regarding convention life right now. I do not at all consider them “despicable.” (I do, however, consider them to be more highly represented in SBC leadership, authorship, preaching platforms and denominational initiatives than is warranted by the composition of Southern Baptists generally.) But that does not at all make them despicable.

                    One last thing…the link you shared is to a satirical site, for everyone knows Billy Graham is not a Calvinist. He invites “whosoever will” to pray a “Sinner’s Prayer” and “walk an aisle” to demonstrate their repentance and faith. Such evangelistic practices are often mocked today by Calvinists. Hence, the joke is that Graham would turn out to be a Calvinist after all, which he clearly is not.

                    Jon Estes

                    Sorry for the link – I see who it is from now. Should have dug further but am trying to ge tout of office and head home before small group meeting.

                    Scott Shaver

                    Hands-down the “stealth Calvinist” IMO.

            Scott Shaver

            You can do a random search and look em up yourself Jon.

            If you haven’t already.

    Lydia

    “I do wonder if Dr. AKin ever was to be nominated for SBC President if some traditionalist would say he was unpresidential when he fell into that hole on the SBC platform because he only did it to draw attention to himself. I can imagine reading the articles now on the ineptness of where reformed thinking leads – to a really dark hole.”

    I do think they have the right to question Baptist 21 and how much they receive in CP dollars and pay in salaries. It comes off as an Akin family dynasty using SBC funds for jobs for my kids.

Scott Shaver

Yeah right. The video was for “entertainment” purposes only.

I’m “entertained” by the constant shucking and jiving of SBC “leaders”.

Tom

Rick:

I could be wrong, but J. D. will be next SBC president. The movers and shakers in the SBC are going to make this occur. The young ones will be at the upcoming convention and vote him in. There may even be some folks bused in to make sure this happens.

I thank you for your willingness to stand up for this dramatic shift in the SBC.

    Bob Hadley

    Unfortunately, Tom is correct, I am afraid. I doubt most people realize that the SBC national convention has moved from the “good ole boy network” to the “good ole young guy network”. It is not a convention where the seasoned leaders of our convention come together to conduct business or do anything else for that matter. It is now pretty much a convention where college and seminary students show up as a twitter army to elect the “heir apparent” president to further the agenda of the now ruling class in the SBC. Unfortunately again, the only thing that takes place at the SBC annual meeting of any significant consequence is the election of the president of the convention.

    Some I am guessing will say, if seminary students are the elected messengers of their home churches they have every right to be at the SBC and always have been welcome. I will acknowledge that beforehand to save someone the need to make that statement. However, to intentionally use this as a means to further the political agenda of a ruling party is a poor ploy for the SBC elite.

      Lydia

      “Unfortunately, Tom is correct, I am afraid. I doubt most people realize that the SBC national convention has moved from the “good ole boy network” to the “good ole young guy network”. It is not a convention where the seasoned leaders of our convention come together to conduct business or do anything else for that matter. It is now pretty much a convention where college and seminary students show up as a twitter army to elect the “heir apparent” president to further the agenda of the now ruling class in the SBC. Unfortunately again, the only thing that takes place at the SBC annual meeting of any significant consequence is the election of the president of the convention”

      The last one I attended in 2009 was quite the experience. Because I was following “Christian trends”, I could pick out the young messengers who Mahaney followers, the Driscoll followers and so on while some older folks in my section were asking “who is Driscoll because his name kept being mentioned.Russ Moore was prancing around the arena with his young entourage while they were all yukking it up on social media with phones in their hands. The stage was nothing but the adoration of man after man after man as if Jesus himself was up there. It was disgusting. I was appalled and only grateful I don’t live in that bubble world. These sycophants make too much money, have too much time on their hands (they have no clue about hard work) and way too much power and have NO wisdom or even basic decorum. They are children masquerading as responsible adults with responsible positions. This is the fruit of the YRR movement and Al Mohler as our unelected Pope. It is 10 years later and it is just as bad except Driscoll is fighting off RICO charges while starting a new consumer church and Mahaney fled to Louisville to be near Mohler to avoid the child molestation scandals as head Apostle of the People of Destiny…er SGM but is now SBC! As is James McDonald who thinks congregational polity is from Satan! (Yes I know he apologized…but he wrote it!)

      Hellooooo out there. It is all just “conspiracies”. Right, William?

      Les

      Lydia,

      My denomination has a few people starting to speak out. Don’t know why so long in coming. Thought you might like to see this. http://vintage73.com/2016/04/pca-pastors-celebrity-christian-conferences-and-child-protection/

        Lydia

        Les, that is good. One point from the article:

        “It is possible CJ Mahaney is innocent in terms of knowledge of all the sexual crimes that took place at Covenant Life. What is not debatable is that his leadership and church policy did not protect children. Children were harmed while he was the Senior Pastor, responsible for the direction and oversight of the church.”

        Mahaney’s brother in law, under oath, said Mahaney did know. Detweiler says there is no way he did not know. Just understanding how shepherding cults work (he was Head Apostle for the People of Destiny, for crying out loud) there is little chance he did not know and add to that a position on most things secular are bad so the church is to handle such things including crimes against children. . Another question: His timing on fleeing Into the arms of Dever and Mohler after a panel of Reformed men declared him fit for ministry. Ortlund, DeYoung and Carl Trueman.

        Todd Pruitt, at Mortification of Spin, has a post, too. he is very concerned about protecting Mohler Dever and the Doctrines of Grace. (For some)

        Les

        Lydia,

        I said a long time ago, irrespective if the charges or allegations against him are true, he should not be in any kind of leadership. And, since I don’t know all the facts and depend on what I read, I’ve stopped short of saying without he’s guilty. That said, there seems very little possibility he didn’t know. IMO he should not be in any kind of leadership nor should he be on any speaking circuit. The allegations and suspicions are just of too grave of a nature.

    Leslie Puryear

    Tom, You might be right abut J. D. However, Steve Gaines has a powerful presenter in Johnny Hunt. Hunt has an immense amount of influence especially to the older attendees. His recommendation might be the difference.

    Scott Shaver

    Good Tom:

    Hope all 3000 of the “young-uns” bring their checkbooks as well as their credentials.

Tom

Jon:

You said:”It helps remind me of how glad I am to be chosen of Christ.” How fortunate for you. So you are one of the elect? How can you be 100% sure of this?

Your comment about being chosen sounds very arrogant!

    Jon Estes

    “You said:”It helps remind me of how glad I am to be chosen of Christ.” How fortunate for you. So you are one of the elect? How can you be 100% sure of this?”

    I can be sure because I am saved.

    “Your comment about being chosen sounds very arrogant!”

    Not the intent… I am extremely humbled that God would choose me, when on my own, I have do ability to choose Him.

      Andrew Barker

      “Not the intent… I am extremely humbled that God would choose me,”
      No humility needed Jon. He didn’t !

        Jon Estes

        My Bible says He did. John 15:16, 19

          Andrew Barker

          Humility alert Jon. That may refer just to the disciples/apostles!

      Lydia

      Jon, I don’t remember you as so “reformed Calvinist” back when you posted on bbcopenforum a lot.

        Jon Estes

        Lydia –

        I do not remember the discussion being about Calvinism on that other site.

          Lydia

          Jon, you don’t?

William Thornton

I’m working on my own rap. It’s a bit of a challenge but I have a very good subject: Tricky Ricky Patrick, the Quota Promota. If the subject will kindly send me the figures on his church’s baptism and numbers of members now serving with IMB, I’ll get going on it.

Not your best stuff, Rick. There are good questions about Gaines/Greear/Crosby. You haven’t touched on any of them.

    Rick Patrick

    “If the subject will kindly send me the figures on his church’s baptism and numbers of members now serving with IMB, I’ll get going on it.”

    In each of my last two pastorates, the churches I have served have had two members serving with the IMB. That’s out of a Sunday morning attendance of around 300. Baptisms typically average around 15 to 20. One year it was 36. By the way, it never occurred to me that I should try to claim the IMB appointed missionaries as some type of personal achievement.

    Moreover, in the case of Greear’s appointees, there may actually be a pipeline of preferential treatment happening that could partially explain such numbers. This information does not come from me, but from a Southern Baptist Calvinist who contacted me a few months ago and complained that even though he is reformed, he is not among the “connected” Calvinists who are seeing nearly all their candidates receiving appointments. He described a program at Southeastern Seminary that created something of a “fast track” for getting these appointments on the field. He also mentioned that Greear’s church had paid LOTS of money to Southeastern, so the preferential treatment leading to so many appointments is itself something that deserves to be investigated. Rather than an achievement, it may be another example of our new leaders disproportionately Calvinizing the SBC. So we not only have the possibility of discrimination against Traditionalists in our appointments, but also the possibility of discrimination against the “wrong” kind of Calvinists—the ones with few inside connections among the New Calvinist regime’s ruling elites.

    While I do not have the time to launch such an investigation unilaterally, I have indeed called for the creation of committees to investigate our trustees, our leadership and our entities in order to determine if some “back room deals” are showing preference to certain Southern Baptists over against others. These are the kinds of investigations that require committees and proceedings and research over an extended period of time. It’s not something one Pastor can do alone in his so-called spare time, especially when I have funerals and weddings and hospital visits and sermons and committee meetings and outreach visits and many other ministry obligations to which I must attend.

    And as for your rap song, Silly Willy, I think the world would be better off if you just stuck to your blogging and plodding.

      Alan Atchison

      Money equals preference. Simony.

      William Thornton

      One thing about Rick that I like is that while he may be wrong on some things, he takes criticism and tweaking with humor.

      Thanks for the numbers. I’m working on the rap…and contacting prominent Trads for cameos.

      Rick, is there any Calvinist conspiracy theory you have run across that (a) you were not willing to accept at face value, and (b) you felt any sense of responsibility to investigate? You are either the laziest Southern Baptist in history or the most techno-inept. You could copy and forward the comment above to the SEBTS publicity office, if not Akin himself, and as for comment. Could it be that you would rather hurl conspiracies than know the facts?

      If you don’t have an email from me, I don’t have a good address for you. I would like one, please. Thanks.

        Alan Atchison

        Another solution, maybe IMB and other entities should publish names or when secrecy demands it stats for these appointments regarding church membership, degrees, etc. Such sunlight would end all such conspiracy theories.

        Rick Patrick

        William,

        You are wrong on three counts. One, no one has ever called me lazy. Two, I rank “Slightly Above Average” on my technology skills. And three, I do not take your ridicule of me with as much humor as you may suppose.

        You ARE joking about the rap song, right? Just for the record, you do not have my permission to use my name or likeness in a rap parody. I do not mind suing you for defamation. We have six lawyers in my church. I do not support such foolishness, which should be obvious from my post.

        As for checking with SEBTS to see if their church planting school paid for by Greear gives preference to Greear’s church, to phone them and ask that question would be like calling Hillary and asking if she has any hidden emails. “No? Okay, sorry to trouble you, Mrs. Clinton.” Or perhaps like calling Putin to see if he has any bad intentions. “No? My, what a relief, comrade. Thanks for the information. You’ve been a big help.”

        The allegations I am hearing from others deserve a much larger response than a phone call from me.

        When I return home, I will check to see if I have an email from you. Normally, I am open to such communications, but just this week I was burned by someone I emailed privately. If I don’t give you my new email, it may be that I don’t trust your intentions with that rap nonsense. Nothing personal, I’m just learning to be a bit more protective.

          Scott Shaver

          Betcha five dollars we’ll never see the text of this email exchange.

          Looks like William Thornton’s alligator keyboard just over-loaded his mockingbird posterior. :)

        Tom

        William:

        You said to Rick: “Could it be that you would rather hurl conspiracies than know the facts?”

        Getting kind of nasty aren’t you?

          Lydia

          Tom,

          William could call Ortlund and Truman and ask if Mahaney is cleared for ministry. LOL! They “investigated” him and “exonerated” him. So see, any mention of anything William does not like he claims all you have to do is ask. Right. Ironically, the people who know are the people who don’t want you to have unspun “facts”. We get such “factual” information. Like exact amounts given to Acts 29 church plants since…lets say….2009? Just wait for it…there will be this verbose reason why my asking is so ridiculous.

          The problem is there is not a lot of character and integrity in SBC appointments these days. They redefine what such things mean. They make the rules.

        Lydia

        “Rick, is there any Calvinist conspiracy theory you have run across that (a) you were not willing to accept at face value, and (b) you felt any sense of responsibility to investigate? You are either the laziest Southern Baptist in history or the most techno-inept. You could copy and forward the comment above to the SEBTS publicity office, if not Akin himself, and as for comment. Could it be that you would rather hurl conspiracies than know the facts””

        LOL!

        Wouldn’t that be like asking Driscoll if the global fund money was spent on Global missions? Or perhaps asking Tullian’s new image guy if Tullian is repentant enough to return to ministry?

        What facts? There is a whole industry in Christ celebrity world devoted to never knowing facts.

      Lydia

      I have no doubt Platt does what he is told to do by the big cheeses. I doubt he even knows what to do on his own despite his experience at the dangerous Dubai Marriott.

    Scott Shaver

    Who cares about Gaines, Greear or Crosby?

    I’d rather have “good questions” answered about William Thornton. If anybody ever deserved a denominational post for posterior polishing, HE’s the guy. :)

    Scott Shaver

    Personally, I think Will Thornton and others should indeed follow-up the ridiculous with the sublime and do their own rap video.

    I’ll tune in to see if it fits any better on them than it did with Ed McMahon in a golf cart….shortly before he died.

Alan Atchison

Is it any wonder the SBC is in decline? When candidates to lead our association carry on in such a manner, then it shows too many of our pastors and entity leaders are out for themselves instead of showing a commitment to biblical virtues.There is a good reason that campaigns for presidency never occurred in our past; namely, to campaign for an office in such a way that is a religious entity smacks of (to borrow from the Romans) the sin of superbia. The virtue of humility should, and has in the past, prevented anyone from overtly declaring themselves for such an office and campaigning for it.

Steven

Rick:

Sometimes you write on topics that are important to me and on which I agree with you. I especially appreciate it when you point out that many churches in the Southern BAPTIST Convention are not requiring actual baptism for membership. You also make good points when you show that some SBC advocates do not advocate what the majority of the SBC believes on certain social issues.

However, I feel that this video is not an issue worthy of so much attention. You obviously disagree, but reading this post reminded me of “Barney Runs for Sheriff” where Barney Fife accuses Andy Taylor of “76 documented cases of malfeasance in the Sheriff’s office.” (Who doesn’t like a good Andy Griffith Show clip – https://youtu.be/M4OvEeDcCQM?t=1140). Barney’s accusations don’t really rise to the level of malfeasance. Similarly, I don’t see an embarrassing parody video of a 30 year-old rap song that includes a church’s attendance, giving, and missions statistics as something to get that upset about. The lady has produced 59 videos over 6 years. This is far from the most disturbing – she is clearly a Georgia fan and those videos bother me more than the one in question here! This is just a silly thing that this lady does. Very few of these videos are meant to be serious or taken seriously.

I view this as I view political satire on Saturday Night Live – yes, SNL has an agenda in their satire (typically for the more liberal candidate), but its primary purpose is to entertain. This lady had an agenda in making the video (to announce and promote Greear’s candidacy), but it appears that the primary purpose (and it may be here that we disagree – the primary purpose) was to be silly and entertain.

With regard to the SBC leaders’ tacit endorsements, I can’t see how that is that different from what is done in the past. In fact, I think that Drs. Platt, Moore, and Akin’s appearances in this video are indeed “tacit” rather than explicit endorsements, if they are endorsements at all. In the past, SBC leaders have been more explicit than participating in a silly video. As I recall, when Dr. Vines announced his intention to nominate Dr. Hunt for president of the SBC, he did so on stage with Dr. Patterson standing with him (along with Judge Pressler and Bailey Smith). Well before Dr. Hunt was nominated, there was a process where SBC leadership would nominate, endorse, and to some degree campaign for SBC presidential candidates. See Jerry Sutton, The Baptist Reformation at p. 56, quoting Dr. Land (“Clearly there was a conspiracy. There was an alliance of opinion shapers and editors at the Convention who sought to promote certain people, who sought to squelch other people, and to manipulate those who ascended to leadership in the Southern Baptist Convention”). It appears that the only thing that has changed is that instead of the SBC leadership controlling these endorsements through SBC and state convention media outlets, not you have a lady with a youtube channel doing it!

Just my humble thoughts. It is almost lunch time and I have to get to the local meat-and-three for fresh seafood Thursday. I will interact with responses (if any) after lunch.

Steven

    Scott Shaver

    Great!

    Now the model for our corporate “SBC” life together is “Saturday Night Live”?

    Pleaaaaaaasssse.

      Steven

      Come on Scott, take a sip of Coke and relax a bit! I didn’t say that the SBC was analogous to SNL. I said that this silly little video was analogous to SNL. But honestly, could you blame SNL if they did make fun of some aspects of SBC life? You’ve been to conventions and seen the motions hour haven’t you? As one denominational leader has said, the best response to many motions is “Bless his heart!” (What the heck, https://youtu.be/2YkQWHx0kPk?list=PL6y3JUNp3Aa8lQI3L-965BXi0rrL-RxlO&t=981).

        Scott Shaver

        Haven’t been a “Coke” drinker since high school Steven.

        What you actually said was you see no more assault through the video on decorum and class than an episode of Saturday night live.

        Proves to me a totally desensitized approach to issues of decorum and demeanor.

          Steven

          No Scott, in my analogy comparing the video to SNL I did not say anything about the video’s decorum and class. That is a question of the moral value of the video and a SNL skit. My analogy did not mention the moral value of the video. Indeed, there was from my viewing of the video, nothing immoral going on in the video. Was it silly and campy? Yes. Was it profane, vulgar, or unwholesome? No.

          My analogy was more directed toward the purpose of the video, which is entertainment. This was evidenced by the subtle use of the word “entertain” twice in the analogy.

          However, to address the issue of the morality of producing such a video I will say that I don’t see anything wrong with such a video. Producing such a video is certainly not an assault on decorum and class. This again goes back to the video’s primary purpose – to entertain. Was there a political aspect to the video. Yes, and I admitted as much in my initial comment when I wrote “This lady had an agenda in making the video (to announce and promote Greear’s candidacy).” However, I also pointed out that I believe that her primary purpose was to entertain.

          I will try to make my point another way. Let’s take a look at another of her videos from two years ago entitled “I’m A Bulldawg.” In that video she states “We’ve got the best coach.” (https://youtu.be/1XFQ1eN3sgc?t=35). Now clearly from the context she is a Georgia Bulldog football fan. Two years ago the football coach for the Georgia Bulldogs was Mark Richt. My stating that Georgia had the “best coach” was she really meaning that Richt was better than all other coaches? She might be of that opinion, but that does not mean that she is making an argument for Mark Richt’s coaching bona fides against all the other coaches in college football. Two years ago, in the 2014 season, the Bulldogs went 10-3 and played in the Belk Bowl. So why would she make such a claim? Because she was not trying to establish the validity or the truth of her statements, but merely to entertain.

          So too was she trying to entertain in the now infamous “JD Greear for SBC President Rap” video. Does she think that JD Greear would be a good SBC president? I’m sure she does. Does that mean that she is making an argument for Greear’s bona fides against all other candidates that may be nominated? I don’t think so. She was merely trying to entertain.

          This brings me to my last point of my original comment. Even if this was mean primarily as a serious campaign piece, how is that so terribly different from what has happened in the past? Everyone knows how the Conservative Resurgence came about – certain men announced that they would nominate certain other men for president of the SBC. The men making the announcement then “sought to squelch other people, and to manipulate those who ascended to leadership in the Southern Baptist Convention.” They squelched and manipulated by use of SBC and state convention media. Such action, to me, is far more active, persistent, and effective than a corny video of a young soccer mom trying to rap with the purpose and hope that the messengers of the SBC will elect Greear president.

          I hope that this provides some clarification.

          Steven

            Scott Shaver

            I am to believe a video about being elected denominational president several weeks following an official announcement of candidacy…..not to mention a few short months prior to electing event….is purely entertainment?

            I don’t know why so many of these guys from Steven’s camp feign abhorrence at the modus operandai of Donald Trump. I don’t see much difference. It’s all of matter of media-generated perception baby! It’s all ….AMORAL.

            Scott Shaver

            Once again Steven, your off-base on matters of historical record.

            The CR was the beginning and birth-place of the now “politicized” SBC. Don’t see it prior late 70’s, early 80’s with advent of Pressler, Patterson, Mohler.

    Peter Lumpkins

    And just what year was this about which you reference, Stephen, that Vines, along with the impressive list of political advocates you mention stood arm in arm in giving their nod that Johnny Hunt become president? So far as I know, Hunt was elected 7 years ago. And contrary to your claim, Ted Traylor nominated him.

    With that, I am…
    Peter

      steven

      Peter! Good to hear from you Brother. You have been conspicuously absent from the interwebs and I, for one, have missed you!

      You are correct in both your statement that Ted Traylor nominated Dr. Hunt at the convention and your rebuke to me for misspeaking. I was recalling February 2006, when Dr. Vines announced that Dr. Hunt would be nominated. See generally http://coupleofwords.blogspot.com/2006/02/tonight-makes-it-official-or-so-im.html. I misspoke when I said that Dr. Vines nominated Dr. Hunt; he did not nominate him but rather announced that he would be nominated.

      Thanks and hope you are well.

      Steven

      Steven

      Peter:

      Sorry for the multiple responses to your reply. I was trying to remember when it was that Dr. Vines announced Dr. Hunt. I knew it was in 2006 but Dr. Hunt was not president until 2008. The story here (http://www.ethicsdaily.com/johnny-hunt-wins-six-way-race-to-become-sbc-president-cms-12759) reminded me that in 2006 Dr. Hunt withdrew his name from consideration. He did, as you clarified, accept the nomination in 2008.

      Steven

        peter lumpkins

        Steven,

        Thanks for the reply. And sorry if my question came across as a rebuke. It certainly wasn’t intended to be one. I wanted to raise the question since you seemed to specifically tie Hunt’s nomination & election to the present proposal Rick suggests; namely, that Greear’s video represents an obvious, over-the-top politicizing of POTSBC.

        It’s no surprise I agree with Rick. It’s also no surprise I’d vote for Gaines over Greear. But in fairness, I’d probably vote for Gaines over almost anybody else as well. Hence, for me, it’s not bias against Greear so much as it is bias toward Gaines. The truth is, out of all the national faces who’ve not yet served as POTSBC, Steve Gaines leads the pack so far as I am concerned. I think he could and would well represent who Southern Baptists have been for all of last century and much of this one.

        Going back to your tying the politicizing posture of Hunt, et al and Greear’s video, I see no real connection–at least not enough of one to make your analogy gooey enough to stick. During the CR, there necessarily existed a hyper-politicizing of the presidency in order to gain back the control of the trustees. While the CR was chiefly theologically motivated–at least it was so far as grassroots SBCers were concerned–the CR was accomplished mainly, if not solely, through politics (i.e. polity). Bottom line: Conservatives and Moderates/Liberals were at war. Hence the necessity of the hyper-politicizing process of the presidency.

        “And just who is at war presently so that hyper-politicizing the POTSBC becomes necessary?” would be my question.

        And to suggest Greear’s video is neutral and therefore not hyper-politicizing the process when virtually every talking head of the SBC has positive cameo appearances in the clip seems prima facie either absurd, ignorant, or dishonest. Politically speaking, the heads in the video are giving their public nods as to who they are supporting albeit at least one has reportedly denied he was doing so and personally called Gaines to tell him so. If Greear did use his face in a way he either disapproves or feels imprudent, perhaps he needs to be calling Greear rather than Gaines insisting Greear fix it. In addition, if it is true as reported that Greear utilized a clip without explicit approval from each of the national SBC faces, what does this potentially imply about Greear’s ability to adequately represent 15M people from 45K churches? I’m afraid his grade in a Pass/Fail class would not meet the standard.

        Thanks for the chat, Steven.

        With that, I am…
        Peter

          Steven

          Thanks Peter. It is always good to interact with you. I agree with you that in the CR, there was a hyper-politicized environment and the theological issues at stake were greater than anything that is going on now. The political maneuvering that was necessary for the CR is not justified by the current circumstances.

          With that premise, I still don’t think that a silly video is out of line. In fact, if the theological state of the SBC is such that this video is all the “politicking” that is required, we are in a good spot. If this video is over-the-top given the state of the SBC, then even better. To paraphrase my grandmother, “If this is all I have to worry about, I don’t really have anything to worry about.” As I said to Bro. Scott before, certainly the video is not neutral in that it did announce and promote Greear’s candidacy. However, I’m still not convinced from watching it that campaigning was the primary purpose and I don’t think that it was hyper-politicizing. In my standard, hyper-politicizing would include some sort of denigration of the other candidate(s). We don’t see that at all. We might disagree on that point, but we have disagreed before!

          You know, I am torn as to who I would vote for in this year’s election for SBC president. I like the maturity that Dr. Gaines brings to the table. Not that Greear is immature, but Dr. Gaines has been around and seen a bit more. However, I think that the SBC is approaching the time where we need to pass the mantle to the next generation of up-and-coming pastors and leaders. I know that the next generation feels ready to take that responsibility. I’m just not convinced that we are there quite yet. We will see.

          Brother, it is always good to hear from you. I hope that all is well with you in Arkansas.

          Steven

            Johnathan Pritchett

            Steven, the only thing I would disagree with you is that it is a little bit about other candidates.

            It was released after Gaines was announced, and after many people were saying that the Trads nominated Gaines because they can’t handle the idea of someone like Greear.

            Even if it was produced prior to the Gaines nod, it wasn’t produced with the belief that Greear would be the only candidate.

            The premise of the whole thing is that “It’s Tricky” to be running something in the SBC and not just anyone can do it. The listing of Greear’s credentials means that he CAN do the tricky thing of being SBC President.

            With the release following the nomination of another person, one can reasonably draw the inference that Greear can do it and others can’t.

Tim Barnette

Spot on article, Rick. I think the biggest question I have regrading this issue is “who knew what when.” According to Will Hall’s quoting of David Platt, J.D. Greear himself asked for the video clip, but then the video with its opening “disclaimer” wants to pretend like he had no hand in it. And after Platt knew what it was for, and obviously something he was not in favor of (according to the Hall article), why didn’t he simply ask for the video (or at least his clip in it) to be removed?

But beyond that, I just find the whole thing distasteful. Where do we go from here? I wonder how long it will be before the billboards in whatever city hosts the convention are bought for advertisements for the SBC presidential candidates.

norm

Rick: Your observations are important and pertinent despite the belly-aching of Calvinist sycophants. Not surprised that such folk would attack the messenger. Know this: when one throws rocks at a pack of dogs, it’s the “hit” ones that yelp. As far as Calvinists changing lyrics to underscore personal points of view, I remind you of their transposition of eklektos for cosmos.

Robert Vaughn

Rick, you really recognize your rap. You must be an aficionado? I find Rick knowing this is a parody of a 30-year old rap song (and even what album it was on) almost as disturbing as the video itself.

Johnathan Pritchett

Norm,

I love Rick Patrick to pieces. But I am with the other side on this one on just about all counts. I do not get the stink over this at all. I’m largely concur with Steven’s comments above.

That should be okay once in a while. Rick’s a grown man and can handle it when people disagree with him, including some of his friends. Lest we think everyone who always agrees with Rick are also “sycophants.”

Blessings,
JP

    norm

    Respect your opinion, JP, and love you, too. But I am obviously with Rick. We can analyze and dissect this matter all day long, but the bottom line is that the video never should have been made. A true Baptist statesman would never have done it. It crosses a line heretofore uncrossed. Rick also makes exceedingly valid points about the need for disclaimers. If the vid was not intended for political consumption then why the disclaimer? That disclaimers were needed should have been enough to prevent the vid’s production and dissemination.

    norm

    JP: Great to hear from you. I have been away from the blog for several days and wanted to get back to you. We can discuss the ins-and-outs of this matter till the cows come home (I don’t own any cows). My point is that the video never should have been made. If the producers of the vid found it necessary to add disclaimer of “for entertainment purposes only,” then right away the red flags should have started waving. 1. The necessity of a disclaimer should have squelched the idea/production of the vid. 2. Like point 1., the necessity of a disclaimer could also point to dishonesty in that it really was not an “endorsement” video, but the “entertainment” claim was merely a claim w/o sincerity. 3. What precipitated the disclaimer. anyway? That people would see the vid for what it was — and endorsement video?
    I was amused at Platt’s response about how he was overseas dealing with the lostness of the world and had to come home to this sort of issue. Platt should have told JD that he was too busy dealing with the lostness of the world to do a video.

Scott Shaver

Uh Johnathan:

There’s a flip side to to that coin.

Millenial rappers and “culture warriors/engagers” are also “grown men” and should be able to “handle-it” when those with an altogether different view of decorum, imagery and messaging “disagree”.

By the way, on this particular issue, the term “sycophant” (applied to Rick or another articulating the same truth) is accurate and honorable, IMO.

    Johnathan Pritchett

    Scott, I certainly agree with all that. Jon Estes above is kind of right though. These questions about decorum, preferable SBC politicking, good or bad judgment, the parody song, etc.are all a matter of taste, not a matter of the Faith.

    People have subjective preferences and argue for them. That is fine. Rhetoric then works to persuade others to one’s point of view. So, I have no problem with people stating their preferences with respect to decorum, imaging, and messaging, and having the inevitable disagreements over them. Let’s just not pretend preferences are the same as objective moral and ethical standards though.

    “It’s Tricky to rock a rhyme, to rock a rhyme that’s right on time It’s Tricky”

    That’s basically what most everyone who doesn’t bother with Google about it remembers from that song. If even that much. No one throws actual fits over church skits that have a Brando impersonation from The Godfather.

      Lydia

      “These questions about decorum, preferable SBC politicking, good or bad judgment, the parody song, etc.are all a matter of taste, not a matter of the Faith.”

      I can promise you I would think it lacking in character and integrity for Crosby or Gaines to promote themselves with a Sinatra rip off video of “New York, New York” that includes cameo appearances of entity presidents echoing “spread the news!”

      It is not just the rap, as pedantic as it might be. It was the nerve to put ‘endorsements that are not endorsements’ out there with the same old deceptive plausible deniability we have come to know so well. Trust? I think not.

        Johnathan Pritchett

        I can see how that is annoying. However, since I have no problem with people publicly endorsing whomever they wish, I just would like them to state it clearly. But they don’t have to do so to make me happy though. They can do whatever they want. They have no objective moral obligation to do things the way I or anyone else wants in things like this.

        I would have no problem with a Sinitra rip-off. If done well, that’s more my thing anyway these days. You would. Again, that is all a matter of subjective preference. It is perfectly fine to have those. We all have them.

          Lydia

          Jonathan, I can live with endorsements that are honest endorsements with no plausible deniability. I do, however, think it is low class for the SBC. I bet some level of that went on before social media but our entity presidents were not cult of personality stars back then. I cannot recall any pastor endorsing a candidate and I can assure you the adults in my life back then would have been offended at such. No one dared suggest to them how to vote! For any election! But they were raised to be independent thinkers. We have lost that as a society.

          I see this focus as bigger than the SBC. It is a societal problem that the SBC adopted for its own. I have been studying the origins of the rise of movements and cult of personality for 25 years. It became an interest in my early organizational development days. One thing we tend to discount, at our own peril, is what we go along with early on that then becomes the normal. It is often the silly or seemingly benign things that affirm and enable the bigger problems down the line.

          Greer is showing us who he is. We should pay attention. The same could be said for Driscoll, Mahaney, Platt, Mohler, etc, etc. We went the Neville Chamberlain route of peace at all costs and ignored the red flags.

            Johnathan Pritchett

            I agree. The Evangelical celebrity issue is disconcerting. I even think megachurches are also disconcerting. I don’t exclude Gaines from this though. He too is both an Evangelical celebrity and a megachurch pastor. He just has a different following. Everyone has their rock stars. You can substitute “Driscoll, Mahaney, Platt, Mohler, etc, etc” for Gaines, Patterson, Vines, Hunt, etc. etc.

            But I also recognize that these things in general may not be disconcerting to others.

              Lydia

              “But I also recognize that these things in general may not be disconcerting to others.”

              True. Not a fan of Gaines, either. But then, I would most likely be partial to an obscure nobody whose reputation is that of a servant bean counter who disdains cult of personality and would be embarrassed of such a following. Come to think of it, I would like one of those for US president, too. :o)

                Johnathan Pritchett

                Ha! Me too.

                Speaking of statesmanship, if either Gaines or Greear had any, they would back out and let Crosby become the next SBC President.

                Even before the video deal, it is quite obvious this election has become more about two movements than two people.

                On the other hand, a vote for Crosby is a vote for him to lead, and voting for him is not a statement about everything one loves or hates about the SBC is right now. Can’t say that about the other two candidates.

          Scott Shaver

          Jonathan:

          So the straw man at this point is going to be “substance of the Faith” over existing questions of “adolescence and absence of decorum”.

          “Substance of the faith” conversations with Cal-characters proves to be pretty shaky ground as regularly demonstrated here on this site and elsewhere.

          Jon Estes is “kind of right” with today’s nuances of “decorum”? Think I’ll stick with the original subject Jonathan. Thanks anyway.

          Scott Shaver

          “But they don’t have to make me happy though. They can do whatever they want. They have no objective moral obligation to do things the way I or anyone else wants in things like this…”

          As long as they sign off on “inerrancy statements” and the BFM 20000, Jonathan Pritchett pretty much represents the thinking of the “New” SBC.

          Still don’t think he gets it, Lydia.

            Johnathan Pritchett

            Three things:

            1. I am interested in objective moral values and duties. People seem to think that there has been some violation of objective moral values and duties. So far, I remain unconvinced. People’s preferences on these issues are not the same as objective moral values and duties. So yeah, Estes was kind of right in his discussion with Rick that this boils down to subjective preference rather than objective moral duties.

            2. I don’t affirm the BF&M at all.

            3. I don’t know if you meant to imply I am a Calvinist. I am not, as most people around here know. I am also, technically speaking, no longer a Southern Baptist since I am not a member of a Southern Baptist church.

            What I don’t get is people assuming their position on these issues is objective and binding on everyone else. I remain unconvinced.

            So maybe it is you who doesn’t get what I am saying, Scott.

            All that has been said on these issues amounts to “I don’t like it.” That is perfectly fine, but what it isn’t is anything more than that as far as I can tell.

              Scott Shaver

              As far as YOU can tell Jonathan……”as far as you can tell.”

              You should rest your case on objectivity my friend. The lens through which you see has been ground pretty fine by a less than objective source, IMO.

                Johnathan Pritchett

                “IMO.”

                Um…okay. So what?

                If you think some objective moral evil has occurred somewhere regarding this, you have the burden to prove it. That you and others think so doesn’t determine truth. That I disagree doesn’t either. So let’s see the evidence and weigh it.

                  Lydia

                  Jonathan, I am not sure what to do with endorsements that we are told are not really endorsements when it comes to Christians and ethics. Are you?

                    Johnathan Pritchett

                    All we can know for sure is Platt. He has said he is not endorsing Greear or anyone else.

                    The others haven’t said one way or the other, and the disclaimer says the video does not necessarily reflect the views of others. Hence, it may very well reflect their views.

                    I do think appearing in the video is a tacit endorsement.

                    The only one who has denied that this is what he was doing is Platt. He said he was asked to say a phrase and did so, and denied knowing it would be used in a video to promote a particular candidate.

                    Since none of us know the facts regarding anything else, I don’t know that we are being told that endorsements (plural) are not endorsements. No one else has said either way and all we have is a disclaimer and what I take to be tacit endorsements that are covered by the disclaimer either way.

                    I am not saying it isn’t cheeky (I personally think the whole thing is cheeky, but that is a separate issue), but I don’t see it as unethical if they are or are not endorsing Greear. They can do what they wish like anyone else in matters of SBC polity. Maybe the SBC system is the problem.

                  Scott Shaver

                  Wrong again Jonathan.

                  I am under no “burden” to prove a stinking thing to anybody. It’s public perception that has generated these comments and conclusions about Platt, Greear, Moore, Burk etc along with the whole stinking SBC system.

                  This is a “court of public opinion” and not a “court of law”.

                  Looks to me like you and your boys have the burden of dispelling any public conclusions, complaints or second-guesses about their behavior.

                  Better get to it because the number of those with the “wrong perceptions” or “burdens of proof” is growing daily.

              Scott Shaver

              Is it just me or does anybody else notice that the staunchest defenders of Calvinism on this site are admittedly, non-baptist affiliated.

              What’s wrong with this picture?

                Les

                Scott,

                I may be mistaken, but aren’t 2 of the three non Cals who interact the most are not Southern Baptist affiliated?

                  Scott Shaver

                  Have no idea, Les, who you’re talking about, what church they’re affiliated…and most importantly, DON’T CARE.

                  My point had to do with CALS…..not Non-Cals who’ve left SBC churches due to hyper-calvinism.

                  Why don’t you directly ask the 2 of 3 in question?

                    Lydia

                    “My point had to do with CALS…..not Non-Cals who’ve left SBC churches due to hyper-calvinism.”

                    From what I have witnessed there isn’t an SBC church here that has not been influenced with YRR thinking if even if they claim to be non cal. You will usually find it in the youth group with SBTS volunteers. We won’t go near them anymore. Not worth the hassle. The head game playing by that lot is a lot like Les’ here.

                  Les

                  No need to ask the two. Got it.

                  norm

                  Just like you, Les. Still baptizing babies, right? Or have you left the Presbyterian church?

                  Les

                  Norm,

                  Well first, I’m not a non Cal. But several regulars are non Cals and non Southern Baptist. Right?

                  Norm, I haven’t baptized a baby in oh, about 18 years now. I’ve done some immersions since I’m still an ordained Southern Baptist minister. And I’m a ruling elder (Hi Lydia) in the PCA.

            Lydia

            Scott, I think there is a real disconnect on ethical values, generationally. There is a difference in how the generations view positions on privacy and decorum as a moral or ethical value…or not. They don’t recognize the Orwellian aspect of it and tend to define morality and ethics differently. Look at how Moore presents ‘ethics” on that video.

            It took me a long while to see how wise my parents really were. A lot of baby boomers never did and that is one reason we saw the rise of things like cult of personality followings and mega churches. None of this means guys like Jonathan are influenced by guys like Greear. But it is something they need to consider as they navigate this very unbrave new world where even Christendom has embraced its own version of political correctness.

              Johnathan Pritchett

              Here is the thing. I can list a bunch of things I don’t like about Greear, Platt, Mohler, and all the rest. Lord knows I’ve said plenty of negative things about them in the past few years.

              What I don’t see here is that they have acted wrongly. Let us examine Rick’s questions.

              “Why were all of these disclaimers considered to be necessary? Because, of course, when SBC leaders appear in a video in which Ashley sings and dances and extols the virtues of J.D. Greear, they are obviously associating with one candidate for office by their very participation in the video.”

              Yes and no. The disclaimer said it “does not necessarily.” Yes, I know how annoyed by that you are, but it still covers the matter. If it does or doesn’t reflect their views, at the end of the day, it is their prerogative.

              “Did these leaders know how the clip would be used? If not, why were they not informed?”

              Platt seems to be the only one who has spoken up. My guess is that he knew that it would be a video about it being tricky to run an SBC entity. His knowing delivery of the line suggests as much. My guess is that he also didn’t know it was a campaign video and he rejected that he is endorsing any candidate. Regarding his comments, all he has said was that he is disappointed to come home and deal with an issue like this when he was j est dealing with major ones in the Middle East. It wasn’t even a real comment about Greear so much as it was about having to deal with the Trustee and probably the stink made about it by people like Rick and others. At least, that is the way it was reported in Hall’s article.

              So this question is basically either irrelevant or none of our business unless they wish to say more.

              “Why do the video credits read, “For Entertainment Only” unless the creators of the film felt that it could very reasonably be construed as a candidate commercial? Basically, we have been told that these endorsements are not endorsements and this commercial is not a commercial. Do they think we fell off a turnip truck and landed on our heads? Why even produce an “entertainment only” video if not to help the candidacy of J.D. Greear?”

              Sadly, here is where Rick makes his biggest error. This is a non-sequitur and a categorical error that is quite problematic when applied to other things, like human life. It is not a distinction without a difference. What something IS is categorically different than what it is for.
              A commercial for Greear is what this IS, and “for entertainment purposes” is what it is FOR. There are worldviews hostile to Christianity that regard that human life is reducible to its function. It is what it does. This is horrible. So no, this is NOT a distinction without a difference. It is also a non-sequitur to say that a commercial can not be “for entertainment purposes only” because that doesn’t follow. It can be for that.

              That it is a commercial is beyond question. It is titled “J.D. Greear for SBC President Rap.”

              No one watching the video is being deceived or duped as to what it is about, and claiming otherwise is a unconvincing.

              “Is this kind of stunt really appropriate for one who aspires to be the President of the Southern Baptist Convention?”

              Ted Cruz released an Office Space and rap music parody of Clinton beating a computer with the “D–n It Feels Good to Be a Clinton,” and the original is “D–n It Feels Good to be a Gangster.” No one believes Cruz is promoting the Office Space movie or the Gangster song. By the way, Rick is supporting Cruz. ;)

              Estes was right, it is a matter of preference as to whether the SBC Presidential nominees should do things like this or do differently. Candidates for offices do things like this all the time, and the SBC denomination is a political animal and it not the same thing as Christendom itself.

              “Songs about sleazy girls and albums about raising hell may be part of our culture in America, but I believe Southern Baptists stand strongly and firmly for something else entirely.”

              THIS song wasn’t about any of those things. it was about Greear being a good candidate for the SBC..

              And, as for the original song that is being parodied, I’ve yet to see a compelling case that parodying the hook (which is all most people pretty much remember from it unless they make it a point to Google the words…assuming they even know the song at all) and using the instrumental track is some moral evil that is not to be done by Christians.

              No one seriously believes that this will cause Southern Baptists to make a 30 year old song shoot up the iTunes chart, raise hell, and lead the denomination into a life of promiscuous debauchery any more than a church skit parodying Star Wars will drive Southern Baptists in mass into pagan, Eastern mysticism.

              Also worth noting, Run DMC are now Christians and have been for a while now.

                Scott Shaver

                Jam Master Jay was hopefully Christian when he died (shot and killed in Queens, 2002)?

                Get outta here :)

                Lydia

                “Yes and no. The disclaimer said it “does not necessarily.” Yes, I know how annoyed by that you are, but it still covers the matter. If it does or doesn’t reflect their views, at the end of the day, it is their prerogative.”

                It is the Orwellian nature of the doublespeak game that bothers me the most. The disclaimer seems to be saying ‘you are not seeing what you think you are seeing and if you say you are seeing it, I have this disclaimer’. Yes, it is his perogative to deal with people this way. And others have the perogative to analyze the bigger picture.

                Why the need for a “cover”?

                Why not let our yes and no actually be yes or no? Why the need for the obfuscation and doublespeak? The need for plausible deniability….just in case?

                Should we believe his words or the actions? Why has such doublespeak become our normal in a leader? No big deal? Will I need to continue choosing his words or actions to believe? Or just enter into this Orwellian cult of personality where the truth is decided for me by following the leader and accepting the “covering”? Really, we cannot expect more from Christian leaders?

                I would hope more people recognize the doublespeak and decide they want something or someone honest who does not play the endorsements that are not endorsements disclaimer “covering” game with them.

                Scott Shaver

                “This Song”, Jonathan, was an adulteration of the original…..which still carries by force of notoriety and fame, the cultural mores of the originating artists. Plain and simple.

                Why do you think so many found it so distasteful coming from “Christian” leaders?

                Despite the fact that the adulteration was engineered by a lilly-white baptist middle-class female does nothing to erase the public impact of the original values associated with the song.

              Scott Shaver

              Lydia.

              Do you remember “Living Color”. They had a great tune called “Cult of Personality” which pretty well sums up the dynamic in question.

                Hohnathan Pritchett

                “Look in my eyes, what do you see. A cult of personality.”

                I love that song. It has one of the best rock guitar riffs of all time.

norm

Respect your opinion, JP, and love you, too. But I am obviously with Rick. We can analyze and dissect this matter all day long, but the bottom line is that the video never should have been made. A true Baptist statesman would never have done it. It crosses a line heretofore uncrossed. Rick also makes exceedingly valid points about the need for disclaimers. If the vid was not intended for political consumption then why the disclaimer? That disclaimers were needed should have been enough to prevent the vid’s production and dissemination.

Chris

Rick,

Would you have voted for Greear if this video had not come out?

Isn’t it true you would have never voted for him because he is a Calvinist? In some ways, are you like a Traditionalist “Founders” movement guy?

    Alan Atchison

    What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?

      Lydia

      “Millenial rappers and “culture warriors/engagers” are also “grown men” and should be able to “handle-it” when those with an altogether different view of decorum, imagery and messaging “disagree”.”

      Quite a few pew sitters are learning the hard way that they are sinning by questioning the YRR “elders”. They want the power, position and adoration but not questioning. Just give them your money and shut up and listen. It is considered cool for a grown man in a responsible entity position to “sorta kinda” look like you are endorsing a candidate but have plausible deniability when someone challenges it. It is called being “manly” now.

      Chris

      Alan,

      I asked three questions. Are you referring to one of them or all three of them?

      They are all relevant questions. Rick is decrying Greear because of this video, and saying that because of this video Rick will not vote for Greear. However, it’s very relevant if it were true that Rick was already planning not to vote for Greear before this video came out. In that case, it had no real impact on Rick’s vote.
      The other two questions are relevant as well because they also speak to Rick’s preexisting bias against Greear before this video came out. If the answer to any those questions were “yes,” then the video would look like a pretext for Rick to decry Greear and the idea of voting for him when Rick was never going to in the first place.

        Lydia

        Chris, Lets correlate this differently. I did not vote for Obama and would never have voted for Obama as a Libertarian. (substituting theology) So according to your answer to Alan above does this mean that is always a pretext for disagreeing with his current policies publicly or that it is wrong of me to point out any actions I see as lacking in integrity or are stupid? Since I would never support Obama politically, that fact automatically means my opinions and positions are not valid on any of his policies or actions? What happens when I disagree with a Libertarian I voted for? Then would they be acceptable? Just trying to understand how it works.

          Alan Atchison

          Lydia,
          Well said!

          There are a hundred reasons I’m not voting for Trump. However, if I were to write about my reasons, his complete lack of foreign policy acumen and his call to end NATO would be the reason I used to explain my decision.

          Chris

          Lydia,

          Reading the article, one might think Rick had decided after watching the video that he could not have voted for Greear. Again, the point is that Rick never was going to vote for Greear with or without the video. It didn’t affect his already made decision.

          Your analogy would work better if you had already decided not to vote for Hillary. Then later she came out with a video, and You wrote a blog post as though her campaign video led you not to vote for her. Again, in this hypothetical scenario, you were never going to vote for her and the campaign video in no way affected your decision even though someone might have thought so from reading your hypothetical post. That’s the kind of thing we are talking about here, not whether someone can speak up and disagree with someone they are unwilling to vote for.

            Lydia

            “Your analogy would work better if you had already decided not to vote for Hillary. Then later she came out with a video, and You wrote a blog post as though her campaign video led you not to vote for her. Again, in this hypothetical scenario, you were never going to vote for her and the campaign video in no way affected your decision even though someone might have thought so from reading your hypothetical post. That’s the kind of thing we are talking about here, not whether someone can speak up and disagree with someone they are unwilling to vote for.”

            It still works, Chris. All I have to do is write a blog post about something Hillary did, is doing or not doing that continues to affirm my reasons for not voting for her, point out the thing to others and hopefully they will finally see it, too. You are really straining at some gnats here….

            You are trying to dine out on the supposition that Rick was never going to vote for Greear yet he wrote a blog post making it sound like he was going to vote for him— until the video came out. Where do you get that? Can you point out the particular part that communicates that? If anyone has been reading here for even a month, they most likely knew that anyway. And what does that have to do with endorsements that we are told by Greear in the disclaimer– are not endorsements? I don’t get it?

Chris Roberts

Rick,

I was surprised to learn that you are joining the ranks of those Christians who have nothing to do with Christmas and Easter because of their wicked origins. I’d recommend you go ahead and take one step further and distance yourself from Christianity itself considering the wickedness found all throughout its history, founders, and central character.

    Scott Shaver

    My recommendation would be that Chris Roberts go first.

Lydia

“I’d recommend you go ahead and take one step further and distance yourself from Christianity itself considering the wickedness found all throughout its history, founders, and central character.”

I could not agree more. I often wonder why Christians appeal to history or tradition and I despise the word “orthodoxy”. It is ridiculous how salvation has come to mean it is ok to harm others. And what makes us think such wickedness was Christian at all? Of course I disagree with you about Jesus Christ and how we tend to read the OT without its ancient genre in mind.

Lydia

http://www.dennyburk.com/acts29-rap-at-sbc/

It is becoming a tradition in the YRR world. This one praising Driscolls creation.

    Scott Shaver

    As for Burke, Lydia, I’m still trying to figure out what purpose in the world he actually serves.

    Is he a teacher or a professional blogger or both? If the former, don’t want my kids, relatives or neighbors anywhere near one of his “classrooms”.

Andrew Barker

Lydia: Well that was grim :-) I hate rap at the best of times and Christian rap just puts the c into rap for me I’m afraid! but you always learn something from these times when the YRR drop their guard. They’re so intent on being ‘cool’ that tiny bits of the truth show through. For those who can’t stomach the run up, it’s 1 min in and thankfully lasts only a few seconds.

I quote … “it’s about applying text to context, you fathers taught us that”. Yes, that just about sums the Acts 29 approach up. You have the context and you find some text to fit it. Matt Chandler would be proud of you my son!

    Scott Shaver

    Andrew writes of the YRR, “They’re so intent on being cool”.

    Bingo. In fact Andrew, it’s gotten so ridiculous over here in the states that you can spot the sycophants of the gurus by the very clothes and hairstyles they wear. Vests and jeans have been popular lately with brogans and rolled up jeans.

    Like revisiting high-school where all the “trend-setters” and “fashion-plates” ended up dressing exactly alike. Childhood stretches to middle age for some I guess.

      Andy

      It’s not just the YRR, it’s all the Y…

      I recently went to a worship conference (I’m a Music Pastor) that was not reformed specific, and yet by looking around at the dress, I felt very old and un-cool (I’m 35).

        Andrew Barker

        Has someone mentioned your hat yet? Could be a contributing factor! ;-)

          Andy

          I only wear that hat when it’s sunny outside, and when I’m spending time outside…. I don’t wear it to hipster worship conferences…

          …that would be silly…

            Scott Shaver

            Don’t ditch the hat Andy. I love it.

            You should reconsider wearing to a “hipster” conference. I know the only way I’d attend I would be wearing chains and leather. :)

            cb scott

            Andy, Brave men have worn hats like yours as they defended this nation and others all over this earth. Wear it with pride.

              Lydia

              CB, Andrew is a Brit. They perfected the beret in battle on the seas and held off the Germans with much suffering until we decided to commit. ;o)

                cb scott

                Lydia,

                Andy’s hat is not a beret. It is a Boonie Hat, slightly modified. Nonetheless, we have not conversed in a long time. I trust you are doing well.

                  Lydia

                  CB, I am well aware it is not a beret, my old friend. It looks like an American sailor hat ergo my mention of British sailor berets. The inept sailor, Gilligan, wore one.

                  I am totally ignorant of Boonie hats (auto correct is dying to make that ‘bonnie’ hats, btw) and will bow to your expertise. I have no problem with Andy’s hat and admire his independent choice. I assumed Andrew, as a Brit, might not be familiar with our sailor variety.

                    Andy

                    In was once called Gilligan for a whole summer because of a hat like this! (Not this specific one, that was 15 yrs ago…but I replaced it with something similar)

                    …I just call it a bucket hat.

                Andrew Barker

                :-) I wear my Britishness with a modicum of pride! But I don’t wear a beret. Leave that to the French! :-o

      Lydia

      Scott, this is more serious than people think. There is always a bit of emulation of Celebs in the teen years to be expected. But when such continues into 20’s and 30’s it denotes a lack of knowing self, wisdom and maturity that is telling us something important about the person with a stunted emotional and independent thinking capacity.

      The YRR remind me of Italian men who are known to live with mama well into their 30!s. They don’t have to grow up but somebody else has to be responsible for them and nobody dare point that out. They cannot handle even the most benign disagreement. I think the Acts 29 movement is such. The pew sitters are to make them feel important and pay them well for it. It was too much power too young for the perfumed princes to handle with wisdom. They did not earn it in the trenches in the way that brings wisdom and compassion. We can see this here and there in other places but when it describes a whole mevement we should look at how we contributed to it and put a stop to it. This worship of youth needs to stop for their sake. They never have to grow up. They don’t even know it. You t is their normal. That seems to be what happened to their leader, Mohler,, too.

        Andy

        Lydia,

        This perpetual extension of adolescence into adulthood has been a well-documented and growing problem across all spectrums of American life for years. It is not specific to YRR folks. Look at any urban young group, reformed or not, christian or not, and you will see similar dress. Look at the Pastor of the Hillsong Church in NYC, who dresses very similarly to his congregant Justin Beiber. If you think any of the things you mention are isolated to the YRR movement, I would say your lense is too narrow.

        Where we WOULD agree is that those seeking to be spiritual shepherds SHOULD be able to see through this and be able to lead other young men to a place of not caring so much about their looks…but alas, we all are tempted to put too much care into what others think of us, and none of us are immune…It’s why I got a hair cut and shaved yesterday…:-)

          Scott Shaver

          Lydia:

          My grandfather once horrified me with the suggestion that the best place a man could hide from the world, work and responsibility was “in school.”

          In many ways….he was right.

          Lydia

          “It is not specific to YRR folks.”

          Of course not. They just perfected it ecclesiastically. :o)

          Lydia

          Andy, These young men caring about their looks is the least of the problem. It is their quest for instant recognition, power over others and entitlement mentality that is the big problem.

          Johnathan Protchett

          Andy,

          Spot on. We do have a manbaby and image obsession here in the states.

          This goes back to the celebrity obsession of American culture and the quest to not age and remain relevant to what has now become an 18-49 demo (it used to be 18-35 that was the key marketing demo…so yeah, 49 is way further than it was).

          As for image obsession, that was born out of the quest for “cool” rather than beauty. Cool has zero content because what is considered cool in the 80’s is not now (parachute pants anyone?) and is mocked rather than held as a standard.

          What people don’t think about is that the invention and obsession with cool was born out of one of the most wicked decades in U.S. History: the 1950’s.

          Not the 60’s, the fifties.

          Peter Beagle was right when he said in the preface to Tolkien’s book, “The Sixties were no fouler a decade than the Fifties — they merely reaped the Fifties’ foul harvest.”

    Lydia

    In case, as a Brit, you were wondering, the YRR rappers reference to “Papa D” is Mark Driscoll and Scotty T is Scott Thomas. Scott Thomas was instrumental in the blindsided trial of the Mars Hill elders, Petry and Meyers and stepped down from Acts 29 a week after their blog, Joyful Exiles, went online with all the documentation. Papa D might have forgotten that Petry, a lawyer, was no stranger to documentation. Now Scotty T considers himself one of the bodies under Mark’s bus:

    https://musingsfromunderthebus.wordpress.com/tag/scott-thomas/

    But all this was after he went to Acts 29 “The Journey” in St. Louis. And there might have been a stop at former Acts 29 Sojourn, not sure. And some other Acts 29 churches. Now he is a “gospel coach” for church planters and at Church in Pueblo, Az.

    Silly me. I thought only Jesus could be a ‘gospel coach”. That movement has produced a lot of silly thinking in addition to so much cruelty.

      Andrew Barker

      Lydia: Too true. Don’t laugh (well actually you can … a lot) but “Papa D” was not really on my radar although I guess I must have heard it. I thought it probably referred to ‘Denny’ Burk, hence the silly grin on his face during the ‘rap’! I have to say, I’m actually shocked, truly I am! The SBC must be in a deplorable state. I suppose whoever was chairing the session may have had no more idea who “Papa D” was than me, or that he was going to come out with that, but even so! To let that go without corrective comment was unforgivable. It needs someone brave (or stupid) to get up and ‘rap’ about Driscoll using some of his less ‘worthy’ sayings. I think the mood in conference would change rather rapidly if his synonym for women in terms of part of the male anatomy was used. It would drive the message ‘home’ if you get my drift and certainly wipe the smiles off a few faces. I can see why these YRR get up peoples’ noses though. I can’t go into print as to what I think of the little **** who delivered it. At least I would not expect, or want, it to get through moderation! But he has my utter contempt, not that he’ll lose any sleep over that! :-) But if that’s the calibre of the messengers who are going to be taking over the reigns in the SBC in a few years time then it’s no good saying heaven help. There will be no help from that quarter! :-)

      PS Andy, that hat is so bad …. it’s worth keeping! :-) lol

        Lydia

        “It needs someone brave (or stupid) to get up and ‘rap’ about Driscoll using some of his less ‘worthy’ sayings. I think the mood in conference would change rather rapidly if his synonym for women in terms of part of the male anatomy was used. It would drive the message ‘home’ if you get my drift and certainly wipe the smiles off a few faces. ”

        That was the real cleverness of Driscoll early on. He was so vile and vulgar, no one would dare repeat his vulgarisms to make the point of how vile he was! Anyway, By then, they were erased from the Internet and the proof was gone to link to so the messenger had to be shot for lacking proof against a man who “preaches the gospel”. Driscoll was the master of erasing his vulgarity from the Internet. His vulgar “peasant princess” sermon series was deleted, too, when people started decrying it. It was also delivered in Scotland. Did you ever hear it? Deplorable! Absolute hogwash –the young minds of mush loved. He appealed to the lowest common denominator in emotionally stunted young men. But….He preached the Gospel, you know. Sigh.

        And this is one of the examples of influence in the YRR world whose legacy was cloned in church planting of Acts 29 which the SBC helped finance. How could so many “godly” leaders be so blind or fooled so easily? That is the real question. I don’t think they were fooled. I think they liked Driscoll’s Schlick. Who knows the extent damage done to people.

          Andrew Barker

          Lydia: “His vulgar “peasant princess” sermon series was deleted, too, when people started decrying it” I think you’re referring to Queen Ester who according to Driscoll was a tart! Well, parts of that are still available for the record, so he hasn’t been able to completely erase all traces of his vulgarity.

            Lydia

            Andrew, the peasant princess was on the Song of Solomon. You can imagine how Driscoll twisted that one. I am flabbergasted that guys like Greear promoted him and now act like it was no big deal.

            Overall, Can someone explain to me how basic character, integrity, honesty and such became obsolete for certain Christians?

              Andrew Barker

              Ooops. Getting my queens and peasants mixed up. Esther might well be miffed, especially since I misspelled her name, but that’s the chemist coming out in me!

              I think the problem with certain Christians is that they play the numbers game. Success in the church is based on how many people go through the doors each Sunday and how much money they leave behind. Nothing inherently wrong with numbers of course, but not as an end in itself.

                Lydia

                Andrew, Driscoll had a different sermon on Queen Esther was really a _____.

                Strange how many SBC leaders ignored such things from him in order to plant reformed only churches that have Driscoll DNA all over them. Acts 29, Sojourn and now Baptist 21? Akin was a big promoter of Driscoll, too.

                The pewsitters would do best to stop financially supporting this sort of thuggery.

                  Lydia

                  Andrew, The Peasant Princess got pulled from the internet after a lot of people complained–even to John McArthur! This was back in 2007. It is not like there hasn’t been a ton of information floating around out there about Driscoll for the last 10 years. There was no good reason for SBC leaders to promote and partner with someone so vile to young men except to expand the YRR movement. Think of all the thousands of young men taught by Driscoll who ran around for years defending him as someone ‘who preaches the gospel’.

                  Here are some snippets from that sermon that were transcribed:
                  http://peterlumpkins.typepad.com/files/driscoll-scotland-sermon-copypdf.pdf

        Scott Shaver

        “Deplorable” doesn’t even begin to describe the situation Andrew. “Bizzaro” might be a better term.

Lydia

Let’s stop and contemplate the thought that Greear also stole someone else’s “intellectual” property to promote himself :o)

    Scott Shaver

    Lydia:

    I take it you’re posing the question of whether or not Run DMC or Def Jam have seen the video? Interesting.

    Most of the black musicians I get to play with don’t think much of white people butchering the particular genre.

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