Understanding the Southern Baptist Convention’s Celebrity Leadership Politics

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Photo: Courtesy of The Christian Post

Folks who know me effectively will inform you that I have a tendency to fight for the underdog and under no circumstances hesitate to face down the massive dog.

My wife knows that this penchant for rescuing the defenseless, resisting the domineering, and restoring the destroyed comes from my childhood.

The memory of getting effectively resisted an older boy’s try to bully me forever engraved and sealed these feelings in my memory wall.

It really is 1 of the motives I fell out of favor with the leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention in 2005.

It may not be also considerably of an exaggeration to say I was a “Golden Boy” in the early years of my ministry. I pastored a massive SBC church at 29, chaired a national SBC committee at the age of 33, and spoke at lots of nearby, state, and national SBC meetings, which includes serving as President of the Baptist Common Convention of Oklahoma via 2004.

But in 2005, I realized that there was a trouble in the SBC.

Some will fault me for not seeing the trouble earlier. Candidly, I consider I did see the trouble, but I just believed “liberals” have been the only ones who fell into the trap of the “fantastic-old-boy” method of leadership.

In 2005, I realized that my good friends, these Bible-believing conservatives who served beside me, have been as guilty of fraternization, patronization, and celebritization as the moderates of the 1960s and 1970s.

I fell out of favor for exposing the method.

Certainly, the SBC is a “fantastic old boys” network.

James MacDonald and Ed Stetzer

When James MacDonald petitioned to join the Southern Baptist Convention, his style of leadership did not obtain a pal in me.

I attempted to warn the SBC.

But James promptly became a aspect of the “fantastic old boy” method.

He started speaking at annual SBC conferences.

He started assuming higher-profile leadership roles.

He became an SBC leader promptly.

And here’s why.

James MacDonald knew how to play the game.

The Christian Post reported nowadays that James MacDonald gave Southern Baptist leader Ed Stetzer “just below $13,000” in the kind of a 1971 VW Beetle.

No massive deal, proper?

Except for the reality, Southern Baptist Ed Stetzer went on to grow to be a contributing editor for Christianity Currently, and according to the Christian Post:

“…arranged a conversation (involving MacDonald and CT Deputy Managing Editor Jeremy Weber) that led to the magazine publishing MacDonald’s report defending his lawsuit against her and 4 other defendants, titled “Why Suing is Often the Biblical Decision.”

I like what I know of Ed. I really feel for him in this incredibly public debacle. Nonetheless, this bizarre predicament should really be a lesson for us all.

James MacDonald’s present to Ed Stetzer appears to prove that sycophantic celebrity leadership is not restricted to one’s theological persuasion.

Hat Tip: Dee at Wartburg Watch

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