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Transparency, Free Speech & Ethical Stewardship as the SBC looks to a new President

This has been received by the Southern Baptist Convention as a resolution:

WHEREAS, in the Second Book of Kings, the Bible presents Josiah as the greatest approximation of the virtues of a leader, for the twenty-third chapter of the book states, “And like unto him was there no king before him, that turned to the LORD with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him” (2 Kings 23:25);

WHEREAS, the example of Josiah serves not only as an example of a well-run monarchy but also as an example of leadership in general, insofar as Josiah’s leadership oversaw moral, ecclesiastical, political, and economic matters all at once;

WHEREAS, Josiah’s leadership was moral, insofar as he rid Judah of sodomy, idolatry, and other sins (2 Kings 23:5-8);

WHEREAS, Josiah’s leadership dealt with ecclesiastical matters, as he forced reforms on the priesthood and purged it of those who were evil, restored the Passover, and ensured that the scriptures would be read and followed once more in Judah (2 Kings 23: 21-27);

WHEREAS, Josiah’s leadership was political because his good deeds were carried out within his roles as king and descendant of David, the scriptures saying of Josiah, “And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left” (2 Kings 22:2);

WHEREAS, Josiah’s leadership was economic because his first act of reform dealt with the stewardship of money, the scripture saying of his actions, “Go up to Hilkiah the high priest, that he may sum the silver which is brought into the house of the LORD, which the keepers of the door have gathered of the people” (2 Kings 22:4-7);

WHEREAS, Josiah’s example, so clearly celebrated in the Word of God, compels us to study him, for Solomon says in Proverbs, “Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways; hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not; blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors; for whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD” (Proverbs 8:32-36);

WHEREAS, the Southern Baptist Convention’s large size, bureaucracy, and considerable holdings have created many positions of power, including entity presidents, trustees, chairmen of boards, directors, officers, provosts, deans, treasurers, editors, and chief executive officers; all of whom must be held up beside Josiah’s example for consideration since Jesus Christ says of leadership, “Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them; but it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant,” (Matthew 20:24-7), while Solomon quotes the Lord in Proverbs, saying “the fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate; counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength; by me kings reign, and princes decree justice; by me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth” (Proverbs 8:13-15); which together signify that those in leadership positions must hold themselves to high standards, and that they must demonstrate sedulous vigilance against self-aggrandizement, bias, favoritism at the expense of godly fidelity, and arrogation to themselves of resources that belong to Southern Baptists and the Kingdom of Christ;

WHEREAS, in light of King Josiah’s example and the scriptures cited above, there is no place in a Christian denomination for secrecy, particularly about money;

WHEREAS, in light of King Josiah’s example and the scriptures cited above, there should never be false statements made by Southern Baptist leaders against common Southern Baptists in order to score political advantage;

WHEREAS, in light of King Josiah’s example and the scriptures cited above, there is no place in a Christian denomination for nepotism, favoritism, blacklisting, or collusion, since all of these represent forms of corruption of the kind King Josiah uprooted;

WHEREAS, in light of King Josiah’s example and the scriptures cited above, there is no place in a Christian denomination for leaders restricting freedom of speech, of either subordinates, congregants, or peers; as King Josiah had to reform Israel after Manasseh and other Samarian and Judahite kings persecuted prophets in order to prevent the people from decrying their bad deeds;

RESOLVED, the Southern Baptist Convention grieves the misconduct of entity presidents, trustees, chairmen of boards, directors, officers, provosts, deans, treasurers, editors, and chief executive officers, who have abused their power and used it contrary to the standards set by King Josiah;

RESOLVED, the Southern Baptist Convention grieves the conduct of Southern Baptist Convention presidents who have used their appointment power to populate the resolutions committee year after year with cronies and political allies, with the result that many pertinent resolutions, such as this author’s 2019 resolution “On Whistleblowers and Freedom of Conscience,” became dismissed from floor discussion based on convoluted dispositions, while other irrelevant and counterproductive resolutions, such as the 2019 resolution on critical race theory or the 2018 resolution on justifying slavery using the curse of Ham, get passed with the Convention’s endorsement for seemingly political reasons;

RESOLVED, the Southern Baptist Convention grieves the use of non-disclosure agreements, the practice of gentleman’s agreements, and the widespread use of blacklisting throughout the Convention to protect small numbers of people who hold institutional power at the expense of true and faithful service to the Kingdom of Christ;

RESOLVED, the Southern Baptist Convention grieves the use of summarized financial information that makes it difficult to see where money is actually being spent, a practice so commonly practiced by entity leaders that many in the Convention sadly take this for granted and do nothing to counteract the massive damage caused by misuse of funds, graft, self-dealing, and profligacy by leaders who retain control of funds year after year with no accountability;

RESOLVED, the Southern Baptist Convention grieves the abuse of church-planting funds in domestic and international missions, to include the purchase of tens of millions of dollars’ worth of domestic real estate to house church planters in the face of consistent decline in church membership and failed church plants, the use of church-planting funds for properties or church planters with questionable ties to people in positions of power, and the actions by the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission and North American Mission Board in order to undermine reform efforts such as Will McRaney’s pursuit of justice and restitution regarding allegations of defamation and tortious interference with state conventions;

RESOLVED, the Southern Baptist Convention grieves the abuses by Lifeway, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, and other Southern Baptist bodies involved in publishing and conference-hosting, in the way they pass over reputable and qualified writers and speakers in order to platform political allies, cronies, and friends;

RESOLVED, the Southern Baptist Convention grieves the actions of those responsible for publications and conferences, who have used these forms of public witness as a means to blacklist speakers who have challenged those in power and support those who flatter the powerful;

RESOLVED, the Southern Baptist Convention grieves the abuse of trustee positions, in the way that trustees are chosen as political favors and repay their appointers with actions that they should not rightfully take; in the way that influential persons violate standards of conflict of interest, as exemplified by the way that Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission trustees refused to reform the entity with which they were entrusted, and as exemplified by the way that seminary trustees have done nothing to counteract the abuse of power by Adam Greenway and Albert Mohler (revealed in detail by the revelations of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary trustee Tom Rush);

RESOLVED, the Southern Baptist Convention grieves the common weaponization of godly concerns (such as concern for victims of racism and sex abuse), in order to consolidate more power and prestige for elites through ineffective solutions like the creation of a centralized standing committee empowered to disfellowship churches through processes that are even more opaque and corruptible, while the Convention, offering copious coverage to high-profile speakers like Rachael Denhollander or Beth Moore, remains unengaged on massive problems such as same-sex abuse or the purge of faculty of color from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary;

RESOLVED, the Southern Baptist Convention grieves the conduct of seminary presidents whose administrations have brought dishonor to their stewardship in the way that President Adam Greenway’s administration has issued false statements about Candi Finch and the present author; in the way that seminary presidents have used intimidation tactics against dissenting faculty such as Al Mohler’s conduct against Russell Fuller; in the way that seminary presidents have abused the financial resources entrusted to them to make hiring and firing decisions without adequate counsel or transparency, and for questionable motives, in the way that Danny Akin created an unnecessary position for Karen Swallow Prior in the midst of a financial crisis; in the way that Adam Greenway fired the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary provost in order to hire a provost who less than two years later publicly revealed a longstanding drug abuse problem, which tainted his conduct while he oversaw dozens of questionable firings; in the way that Adam Greenway’s administration has justified many firings by claiming a financial crisis caused by his predecessors yet has made numerous hires of doubtful necessity drawn from his former associates at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; in the way that seminary presidents routinely affirm misconduct by other seminary presidents; and in the way that seminary presidents have sought to impose limits on academic free speech in ways contrary to the American tradition of free discourse and rather similar to the persecution of prophets enacted by the bad kings of the Old Testament; and

RESOLVED, the Southern Baptist Convention invokes the memory King Josiah; calls for massive reform and restitution for the many people whose careers, reputations, ministries, and livelihoods have been damaged by ungodly stewardship by the Convention’s leaders; and insists that its next president be a King Josiah or nobody, for the only person fit to be president of a Christian denomination must be someone willing to cleanse the denomination’s leadership of corruption, cronyism, greed, bias, and vanity; even if this means numerous firings of bad leaders; even if this means angering people who have grown comfortable with and dependent on the Convention’s corruption; and even if some who call themselves Christian accuse reformers of being unchristian; for no denomination that bears the name of Jesus Christ has any reason to exist if its Christianity is nothing but an empty label that allows an elite to enrich itself.

Big Tech censorship has been expanding beyond just Conservatives… Christians are next!

While many of us have been warning about the coming persecution of Christians, I don’t think any of us thought that it would be ramping up so quickly. While we are luckily not facing physical persecution yet, such as beatings or death, we are facing censorship, deplatforming and even jail time in some instances. These are just the birth pangs of what is coming next.

While we still have a voice here at The GateKeepers, we are doing everything that we can to bypass the algorithmic walls put up by Big Tech and the Social Media companies like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Our videos used to get thousands of views across all of our platforms, while now they are being throttled and hardly getting distributed at all. An added wrinkle is that, while our video content is seeing lower views, traffic to our website has never been higher. Over the past year we’ve seen a 700% increase in traffic, and it’s been amazing to experience this kind of growth. Because of this, we’ll be launching GKTV very soon, hosting all of our shows exclusively on our platform.

While The GateKeepers started out as nothing more than a blog for me to post my articles, it has now expanded into a podcast network featuring fifteen shows, a publishing company that has published three books over the past year and we are now hosting conferences on a regular basis. We’ve seen the addition of contributors to The GateKeepers such as Denise McAllister, Pastor Cary Gordon, Pastor Ken Peters, Dr Mike Spaulding, Dr Bobby Lopez and many other amazing Christian leaders. Our lineup of shows has expanded, as well, featuring shows such as The Shining Light Podcast, Conversations with Jeff, The Big Brown Gadfly, Battlefront: SouthGate and The Verum Monitae Report with Dr Mike Spaulding, in addition the the several other shows we also carry on The GateKeepers.

While we’ve seen some amazing growth and expansion, we are also working hard to make this be a long-term play, and with that comes with how to fund our work here. I’ve intentionally not turned The GateKeepers into a non-profit organization because I don’t want to become beholden to the government, and I also don’t want to be focused on sending out fundraising letters constantly begging for money like most non-profit ministries do.

Instead, we have our online book store, are hosting online conferences and have our Plugged In membership program. Right now we are funded exclusively through these three different avenues. We are especially excited about our Plugged In membership, as this brings so much added value to you as a thank you for supporting our work here at The GateKeepers.

Becoming a Plugged In member provides access to the weekly episode of The GateKeepers Podcast, the monthly episode of Connected, free access to all of our online conferences, the recordings from previous online conferences and 30% off in The GK Store. If you would like to support us by becoming a Plugged In member, click here.

However, we’ve also been getting a lot of requests from supporters asking how they can donate to help support The GateKeepers. We are extremely grateful for these requests, as this will help us to expand even further and provide more quality Biblical content. If you would like to help support to The GateKeepers, you can donate through PayPal here.

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