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FBC Naples: An Example of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Abuse of Power Over Autonomous Churches

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Last summer at the SBC annual meeting, the convention approved a measure that would effectively give the denomination the power to disfellowship churches they deemed complicit with racism or sex abuse. The measure did not lay out specifics of what would be constituted as racism or sex abuse rather it put into place a “credentials committee” that would have the power to make that judgment subjectively.

According to the evangelical woke movement, led by such proponents as Thabiti Anyabwile, Russell Moore, JD Greear, Matt Chandler, Tim Keller, Jemar Tisby, Jarvis Williams, and Dwight McKissic, just to name a few, there are a few demands one has to meet in order to “repent” and “atone” for racism. They include such things as,

And now, Southern Baptists are going to hold all “unwoke” churches to that standard. In June, the SBC Executive Committee unanimously voted to disfellowship from churches who don’t subscribe to these notions. The following amended language was added to Article 3 of the Southern Baptist Constitution altering its bylaws. (See #5 below.)

As predicted, this measure would be abused by the upper echelon of the Southern Baptist Convention and would be used to threaten churches who were non-complicit in the social justice movement that is gaining ground. Churches would be threatened with expulsion from the denomination if they refused to “deal with” “racism” in their churches in the harshest manner.

First Baptist Church, Naples, FL is exhibit A.

Reformation Charlotte has been covering the scandal at First Baptist Church in Naples, FL — a megachurch that recently held a vote that failed to install a black pastor as lead pastor of the church. The candidate, Marcus Hayes, received only 81% of the required 85% of the vote to secure the position.

After the failed vote, the leadership of the church ascribed the results of the vote to “racial prejudices” and indicted the 19% of the congregation that voted against him of “racism.”

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Outspoken and notable Southern Baptist leaders have been very vocal about this church “dealing” with the alleged (and non-existent) “racism” that took place.

Southern Baptist president, JD Greear weighs in, jumping on the bandwagon of unproven “sin” and “racial bias” which he says must be “taken seriously in the church.”

Russell Moore, head of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission asserts “racial bigotry” and “injustice.”

Dwight McKissic, a notable proponent of Critical Race Theory, intersectionality, and identity politics expresses his gratitude for the leadership of FBC Naples throwing their church members who voted against the pastor under the bus and publicly charging them with racism.

And other notable leaders speak out in favor of the church expelling these members and assassinating their character.

What this new measure that the SBC passed last year does is essentially tie the hands of a local congregation and forces them to take drastic measures against members that aren’t on board with “social justice” or “woke” theology. In this case, in order for this church to remain in the denomination, they would need to excommunicate the members who voted against the black candidate as lead pastor.

Dwight McKissic, one of the strongest proponents of the measure, insists so.

It is clear that what we have seen take place is the SBC bullying a church because they didn’t install the pastor that they wanted in that church. For more information on that, please see the article Was Marcus Hayes a Back-Alley Deal Between the SBC and the Apparently Criminal Cabal That Runs FBC Naples?

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