Nearly three months after Ed Litton was elected the new president of the Southern Baptist Convention, there are still scant calls for his resignation. On June 21, 2021, Reformation Charlotte broke the story that Ed Litton had copied and used his predecessor, JD Greear’s words from a Romans 1 sermon contending that the Bible only “whispers” about homosexuality. The breaking of this story launched Ed Litton into the national spotlight where several mainstream news outlets began to follow and cover the story.
Soon, the story blew up and it became widespread knowledge that Ed Litton was a dishonest man who not only repeatedly lied to his congregation but was also ill-equipped to teach due to a lack of actual time spent studying God’s Word as he plagiarized sermon after sermon.
Three months later, those calls for his resignation have trickled to only a few die-hard voices.
Al Mohler was recently asked about the Ed Litton plagiarism scandal where he denounced the act of plagiarism and said that Ed Litton was not a good example for his seminary students. Besides that, he completely absolved himself–the most influential man in the denomination–from any other responsibility to call Litton to repent and resign stating that this was an issue for the Southern Baptist Convention, not him, to decide.
But is it?
Ed Litton has repeatedly taken to various news outlets and Evangelical and Southern Baptist podcasts to downplay the scandal and deny any actual wrongdoing. Litton outright lied to a local news outlet in Alabama where he claimed that the people accusing him of plagiarism are “unnamed sources,” and therefore should be ignored.
In July, Litton took to a Southern Baptist podcast where he claimed he wasn’t plagiarizing JD Greear, but simply using his materials as a “commentary.” The host asks Litton if Greear’s sermons were just a type of commentary for him. Litton responded, “a lot of them I didn’t even listen to, I just went straight to the notes he provided. So, yes, very much like a commentary in that sense.”
Then, just last week, Ed Litton took to another podcast to tell us that God had “forgiven” him, so it was time to move on, while still downplaying the fact that he plagiarized JD Greear’s entire sermon outlines, presented JD Greear’s personal experiences and stories as his own, and deceived his congregation for at least an entire year into believing that he was studying Scripture to teach his congregation.
No, instead, he was pawning off his entire job onto other people so he could be a social justice advocate. Unfortunately, for him, he got caught.
While this story has died off across the Evangelical spectrum, we want to reiterate that Ed Litton still deserves to be fired. He has repeatedly shown himself to be unqualified both for the pastorate and for the president of the denomination. Those in leadership positions who are refusing to call him out by name and call for his resignation are impotent, effeminate men who have abdicated their God-given responsibility as shepherds of God’s people. As men of God, we’re to mark and avoid irresponsible leaders who refuse to repent of their sin.
What Ed Litton is doing certainly falls under the umbrella of “swindler” in 1 Corinthians 5:11:
But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one.