In this report, we are simply pointing out what is happening. As far as we are concerned, every Bible-believing church should have left the Southern Baptist Convention 100 years ago (even putting aside for the moment the issue that a denominational structure is unscriptural in itself).
We would also hasten to say that while we commend the following churches for having enough spiritual conviction to leave the Convention, and that does take a lot of backbone, we can’t recommend them, and there are many fundamental reasons. Just the fact that they have not rejected contemporary worship music would be sufficient. Contemporary worship music is mixing the holy God with the unholy world and is a bridge to everything that these churches say they are separating from (and more) by leaving the SBC. Nothing is more effectively building the “one-world church” than Contemporary Christian Music. The fact that these churches are not tearing down the bridge of contemporary music means they are still on the path to apostasy, regardless of their present boldness. There is no doubt about this. Any church that is not properly educated in this matter and boldly standing against CCM is building bridges to the world and to the one-world church. We have documented this extensively in The Directory of Contemporary Worship Music and in the new video series The Satanic Attack on Sacred Music. See especially “CCM Is a Bridge to Dangerous Waters” and “Bob Jones, Majesty Music, the New Reformed Calvinism, and the Gettys” in that series, www.wayoflife.org.
We would exhort these churches to make this bold step of leaving the SBC a beginning of a thorough-going spiritual revival whereby they reject sin and error and worldliness and compromise in every form.
Pulpit & Pen, Sept. 30, 2019, says there are “hundreds [of churches] that we are aware of who have left the SBC and/or stopped funding it over issues relating to corruption, the ERLC (Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission), Lifeway, charismaticism, or Social Justice.”
Following are some examples:
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF VICTORIA, MISSOURI
This church left the Southern Baptist Convention in September 2019.
The following is a statement signed by Pastor Bruce Tegg, joined by the chairman of the deacons and two other deacons:
“I have been a Southern Baptist since my preschool days. I was baptized, married and ordained (both as a deacon and a pastor) as a Southern Baptist. I was a Southern Baptist when the Convention first addressed women deacons, when the seminaries taught heresy, when we were battling the charismatic movement, when the Freemasons were investigated and now with the invasion of Calvinism. In each controversy the resolution was not to remove the cancer of error, the solution was assimilation. Rather than remove the theological Tobiahs the SBC, as Israel in Nehemiah, gave them residence in the Temple. The SBC now accepts women deacons, speaking in ecstatic utterance, Freemason pastors and deacons, Presbyterian seminary graduates, and heretical instructors in their colleges, universities and seminaries. Over the past few years the corruption has multiplied exponentially … The Tobiahs, Achans, and the Balaams now control every aspect of Southern Baptist life. … These issues stand out as significant, but they are in no way the complete list of theological problems in the SBC. We could also speak of Beth Moore and her support of Joyce Meyer … the recent statement of current SBC President JD Greear about being an advocate for homosexual causes, and many other unresolved issues. Essentially, the SBC, MBC, and JBA have gone the way of Balaam, seeking monetary gain over holiness and righteousness. … When this corruption occurs, the Scripture is clear, we must make our decision based on His commandments and not any partiality toward friendships or finances.
“Ephesians 5:11 ‘And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.’
“2 Thessalonians 3:6 ‘Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.’
“Based on these and many other commandments found in both the Old and New Testaments, the First Baptist Church of Victoria is formally and publicly resigning from affiliation with all entities of the SBC, MBC, and JBA effective immediately.”
SOUTHSIDE BAPTIST CHURCH, GALLATIN, TENNESSEE
This church left the SBC in August 2019.
The following is the church’s statement:
“The present tragic reality is that the Southern Baptist Convention now has key leaders in places of high authority and influence who are directing Southern Baptists away from clear Biblical truth.
“Beth Moore now insists that by calling homosexuality a sin, that she is making people feel ‘demonized,’ and ‘doing more harm than good.’ ... Beth Moore is only one person … however no one in SBC leadership is correcting her or calling her to repent, and her influence is affecting millions.
“Sam Allberry is a gay priest in the Anglican Church who speaks at and is promoted by the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) of the Southern Baptist Convention. Allberry suggested that families should allow open homosexuals to ‘babysit’ your children unsupervised. Allberry is a man who identifies as ‘same-sex attracted,’ and has confirmed that he has ‘sexual, romantic and deep-emotional attractions to people of the same sex.’ Russell Moore, head of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) tweeted, ‘Sam Allberry is a gift to the church. We need his voice.’
“Recently, J.D. Greear, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention, preached a sermon—from Romans 1, mind you—where he insisted that the Bible doesn’t really have all that much to say about sexual immorality, and is much more vocal about other sins such as materialism and boasting.
“At the 2018 SBC annual Convention … Dr. Robert Oscar Lopez, a professor at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary … submitted a powerful resolution on LGBT issues titled On Ministry and Counseling to Lead People from Homosexuality to Heterosexuality.” ... It stated: ‘RESOLVED, the Southern Baptist Convention rejects as heresy any claims that God makes people homosexual.’ The Resolutions Committee refused to allow it to go to the floor for a vote, claiming that it needed ‘more clarification.’
“The President of the SBC, J.D. Greear, claims Christians and Muslims worship the same God. The stunning claims were made in his book Breaking the Islam Code.
“On Aug. 18, 2019, the Southside congregation made a united decision: Because the leadership of the SBC has left and/or is weak on key Biblical positions; and because they have turned a deaf ear to those who have tried to stand against their departure—we, of necessity, leave the convention.”
FELLOWSHIP BAPTIST CHURCH, STEINHATCHEE, FLORIDA
This church left the SBC in September 2019.
Following is the church’s statement:
“Right now their mission [that of the SBC] and our mission are not in agreement. Not the official, stated mission of the SBC because it is very biblical, but it is the liberal direction of its leadership. It is not what they say, but what they are doing. The promotion of Social Justice and Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality and the softening stance on homosexuality and women in the pulpit.
“We, Fellowship Baptist Church of Steinhatchee, Florida, hereby renounce all membership, affiliation and any other formal association with the Southern Baptist Convention, and by extension, the Florida Baptist Convention and Taylor Baptist Association. We will continue to hold firmly to the Word of God and to historic Baptist doctrine while affirming the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith as our confession.”
GRACE LIFE CHURCH, MUSCLE SHOALS, ALABAMA
This large church announced in October 2019, that it is in the process of “finally and formally separating all connections to the Southern Baptist Convention.”
On October 20, in the Sunday morning service, Pastor Jeff Noblit preached about this and posted it online at the church’s web site.
He said the church’s elders are united in the decision. He began the message by saying that “this issue is burning in my heart” and he believes that the stirring is “a righteous indignation.” He said that he has had deep concerns about the Convention for many years, and one of the “straws that broke the camel’s back” was the “rise and embracing and affirming of Beth Moore’s ministry.” He said, “Beth Moore is a charismatic, gifted communicator who has drifted toward considering herself a preacher. She does a lot of internet things where she kind of gets in the face of those of us who are conservative in our doctrine, saying ‘I am preaching at so and so church this Sunday morning,’ kinda like [thumbing her nose] and saying, ‘What are you going to do about it?’ This is a serious issue. Southern Baptists from all ages have held that Scripture is unequivocally clear that women do not hold the office of preaching or pastoring the church, women do not exercise authority by preaching the Word in the congregational meetings of the church. Now we have key, prominent Southern Baptist leaders who are accommodating and blessing this. You want me to tell you why? Because she has a million followers online, she has a huge influence, and the great idol of Southern Baptist life is pragmatism. It’s working and it brings in the money, so hands off. We died to that idol a long time ago. We had the chance to be ‘something’ in the Convention; we had the chance to be a big noise. We were selected to be that, but we would not compromise our convictions to make that happen. So that is a very serious issue to me. You look at church history. You find the churches and the collections of churches that begin to embrace feminism and women in authority and women preachers, and they went to liberalism fast. And we will be no exception.”
Following are other excerpts from Pastor Noblit’s sermon:
“At the last Southern Baptist Convention, the messengers of the churches voted to include ‘critical race theory and intersectionality’ as tools to help us interpret the Bible. Now if you don’t know what critical race theory and intersectionality mean, among other things it means that if you are born white you are already a racist, it doesn’t matter what you feel or how you act. All of this reparations talk about what happened in generations past, all of the radical political progressive thought is in those terms. In order to appease the culture and get along, they actually voted to say that we will include these unbiblical, God-hating, God-rejecting people and their theories to help us interpret the Bible. It’s not going to happen [here]! I don’t need radical, liberal, atheist and godless people to help me understand the Scriptures. It seems like a small thing, but, brothers, the cow’s out of the barn. I know where this is going. I’ve been watching it for years. ... There’s not one word in the Bible that tells you that schools [seminaries] clean up the church; the churches clean up the church. And the churches don’t have the moral spiritual fiber or fabric or courage and fortitude to do anything about it.
“All of this is happening like dominoes. In the last couple of weeks, Robert Jeffreys, the pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas, Jack Graham, the pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church of Dallas, Jerry Falwell, Jr., president of Liberty University (they are now Southern Baptist), have given their endorsement to Paula White’s ministry. Paula White is a heretic, a three time married pastor who calls herself a prophet. And these men of this stature (Graham is a former president of the Southern Baptist Convention) are saying that they embrace and encourage her work. It is 100%, dyed in the wool, let’s share out constituencies. It’s about money; it’s about wealth; it’s about popularity. It’s hard to retreat from these things. Folks, Paula White couldn’t teach in my Sunday School. She wouldn’t be allowed [to be] a member of this church. Not that I don’t love the lady and wouldn’t reach out to her, but you have to believe certain things to be a member of a church and be in good standing!
“I agree with Dr. Jeffreys at First Baptist Dallas; I agree with Jack Graham of Prestonwood Baptist about supporting President Donald Trump even though we are very offended and disagree with a lot about him. But his positions deserve our support over the radical, liberal agenda of the Democratic party. If you are a Democrat, I’m sorry, but it’s absolutely gone. The wickedness; the ungodliness; killing a baby up to the moment of birth and even saying we will allow them to die after they are born if the mother decides she wants to abort it. All of this of applauding and pushing, affirming unnatural, perverse sexual practices, all of these gender issues, all of this nonsense. This is what happens when a culture turns its back on God. I wish we had a better instrument than Donald Trump but there is a basis in Scripture to disagree with a lot about him but to agree with his policies. If somebody is breaking into your house, I don’t think you wait for a police offer to show up that can give you his baptismal certificate and tell you he is in good standing at a godly church. You say, ‘Come in here and help me kill this snake, help me fight this enemy.’ That’s the way I view that. So I agree with those men on some things, but if we are going to cooperate together we have got to agree on truth, we have got to agree on the gospel, we have got to agree on what qualifies a person to be a pastor.
“Even this week Brother Steve is getting calls from churches that are saying, ‘We want to connect with you guys; we can’t go with this any further.’ ... Far and away, biblically speaking, our Baptist churches are gone. They won’t come back to health. There are good Baptist folk scattered in them, don’t misunderstand me, some people that love the Lord, and I thank God for them, but as a whole they’re gone. And we might as well do as Amos did and link up with the people who are trying to do right, stay humble, stay repentant, and go on for the glory of God.
“I was reading the biography of Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd Jones, one of the premier expositional preacher/pastors of the last 150 years. He also lived in London. This was two or three years ago on my study break, I’m reading and praying and thinking, and he made a statement in there that toward the end of his life he had to separate with ministers and ministries he had worked with for decades, because they finally caved in and went with the world. Brothers and sisters, listen to me, I will die first! ... there are things that matter that are being radically compromised, all to the end of numbers and money and popularity. It might be [only] 12 or 27 of us, but we aren’t going down that road.
“Let me say something to you moms and dads out there. You better raise your children in a place that believes something, believes something that if it’s a good time and it’s a party and everybody is having fun, that’s all that matters. Church isn’t meant to be like the world. It is meant to enjoy the deep, wondrous, glorious treasures of our God who reveals Himself in Scripture.
“My dear, dear good friend John O. Sims, he and I have been together for decades now, he has basically told his church the exact same thing. He said, ‘Brother Jeff, I’m a fifth generation Southern Baptist. That’s all I’ve known; that’s all my people have known. But even my daddy, who is now 80 years old, has told me, Son, you are doing the right thing.’
“So when our leadership, 20 and 30 years ago, was reclaiming the inerrancy of the Scripture, we felt good about that, but I’ve said the whole time, It’s not going to last. You can change all of the schools you want, but until the local churches embrace it and really walk in it, it’s just a matter of time. We have the most atrocious, unsound preaching and teaching in so many of these places.”
“To remind you of what I have pointed out to you several times, the present president of the Southern Baptist Convention is the one who stated that let’s remind ourselves that in the Bible God only whispers about the sin of homosexuality, which is totally wrong. I’m sick and tired of these guys saying, ‘Well, it’s a sin,’ but then they go 20 minutes explaining how that it is really, kinda not a sin anymore. I know where this is going. In Brother Matt’s lifetime there will be homosexual preachers in Southern Baptist churches. Mark my words. I’ve been watching this for four decades. Everything I’ve said was going to happen has happened. ...
“And ladies I would ask you, as your pastor, there are a lot better ladies out there to listen to than Beth Moore. She’s driven by emotionalism, she’s driven by promoting herself. You don’t need Beth Moore’s teaching. She’s been pointedly asked several times, ‘What’s your position on homosexuality?’ and she will not answer the question. Folks, these are Baptist churches. What has happened to us? If you think there is some wisdom in going down that road, let me say to you, You are in the wrong local church. [We are not going to] back up one inch. We aren’t moving on what God says is sin. We are not moving on moral absolutes. ... How far are we going to go with this culture? Straight to hell? That’s what’s going on. And here’s the great travesty of it. These men hold to an orthodox statement of faith and doctrine, then they practice something different over here. It’s nothing new. Jeroboam in ancient Israel kept all the law of Israel, but he brought the Baal calves in and all of the sensual immoralities and entertainment that went with it. It’s been happening for thousands of years. Folks, our God is holy. He is holy. How dare we bring the filth of the world in and mix them up with the holy things of our God? Look, we are sinners around our God, but to willfully embrace [these things] is pure blasphemy; it is apostasy.”
Jeff Noblit, Oct. 20, 2019, Sunday morning service, Grace Life Church, Muscle Shoals, Alabama
SHELBYVILLE BAPTIST CHURCH, SHELBYVILLE, TENNESSEE
The following is excerpted from “Another Southern Baptist Church Announces Departure,” Reformation Charlotte, July 14, 2021:
“Jonathan Sims, the senior pastor of Shelbyville Baptist Church in Tennessee, gave a sermon on July 4 where he lambasted the spiritually weak state of Southern Baptist churches.
‘You know, I’ve thought about this a lot. I’ve had the privilege…of living in the midst, I believe, of every important leadership dispensation in the Southern Baptist Convention. I was alive in the 70s and 80s–Roy Honeycutt and Russell Dilday brand of liberalism and their leadership. I was alive for the 80s and 90s Morris Chapman, Adrian Rogers conservatism. And now the 90s to 2000s, Al Mohler, Russell Moore, JD Greear Calvinism. But one thing has been constant through each of these dispensations: biblically weak, sick, and unhealthy local churches.’
“Sims stated that he has been ‘grieved for decades’ over the fruit of the Southern Baptist Convention and that we can have no doubt about the state of the denomination based on its fruit. Two years ago, the church voted unanimously to defund the Southern Baptist Convention and reduced their giving from ‘tens of thousands of dollars’ down to one hundred dollars a year just to give the church time to deliberate and decide how to move forward.
“On July 4, Sims declared that ‘the Southern Baptist Convention has reached a point that my conscience will no longer allow me to even be loosely affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.’ He continued, ‘I believe it’s time for us to formally withdraw from the Southern Baptist Convention.’”
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