Southern Baptist Convention Elects Ed Litton As New President

by Seth Udinski
Southern Baptist Convention Elects Ed Litton As New President

Seth Udinski, FISM News


There is a new president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC).  At the largest American Protestant denomination’s annual conference in Nashville this past week, the SBC elected Rev. Ed Litton from Alabama to serve as its new president, replacing J.D. Greear.  Litton won the election with 52% of the vote, ahead of second-place finisher Mike Stone and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary president and theologian Albert Mohler.

Many people, both in the SBC and outside the church, are rejoicing at this result, as Litton has marketed himself as a pastor who devotes his energy to racial reconciliation.  The Washington Post went so far as to celebrate the result, which “signaled a defeat for the hard right” within the SBC.  While Litton has not made a public declaration on the hot-button topic, many conservative Baptists are concerned that their new leader will drive the denomination towards critical race theory.

Many American denominations have succumbed to a fusion of critical race theory with the gospel.  Yet, neither racism nor critical race theory have any place in the true gospel and among biblically faithful Christians.

Christians should, in fact, be at the forefront of calling out the sin of racism, promoting racial unity, and seeking racial reconciliation.  However, to treat critical race theory, a quasi-Marxist worldview that separates races into classes of “oppressed” vs. “oppressors,” as an issue more important than the gospel, is ghastly.  Ultimately, the Christian gospel is about setting sinners free from sin.   The Apostle Paul reminds us of this vital truth in Galatians 1:9,

As we have said before, now I say again: if anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, a curse be on him.

According to The Washington Post, part of Litton’s strategy as SBC president is vowing to elevate people of color to positions of leadership within the denomination.  That in itself, void of racial undertones, is not an issue.  The concern for the SBC is that lesser-qualified men will take positions of leadership in the denomination, simply because of the color of their skin.  If this were the end result it would, in fact, be discrimination.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. – Galatians 3:28

It is a travesty that African-Americans have not been given the same opportunities in the church historically. However, the church must be a beacon of biblical truth, not a reaction to past wrongs. Biblical fidelity and God’s calling must be the determining factor in commissioning men to shepherd the flock of God. Men should neither be prevented from or put in church leadership because of their race.  The calling is simply too weighty.

Ultimately, the SBC now has a new president, voted in by a fair process.  He needs the prayers and support of the Church.  Rev. Litton claims fidelity to the Word of God, so now the SBC and all faithful Christians worldwide must lift him up in prayer, that he will lead the denomination towards biblical faithfulness.