Conservative Baptist Network

February 18, 2020

Southern Baptist Contention After Launch of New Conservative Network

A faction of Southern Baptists hoping to combat what they feel is a leftward theological drift in their convention has launched a new conservative initiative. The Conservative Baptist Network of Southern Baptists launched Friday, February 14, and has stirred some disagreement among Southern Baptist leaders.

The network’s website affirms the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 and insists the initiative is not a new denomination, a “blog or social media page existing solely to air grievances,” nor a competitor to any other like-minded ministries.

Instead, the network stressed its mission is to gather “like-minded Southern Baptists for the common goal of heralding the inerrancy and sufficiency of God’s Word and reaching the lost for Christ.”

“We are concerned about the current road our Southern Baptist family is traveling. It is a road that is twisting what God’s Word is saying about things like human sexuality, biblical racial reconciliation and socialistic justice,” stated Brad Jurkovich, spokesman for the Conservative Baptist Network and pastor of First Baptist Church in Bossier City, Louisiana, in an official press release.

According to the press release, the Conservative Baptist Network was largely created in response to the past two annual meetings of the Southern Baptist Convention and an increased “emphasis on social justice, Critical Race Theory, Intersectionality, and the redefining of biblical gender roles.”

In 2018, some convention representatives, or Church Messengers as they are called, were especially frustrated after a motion aimed to prevent Vice President Mike Pence and future political figures from addressing the convention. According to the network’s press statement, the motion was disrespectful and in opposition to I Peter 2:11-17, instructing submission and respect to government authorities. The motion failed.

“As Southern Baptists can we not love both Jesus and America? Is it no longer okay to be a pastor and a patriot?” asked Jurkovich in the press release.

After the 2019 annual meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, some Southern Baptist clergy and lay leaders expressed concern over the passage of Resolution Nine on Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality. The resolution states that critical race theory and intersectionality should only be used as “analytical tools subordinate to Scripture” and “alone are insufficient to diagnose and redress the root causes of the social ills that they identify…” However, the Conservative Baptist Network argues the ideologies’ roots in a Neo-Marxist, postmodern worldview are incompatible with Christianity.

During an interview with Christian Post, Lorine Spratt, executive assistant to Jurkovich and an African-American layperson in the SBC, emphasized her opposition to Resolution Nine.

“I say absolutely no. The Gospel is totally sufficient. Totally sufficient,” she told CP, “and the fact of its origin should tell anyone that we don’t need that in the Southern Baptist Church or in the church realm at all.”

“I really am embarrassed that they would insinuate that an analytical tool needs to be used to deal with me. I’m insulted that they would think to use something like that to say that my culture or ethnicity … that we need extra care,” She explained. “What it does is seek to make us a victim so they can then rescue [us], so they can make themselves feel good about helping [racial minorities]. Well no, you’re not helping me if you’re not pointing me to the Lord Jesus Christ. And I am not a victim. I am victorious in Jesus Christ.”

The Conservative Baptist Network plans a launch event for June 8, 2020, the evening before the opening session of the 2020 SBC annual meeting in Orlando, Florida.

Long-respected Southern Baptist leader Dr. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, seemingly opposed the launch of the Conservative Baptist Network on Saturday with this tweet:

On Monday, Mohler published an article titled “The Convictional Cooperation of the Southern Baptist Convention,” in which he outlined the foundations of unity for the Southern Baptist Convention.

“The SBC has never been marked by doctrinal uniformity on every point, and that has never been the point of our cooperation. At the same time, there must be adequate common ground on which we stand. Our cooperation is conventional, but not comprehensive,” Mohler wrote.

He stressed faith and obedience to Jesus Christ as the anchor of Southern Baptist unity. “Within that unity, Southern Baptists do the most amazing things in obedience to Christ,” he explained. “When that unity is questioned, Southern Baptists must think clearly, talk openly, pray earnestly, and love one another eagerly.” (I encourage you to read Dr. Mohler’s article in its entirety, here.)

Women’s roles in leadership continue to be at the center of SBC contention, with the Conservative Baptist Network expressing concerns over “the redefining of biblical gender roles.” Bible teacher and a prominent voice among Southern Baptists, Beth Moore, has continuously found herself at the center of the debate.

On Sunday, Moore seemingly responded to the Conservative Baptist Network controversy with this Twitter thread:

If this all sounds messy and confusing to you, then you’re not alone. Despite where our sympathies might lie, may we Southern Baptists heed Dr. Mohler’s advice to “think clearly, talk openly, pray earnestly, and love one another eagerly.”


8 Responses to Southern Baptist Contention After Launch of New Conservative Network

  1. Jeri says:

    I for one am NOT confused. I have watched the leadership at SBC approve CRT as a tool, implying strongly in doing so that the Bible is not sufficient. I have watched the line-up at a Pastor’s Conference 2020 which would make the demonic realms ecstatic in its focus on the world and the deeds of the flesh. I have watched documented footage of endless seminary professors proclaim that Christ’s work on the cross somehow doesn’t unify the body because social justice needs to be added in order for salvation to occur, that white pastors cannot pastor multi-cultural congregations, that white people should not adopt minority children, and on and on the “woke” mantra goes. I have seen the elites clap back every time someone raises an objection of Christian concern at the direction things appear to be going in the SBC, and I have seen the vitriolic tweets coming from a certain female “teacher” who has derided anyone who would dare to question her bona fides and ask questions that any true Christian leader should not have a problem answering. No, I am not confused. I am wide awake…and joining the Conservative Baptist Network. Accountability is a good thing. Only those with something to hide have issues with it.

  2. Tommy Dearing says:

    What a great read! Yes I am disgusted with the SBC as well! Very disappointed that all of a sudden the Living Word of God is no longer enough to show the lost the need for a Savior!

  3. Patrick98 says:

    I hope you will extend accountability to predator pastor’s and ministers. In all this talk I have yet to see the Baptist’s put forward their accountability measures for this issue. If you are wondering what I am writing about, read the Houston Chronicle articles.

  4. Steve says:

    This is classic compromise. The whole intersectionality social justice bent reminds me of the Cuban missile crisis. It’s just communistic infiltration of the US, striking at its heart…the judeaochristian worldview. It wont end well sadly.

  5. Milton P Christopher says:

    Dr Moehler speaks of talking openly as he discusses this; while he and Robert Moore and other SBC leaders are speaking more like politicians; out of both sides of their mouths. They are moving our beloved body toward “political correctness” while using the BP and other news agencies to spread their own “fake news” reports to the millions of supporting Baptist. This is not only unbelievable but not biblical and not what they were elected and appointed to do by the loving and giving people of the Baptist churches across America.

  6. Beyond Concerned says:

    Make no mistake about it…
    Jurkovich is indeed a Demon!
    Wolf in sheep’s clothing.
    We’ve witnessed firsthand.
    First Bossier has suffered immensely since his takeover.
    He’s not fooling we that know him.
    This is nothing more than another of his crooked power plays.
    Don’t believe a word he says.

    • Brad may or may not be all of what is said and God knows his heart better than anyone. We should all pray for each other, especially those appointed over us as Sheppards. If he is in error, he will be held accountable and there’s no getting around that fact. We do not ‘get away’ or ‘get over’ on God. It’s always a heart thing. The Parable of The Sower gives examples of the condition of the Heart compared to the condition of the Soil. It seems that the whole world is turning up side down, America more divided than ever and His Church (not the buildings) is not conducting His Business as He intends. Dr. Lowery asked us many times ‘what’s the best thing we can do, Church’? The response always was ‘Pray’!

  7. In all of this, what should our authority be? The unchangeable Word. Its Power and Content is the breathed and inspired Word of God for us to live by. Paul warned us and wrote instructions about divisions within the Body of Christ. Satan can and will use differences of opinion within the Body to cause dissention and strife. Conservative or not, the Word is our guide and the Holy Ghost is our Comforter and Advocate. Jesus loves the sinner, but hates the sin. Christians can not ‘just all get along’ with sin and it will be ok. God’s Word gives us explicit plans to live by and there is a reason. To be His Ambassadors, we should follow His direction. Test every spirit. If any spirit does not line up with Scripture, throw it away. It is a lie.

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