ANAHEIM (BP) – Florida pastor Tom Ascol reiterated his stance that a lack of a fear of God plagues churches and the Southern Baptist Convention as the featured speaker June 14 at a breakfast on behalf of the Conservative Baptist Network.
Lee Brand, then-SBC first vice president, welcomed attendees before introducing Charlie Kirk, conservative activist and founder of Turning Point USA. Ascol arrived late, due to taking part in a panel discussion with Baptist 21across the hall at the Anaheim Marriott.
The CBN endorsed Ascol for SBC president, a vote in which he would finish second later in the day to Texas pastor Bart Barber. His 10-minute address at the breakfast focused on themes he and supporters had given leading up to that vote.
“Look what has happened in our convention of churches,” said Ascol, pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral. “We have ministers of [the] Gospel publicly lying and then almost joking about it – ‘Oh, if I’ve offended you then I’ll apologize if that helps.’ We have ministers of the Gospel who have committed sexual abuse and have covered up for friends who have committed sexual abuse. We have Christians that have stooped to the level of godless activities because they feel justified that their goals warrant it.
“Brothers and sisters, these things ought not be.”
Ascol went on to characterize the times as a “spiritual war” with “the enemies of God all throughout our culture, just infiltrating every institution.”
Evidence of that can be found in subjects such as Critical Race Theory, intersectionality, queer theory and “radical feminism.” Accusations of his being a conspiracy theorist on those topics aren’t true, Ascol said, calling himself a “conspiracy realist.”
At a moment prior to the vote for SBC president, Ascol spoke to what he would do in that role. Essentially, he wouldn’t change much of what he has said already; he would just do it with a bigger platform.
“[I’d] say to my fellow pastors … Brothers, we can’t continue on in the way we’ve been going. This world is going to hell in a handbasket. We have the only message that redeems sinners from hell. … If we don’t preach the Gospel, nobody else is.”
Georgia pastor Javier Chavez, the CBN-endorsed candidate for SBC recording secretary, also spoke at the event.