ANAHEIM, Calif. (BP) – The Baptist21 (B21) panel at the 2022 SBC Annual Meeting provided a last-minute opportunity to hear from key leaders hours before crucial decisions were made in the Tuesday, June 15, business session.
A panel hosted by B21 board member Jed Coppenger featured Danny Akin, Tom Ascol, Bart Barber, Dana Hall McCain, Albert Mohler and Juan Sanchez.
The discussion ranged from the recommendations of the Sexual Abuse Task Force, the waiving of attorney-client privilege by the SBC Executive Committee to how Southern Baptist churches and entities should respond to companies that hold a view of sexuality that is in contradiction to the Baptist Faith and Message.
Texas pastor Bart Barber said the work of the Sexual Abuse Task Force and the waiving of attorney-client privilege should be viewed as a reminder that SBC messengers hold the right to ask questions of any of their SBC entities.
Florida pastor Tom Ascol urged those who attended the meeting to be willing to slow down in their consideration of the next actions needed to eliminate sexual abuse, while agreeing that every Southern Baptist wants to see it driven out of Southern Baptist churches.
Later that day, Barber and Ascol would both run for SBC president against two other candidates. Barber was elected in a runoff.
Texas pastor Juan Sanchez talked about how a recent pro-PRIDE month tweet by Guidepost Solutions affected the company’s credibility. Guidepost was contracted in October 2021 to carry out the investigation into the alleged mishandling of the sexual abuse claims by the SBC Executive Committee.
Sanchez said “at the time”, it appeared Guidepost was the best company for the job.
“We somehow think we’re in Jerusalem. We’re in the Promised Land,” Sanchez said. “We’re in Babylon. We’re serving with Nebuchadnezzar.” He pointed to the fact that every person and every church is forced to do business with companies that take positions on human sexuality that are in opposition to what Southern Baptists believe the Bible teaches.
Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, agreed: “It casts a cloud, but does not negate the facts they uncovered.”
“We live in a fallen world and we have to realize that fallen corporations make fallen decisions,” said Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Audio of the panel discussion is available here