A video arose over the weekend accusing new Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) President and senior pastor of Redemption Church in Saraland, Alabama, Ed Litton of sounding a little too much like former SBC President J.D. Greear in a sermon he delivered on Romans back in January 2020.
The sermon, which Litton “borrowed” from Greear was originally heard at The Summit Church in January 2019.
Comparing Litton’s Sermon to Greear’s Sermon
The Romans’ sermon Litton gave was not word-for-word, but it followed the delivery of Greear’s 2019 sermon, even using the same type of opening and a similar mission-trip story. Below is the written comparison of the first released YouTube video:
Greear (2019): “Everybody turn right now to your neighbor. Look them in the eyes. If you know them put your hand on their shoulder and say, ‘This is going to be a really tough week for you. Okay. Tell them, say, ‘I’m praying for you to have the faith and humility to receive this word.’”
Litton (2020): “I want you to turn to your neighbor right now and I want you to say, ‘I know this sermon is going to be really tough for you, but I’m here praying that you will listen and obey whatever God says.’ Go ahead and do that right now.”
Greear (2019): “We believe that God’s Word is good, do we not…”
Litton (2020): “You see, we believe that God’s Word is good.”
Greear (2019): “In some of my travels overseas, I’ll go into these temples that are erected to a foreign god. I remember being in one of them a while ago…somewhere in Asia. I go into this temple, it was gigantic, I mean beautiful temple and right in the middle of it is about a 25-foot statue of a goddess who has multiple breasts and multiple arms. I watched these worshippers come in and they would prostrate themselves before the statue, and many of them were very emotional. Many had traveled a lot of miles to get to this. Very poor [were] some of them, and taking the little money they had and poured out an offering before this statue of this god. Later, finding myself just going back over that incident in my mind and feeling sorry for the people there and thanking God, in my heart, that I wasn’t like them. Then, in the middle of that thought it just occurred to me. I had a whole list of things in my heart that have taken God’s place just like that statue had.”
Litton (2020): “Paul David Tripp is a favorite pastor of mine to read. He’s a pastor in Philadelphia. He was on a mission trip to Nepal and he was taken by a missionary into a temple. And he said, I will not go into details, but he does explain it that there was an idol in the center of this temple. He said it was one of the most grotesque things he’s ever scene. But what really turned his stomach wasn’t the shape of the idol, it was how people were bowing down to it, kissing it, putting money on it. He met a family that had walked for four months to get to this idol. He walked out of that temple, saying ‘Thank God, I’m not like them’. Then the Spirit of God said, ‘Paul, you are exactly like them.’”
Greear (2019): “I compared it to, if the earth were to say to the sun, ‘I am sick and tired of you being in the middle of the solar system.’ The sun might just say to the earth, ‘Alright have it your way.’ The earth is 30,000 times smaller than the sun and would not have the ability to keep all the planets in orbit, and so the solar system would begin to unravel simply because the sun gave to the earth what it asked for. ”
Litton (2020): “If the earth were to ask the sun in our solar system, ‘I’m sick and tired of floating out here in nothingness, surrounding you constantly. I want to be the center of this solar system.’ Folks, our entire solar system would fall apart…Why?…because the earth doesn’t have the power of light and it doesn’t have the power of gravitational force to hold this solar system in existence.”
Greear (2019): “Sexual disorder, that was the first thing, verses 26-27, now we’ve got economic disorder. Social disorder, just think Facebook. Then you’ve got spiritual disorder…you can think of that as family disorder.”
Litton (2020): “There’s economic disorder, look at verse 29. He says there’s social disorder…that’s just on Facebook. There’s spiritual disorder…and there’s family disorder. They disobey their parents.”
Greear (2019): “You see, there are three ways I really see us going wrong with this in the church at large. Number one, we believe that God doesn’t really care about this. The Gospel message is not let the gay become straight, the Gospel message is let the dead become alive. Which leads me to the second way that I see us going wrong here. Number two, we think it’s the worst sin.”
Litton (2020): I’ll tell you three ways I think we’ve gone wrong. First one, is we don’t think God cares about this issue. The Gospel message is not let the gay get straight, the Gospel message is let the dead come to life. Here’s the second thing I think we do…we go wrong…and that is thinking homosexuality is the worst of all sins.”