The Conservative Baptist Network of Southern Baptists (CBN) released a statement on July 20, 2021, calling for newly elected Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) President Ed Litton‘s resignation, citing recent reports that Litton plagiarized J.D. Greear’s sermon series on Romans. Greear had earlier responded to the reports, saying he had granted Litton permission to use the sermons.
Who Is the Conservative Baptist Network?
According to the purpose statement located on its website, the CBN is a “partnership of Southern Baptists where all generations are encouraged, equipped, and empowered to bring positive, biblical solutions that strengthen the SBC in an effort to fulfill the Great Commission and influence culture.” The CBN also states it is committed to seeing the SBC function biblically, efficiently, and strategically. The network says it is not a denomination, competitor, or platform created to “air grievances, but are Southern Baptists who use this avenue called the CBN to voluntarily partner together with like-minded pastors, churches, organizations, and individuals to influence the SBC to fulfill the Great Commission.”
The CBN’s steering committee is comprised of numerous leaders, including:
- Faith leader and president of the Family Research Council Tony Perkins
- Ordained Southern Baptist minister and the 44th governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee
- Founding president of Northeastern Baptist College and member of the SBC Executive Committee Mark Ballard
- Senior pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church and SBC Executive Committee member Mike Stone (Stone came up a few hundred votes short against Ed Litton to become this year’s SBC President.)
The full list of the CBN steering committee can be found here.
CBN Calls for Ed Litton to Resign
CBN’s statement said it waited nearly a month to respond after Litton’s sermon plagiarizing was first reported in the hope that Litton would “acknowledge his error and repent.” The statement said this has not happened.
“Scripture says acquitting the guilty (Prov. 17:15) and calling evil ‘good’ (Isaiah 5:20) are wrong,” the CBN statement says. “Deceitful behavior on the part of a pastor is doubly egregious as those holding this office are called to be ‘able to teach,’ and to ‘study to show yourself approved.’ Plagiarism is a violation of the 8th [You shall not steal] and 9th Commandments [You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor], and Scripture warns that men leading Christ’s local churches will be judged with even greater strictness (James 3:1).”