Martin also warned that the “SBC is in grave danger,” ending his letter by saying, “we will have to do Herculean things to save it. And we must: we educate a third of the seminary students in America and field the largest missionary force in the world. We cannot allow this enormous force for good to be destroyed, whether by vile, wicked sex abusers who’ve violated the ultimate trust, or by foolish, self-serving leaders who’ve exposed the church to needless danger. We can punish the guilty while saving our churches and our Convention. We must.”
Although Martin is no longer an EC member, he assured Floyd that he is fully committed to the SBC.
Was Martin About to be Censured?
After Martin sent his resignation letter, rumors began to surface that his resignation came in light of a coming censure from the EC. ChurchLeaders reached out to Martin, and he shared, “Twitter has claimed that I would be censured at every EC meeting for the last year and a half, and that I would be removed from the EC at the last Annual Meeting. Not a single motion has ever been submitted. It’s nonsense.”
Did the 18 members who resigned before me, resign because they were going to be censured too? That is why that rumor is “completely bogus,” Martin shared.
“Honestly,” Martin said, “If I’d thought there might be a censure motion, I’d have stayed and fought it. I only resigned for the sake of the other boards which I serve, and only after much argument with their attorneys. I could have waited another week or two if I’d thought there would be a fight like that. I’d have relished it. But to be clear, I’d heard absolutely nothing of the sort until the same anonymous accounts on Twitter as usual started trying to cast my resignation that way. As I said, it’s nonsense.”
ChurchLeaders reached out to other EC members for statements and will update this article in the event of their reply.
Martin’s Resignation Letter
The following is Martin’s entire resignation letter he shared with ChurchLeaders.
Dear Dr. Floyd:
It is with enormous frustration and regret that I hereby submit to you my resignation from the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention. I am one of at least 14 EC members to do so thus far, as well as multiple officers, staff members (including yourself), and our legal counsel of 56 years. There will be more.
I have strongly resisted this decision over the last few weeks, but it is now forced upon me by legal counsel for several of the nonprofit and for-profit entities on whose boards I serve. It is their strongly worded counsel that the legal ramifications of my continuance on a board which has deliberately chosen to breach its legal and fiduciary duties poses an unacceptable risk to those entities which they and I serve.
I support the investigation, for the reasons you stated prior to the Annual Meeting. It is necessary to find any wrongdoing that may have occurred, as well as to clear the names of the innocent.
But I also wish to make clear, as I have done in open and executive sessions, the needless foolishness of the specific course chosen. As we were advised by counsel, the Executive Committee had multiple paths by which it could comply with the will of the messengers while also fulfilling its legal obligations. The “either-or” presented to us was political, not real.