On Sunday night (June 12), the Conservative Baptist Network (CBN) hosted an evening for Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) messengers that featured sermons by Grace Community Church pastor-teacher John MacArthur and Dean of Theology at African Christian University (Lusaka, Zambia) Voddie Baucham.
The sold out event took place in conjunction with the SBC Pastors’ Conference, and a panel discussion hosted SBC presidential candidate Tom Ascol, SBC recording secretary nominee Javier Chavez, and Baucham, who was running for SBC Pastors’ Conference president.
Baucham, who almost didn’t make it to the event due to travel delays, was asked by panel host and CBN spokesperson Brad Jurkovich why he accepted the nomination for SBC Pastors’ Conference president and why he thought the role was important.
“It’s one thing for us to be able to say there’s a need…a crisis or whatever. It’s another thing for us to say, okay, I’m willing to do whatever I can to be a part of the solution,” Baucham said.
The SBC Pastors’ Conference is significant, Baucham explained, saying, “I believe that the proclamation of the gospel is at the heart of everything we do.”
Baucham continued, “If we talk about evangelism, missions, church planting, whatever—at the heart of that ought to be the proclamation of the gospel, and I think that the Pastors’ Conference ought to be the place where we showcase that; where we say, ‘This is what we mean by that.’ Many of the crises that we’ve seen have started and have their root in the crisis in the pulpit—compromises we see, even in what we call preaching, even in what we think the role of preaching is.”
The election for the Pastors’ Conference president took place on Monday (June 13), where Baucham narrowly lost to Friendly Avenue Baptist Church senior pastor Daniel Dickard by less than 90 votes.
Ascol said that it took some convincing from some close friends for him to accept a nomination for SBC president, but further expressed, “I’m willing to do it, because I care about the SBC [and because] I love the SBC.”
“I don’t think we have much fear of God in our churches anymore,” Ascol shared. “I’m not condemning anybody. I’m including myself in this,” Ascol said, pointing to recent events in the denomination. “We’ve got people lying—bald face lying and then they say, ‘Well, you know, hey, if it’ll help you out, I’ll apologize.’ You know, as if it’s no big deal.”
The Founders Ministries’ president also referenced the sexual abuse and coverup that has taken place within the SBC, saying, “You don’t do that if you fear God!” Fearing God means you’re going to take a stand on what God says in his Word, Ascol said.
“Pastors, one day we’re gonna be called to give an account before God for the ministry that is entrusted to us. That weighs heavy on me,” Ascol said.