SBC Editors’ Network
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A YouTube video promoting J.D. Greear for president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) has raised concern. The question is the participation of three SBC entity presidents who appear to be endorsing Greear’s election. The “It’s Tricky” video is a parody of the late 80s rap song with the same name by Run-DMC.
The concern emerged when Greear — pastor of The Summit Church in Durham, N.C., and a leading member of Acts 29, a church network that rejects non-Calvinist church planters and solely promotes Calvinistic governance — began circulating a promotional video March 14 as a campaign ad for SBC president.
Two other nominees have since been announced — Steve Gaines, pastor, Bellevue Baptist Church, Cordova, and David Crosby, pastor, First Baptist Church, New Orleans, La.
The entity presidents in the video are David Platt, International Mission Board; Danny Akin, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary; and Russell Moore, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.
Platt denies he knowingly endorsed Greear for president of the SBC, stating he was not aware Greear’s request for a video clip was for the purpose of creating a campaign ad. Platt said Greear did not divulge how the clip would be used. “I had no idea what it was for,” Platt clarified, adding that he knew beforehand Greear had been nominated.
Attempts to reach Moore for his response to appearing in the video were unsuccessful. An ERLC representative responded to the Tennessee Baptist and Reflector that Moore was “unavailable.”
Akin said he did not think “being an entity head” should prohibit or prevent anyone “from expressing their support of a candidate or several candidates.”
Akins noted that at the time of his endorsement no other candidates had been declared.
SBC Executive Committee President Frank Page observed that “Southern Baptist history is illuminating. At various times, entity heads served as SBC president. At other times, they nominated SBC presidents or commented on SBC presidential nominees.”
Page said it was a “free speech” issue the Executive Committee “has never attempted to regulate” and he doesn’t “anticipate that changing anytime soon.”