By Scott Barkley
NASHVILLE — Following the release of a video showing similarities in a sermon, SBC president Ed Litton and his predecessor J.D. Greear said Litton had sought and received permission to use material from a sermon earlier preached by Greear.
The video, which was released Thursday (June 24), contains six minutes, 57 seconds of interwoven clips from a sermon delivered by Greear in January 2019 and another by Litton in January 2020. Both messages, based in the book of Romans, addressed homosexuality. Greear’s sermon lasted 53 minutes, 31 seconds; Litton’s was 40 minutes, 45 seconds in length.
In a statement released Saturday (June 26), Litton, senior pastor of Redemption Church near Mobile, Ala., said although he had received permission, he apologized for not crediting Greear. Greear confirmed Litton’s account in a statement issued the same day, writing:
“I told him whatever bullets of mine worked in his gun, to use them!”
Litton was elected SBC president June 15 at the SBC Annual Meeting in Nashville, succeeding Greear. After the election, he described the SBC as “a family” that sometimes seems dysfunctional but said he hoped to build bridges during his tenure, and that Southern Baptists would “leave this place focused … with a direction – and I believe a better direction – for the future.”
In the statement, Litton described a sermon preparation process involving a preaching team of eight men from the Redemption congregation and staff who “meet weekly to discuss study insights, outlines, and approaches to the text” in addition to consulting commentaries as well as other books and individuals. According to Litton, as the team met to plan a series on Romans, their process led them to Greear’s message on Romans 1, which Litton found “insightful, particularly his three points of application.” [Read more…]