McFarland: Don't hold your breath for ERLC reform

Friday, February 26, 2021
 | 
Steve Jordahl (OneNewsNow.com)

Russell MooreChange often comes slowly, if it comes at all. That may be the case for a policy group within the Southern Baptist Convention that has come under scrutiny for allegedly "distracting" the denomination from the Great Commission.

The task force commissioned by the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention to look at growing dissatisfaction with the denomination's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and its chairman, Russell Moore (pictured), has filed its report. Task force chairman Mike Stone, a pastor from Georgia, summed up the report's findings at this week's meeting of the Executive Council:

Stone: "You asked us to assess whether the actions of the Commission and its leadership are affecting Cooperative Program giving, or the further advancement of the Cooperative Program. Based on the information that we received from our state convention partners, the answer to that question, in our estimation, is undeniably yes."

Executive Committee chairman Rolland Slade accepted the document:

Slade: "This report has now been received for the record. The report is for information only and no vote is required."

And that's precisely the problem, according to biblical apologist Dr. Alex McFarland. "The Executive Committee, as far as we know at this moment, read it, tabled it, and nothing has been done," the ordained Southern Baptist pastor shares with One News Now.

At the meeting, supporters of the ERLC read a letter into the record asking the SBC's Executive Committee to publicly repudiate the report, which contains several recommendations intended to bring the Commission back in line with the majority of Southern Baptists. That letter calls the task force "unwarranted, divisive, and disrespectful."

McFarland

McFarland predicts little will come of the task force's report or recommendations. "I don't hold my breath that anything will change regarding the ERLC. For one thing, the recommendations were very innocuous," he says.

In an earlier One News Now story, Dr. Robert Jeffress – senior pastor of First Baptist-Dallas – questioned if the ERLC has outlived its usefulness, pointing out that many other parachurch ministries and faith-based organizations are doing essentially the same task the Commission was originally assigned.

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