One such example of bullying tactics was made known to me yesterday by Kevin Crowder. Kevin has given me permission to publish his experience, believing as I do, that the best way to stop such bullying tactics is to let Southern Baptists know that they are real. It seems that a Missouri Southern Baptist leader named Kent Cochran read some of Kevin's comments on my blog, comments where Kevin agreed with the premise of my post, and sent Kevin an email expressing his hope that Kevin never be allowed to pastor a Southern Baptist church. Ironically, Kevin and I do not agree on many things, but I really appreciate this young pastor, and am horrified that a Southern Baptist leader in Missiouri would issue what seem to be career threats against Pastor Kevin. Kevin wrote to me:
I wanted to pass an email along to you that I received today from a man named Kent Cochran in Republic, MO. I know little about him other than he is part of the Missouri crowd led by Roger Moran. My only goal is to begin and finish seminary at the moment and minister in whatever way the Lord allows. I have already felt negative pressure as a result of my going to Covenant Seminary. This email has sort of hit me hard. For the first time ever I have been confronted with someone who would seek to stop me from ministering solely on the basis of minor doctrine. I only forward this to you as I know you are a walking library of knowledge of such sad affairs and felt it would not be good to simply keep it to myself. I begin seminary in 3.5 weeks and should be less of a pesky presence on grace and truth. :)
For His Glory,
Kevin forwarded to me the following email sent to him from Kent Cochran. The bold emphasis is given by me to highlight what I find most disturbing in what Kent writes to Kevin:
I read your comments on the Wade Burleson website regarding alcohol(p.104-105).... just as clearly as I can let me share with you that you are wrong ...dead wrong.
What you are promoting is a 'spiritual dead-end'. I pray that you will never be allowed in church leadership or influence with this kind of carnal attitude.
You are letting others influence you away from being obedient and seeking holines and perfection. While we never fully obtain perfection it is God's desire that we always seek it.
You are literally running the other direction...
My hope for you is that you do a 180 degree turn and quit putting your faith in 'methods'...
Let's talk in May 2014 and see how your attitude has changed...
Kevin, just a friendly word of advice from one who has learned a great deal over the last few years regarding people who intimidate and threaten.
Expose them and then ignore them. Keep your focus on Christ, and keep doing what you believe is right in your conscience.
Over time, people see through empty threats and real leadership comes into focus for them. I went back and read what you wrote, and frankly, you had some excellent thoughts. You and I have not always seen eye to eye, but know that I am proud to call you a brother in Christ and my prayers will be with you as you enter seminary. If and when you need a recommendation as you seek to enter future SBC pastoral ministry, don't hesitate to put me down as a reference.
I always admire men and women of courage who stand up to bullies.
In His Grace,