|Photo: Courtesy of The Christian Post|
My wife knows that this penchant for rescuing the defenseless, resisting the domineering, and restoring the destroyed comes from my childhood.
The memory of having successfully resisted an older boy's attempt to bully me forever engraved and sealed those emotions in my memory wall.
It's one of the reasons I fell out of favor with the leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention in 2005.
It might not be too much of an exaggeration to say I was a "Golden Boy" in the early years of my ministry. I pastored a large SBC church at 29, chaired a national SBC committee at the age of 33, and spoke at many local, state, and national SBC meetings, including serving as President of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma through 2004.
But in 2005, I realized that there was a problem in the SBC.
Some will fault me for not seeing the problem earlier. Candidly, I think I did see the problem, but I just thought "liberals" were the only ones who fell into the trap of the "good-old-boy" system of leadership.
In 2005, I realized that my friends, those Bible-believing conservatives who served beside me, were as guilty of fraternization, patronization, and celebritization as the moderates of the 1960s and 1970s.
I fell out of favor for exposing the system.
Indeed, the SBC is a "good old boys" network.
James MacDonald and Ed Stetzer
When James MacDonald petitioned to join the Southern Baptist Convention, his style of leadership did not find a friend in me.
I tried to warn the SBC.
But James quickly became a part of the "good old boys" system.
He began speaking at annual SBC conferences.
He began assuming high-profile leadership roles.
He became an SBC leader immediately.
And here's why.
James MacDonald knew how to play the game.
The Christian Post reported today that James MacDonald gave Southern Baptist leader Ed Stetzer "just under $13,000" in the form of a 1971 VW Beetle.
No big deal, right?
Except for the fact, Southern Baptist Ed Stetzer went on to become a contributing editor for Christianity Today, and according to the Christian Post:
"...arranged a conversation (between MacDonald and CT Deputy Managing Editor Jeremy Weber) that led to the magazine publishing MacDonald’s article defending his lawsuit against her and four other defendants, titled “Why Suing is Sometimes the Biblical Choice.”I like what I know of Ed. I feel for him in this very public debacle. However, this bizarre situation should be a lesson for us all.
James MacDonald's gift to Ed Stetzer seems to prove that sycophantic celebrity leadership is not limited to one's theological persuasion.
Hat Tip: Dee at Wartburg Watch