During 9Mark’s ‘The State of the SBC‘ assessment on the first day of the SBC General Convention, Kevin Smith, former Executive director of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware and current teaching pastor at Family Church in Palm Beach spoke to Southern Baptists and accused some of them of “losing their minds” after a black man was elected president in 2012, on account of their racism, and further accused many Southern Baptists of bending over and presenting their proverbial behinds to “whore” themselves out over supporting and voting for Trump.
SEBTS hosted the event, and panelists include Mark Dever, Danny Akin, Aron Menikoff, Jonathan Leeman, along with surprise panelist Matt Chandler. Neither Kevin Smith nor Matt Chandler were listed as speakers in the promo material.
According to sources who were present:
Kevin Smith, who was not on the panel, randomly walked up to the stage while another panelist was still talking and whispered something in Dever’s ear, and then Smith sat on the edge of the stage until the panelist was done talking. Once finished, Dever gave the mic to Smith so Smith could offer his answer to whatever the question was. It just seemed really strange and awkward because apparently, he inserted himself into a panel that he was not a part of, and then asked a question at the end of the panel in the audience mic too.
Smith took the mic and responded to a previous question Leeman asked the panel about how they feel about the state of the SBC from 10 years ago to now:
I’d love to know what some white brothers think about this. White (unintelligible). You mentioned ten years as a window and I’m less hopeful ten years later. I think some Southern Baptists lost their minds when a black man was elected president. Not all, but some.
I think some Southern Baptists were unloving to black people beginning in 2012 with the killing of Trayvon Martin. I don’t mean agree about politics or policy…I just mean giving a darn that somebody else is hurting who is supposed to be your brother or sister in Christ.
And I think some Southern Baptists just bent over and became political whores with this whole Trump stuff. And if black innerrantists like Ralph West (Pastor of Houston’s The Church Without Walls who announced he left the SBC) feels alienated and black innerrantists like John Onwuchekwa (Pastor of Cornerstone Church in Atlanta who left the SBC) feels alienated and black innerrantists like Charlie Dates (Left the SBC) feels alienated, I just wonder if white brothers think this has been kind of crazy- black/white stuff going on, Asian, Hispanic. Just people who aren’t white feeling like they’re tolerated but not really embraced.
I’m not talking about me. I’ve been here thirty years so I got true friendships, but people in their twenties haven’t been here thirty years. So I just wanted to (unintelligible) what white brothers think the race thing is in the SBC?”
This is similar to what he said in 2020 at an EC meeting, only far coarser and with further provocations
I just feel like maybe the last 8 to 10 years, the insensitivity and the indifference concerning the supposed pain- pain of brothers and sisters has not been a good testimony for Christianity. When a sister is bruised about issues of sexual assault or something, other brothers in Christ can’t be indifferent or insensitive towards that. When a black man is incensed or wounded about racial injustice in the United States, or excessive force used by police, because someone is black, we can’t be indifferent to that if we say we are the family and the household of God.
Not one panelist rebuked him for his insults and incendiary statements. No one corrected him for suggesting that the “some” weren’t regulated to a handful of isolated yokel hillfolk, but rather make up a large and significant minority. He had no proof that the SBC is filled with this rampant, overt racism that rears its ugly head because of a black man getting in power, and not because Obama is a Democrat with awful policies. In a mark of true leadership, all stayed quiet and let that linger for the rest of the panel.
As far as becoming political whores and bending over so the bad orange man could impregnate us with racial ideologies, this is not the winsomeness that he was insisting we emulate during his later conference talk that he gave in front of the whole convention, making him quite the hypocrite.
Bonus. During a Baptist 21 panel with other SBC Elites, Smith arrogantly suggested that accusations of the liberalization of the SBC is coming from a few pastors from small, insignificant churches, and that they ought to be roundly ignored.
I think it’s disingenuous or historically ignorant to accuse the southern Baptist convention of liberalism… I think it’s either historically inaccurate or just disingenuous to even lift that claim… I just think it’s a disingenuous charge, and I think the leaders of our entities, the pastors of our congregations, and certainly the faculty of our seminaries reflect biblical orthodoxy, they reflect biblical commitment to the Baptist Faith and Message and I’m most irritated because half the time that change comes from people who are not Southern Baptist and I wish Southern Baptists would stop letting a few independent Baptists with 15 members who pastor their wife and their sister-in-law stop letting those kinds of people influence what we do.