No, *This* is Why Southern Baptist Churches Are Losing Millennials

Southern Baptists are in trouble, they say, because they’re not baptizing enough young people.

But don’t worry! They had a task force look into the problem and the members of the team settled on five explanations for the “baptism drought”:

We have a Spiritual Problem. Many of our SBC pastors and churches are not effectively engaged in sharing the gospel and yet continue business as usual. We need a sense of brokenness and repentance over the spiritual climate of our churches and our nation.

We have a Leadership Problem. Many pastors have confessed to being overwhelmed in the operation and ministries of the church to the neglect of being involved in regular personal evangelism. This lack of leading by example is negatively impacting our church members’ engagement in personal evangelism.

We have a Discipleship Problem. Many pastors have confessed to focusing on attendance while giving little attention to reproducing fruit-bearing disciples who are involved in intentional evangelism.

We have a Next Generation Problem. Although our churches have increasingly provided programs for children, students and young adults, we are not being effective in winning and discipling the next generation to follow Christ.

We have a Celebration Problem. Many of our churches have chosen to celebrate other things as a measure of their success rather than new believers following Christ in baptism. We have drifted into a loss of expectation.

That’s either extremely sugar-coated or incredibly off the mark.

Here’s a much simpler answer that the task force never bothered to mention: The Southern Baptists’ problem is their bigotry.

You want to know why Millennials aren’t jumping at the chance to become a Southern Baptist?

  1. Because Southern Baptist leaders are bigots who think the sky is falling.
  2. The SBC claimed the Boy Scouts would be dealt a “death blow” if they allowed gay people into the organization:

    Frank Page, the president of the SBC’s Executive Committee, argued in a conference call with Boy Scout leaders that any shift “will be a death blow to Scouting.” SBC official A.J. Smith warned that “such a move is fraught with danger and is an affront to their core convictions on human sexuality.”

    In fact, the Boy Scouts of America decided to allow gay troops (though not gay troop leaders) and made both sides upset. But they’re still around.

  3. Because Southern Baptist leaders are bigots who believe in nonsense.
  4. Southern Baptist leader Al Mohler once equated homosexuality with cancer:

    [Modern churches] argue that to tell a homosexual he is a sinner is uncompassionate and intolerant. This is like arguing that a physician is intolerant because he tells a patient she has cancer.

    Even if you claim it was just an analogy, Mohler was still saying homosexuality is a problem in a way that heterosexuality isn’t. He’s wrong.

    Richard Land, the head of the SBC’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, said that the “homosexual lifestyle” pleases Satan:

    Let me just say that first of all that the Devil takes pleasure in anything that causes destruction in human society and the homosexual lifestyle does cause destruction. It’s seen as one of the evidences in the decline of every empire we have seen; studies have shown it became rampant in the Persian Empire, the Greek Empire, the Roman Empire, the British Empire.

    Yes, the Devil is just sprinkling The Gay wherever he goes for his amusement.

  5. Because Southern Baptist leaders are bigots who make ridiculous political claims.
  6. SBC President Fred Luter suggested that there was a connection between the fight for marriage equality and North Korea’s desire to bomb us.

    “I would not be surprised that at the time when we are debating same-sex marriage, at a time when we are debating whether or not we should have gays leading the Boy Scout movement, I don’t think it’s just a coincidence that we have a mad man in Asia who is saying some of the things that he’s saying,” Luter said.

    The SBC’s Land also made racially-insensitive comments regarding the Trayvon Martin case, saying that civil rights leaders only cared about the issue so they could “gin up the black vote”:

    The President’s aides claim he was showing compassion for the victim’s family. In reality, he poured gasoline on the racialist fires.

    Nearly half of all murder victims are black; the overwhelming majority of those crimes are committed by blacks. Black male teens, especially in urban areas, have been ravaged by drugs, by crime, by violence, and by failing public schools. Rather than holding rallies on these issues, the civil rights leadership focuses on racially polarizing cases to generate media attention and to mobilize black voter turnout. This is being done to try to gin up the black vote for an African-American president who is in deep, deep, deep trouble for re-election and who knows that he cannot win re-election without getting the 95% of blacks who voted for him in 2008 to come back out and show that they’re going to vote for him again.

  7. Because Southern Baptist leaders are bigots who are anti-women.
  8. SBC leader Denny Burk complained about the military allowing women to serve in combat with an article titled, “Women in Combat and the Undoing of Civilization.”

    SBC leader Don Hinkle was part of a bus tour supporting Todd “legitimate rape” Akin during his congressional campaign.

    And the SBC’s political arm opposed the Violence Against Women Act.

But, you know, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe the problem really is that SBC churches just celebrate the wrong kinds of things and don’t do enough “personal evangelism”…

They’ll probably ignore my advice. Which is fine by me, because it means the “Nones” will just continue to rise in the polls while the SBC’s number continue shrinking.

(Image via ChameleonsEye / Shutterstock.com)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.


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