This year International Mission Board (IMB) President David Platt for financial reasons called for a reduction in our missionary force of 600 to 800 personnel. Earlier this year Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary President Paige Patterson called for a different type of reduction. Patterson stated the following in calling for firing 750 missionaries and declaring a battle with the IMB.
Patterson said, “Unfortunately we got about 750 missionaries that need to be brought home. Either they are in this movement (the church planting movement) or else they’re singing ‘Standing on the Promises’ while they’re only ‘sitting on the premises.’ And in either event, they need to be brought home. And so we are fighting another grand battle, this one more subtle than the other one actually.”
Patterson made these charges shortly after the retirement of Tom Elliff as president of the IMB. If Patterson’s charges are true, former Arkansan and Ouachita graduate Tom Elliff supervised, supported and took part in theologically questionable missiological practices along with our missionaries.
I do not believe Patterson’s accusations are true about our missionaries or Tom Elliff. This is just the continuation of years of attacks on our missionaries by Patterson and his political organization.
I am glad Ronnie Floyd has called for revival in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). But no matter how many meetings Floyd organizes to pray for revival, I do not believe the SBC will experience revival or take part in a spiritual awakening until Floyd and other conservative resurgence leaders get on their knees before our convention and ask God for forgiveness for the years of slander against our missionaries and other theologically conservative Southern Baptists by leaders of the SBC.