nationalist
Michael O’Fallon speaks at CPAC 2019 (Video screenshot)

Christian Nationalist Leader Attacks SBC Election, New President

By Sarah Einselen

The leader of a Christian nationalist group with ties to the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is publicly questioning the integrity of Ed Litton’s election as president of the SBC. He’s also painting Litton, who’s known for his racial reconciliation work, as a “woke” liberal — and has attacked Litton in a series of tweets that have drawn the ire of several within the denomination.

Michael O’Fallon, founder of the Christian nationalist group Sovereign Nations and an associate of the Conservative Baptist Network (CBN), supported Mike Stone, the CBN favorite, for SBC president. Stone lost the election by 556 votes out of about 13,000 votes cast. 

Though Stone immediately congratulated Litton after the election, O’Fallon tweeted over the weekend: “Just thought I would ask: Who was in charge of the counting process at the SBC? After all of the lies, slander, and mainstream media involvement, shouldn’t this be in full public display?”

Religion News Service reporter Bob Smeitana and others quickly responded with an answer — a link to a list published in May, naming all the tellers responsible for counting SBC ballots. The name of the SBC secretary, who was in charge of the voting process, Don Currence, was also published months ago.

Some accused O’Fallon of being a sore loser and launching a “stolen election conspiracy.”

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However, O’Fallon responded by tweeting, “You can always tell that you’ve hit a hot wire with a reasonable question when you receive ridiculous answers from the progressives.”

O’Fallon also launched a series of tweets characterizing Litton as a liberal and likening him to Ed Stetzer, executive director of Wheaton College’s Billy Graham Center and a favorite “woke” target of O’Fallon’s.

“It is so good that the SBC has Ed Stetzer … oh, I mean, Ed Litton — in charge of the radically woke direction of the Southern Baptist Convention of churches,” O’Fallon tweeted.

Earlier O’Fallon had tweeted Litton “looks and sounds like (Stetzer) – even the beard is starting to take on a weird, pointy shape.”

And on Sunday, O’Fallon wrote in a tweet: “If you take the progressive, ‘exponential’ deconstruction of Ed Stetzer and combine him with the social justice minded Jim Wallis of Sojourners – what do you have? Newly appointed SBC President Ed Litton.”

Several people, including the Rev. Dwight McKissic, who recently considering leaving the SBC over racial issues, confronted O’Fallon for what they saw as his baseless attacks lacking the fruit of the Spirit.

O’Fallon responded by doubling down. He said he’d had patience with Stetzer for over a decade, but said now Stetzer “is molesting the Bride of Christ – and it is time to explain what is happening and why it is happening.”

Aside from a general allusion to a dinner with Stetzer as described on O’Fallon’s podcast, O’Fallon gave no specifics to bolster his claim.

The Roys Report reached out to O’Fallon on Twitter and through his organization, Sovereign Nations, but he didn’t respond.

However, others aligned with Sovereign Nations, like Grace to You Executive Director Phil Johnson, have similarly called Stetzer the “Fagin of Emergent Religion . . . coaxing millennials & GenXers in the SBC to adopt various flavors of quasi-Christian postmodernism.”

In a 2018 tweet that’s since been deleted, Stetzer confronted Johnson’s boss, well-known pastor, John MacArthur, asking whether MacArthur’s upcoming series on social justice would be “as fair, nuanced, and accurate” as MacArthur’s treatment of the “charismatic movement,” “seeker movement,” or “the emerging church.” (MacArthur has been extremely critical of all three.)

Stetzer also has been known to engage in discussions about racism with a range of scholars and advocates. He recently participated on a Johns Hopkins University panel discussion about how churches are responding to tensions around faith, race and politics. And last year, he hosted author Jemar Tisby on his podcast to discuss Tisby’s book “The Color of Compromise,” which catalogs how church leaders historically “helped create and maintain racist ideas and practices.”

O’Fallon has painted both Stetzer and Litton as proponents of critical race theory (CRT), though neither has publicly promoted the controversial movement. Stetzer has said little about it himself, though he is hosting other authors on the topic in an ongoing series on his blog.

Litton recently told WORLD Magazine that CRT wasn’t even on his radar until the last few months. Litton describes himself as conservative both theologically and politically. He’s known for having worked on racial reconciliation for several years, and that, he said, grew out of his commitment to obeying Scripture.

“When I started this racial reconciliation group, I was scared. I didn’t want to be called a bigot. I was also afraid my peers would call me ‘woke’—which is exactly what some are doing,” Litton told WORLD.

“People in the church had never once called me a ‘liberal’ until I started working in this area. So I had to die to it: Call me whatever you want, but this is a command in Scripture, and the Spirit of God is leading me to do this.”

Sarah Einselen is an award-winning writer and editor based in Texas.

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24 thoughts on “Christian Nationalist Leader Attacks SBC Election, New President”

  1. Brian Patrick

    This guy O’Fallon is a complete nut, but he’s not wrong about the direction the SBC has gone. Sometimes God deliberately chooses complete charlatans to speak his truths as a test to us.

  2. Why does it seem like nowadays when you actually, officially lose an election, you have to scream that it was “fraudulent”? That something fishy must have happened that I didn’t win. Whatever happened to being a good loser…as Jesus instructed us to do? Matt. 5:39 Turn the other cheek. This sounds more like another election held not too long ago!

    1. It serves the purpose of delegitimizing the winner of the election. The purpose is not to overturn the election, it is to sow enough doubt in enough people that they will reject any actual policy decisions made as illegitimate regardless of their merits. O’Fallon is simply following suit from that other sore loser who lost the White House a few months ago.

      1. It appears that you are very pleased wit the outcome of the presidential election. How any Christian can support the policies of the Democrat party is a mystery to me.

        1. Charles Martel

          Bill,

          Some of us supported neither in 2020 (and in 2016). But unfortunately you (and 95% of the electorate) have bought into this binary choice fantasy.

          1. Jeremiah Ames

            Isn’t it a binary choice with every single choice we make?

            Is it good and true?

            Or is it evil and false?

        2. Marin Heiskell

          @Bill, you are conflating multiple issues. You can be accepting of the outcome of the election even if you do not LIKE it. (Just like I can accept, but not like, if my favorite team loses in the playoffs.) You can also prefer an outcome given the options provided (just as none of the remaining playoff teams are “my favorite”, I do have a preference in who I’d like to see win). I accept the outcome of this election (data shows election fraud would impact less than 0.05% of ballots; I believe Biden won fair and square), and while neither Biden nor Trump were my favorite of the candidates who ran in 2020, given they were my remaining options, I did prefer Biden. But to Tim and Mike’s point, I am concerned with this new trend of not accepting a loss with dignity, but instead throwing a tantrum full of accusations to try to stay relevant and delegitimize the victor. It breeds chaos rooted in entitlement and narcissism. It is in the same vein of “I didn’t make the varsity team, so let me sue so that I can get my way…and until I get my way, everyone is going to know that’s not the REAL varsity team because I’m not on it!” (Yes, this happened at a high school…same thing recently happened regarding a high school’s valedictorian selection.) True character involves knowing how to win AND lose with dignity and respect.

          As I’m sure you know, there are plenty of people, including fellow believers, who question how any Christian can support GOP policies – not to mention defend the behavior of GOP candidates, supporters, and electorates in recent years. But this condescending, accusatory view is not a starting point for a healthy discussion. It breeds defensiveness rather than debate.

          I encourage you to have a good conversation with a Christian who supports Democratic policies and/or nominees. (I’m willing to at least participate; I’m more of a moderate though). I’m sure you will find there are a lot of assumptions and accusations being made on both sides of the aisle that are going unchecked because so many of us live our lives in “echo chambers” of those who believe and think just like us. But more importantly, I’m willing to bet you’ll find common ground with a – *gasp* – Democrat over what you both want (e.g., good schools, safe neighborhoods, etc). You are just disagreeing on root causes of today’s challenges and/or HOW to address them.
          We’ve got to do more talking and less accusing, or else it will NEVER get better.

        3. Gordon Hackman

          How does anything in his comment reveal that he’s pleased with the outcome of the election? That’s nothing but speculation on your part.

        4. Jeremiah Ames

          It is not hard to understand why Christians cannot support the policies of the Democratic party.

          Is it really that much of a mystery?

          Is it possible the Democratic party represents the things Jesus spoke of all the time.

          Is it possible that most Christians are far from the teachings of Jesus, and getting farther all the time? Worshipping the Lord in vain, teaching man made commandments?

          Would that possibly explain why the Christian church is a dying institution?

          Just asking.

          I spotted this once, which might possibly explain some problems in the Christian church:

          “When life makes the church the church is one. But when doctrine makes the church, there are many.”

          1. Ah, reality. Such a malleable concept these days. One group’s reality is a triggering event for another and the foundation of a primal scream for yet another. Reality is now whatever an individual decides it is. That’s why two plus two is twenty-five and three cabbages minus four carrots equals the GDP of Mars.

    2. Jeremiah Ames

      could it be that narcissists don’t have a concept of loser being attached to themselves, in any possible way, yet they so easily attach it to anyone else who doesn’t agree with them?

      At least it’s an easy way for any thinking person to identify these people, and shun them.

  3. I think this article must have gotten rushed through without fact checking, because Litton certainly has publicly promoted CRT (by name). Just check his twitter “likes”. While some on the hard right might indeed call him woke solely for his participation in racial reconciliation, which is unwarranted, those of us in the middle think he’s woke because of how he embraces CRT as part of that reconciliation.

    Unfortunately, people like O’Fallon, Johnson, MacArthur, etc ruin any legitimate points they make with their word choice and tone. They can make great points but just can’t help themselves from being jerks about it.

    I do however, agree with his characterization of Ed “the most corrupt man in evangelicalism” Stetzer….I wonder if he accepted any more free cars to host these authors on his podcast and blog.

      1. I was thinking the same thing. Now, people are offended even if you “like” a topic they disagree with.

      2. And it’s not proof that it’s not an endorsement. I submit it’s more like a strong indicator of overall support and agreement unless we’re going down the path of “it depends what your definition of “like” is”. A like button doesn’t give someone the option of saying they have a more nuanced view of whatever is being liked. If I liked repeated postings about cute baby kittens, someone might mistakenly think that I like cats. Or would they be mistaken?

    1. It’s crazy how people use the word ‘Woke’ to label anyone who has different ideas to them an enemy. Some Christians are willing to engage with CRT as a theory to examine race and how it impacts people’s and societies. That is fine. Some are wary of CRT and believe it isn’t needed and dangerous. That is also fine. But to label other Christians ‘woke’ (a word which has so much baggage) for simply wanting to engage with the society around them instead of just building up a wall, is petty and childish. It shows fear and immaturity. Engage with the dialogue. Don’t just call people you disagree with woke, engage in the conversation.

      1. Marin Heiskell

        Thank you, Alex. I have yet to hear the SAME CONSISTENT definitions of elite, woke, CRT, and many other labels that are being used as weapons against those with whom we disagree.
        So now I just simply ask whoever uses the term, “What is woke?” “What is CRT?” Let’s at least get on the same page with what we are talking about in the first place.

        1. What is Christianity? Can you give a CONSISTENT definition of that so we can be on the “same page”? Or, is language no longer meaningful? All we have is a book that says things like, “I am the way, the truth and the light”. Do you ask the same question? Who is the way, the truth and the light? It’s a trick question.

          1. Marin Heiskell

            If you define CRT as “a theory saying all white people are racist”, I will disgree with studying anything like that. If you say CRT is “studying the impact of racism on our past and present society” , I will support studying it – and can back myself up with data. I have heard both definitions. So before I discuss it, I will ask what you mean when you say CRT. Otherwise we risk
            misunderstanding each other the entire time.
            Same with the word “woke”. I have heard it defined as “liberal”. I have heard it defined as “socially conscious.” Those are different definitions. If you want to claim being “woke” is bad, I will ask you what you mean when you say that to make sure I understand you. Otherwise, it’s another whirlwind of misunderstandings.
            How is that a trick?

  4. Neil Cameron (One Salient Oversight)

    Sounds very McCarthyist.

    “Do you now support, or have you ever supported, Critical Race Theory?”

    Followed by a cancelling of their careers.

  5. Good afternoon Gus,

    I think your comments are side stepping what was reported in the article.

    This person is implying that the election is invalid. That some person or persons manipulated the ballots. No proof or additional information was given. When he waves away any criticism by name calling.

    It is pretty much an insult to the whole SBC.

    Is this a example of a ‘Christian’? Please answer yes or no.

    Do Christian Nationals think that Jesus made a mistake by rejecting the Devil’s offer of worldly power during his time in the Desert?

    Best regards,
    CJ

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