The trustees of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission are now accepting applications to lead the political and lobbying arm of the Southern Baptist Convention. According to the job description, a candidate needs at meet at least five qualifications to be in the running to head the ERLC: spiritually mature, convictionally Southern Baptist, appropriately educated, an excellent communicator, and a proven unifier.
Radio talk-show host Janet Mefferd acknowledges that those are great qualities, but tells AFN that the ad she read inviting applicants went in a different direction.
"Some of the issues that they mentioned were of note," she shares. "They talked about racial inequality, substance abuse, bioethics, displaced peoples and immigration, war, human suffering. And I thought: that's very interesting, because what wasn't on that list was ethics."
While Mefferd says those objectives are good in their own rights, she argues that the agenda they reflect was what led a large percentage of Southern Baptists to sour on Russell Moore, the immediate past CEO who stepped down on June 1.
"I'm not confident – and I don't think a lot of Southern Baptists are very confident – that they'll get someone who is better than Russell Moore and more biblically faithful and more conservative and less divisive," she laments.
Dr. Alex McFarland of Truth for a New Generation is throwing his hat into the ring. He tells AFN he is anxious to add at least one qualification to the trustee's list. "I think this person needs to be convictionally patriotic," he suggests. "We do not need a globalist to unify the Southern Baptist Convention."
McFarland also alludes to one of the criticisms previously leveled against the SBC's political arm.
"The ERLC should not be this top-down, ivory tower group of theoreticians – and then when the laity, who make the donations, don't necessarily follow, you don't berate them for not being intelligent," he advises.
In late June, McFarland publicly offered to lead the ERLC pro-bono, stating he doesn't want a dime from the denomination for which he has already served in several positions of leadership.