Could Newly Elected Southern Baptist Convention President Ed Litton Be Forced to Resign Over Gross Sermon Plagiarism?

Amid charges of sermon plagiarism, newly elected Southern Baptist Convention President Ed Litton is facing calls for his resignation.

Litton recently acknowledged borrowing some sermon material, with permission, from immediate past SBC President J.D. Greear, and Greear confirmed that statement. However, since that declaration, Litton’s critics from the far right of the SBC have continued to dig through his sermon archives and charged that he repeatedly lifted sermons almost verbatim from Greear.

A YouTube channel has been created to highlight side-by-side video comparisons of Greear preaching and Litton preaching almost verbatim what Greear had said, including personal illustrations.

Litton’s church, Redemption Church near Mobile, Ala., recently removed 140 videos of Litton’s sermons from its website and posted this explanation: “By the action of the leadership of Redemption Church, we have taken down sermon series prior to 2020 because people were going through sermons in an attempt to discredit and malign our pastor. It is our highest priority to care for and shepherd our church.”

The situation, dubbed “sermongate” by Litton’s critics, has put a spotlight on the unspoken practice of sermon “borrowing” often without citation, by some pastors. The present case has become such a controversy that it made the New York Times this week.

Litton was elected SBC president in what began as a four-person race that required a second ballot to determine. His chief opponent was Mike Stone, a Georgia pastor aligned with the ultra-conservative group called Conservative Baptist Network. Litton was portrayed as the more mainstream candidate who would lead the conflicted denomination to address its racist past and allegations of covering up clergy sexual abuse.

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Source: Baptist News Global