C. B. Scott, Kevin Bussey, Rob Ayers, and a whole host of people have opined that my post before last about Les Puryear was out-of-bounds. These are all good Christian gentlemen, and I'm praying over the matter. Allow me to state the following ad interim:
- It is pretty obvious at this point that Les is going to run. C. B. indicated in a comment on the earlier post that he had confirmed independently that Les plans to run. I think that's great (so long as he doesn't win). Go for it, Les. Anybody who wishes to do so ought to be able to run for SBC office. But when you run, you place upon Southern Baptists the obligation to figure out who you are and evaluate you as a candidate. That's what I've been trying to do. If I were not extremely confident that Les is going to run, I would not have posted this stuff.
- Les and I obviously have our theological differences, and I have a reservation or two about Les as the leader of the SBC. I'll be voting contrariwise. I was pretty candid in stating that, but no more candid than people have been about Ronnie Floyd or Al Mohler. My objections to Les as the leader of the SBC do not equate to reservations about Les as a person, Christian, or pastor. In fact, among our candidates running right now, Les would be my #2 choice.
- I think that politics is a good thing. When Southern Baptists abandon politics, the bureaucracy takes over. Just like when Southern Baptist churches abandon the "politics" of business meetings, the staff takes over. I think that much of what people took as insulting in the previous post was merely my pointing out that Les is working politically. I don't consider that to be an insult. I'm working politically. I work politically a lot. I believe that it is important to do so. I believe that we have an obligation and a duty to do so. I concede that this point makes me something of an odd duck among Southern Baptists. Everyone else seems to love to be political while pretending that they are not. I think that's duplicitous, and needlessly so. The SCLC was clearly political (not solely political, but politics played a role), but that doesn't make it a bad thing.
- Given what seems to be the blogging consensus that I've said too much about the Puryear candidacy, I make this pledge: I'll not publish any more posts about Les's candidacy for SBC President between now and Indianapolis.
So, Les can have his announcement without further comment from moi. If I have misrepresented Les, he can clear the air however he sees fit. Differences aside, I believe him to be a good and honorable man. I just don't think he would make a good presiding officer over the SBC. But then neither would I.