Christianity Today writes about how McLean Bible (MBC) joined the SBC in 2016. The Wondering Eagle would like to know why did MBC lie about joining the SBC? In the town hall of September 21, 2017 Larry Cooper denied regularly and repeatedly that MBC joined the SBC. Not only is Larry Cooper no longer above reproach but how could he brazenly lie? Who failed to teach Larry Cooper about integrity and honesty? Did the U.S. Army fail or did MBC fail?
“McLean is new to the Southern Baptist realm. It ended up joining the SBC in 2016, following its involvement with North American Mission Board (NAMB) church planting efforts in the DC area, and affiliated with the SBC of Virginia the following year.”
Key paragraph from February 12, 2018 Christianity Today
“Avoid dishonest gain: no price can recompence the pangs of vice.”
“Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.“
Whoever walks in integrity walks securely,
but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.
Proverbs 10:9 NIV
Lambs being led to the slaughter at McLean Bible
There is a lot of news with McLean Bible (MBC) that need to be tackled. I am going to get up a post in a couple of days that looks at why David Platt is planning on leaving the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC)’s International Missions Board. Today I learned something that deserved a post all by itself. In researching and reading up on MBC and David Platt I learned that MBC joined the SBC in 2016. This is written about in Christianity Today in “David Platt Is Ready to Leave the IMB.” I was stunned when I read that as this is the first time I have seen in print the fact that MBC is now an officially an SBC church. The Wondering Eagle asked that question on September 15, 2017 in “Is McLean Bible in the Process of Joining the Southern Baptist Convention?” The indicators and warnings of MBC joining the SBC were all there from my perspective. A lot of issues did not add up when I considered David Platt joining MBC as the teaching pastor. So today we know that MBC is now an officially a SBC church. For almost two years MBC was a SBC church and now attenders and members are probably just learning about this issue. From that perspective The Wondering Eagle believe that there is a lot of explaining to do from MBC.
Why Did Larry Cooper Lie About McLean Bible Not Being a SBC Church at the September 21, 2017 Town Hall Meeting?
On September 21, 2017 MBC held a town hall meeting that allowed the church to ask questions and listen to David Platt. The Wondering Eagle attended and took extensive notes as I listened and observed. You can read that post in “An Overview of McLean Bible’s Townhall Meeting; Plus is McLean Bible Controlling the Question Process?” Early on in the town hall meeting Larry Cooper was asked if MBC joined the SBC. Here is how I wrote about it in the previous September 21, 2017 post.
“The questions started to come in with the first one being what does David Platt’s wife Heather think of of this opportunity? David gave almost a flowery answer and recalled how his wife supported it. The next question was answered by Larry Cooper when he was asked if MBC has joined the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). Larry spoke about how MBC had not joined and how they have not changed at all and read from the first three paragraphs from the church’s constitution which states that MBC will be non-denominational. Larry also explained that the SBC is not a denomination and that the SBC doesn’t have control over their local churches. The SBC is actually a co-operative and all MBC is doing is working with the SBC to plant churches. After all it took years to launched several, now they launched 9 in the past year.
So before about 300 to 400 people Larry Cooper stood before them all and lied about MBC not being a SBC church. He lied after everything was said about honoring the Lord. He lied in front of a large number of attenders and members of people who called MBC home or who cared to come on a weeknight after a long day at work. He lied to the Washington, D.C. area. Larry Cooper lied. That Christianity Today article bothered me when I read it because people should not learn about their church and the changing dynamics of their church through the press or other sources. Larry Cooper should have been up front and honest and admitted the issue front and center. He should have been forthright and stated that MBC did join the SBC.
In 1 Timothy 3:2-3 it states that the elder should be above reproach. What does that mean? It means that the elder should not lie. Now people make mistakes, I get that, but this situation I don’t view in that context. MBC was in the process of choosing another church leader to replace Lon Solomon. This was a major milestone in the life of MBC. So in situations like this lying in front of so many people and to do so in a willing fashion should give people heartburn and concern. Is Larry Cooper above reproach? Especially when a national publication states something different? When I sat there Larry re-iterated over and over that MBC did not join the SBC. He pushed that claim repeatedly before MBC, and others. But here is another question I would like to ask especially in light of reading about MBC being a SBC church and Larry Cooper frequently denying it. Larry Cooper according to his biography on the MBC webpage states that he was an Army Officer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The United States Army is about honor, tradition, integrity. loyalty, respect. Those are the values of the Army. Dishonesty is not one of them. How can someone who wrote about his service in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers be dishonest in such a manner? There is a failure that took place somewhere in Larry Cooper’s life. Either the United States Army failed to teach Larry about honesty and integrity or MBC failed to do so. But on one of the most important nights before MBC how could an elder who is supposed to look out for the church that had such training and background that demanded integrity fail like he did? Can someone answer me that question please? If I were at MBC and I attended the September 21, 2017 town hall meeting I would be furious to realize and know that I have been lied to. This is an issue that deserves more attention and examination. What else are we going to learn about MBC that we didn’t know? I know there has been a flow of people from MBC since it has been theologically hijacked. That said those who are still there should demand answers. MBC should hold a town hall meeting and allow people to ask questions. Larry Cooper and MBC have a lot of explaining to do.
In closing this post out I will leave you with a song from Owl City. I read about dishonesty and scheming like I did about MBC and the SBC and it makes me long for days of my youth. Days when you could trust a church and organizations can be simple and open. This development with MBC is troubling. The outright dishonesty should cause Larry Cooper to hang his head in shame. That is it for the evening, I will get up another post about David Platt in the next couple of days. I love you guys!