Following Pastor Ed Litton's election as new president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), people are eager to know about his life and views on controversial issues.
The Christian Post outlined six things that described Litton, as well as his position on certain arguments, including racism, sexual abuse and women's role in the church.
First, the pastor declared that he has conservative leanings on politics and theology. He believes in the "inerrancy, infallibility and sufficiency of God's Word." He stands with the Biblical definition of marriage which is between a man and a woman. Litton also identifies himself as "pro-life."
He is "extremely conservative" politically but does not discuss about it in his preaching, believing that he is only called to help church members become "good citizens" and inspire them according to the Scriptures. He also shared his willingness to collaborate with politicians, honoring and treating them with kindness.
"My job is to represent Jesus Christ wherever I go," Litton added.
Next is on the role of women in the church. The pastor claimed that he is complementarian, affirming the SBC's statement of faith that the pastoral ministry is only "limited to men" in accordance with the Bible.
On the question about preaching with his wife about marriage, Litton pointed out that the convention extends local church pastors with freedom to decide according to their convictions. He explained that in inviting his wife to preach with him, she was under his authority.
On ordaining women ministers, the SBC president said that they will "have to work out" on this issue.
Third is his commitment on racial reconciliation. Litton is a member of Pledge Group, an organization in Mobile, Alabama that addresses racial division in the city.
However, he said that though Critical Race Theory is a "reality in the culture," it is "not a tool."
"We have a higher tool, and a higher tool is the Gospel. The Gospel is a tool we look at to say that we seek justice, and we're under command to seek justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God," Litton added.
The pastor shared that the minority groups in the SBC are growing in number, as opposed to the decline of the Caucasians.
"Asian American groups, Hispanic Americans, African Americans, they are growing at a rate of 232%, while our Anglo congregations are in decline," he said.
He is grateful to the people of color for helping the church reach out the lost in the country.
"So we are grateful for them. They make up a significant number of who we are. So yes, the first thing I say is, we want you here. We love you here. We can't reach every man, woman, boy and girl in this nation without you here," Litton stated.
Fourth is his view on sexual abuse allegations in SBC churches. The pastor hopes that the whole truth about it will be revealed, adding that the convention has to work hard to ensure that the churches are "safe places for people to be protected ... and not victimized."
"I think we have to find a mechanism and a way to help train our people, get more churches involved in wanting to create a safe environment," he continued.
"Learning and listening [are] very important," he pointed out.
Fifth, the SBC president is committed in uniting the people of the convention, hoping to "build bridges and not walls."
He considers pastoring a local church as the "highest honor" of his life, but he also has a "deep burden" for the people in the congregation.
"And I want to do whatever I can to help us pull this together. I'm not Superman. I have no magic. I know this person, and His name is Jesus. And they know Him too. And so I think we can find that common ground," he further stated.
Lastly, the pastor and his wife, Kathy, both suffered the tragedy of losing their spouses.
Litton's first wife, Tammy, died of a car crash in 2007. Kathy's first husband, Pastor Rick Ferguson, was also killed in an automobile accident in 2009.
He said that the sense of pain and suffering has changed him and Kathy for the better. He and his wife "loves" telling people that "there is a God who loves [them]."
"He doesn't go distant in the most painful things in life. He actually does the opposite. The Bible says it this way: He draws near to the brokenhearted, and those that are crushed in spirit," Litton declared.