A Baptist group is calling for the resignation of the Southern Baptist Convention's (SBC) new president over alleged plagiarism.
According to Christian News Now, the allegation is relative to Ed Litton's plagiarization of J.D. Greear's sermons on the book of Romans, which the latter claimed that he permitted Litton to use.
In a statement released last week, the Conservative Baptist Network (CBN) urged Litton to step down following his failure to acknowledge and repent for the mistake.
Citing the verses Exodus 20:15, Proverbs 28:6 and 1 Timothy 3:2, CBN stated that Litton's conduct contradicts the expectation.
"This sinful behavior and the lack of forthrightness when exposed is inconsistent with the character and integrity Southern Baptists rightfully expect from their president," the group said.
"Compounding the concern surrounding President Litton's irrefutable pattern of plagiarism is the silence of nearly all SBC leaders. Further eroding the testimony of the SBC to a watching world is the way some SBC leaders have excused and even minimized this troubling behavior," it also stated.
CBN pointed out that plagiarism violates the Ten Commandments, adding that the Bible warns about the stricter judgment on church leaders, as stated in James 3:1.
The group said that it delayed its reaction on the matter, hoping that Litton would admit his fault and repent, but did not do so.
"As further evidence of what appears to be serial plagiarism continues to surface in at least six videos from a variety of named sources, the Conservative Baptist Network calls on the leaders of the SBC to address this matter promptly and biblically. For the sake of the gospel, it is best for President Litton to step down from office and focus on his personal spiritual development with his local church," the statement added.
"The testimony of Southern Baptists and of the gospel is at stake," CBN concluded.
Last month, Litton already addressed the issue, saying that he did ask for permission to use some of Greear's insights and "three closing points" but failed to give him credit, which he regretted.
In addition to Greear's sermons, the Capstone Report disclosed that the SBC president also plagiarized Tim Keller's 1991 sermon on marriage. Titled "Priority of Marriage," Litton delivered the preaching in May 2012, alongside his wife.
Baptist News Global (BNG) shared that Litton's congregation, Redemption Church, has removed 140 videos of the pastor's preaching from its website. The explanation states that the action aims "to care for and shepherd" the church since people were using the sermons to malign the minister.
BNG revealed that during the SBC's annual meeting in June, CBN's allies were already criticizing Litton over his congregation's doctrine and for allowing his wife to preach with him. They claimed that the church's statement on Trinity was "heretical," while having women on the pulpit is not endorsed by the denomination.
In the event of Litton's resignation, it is expected that Lee Brand Jr., vice president and dean of Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, will succeed him - a development which BNG describes as a "victory for the ultra-conservatives."