The other night while visiting with a ministry friend from Tennessee, we started thinking about how little time is allotted for messengers at the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention to actually ask questions about the governance and administration of their entities. Typically, the time is spent with filibustered answers that limit the amount of time afforded to messengers who have traveled great distance — at great expense — to conduct the convention business.
We have had our moments to ask questions from the floor, but we find it the least effective way of getting answers to questions about entity governance, finances, policies, etc. It’s simply not the best way to elicit meaningful accountability in the SBC. Every year messengers are frustrated when they stand in line at a microphone and hope that the five minutes isn’t used up before the presiding officers recognizes their mic.
Alternatively, we’ve written plenty of letters and emails through the years, and we’ve typically had great success getting meaningful, comprehensive, and responsive answers to our questions.
Yet as messenger calls for greater transparency have increased, these concerns seem to have met intrasigence among certain entity leaders, and frustrations have exacerbated. Distrust, rather than trust, seems to be the trend.
In the coming weeks, we intend to proffer serious, substantive, and illustrative questions about how SBC employees — namely, the chief executive officers of the SBC entities — have managed the institutions for which they are stewards. Today’s inaugural post, however, is not about an SBC entity.
Rather, we have been increasingly curious about some of the facts surrounding the ministry restoration of former SBC President Johnny Hunt. In recent days, his new home church has thrown down the gauntlet about Hunt’s fitness to preach. The church is challenging a widely-discredited process of credentials committee inquiry, and their recently published response to the Credentials Committee has left many — including us — with even more questions.
If we had the opportunity to sit down with Johnny Hunt, here are some of the questions we’d ask:
- There were four men whom you selected to serve as your ministry restoration committee (or whatever you want to call it.) Have all four men invited you to preach at their church following their pronouncement that you were fit to return to pulpit ministry?
- When did you tell your wife about the private encounter in Panama City in the summer of 2010?
- Did Jim Law participate at any point in your confession or restoration process?
- Did FBC Woodstock propose a plan for ministry accountability and restoration?
- Did you reject that plan?
- Why did you move your membership away from FBC Woodstock?
- Did you ever obtain services at Ravi Zacharias’ massage parlour that your wife would consider inapproriate?
- Why did you deny any inappropriate conduct in your initial interviews with Guidepost?
- Would you be willing to release transcripts of those interviews?
- You claim that you did not have sex with your accuser and that her claims of abuse are false. Would you be willing to take a polygraph about that day in Panama City?
- Have you ever sought or obtained prescription drugs to treat impotence or other sexual dysfunction?
- If so, did you have that prescription in the summer of 2010?
- Did you take any prescription or over-the-counter medicine before entering your accuser’s apartment that day in 2010?
- If another minister had the exact same experience with your wife at a condo in Panama City, would you claim that she had consented?
- If another minister had the exact same experience with your married daughters that you did with another man’s wife, would you claim they had consented?
- If so, would you invite those men to preach in your pulpit?
- The Guidepost report contains many specific details of your encounter in 2010 with the woman who accuses you of sexual assault. Are ANY of those details true?
- Which ones?
- Prior to 2022, have you ever sought professional counseling, treatment, or therapy for sexual addictions?
- Do you believe you are a victim?