A Montana church announced plans to withdraw from the Southern Baptist Convention this week after objecting to the "leftist progressivism" on display at a celebration of the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination.
The Christian Post reported that Sidney, Montana's Fellowship Baptist Church is leaving the SBC after nearly 40 years of affiliation "due to the ongoing social justice promoting, leftist progressivism, and mission drift away from the Gospel by the denomination's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission."
The move comes days after the conclusion of the "MLK50: Gospel Reflection From The Mountaintop" conference in Memphis, where church leaders "called on Christians to reflect on the state of racial unity in the church and the culture."
According to the leaders of Fellowship Baptist Church, the conference's organizers "repeatedly denied the efficacy of the accomplished work of Christ in matters of sin and forgiveness."
"Church elders for some time have felt that Russell Moore, a former Democratic staffer and benefactor of and partner with the George Soros' Open Society Foundation on the Evangelical Immigration Table, has been steadily taking the SBC to the progressive-left on virtually every ethics issue except abortion," Fellowship's statement read. "Speakers at the MLK50 Conference — organized in part by Russell Moore — repeatedly denied the efficacy of the accomplished work of Christ in matters of sin and forgiveness."
The Montana church claimed that some speakers at the SBC were preaching social justice in an attempt to "redefine the Gospel," Christian Post noted, and did so in order to "gain the applause of the lost and fallen world."
"Help the oppressed! Do the work of justice!" Fellowship's statement continued, mocking the SBC's MLK 50 message. "The church has been doing the work of justice for 45 years trying to hold back the bloodlust of abortion. We are trying to do the work of justice for children so that they might be raised by both mothers and fathers in happy marriages."
When reached for comment by Christian Post about the Montana church's objections to the conference's message, SBC press secretary Elizabeth Bristow said the reporter's questions were the first she'd heard of such qualms.
"We are not aware of any SBC churches threatening to leave the SBC because of our event," she said. "We've had great feedback from the conference."