This article originally appeared on March 7, 2022 at Baptist News Global.
After Baptist News Global broke the news that Voddie Baucham was being asked to accept a nomination to become the next president of the Southern Baptist Convention, the Theobros could hardly contain their excitement.
Owen Strachan tweeted: “What Voddie saw TEN YEARS AGO, many evangelicals still refuse to see. A decade ago, with little support, Voddie stood up and named the approaching monster. He dared to speak. He sacrificed popularity, position, & money to tell the truth. Recognize a warrior when you see one.”
He went on to prophecy: “200 years from now, no one who studies church history will know the names of the woke critics of Voddie Baucham. But they’ll know Voddie’s name. They’ll know it because of the God he faithfully proclaimed in faithless times. Be assured of that.”
Of course, Baucham himself has similarly swooned over Strachan in his review of Strachan’s book Christianity and Wokeness, saying, “Few men possess the mix of intellect, winsomeness, academic rigor, pastoral sensitivity, and raw courage that drips from every page of this book.”
Strachan, former president of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, is a vocal complementarian who, like Baucham, often rails against the feminization of men and the wokeness of the social gospel.
But despite Strachan and Baucham’s love fest for one another, not everyone is fantasizing about Baucham’s potential rise to leadership in the SBC. Even some SBC insiders and traditionalists are concerned about Baucham’s influence. His potential candidacy is supported by the Conservative Baptist Network, a far-right group in the already very conservative world of the SBC.
Whether Baucham is even eligible to run for SBC president is in question, as he lives overseas and is not a member of a U.S.-based SBC church. He also has been accused of plagiarism and misquoting others in his latest book, charged he and his publisher deny.
For a denomination that sees itself as a champion of family values, one would assume they would aspire to nominate and elect a leader who is a warrior for the family.
“Unfortunately, when it comes to the family, Baucham has consistently revealed himself to be a warrior for ignorance and a peddler for the monster of violent male power.”
Everyone recognizes, as Strachan pointed out, that Baucham is a warrior. In fact, we also recognize Baucham naming the approaching monster. Unfortunately, when it comes to the family, Baucham has consistently revealed himself to be a warrior for ignorance and a peddler for the monster of violent male power.
Voddie Baucham peddles ignorant, violent power over children
Baucham’s ignorant, violent power peddling begins with how his theology of original sin shapes his understanding of infants and his punishment of children.
In one sermon, Baucham explains to the roaring laughter of the crowd: “People who don’t believe in original sin don’t have children. … That’s a viper in a diaper. The angry cry happens early. The demanding cry happens early. The stiffening up of the body, that happens early. … One of the reasons God makes them so small is so that they won’t kill you. And one of the reasons he makes them so cute is so that you won’t kill them.”
R.L. Stollar, a child liberation theologian who advocates for survivors of abuse, details how Baucham’s comment was borne from a theology that combines the Calvinistic doctrine of total depravity with the complementarian doctrine of patriarchy in order to position men as animal control and police officers over their children. Stollar notes that according to Baucham, “Parents … must treat their children as criminals deserving of restraint … must expect and see the worst in their children … should assume (children) are disagreeing because they are naturally covetous and murderous … (and) must also threaten their children with eternal torture in the flames of hell.”
Stollar shows how, “to Baucham, children and serial killers should be placed in the same category of depravity: the category of total depravity. … Infants are so naturally evil that they would kill their parents in their sleep if they were larger.”
Baucham’s proposed solution for this hypothetical murderous infant drive is that “they desperately need to be spanked. And they need to be spanked often. … There were days when Junior needed to be spanked five times before breakfast. … You need to have an all-day session where you just wear them out.”
Baucham has gone so far as to give an example of a shy little pastor’s daughter who was afraid to shake a male deacon’s hand at church. Baucham described: “Pastor goes back in the office, goes through that whole process — spank the child, comes back out, child won’t do it again. Goes back again, asks the deacon, ‘Will you please wait here?’ Thirteen times. Thirteen times. That deacon was like, ‘Little girl, please … .’”
Baucham offers no compassion and no awareness of the complexities of what babies and children experience in their minds and bodies. He is completely ignorant of the trauma his violent beating has on little girls. Instead, he flexes his absolute patriarchal power over children, labels every failure of complete instantaneous submission as murderous depravity, and solves the problem through physical violence with the threat of eternal violence.
Voddie Baucham peddles ignorant, violent power over women
For Baucham, the patriarchy is a term to die for. In a sermon titled “The War Against the Patriarchy,” he said: “There’s also the war against the patriarchy, the war against male headship, which again is an assault on the God of the Bible. The woman is made after the man — male headship. The woman is made for the man — male headship. The woman is brought to the man — male headship. The woman is named by the man twice … male headship.”