“What is truth?”
-Pilate, John 18:38 NLT
Travis Wussow is one of the top men in the Southern Baptist’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) and recently named by the Institute on Religion & Democracy as one of the “7 Rising Evangelical Stars to Look Out for in 2017.” The Institute on Religion & Democracy identified Wussow as one of “seven increasingly influential men and women we predict will impact Evangelicalism for good in 2017.”
Chelsen Vicari, in an article for “Juicy Ecumenism,” stated:
They may not yet be household names, but these rising Evangelical figures should certainly be on your radar in the year to come.
Travis Wussow was already on my radar. I wrote an article about him and the ERLC on October 14, 2016.
In the article, I questioned the honesty of Wussow:
Skeptic that I am, I can’t help wonder if the ERLC’s purpose of establishing an office in the Middle East is not at least partially related to the fact that it is a “strategic” move for fund-raising. I have noticed that the ERLC makes frequent comments about their Middle East location, and Travis Wussow does play the “danger card” in a podcast that I have partially reproduced below. Yet the exact location of the ERLC Middle East office remains a well-guarded secret.
…I set about to discover where the ERLC Middle East office was located. All our research indicated Israel was the country the ERLC has chosen to set up their offices and where Travis Wussow lives.
…When I began researching this article I emailed Wussow some questions. He was kind enough to respond and I must admit I was surprised that he answered me.
…One of the questions I posed was whether ERLC’s office was in Jerusalem. His response was: “The ERLC’s Middle East office is located in Nicosia, Cyprus.” I have good reasons to doubt the honesty of his answer. (I was correct, see the update at the end of this article.)
…I actually found Wussow’s response rather silly. First of all, for a well-educated man who has traveled the world it is hard for me to believe that he considers Cyprus is part of the Middle East, or that he would think I wouldn’t call him on this. Let’s remember that every communication the ERLC has refers to establishing an office in the Middle East, not near the Middle East. I searched the internet and did not find a single list of Middle East countries that included Cyprus.
You will notice in the screenshot below, taken from Chelsen Vicari’s article, the ERLC now admits their office is in Jerusalem!
It would appear that Travis Wussow has lied to me. I sent him an email last week, asking him if he would care to explain his apparent discrepancy. To date, I have not received a reply.
In my opinion, this is another example of what is wrong with Evangelicalism, and more specifically, the Southern Baptist Convention and the ERLC. When top Christian leaders cannot be trusted is it any wonder church members are leaving Evangelicalism in alarming numbers?
I wrote a story in August 17, 2013 titled “Truth in Advertising.” In this story I revealed a hyped up scam David Platt and his publisher, Lifeway, perpetuated on the unsuspecting American christians. To my knowledge, not a single person in SBC leadership or Lifeway has acknowledged this dishonest sham. Platt has gone on to become a Christian celebrity speaker at numerous conferences and the head of the SBC’s International Mission Board.
Aren’t Christian pastors, and elders to be above reproach? Wouldn’t it be reasonable to also expect one of the top men in the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission to be above reproach?
The view from my seat among the “rock-throwing peasants” is that while Mark Dever’s 9Marx organization is a huge proponent of discipline for the “little people,” the celebrity leadership remains totally unaccountable.
Until such time as blatant hypocrisy stops, expect further erosion of the evangelical movement.