Robert Hampton, American Renaissance, January 4, 2021
Race haunts the Southern Baptist Convention. The SBC has regularly appeased blacks, but some Baptist seminary presidents think Critical Race Theory (CRT) goes too far. As they said in a recent joint statement, “We stand together on historic Southern Baptist condemnations of racism in any form and we also declare that affirmation of Critical Race Theory, Intersectionality, and any version of Critical Theory is incompatible with the Baptist Faith & Message.” The presidents did not fail to emphasize that they “oppose all forms of racism, personal and systemic.” Southern Baptist president J.D. Greear called the statement “gracious and important” and urged members to read it.
The message was designed to give as little offense as possible, but it gravely offended many black Baptists. At least four high-profile black pastors cut ties with the SBC. “I can’t sit by and continue to support or even loosely affiliate with an entity that is pitching its tent with white supremacy,” Louisville minister Joel Bowman told the Washington Post.
Some in our ranks inappropriately use the label of “CRT!” to avoid legitimate questions or as a cudgel to dismiss any discussion of discrimination. Many cannot even define what CRT is. . . If we in the SBC had shown as much sorrow for the painful legacy that sin has left as we show passion to decry CRT, we probably wouldn’t be in this mess.
Last summer, the SBC president backed Black Lives Matter.
The seminary leaders are now wavering. They expressed “regret that our statement inadvertently caused significant hurt among some black brothers and sisters.” They will meet with Black SBC leaders in January, presumably to grovel.
The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), the SBC’s influential policy arm, announced on Christmas that:
[Jesus Christ] was born a mixed-race Savior. In his flesh, Christ embodied the racial diversity that would mark his kingdom. His kaleidoscopic heritage pointed to the day when every knee in heaven and earth would bow at his name.
Far from being “mixed race,” the gospels of Matthew and Luke say Jesus was a direct descendant of King David and thus of Israel’s royal line. What happened to biblical inerrancy?
In 2016, the “Southern” Baptist Convention called for an end to flying the Confederate flag. It’s no surprise J.D. Greear wants to change the denomination’s name to “Great Commission Baptists.” “Our Lord Jesus was not a white Southerner but a brown-skinned Middle Eastern refugee,” he said last October.
In 2017, the SBC formally censured the alt-right and “white supremacy.” “Southern Baptists were right to speak clearly and definitely that ‘alt-right’ white nationalism is not just a sociological movement but a work of the devil,” ERLC President Russell Moore said at the time. “Racism and white supremacy are not merely social issues. Racism and white supremacy attack the Gospel itself and the person of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The ERLC’s Dr. Moore is a prominent Never Trumper who cheers mass immigration. He works with the George Soros-funded National Immigration Forum. The SBC itself endorsed amnesty in 2006 and 2011. The church passed a pro-immigrant resolution in 2018 that reaffirmed its support for amnesty and denounced “nativism.”
Dr. Moore also insists that evangelicals are “not a white church” and their future lies “among African Anglicans and Asian Calvinists and Latin American Pentecostals.” He claims Trump-supporting white evangelicals are “in for a shock” when they reach heaven: “The man on the throne in heaven is a dark-skinned, Aramaic-speaking ‘foreigner’ who is probably not all that impressed by chants of ‘Make America great again.’”
This is a far cry from the SBC’s antebellum origins. The church broke away from the national denomination in response to abolitionist tirades from northern Baptists. The SBC apologized for its support of slavery in the 1990s. Sam Francis, then a Washington Times columnist, noted that there is no condemnation of slavery anywhere in the Bible, and that the Baptist leaders seemed motivated by “a desire to accommodate themselves to modern political sensibilities rather than by serious religious or ethical precepts.” Francis was demoted for that column, but his words ring even truer today.
In 2018, the SBC expelled an entire congregation. James Edwards, host of the dissident radio program The Political Cesspool, is a life-long member of Lighthouse Baptist Church of Bartlett, Tennessee. At the prompting of a black preacher named Dwight McKissic, the SBC ordered Mr. Edwards’ pastor David Rogers to expel the “racist”. When Pastor Rogers refused, the SBC dropped the entire church from the rolls — without a hearing or any of the procedures that would ordinarily apply.
Fortunately, the SBC’s rank-and-file do not share their leadership’s obsession with diversity, Black Lives Matter, and mass immigration. Seventy-two percent of white evangelicals say police shootings are not a sign of systemic racism; 56 percent say anti-white racism is just as bad as discrimination against blacks; 76 percent say the Confederate flag is a symbol of Southern pride, not racism; and 86 percent say the same of Confederate monuments. These are the highest percentages of any religious group.
The majority of white evangelicals want less immigration. Sixty-eight percent say America is not obligated to accept refugees, 75 percent backed President Donald Trump’s hardline immigration policies, and white evangelicals are 75 percent more likely than all Republicans to believe “immigrants are invading American society.” Fifty-two percent of white evangelicals oppose the decline of America’s white majority.
The SBC, much like America’s political class, doesn’t represent white interests. It would rather bend the knee to a few black pastors than stand up for what their congregants believe. One wonders whether their real faith is Christianity or BLM.