Southern Baptist Convention leader denounces Confederate Flag
The Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican/Episcopal churches, and others are in a free fall collapse in America and Europe. One reason is the fact that church leaders have placed Cultural Marxism and open border advocacy at the forefront of their teachings. Is the Southern Baptist Convention [SBC] next?
The Southern Baptist Convention, the nation’s largest Protestant denomination, was established in 1845 because of a disagreement about slavery. Its founders, who wanted to allow slaveholders as missionaries, could not have imagined what transpired In Nashville last week.
“We are not the state church of the Confederate States of America,” the president of the denomination’s influential Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), Russell Moore, proclaimed to an audience of about 500 people, most of them Baptist leaders. “The cross and the Confederate battle flag cannot co-exist without one setting the other on fire.”
Moore’s speech was the rousing opening salvo at a conference on “the gospel and racial reconciliation” hosted by the ERLC, which is devoted to public policy and culture. Initially, the event’s organizers planned a conference to discuss bioethics. But after protests erupted after a grand jury’s decision in December not to indict a police officer in the choking death of Eric Garner in New York, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) decided to shift course.
By many measures, it was a remarkable event for an organization better known for its interest in culture-war topics like sexuality and religious freedom. Talks and panels tackled white privilege, persistent poverty, immigration reform, the perils of gentrification and racial disparities in the criminal-justice system. (One African-American panelist said police officers had pulled guns on him, another said he was handcuffed while police searched for a suspect who looked nothing like him.) Several speakers respectfully mentioned the Department of Justice’s scathing report on law enforcement in Ferguson, Missouri, where unarmed black teenager Michael Brown was shot and killed last summer by a white police officer. Eighty percent of the denomination’s congregations are majority white, but 45 percent of the speakers at the conference were nonwhite. They included young men and older black preachers, as well as an Iranian-American convert from Islam who chastised those who celebrated the death of Osama bin Laden.
But many still question whether social conservatives — with a long history of strong support for law enforcement and resistance to systemic critiques of racism — are in a position to lead on racial issues. Southern Baptists have a particularly rocky road, with their pro-slavery roots and, more than a century later, their leadership’s widespread failure to support the civil rights movement.