The delegates (called messengers) at the Southern Baptists Convention’s annual convention in Phoenix, AZ voted on Wednesday in favor of a resolution that denounced the “anti-gospel of alt-right white supremacy.”
The original resolution was introduced by Pastor William Dwight McKissic, Sr., a black pastor who founded Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington, TX, was rejected by the resolutions committee. Quite a bit of drama ensued which finally led to an agreement to rewrite the resolution and put it to a vote which passed unanimously.
Below is the text of the resolution:
WHEREAS, Scripture teaches, “From one man [God] has made every nationality to live over the whole earth and has determined their appointed times and the boundaries of where they live” (Acts 17:26); and
WHEREAS, The Psalmist proclaimed, “The earth and everything in it, the world and its inhabitants, belong to the LORD” (Psalm 24:1); and
WHEREAS, The Apostle Peter said, “God doesn’t show favoritism, but in every nation the person who fears Him and does what is right is acceptable to Him” (Acts 10:34-35); and
WHEREAS, Our justification before God is based on faith in Christ Jesus alone and not in our ethnicity (Galatians 3:27-28); and
WHEREAS, Scripture proclaims that Jesus is purchasing by His blood believers “from every tribe and language and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9); and
WHEREAS, Throughout eternity we will gather with a “multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language” in worship of our risen Savior (Revelation 7:9); and
WHEREAS, The Baptist Faith and Message conveys that all Christians are obligated to make the will of Christ supreme in their own lives and in human society, opposing all forms of racism, selfishness, and vice, and bringing government and society as a whole under the sway of the principles of righteousness, truth, and brotherly loves; and
WHEREAS, We know from our Southern Baptist history the effects of the horrific sins of racism and hatred; and
WHEREAS, In 1995, the Southern Baptist Convention repudiated “historic acts of evil, such as slavery,” commited “to eradicate racism in all its forms from Southern Baptist life and ministry,” and “genuinely repent(ed) of racism of which we have been guilty, whether consciously or unconsciously”; and
WHEREAS, In recent years the Convention has nominated and elected individuals from a variety of ethnicities, including electing our first African-American president in 2012; and
WHEREAS, In recent resolutions the Southern Baptist Convention called on “all Christian men and women to pray and labor for the day when our Lord will set all things right and racial prejudice and injustice will be no more” (2014); expressed continued grief “over the prescence of racism and the recent escalation of racial tension in our nation” (2015); and urged fellow Christians to discontinue using the Confederate battle flag, acknowledging that it is “used by some and preceived by many as a symbol of hatred, bigotry, and racism, offending millions of people” (2016); and
WHEREAS, More than 20 percent (nearly eleven thousand) of our cooperating Southern Baptist congregations identify as predominately non-Anglo and for the last three years more than 50 percent of Southern Baptists new church plants have been predominately non-Anglo; and
WHEREAS, B&H Academic recently published Removing the Stain of Racism from the Southern Baptist Convention, highlighting our continuing need to root out vestiges of racism from our own hearts ans Southern Baptists; and
WHEREAS, Racism and white supremacy are, sadly, not extinct but present all over the world in various white supremacist movements, sometimes known as “white nationalism” or “alt-right”; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention, meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, June 13-14, 2017, decry every form of racism, including alt-right white supremacy and every form of racial and ethnic hatred as of the devil; and be it further
RESOLVED, That we acknowledge that we still must make progress in rooting out any remaining forms of intentional or unintentional racism in our midst; and be it further
RESOLVED, That we earnestly pray, both for those who advocate racist ideologies and those who are thereby decived, that they may see their error through the light of the Gospel, repent of those hatreds, and come to know the peace and love of Christ through redeemed fellowship in the Kingdom of God, which is established from every nation, tribe, people, and language.
Below are different tweets about the resolution:
— ERLC (@ERLC) June 14, 2017
If the #sbc17 resolution was first you've heard of alt-right, for the sake of your church and community, CHANGE your news consumption habits
— Seth Brown (@dsethbrown) June 14, 2017
— Albert Mohler (@albertmohler) June 14, 2017
Denouncing white supremacy is not a gospel distraction; it’s a gospel application. It’s not an advanced class; it’s Christianity 101. #SBC17
— Matt Smethurst (@MattSmethurst) June 14, 2017
Southern Baptists cannot change our racist past, but we CAN make our repentance more notorious than our sin! The Gospel wins! #SBC17
— hershaelyork (@hershaelyork) June 14, 2017
The so-called Alt-Right white supremacist ideologies are anti-Christ and satanic to the core. We should say so. #SBC17
— Russell Moore (@drmoore) June 14, 2017
The #SBC17 resolution condemning the alt-right passes nearly unanimously. Praise God!
— Phillip Bethancourt (@pbethancourt) June 14, 2017
There were, of course, naysayers on Twitter as well.
— Andrew Quackson (@AndrewQuackson) June 15, 2017
Southern Baptists have been bleeding members for a decade. And as #SBC17 shows, most ministers fear God less than they fear leftist media.
— Virginia Dare (@vdare) June 15, 2017
You know a church is sick and dying when it passes a resolution that reads as if it had been written by an intern for Hillary. #SBC17
— James Edwards (@JamesEdwardsTPC) June 15, 2017