Baptist Church | Southern Baptists Appoint New President: At its most important meeting on Tuesday, Southern Baptist Convention pushes down from the right and elects a new president to bridge the gap between race and race in the church to overcome a challenge to critical race theory.
Baptist Church | Southern Baptists Appoint New President
Pastor Ed Litton of Alabama won 52% of the vote in a runoff against Mike Stone, a pastor from Georgia. The latter is supported by a new conservative Baptist network called the Conservative Baptist Network.
White Litton was the only Black pastor to serve as president of the United States’ largest Protest denomination. Luter lauded Litton’s efforts in supporting racial reconciliation and commented that he had addressed the problem of sexual abuse in SBC churches with compassion.
He had visited numerous churches across the country and appeared on Fox & Friends the day before the election. The Conservative Baptist Network (CBN) urged attendees to attend as voting delegates. Despite her support for the motion to repudiate critical race theory, Stone, a framework for conceptualizing systemic racism that religious and political conservatives have criticized, was finally rejected by voters.
We can often feel like a highly dysfunctional family, Litton said following the announcement. We love each other.
Delegates voted down a proposal that explicitly denounced critical race theory. Despite approving a consensus measure, they reject any view that sees racism as a root cause.
The measure also apologized for the denomination’s legacy of racism, founded in 1845 to support slavery and sanctify and perpetuate racism in our lifetime.
A white delegate urged the convention to call critical race theory guilt by melanin content of skin by name. The theory already challenges by some state legislatures which bear the teaching of the idea.
Some of those in this room are as passionate about Christianity as they are about critical race theory, James Merritt, a former convention president, said.
Several Black pastors have complained about race theory debates within the SBC instead of systemic racism.
Wednesday concludes a two-day meeting when delegates will consider SBC proposals for a sweeping review of the SBC’s response to abuse in its churches. It came to light with secretly recorded conversations and leaked letters purportedly implicating SBC leaders in cover-ups and retaliation.
Stone was explicitly targeted. Convention-goers passed a resolution declaring that Anyone who has committed sexual abuse is disqualified from holding the pastor’s office for life.
Proponents of the resolution, however, stressed that scripture mandates that pastors be above reproach.
Voters To Removal Of Churches
Voters approved the removal of churches that affirm ethnic discrimination or condone child sexual abuse at the convention. Debated was whether those standards applied in practice.
During a heartfelt speech, outgoing president JD Greear lamented. As well as slander, distortion, character assassination, and baseless accusations some SBC leaders have faced. He also attacked what he saw as a predatory and divisive focus on the divisive issues.
Greear explained that the SBC should focus on its spiritual mission rather than other activities.
In speaking on critical race theory, he mentioned a worldview at odds with the gospel. But he did as they asked and stayed silent when they remained silent about the suffering of their neighbors—saying that if critical race theory has an echo of truth among our brothers and sisters of color. Then, we should not rush to condemn.
Black pastors have left the SBC because of concerns about race-based leadership.
Jennifer Lyell, who had previously advocated for convention reforms, praised the outcome, saying, I know that no SBC President alone can solve the systemic problems with abuse of power and sinful behavior among SBC leaders.
Delegates also adopted a strategic plan which sought to increase churches, missionaries. To give and teen ministry following 15 years of decline in church members and baptisms. The membership is now 14 million.
When COVID-19 precautions relax, the concert hall is packing to capacity without the use of masks. However, a small section sets aside for those wearing masks.
The annual meeting cancels because of the pandemic. Travis Loller and Peter Smith are both in Nashville.