It is difficult to write about issues of racism. That is because the issues are so emotionally charged they generally produce more heat than light; heightened emotions cloud objectivity. But the issues are unavoidable.
In the 2019 session of the Southern Baptist Convention a resolution was adopted that said Critical Race Theory was a useful “analytical tool” to address systemic racism “as long as it was subordinate to Scripture.”
Late in 2020 the presidents of the six Southern Baptist seminaries issued a joint statement declaring Critical Race Theory to be incompatible with the Baptist Faith and Message, the doctrinal statement of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Some pastors have left the SBC and others are contemplating leaving saying the seminary presidents’ statement was insensitive and causes them to question whether or not the SBC is committed to racial reconciliation.
While you may be able to guess, or from news accounts may know, the race of the parties involved, I have not mentioned race for a reason. Paul in his Areopagus sermon said God “made from one man every nation of mankind,” Acts 17:26. If we believe the Scriptures we must believe there is only one race and that is the human race.
Paul in his letter to the Galatians wrote, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus,” Galatians 3:28. Ethnic, socioeconomic, and gender differences are subsumed by our identity with and our allegiance to Christ; we are one in Him.
I do not have black or white brothers, or rich or poor brothers, if you are in Christ you are my brother, if you are in Christ and female you are my sister; we are all one family.
The meaning of Critical Race Theory seems to defy definition depending on who is explaining it, but ultimately and fundamentally it divides and separates society into stereotypical categories or classes based on skin color. In contradistinction the Gospel of Jesus Christ unites us in a common cause that is the furtherance of this Gospel in which we believe.
It seems to me the clearest witness to the seminary presidents’ statement that Critical Race Theory does not comport with the Baptist Faith and Message, is those pastors who have embraced Critical Race Theory have separated themselves from the Southern Baptist Convention. By their action they prove the presidents’ statement, CRT does divide believers based on race and does not unite us under the cause Christ.
I wish I knew how to resolve these differences, but it breaks my heart to see brothers in Christ divided over issues we should be united on in Christ.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” I have that same dream.