Monday, December 7, 2020 : By Nathan Skates
The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) has finally taken a hard stance on Critical Race Theory (CRT), claiming that the controversial school of thought is “incompatible with the Baptist Faith and Message.”
At its annual session, the Council, which is made up of the presidents of six SBC seminaries, passed a resolution celebrating the 20th anniversary of the revision of the Baptist Faith and Message but also made it a point to denounce CRT.
The resolution stated,
Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said that CRT has no place in the Southern Baptist Convention:
Jason K. Allen of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary stated,
CRT is a framework that sees white supremacy and systemic racism as ingrained in the fabric of the United States. It claims that America promotes “whiteness” and discriminates against all other cultural perspectives. According to CRT, racism is not confined to overtly racist actions or attitudes but also resides in the subconscious of all white Americans. It promotes the Neo-Marxist concept of the oppressor and oppressed classes, with white people as the oppressor class and black people and other minorities as the oppressed class.
CRT has been widely adopted in recent years and caused controversy in the SBC in 2019 when a resolution was adopted, labeling CRT a useful “analytical tool.”
The 2019 Resolutions Committee of the SBC drafted a statement regarding the controversy that showed its support for the Council’s new stance on CRT. However, their attempt to clear up controversy led to another minor controversy. In the Committee’s statement, they said, “Recently, we have been encouraged by and agree with statements from Dr. Tony Evans on CRT. In a sermon in which he deals with CRT, Dr. Evans makes a clear affirmation for the sufficiency and authority of Scripture over all ideologies.”
Evans, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, said that the Committee used his name without his awareness or permission and took his statements out of context. He continued,
The Council’s statements drew a wide array of reactions from across the theological spectrum. Dr. Owen Strachan, director of the Center for Public Theology and professor at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, has warned of the dangers of CRT. In an interview with Tony Perkins on CRT, he said,
Meanwhile, Jemar Tisby, president of The Witness, a black Christian collective that has advocated for CRT as a means to achieve racial justice and reconciliation, wrote that the Council’s statement showed their commitment to “whiteness.” He stated that the Council “ostensibly met to recommit to their guiding statement: the Baptist Faith and Message. In reality, these seminary presidents reaffirmed and gave themselves over to another historic Southern Baptist commitment: whiteness.”
Tisby went on to criticize the Council’s lack of action on racial issues and defended CRT. Tisby stated that the real threat to the Church is “Christian nationalism,” claiming that America is “not so exceptional” and lobbed charges of racism at evangelicals who support the Republican party.
This author would like to add that if America were not exceptional and were indeed irredeemably and systemically racist, Tisby would not be able to have achieved such success nor be allowed to make such claims without consequence.
Check out the Falkirk Center podcast with Pastor Tom Ascol on the heresies of CRT: