A Black President for the SBC

Recently, Dr. Fred Luter made the much anticipated announcement that he would allow himself to be nominated for president of the Southern Baptist Convention. With this announcement, Luter is poised to become the first African American to head our denomination.

The day Southern Baptists elect our first black SBC president will be an important moment for the history and future of our Convention. The election of an African American president will be a capstone for a series of strong statements of our Convention about our attitude toward race and our understanding of the gospel’s implications for racial diversity. Such a move is the next logical step in our denominations path toward ethnic inclusivism and holds great symbolic importance. Among the previous milestones of this journey, we have expressed our repentance for the sin of racism in an anniversary resolution, our theology concerning race in our statement of faith, our thinking about the practical application of that theology through a series of resolutions, and our purposeful intent to practice these values by adopting a report encouraging ethnic diversity and electing Fred Luter as first vice-president last year. Now, we will take our biggest step so far by the election of an African American to the presidency.

This election is not merely symbolic, however. When one considers the power of the president to effect change and the historical importance of the SBC presidency to shape the future of the Convention and its agencies, the election of an African-American president becomes even more significant. In electing a president, we entrust the direction of our denomination to his leadership. The president is the face of our Convention and has tremendous platform from which to influence our churches and agencies. Further, our polity empowers the president to shape the direction of our Convention through specific appointments. Namely, the president appoints the Committee on Committees that in turn appoints the Committee on Nominations who recommend trustees for our various agencies. In layman’s terms, that means that if the Convention is to see a diversity of leadership in its trustee boards, that process begins with the election of the President. In recent years our presidents have moved toward a more diverse leadership. The election and influence of an African American president combined with the report approved in the 2011 annual meeting should prove to increase that effort exponentially.

To illustrate this influence historically, the Conservative resurgence was won by the election of conservative presidents. The turning point came with the election of Adrian Rogers in 1979. Rogers and the conservative presidents that followed him used their influence and limited but significant power to reshape the Convention and its entities. The change in leadership and direction across our Convention began with the election of the president of the SBC. To elect Fred Luter is to elect another president for whom racial reconciliation matters and diversity in SBC leadership is a priority. Our commitment to racial diversity at every level of the Convention will be achieved in large part by the election of presidents who not only reflect our diversity, but champion diversity through the platform the position affords and the appointment process that is his real power.

This summer, we will have an opportunity as a Convention to make another bold statement of our intent and thinking about race and diversity and take significant action for real change. The election of an African American president, committed to racial reconciliation and ethnic diversity, will be a historic and important moment as we continue together to take the gospel to the world.

Comments

  1. Wade Phillips says

    I love Fred Luter. My impression is that he is a uniter, and along more than just racial lines. He is almost universally loved among the factions in the SBC, and will hopefully be able to pull together many of those who normally prefer to argue. I am hopeful I will be able to attend my first Southern Baptist Convention in June, so that I can vote for him!

  2. reformedsteve says

    It would make a bigger statement if no one mentioned his skin color and simply said, “we voted in the best candidate.” Saddly that won’t happen. We’ll just pat ourselves on the back for being diverse. The goal shouldn’t be”historic” presidencies, but effective presidencies.

    • says

      reformedsteve – You’ve just made the biggest statement that most would expect an idiot like myself would volunteer. What if he were the owner of the largest stable of trotting horses in Louisiana – would it be O.K. to mention that – you think ? I’ve heard him preach and I’ve read what he helped accomplish both before and after the storm . While I never asked him , I’ll bet he’s proud he’s black – he stands like he is – speaks like he is – and conducts himself as a proud black American. Let’s see – What color were the Tuskegee Airman ? or Does it matter ? I feel privileged to be able to make this comment in public about him and I hope I can shake his hand just like I did one of those Red Tailed Fighters . Fred Luter will excel no matter where he is assigned – count on it .

      • reformedsteve says

        Dave, I just find it silly to draw attention to a man’s color. Race becomes a merit when we do that.

        • Todd Benkert says

          I think it would be more silly to avoid talking about it — we haven’t mentioned the race of our past presidents, but it certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed that the so-called “best man” has up to this point always been a white guy.

          • reformedsteve says

            Worked out good in 2008. We had a historic event then too.

            I’m not even saying I wouldn’t vote for the guy. I’m simply saying that his color shouldn’t factor into it. Affirmitive action has made its way into denominational politics.

            Answer this question for me, why should a messenger vote for Luter

    • Dave Miller says

      Steve, maybe in the future we will get there. But a convention that sided for the majority of its history with slavery and racism electing a black president is too momentous to be ignored.

      Hopefully, the second time it happens and the third and the fourth, it will become less of a big deal.

      • Frank says

        Dave,

        I think you make a good point. What I would hope is that we could celebrate this momentous occasion without creating a greater divide.

        Too often, I’ve seen good intentioned actions backfire because of poorly chosen words by various leaders.

        As I’ve said, I don’t know much about Luter (other than his celebrity status in the SBC). But, just from looking at the picture with the BP article, he had a face that speaks unity, charity, and genuine good-heartedness.

        Oh yes . . . I also noticed he was black.

      • Todd Benkert says

        I think the Convention as a whole already wants to elect Luter — we were just waiting for him to say YES.

      • Frank says

        Wouldn’t it be nice for someone to be nominated to run against him and in the interest of unity and forward thinking the one nominated could decline graciously and ask for a vote of unanimous consent to elect Luter.

        Something like that would be much better than just running unopposed.

        • Frank says

          PS–I’d be willing to go to the Convention and do this myself but it would not have much affect because I couldn’t get elected even if I was running unopposed :)

  3. Dwight McKissic says

    This will the most significant move that I will have seen in my 28 years of serving as pastor of an SBC church. Maybe then I can paraphrase Michelle Obama: For the first time in my life I will be proud to be Southern Baptist. The post Luter SBC will tell the real story as to whether his presidency represents a paradigm shift in racial inclusion and empowerment; or will his election be an aberration?

    If the SBC is really serious about racial equality and inclusion, they would look for a highly qualified minority to assume the presidency of Midwestern Seminary, and that would leave no room for doubt that the 21st century SBC is different from the 1845 SBC. A great place to begin the Midwestern search would be to look to the African American candidate for the presidency at Golden Gate when she was last searching for a president that once passed over.

    The growth of Black SBC churches will happen at a greater rate and with churches capable and willing to give to the cooperative program if an entity head that’s a minority is appointed more-so than a minority appointed to a two year post, no matter how visible and influential that post may be. But make no mistake about it; this is a major step in the right direction for the SBC.

    • Frank says

      “”For the first time in my life I will be proud to be Southern Baptist.””

      What does that mean? I guess serving meals for a year after the 9-1-1 tragedy was not a “worthy” venture. I guess raising millions upon million or dollars for missions around the world is something one should be ashamed of. I guess bringing a little girl from the jungles of Guatemala to the U.S. for surgery on her deformed feet does not make you proud.

      I could go on and on and on . . . but I think one gets the picture.

      People have the right to say anything they wish, but sometimes I wonder. I think it is statements like these that will deter from the beauty of the moment and only tend to drive wedges instead of spread glue.

      I don’t know anything about Fred Luter as a person or as a SBC celebrity. My guess is, even in a post-Luter SBC, not all people will be happy–black, white, or otherwise. If we think our problems are only “skin” deep, I think we will be sorely disappointed regardless of who is elected President.

      The above post kind of let the air out of my Luter balloon.

      • Frank says

        PS–Before someone labels me racist for having a difference of opinion with someone who is black, let me point out that my wife graduated from and all black school, my best man was Chinese, my wife’s maid of honor was black, one of my ushers is now bald, and one was overweight. Also, my granddaughter is half-Mexican.

        I really don’t judge a person by the color of one’s skin but the content of one’s heart. A great man once said that.

          • Frank says

            Joe, I can always count on you for an encouraging word. Sort of like being soaked in gasoline and wandering in the darkness I can hear your voice say: “Hey, do you need a light” as you strike a match :)

    • Todd Benkert says

      I hope and pray and do expect Luter’s presidency to represent “a paradigm shift in racial inclusion and empowerment” for the Convention.

      And, fwiw, I understand your point about being proud of the SBC.

      • Dwight McKissic says

        Todd,

        Great article. You are on point to acknowledge and celebrate the historic nature of the Luter election. Pastor Luter’s qualifications, integrity, competence, and accomplishments are impeccable and without question. The credentials were never in question; so the only other important factor is his color in light of convention history.

        Thank you for understanding my “proud” remark. The Luter election will not go unnoticed by Black SBC churches. This will increase the identity and pride of the churches toward the SBC, which is a good thing. Until an African American is appointed as an entity head- as opposed two a two year high profile influential post- I believe the jury is out as to whether or not the Luter election will have legs. Thanks again for writing a much needed article. Better coming from you than a Black SBC personality.

  4. bill says

    Fred Luter is a quality step in the right direction after so many missteps over the past decade.

    Unfortunately, people will forget that and focus on the fact that this will be the first African-American President of the Southern Baptist Convention.

    If I go to New Orleans, I will be honored to vote for this man and who he is rather than the color of his skin. He is as solid as they come and I would be proud to follow him and his leadership.

    I could say even more but I think I already established how high in regard that I hold this man and his ministry.

    • reformedsteve says

      Exactly, Bill. We are so hung up on race. This guy could one thousand great things and all anyone would acknowledge is that he was the first black SBC pres.

      • Todd Benkert says

        They will recognize him BOTH for all those great things and as the first black president.

        Being “color-blind” has a nice appeal to it — for us white people — but for our black and minority brothers, as Dwight makes clear, race matters because up to this point non-whites have been excluded from the highest positions of leadership. Until that changes, race will continue to be an issue. We can’t truly claim to be color-blind in our thinking if it is not reflected consistently in our actions. Every president we’ve ever had is white. Every entity head is white. So I have no problem with us being hung up on race, or being intentional about racial diversity, until we can show with our actions and not just our words that race doesn’t matter.

        • reformedsteve says

          Would you vote for Luter if he was white? I get the impression that the only reason you are voting for Luter is because he isn’t white.

          • Todd Benkert says

            Let me answer this way: Luter is an outstanding pastor and Great Commission leader who has the qualifications, leadership ability, godliness, and personal appeal that would make a good president. He is also someone who represents the kind of Convention I want to be a part of. So I would happily vote for him regardless of color. There are many such men, of various ethnicities that fit that description and I always love elections where there are really no bad choices.

            I will vote for Luter in June because he will make a fine president and will move the Convention in the direction I want it to go. But I do not go into this election color-blind. If a similar white candidate emerges, I will vote for Luter — not because He is black but because I believe that we are long past due in sharing the leadership table with our non-white brothers. I don’t think that I am wrong in this or that this demeans Luter in any way.

            Examined on the church level, one would find us to be the most diverse denomination in North America. Examined by our denominational leadership, we are a Convention of white guys. I think there is an inconsistency in that — both with who we are as a Convention of churches and what we believe the gospel has to say about race.

            One way to change that is to ask highly competent, godly people of all races to serve together with us as we take the gospel to the nations.

  5. Dwight McKissic says

    Frank,

    Just like people didn’t understand Michelle Obama, you don’t understand my comment. Black people understood Michelle Obama, they would also understand my remark.

    • Frank says

      Dwight, several times in various posts you say things that others take exception to and then say, “because you are not black you cannot possibly understand what I said.”

      Well, perhaps you are right, and you might want to: 1) only post on Black Blogs; or 2) explain what you meant. Your statement does not seem unequivocal anymore than Michelle Obama’s statement that I think was perfectly understood by many who were not black.

      Your statement “for the first time” means there were no other times. How is that misunderstanding your statement?

      I don’t recall exactly but I don’t think Michelle Obama defended her statement by saying, “If you were black you would understand.” I’m sure, had she used that language, the matter would have gotten worse, not better.

      And, just for the record, her husband “apologized” for being American more than once. Also, just for the record, Michelle’s husband bowed before a foreign king as the official representative of the American people.

      So, if you want to parse words, fine. But, if you want to be understood, and not painted with a broad brush, you certainly could tell how I misunderstood “for the first” time as meaning something other than, “for the first time.”

      Otherwise, your statement just sounds like so much mud slung in the direction of the SBC. I will be very proud to be a Southern Baptist living during the period of the election of the first Black president.

      However, it will not be the first time I’ve been proud to be SBC, and I pray it will not be the last.

      I can see your quote being used to further divide a Convention that has a chance to come together in a very significant way. I do not say that as a black man or white man, but as a hopeful man. If you do not care how a white man perceives your words, then that is your perogative. I just differ with you on your words. Just your words.

      • Dwight McKissic says

        Frank,

        Time will not permit me to respond with the depth that your post calls for; so suffice it to say that First Lady Obama and I were referencing an emotional attachment that you feel about a person or an entity, only when you feel totally respected and treated-not by words- but by actions from that person or entity. That’s all I meant; nothing more or nothing less-and that’s all Michelle Obama meant. I believe that most people Black and the majority of Whites understood her too, or else her husband may not have been elected president.

        • Frank says

          Dwight, you make so many leaps in your post that I find it difficult to stay on board.

          To say for example that Michelle’s comments were openly accepted by the majority of Americans (white or black) because her husband got elected, is a leap of faith I cannot make. First of all, he was not elected by a plurality of Americans but by the electoral college. Nor does winning a race, even with a plurality, mean that everything one says and does by default is therefore correct.

          Thank you for your explanation that shows I understood exactly what you meant. I will grant this to you: I think you are correct when you say that you as a Black man and me as a White man do not understand each other, if it takes a lengthy post to explain three words.

          I do genuinely respect your right to your perspective and do not suppose that any length of discussion would likely narrow the gap.

          I do believe that if this type of parsing of words carries on, the post-Luter SBC may in fact be more divided, rather than more unified.

          Because, one thing is for sure–if your perspective is correct that a white man can never fully respect, appreciate, or undertand a black man, and vice versa–then, most surely we have made little progress in our nation, much less our convention.

          I will give you the last word should you choose, out of respect since it is your words that caught my attention. I think we both DO agree that this is a monumental, momentous, and wonderful crossroads for our Convention–even if the first mile or so after the crossroads may be a bit bumpy.

      • Dwight McKissic says

        Frank,

        ” 1) only post on Black Blogs”? Do you really mean that? I didn’t realize that this was a White’s only blog or only White’s could freely share their comments, but Blacks were limited to comments that may only be understood or accepted only on a “Black Blog.”

        This is my last word to you on this subject. Your comment and the attitude behind it explains why Michelle Obama felt the way she did and why I feel the way I do. Living in America and in the SBC,(and if you are Black) you’re always aware you’re that you are among people with your kind of attitude. However, a Barack Obama or a Fred Luter, manages to suceed in spite of these kind of attitudes. Michelle Obama and most Americans-in spite of what you think about the election results- understand this-thus the remark. If the SBC don’t understand her remark, the one thing we agree on is that we still have a long way to go in race relations.

        • cb scott says

          Dwight,

          My friend and buddy from many a good days and times together, you know full well there is a great difference between Fred Luter and President Obama.

          It is also my opinion that there is a great difference in you and the First Lady of the United States. Therefore, there is great difference in you making that statement and her making the same statement, don’t you think?

          Dwight, do you not think that even the most recent events as to demanding religiously based healthcare entities to yield to his Non-Christian and inhumane concepts of birth control through abortion on demand would not bring a believer such as yourself to see he is in diametric opposition to most all you and I consider right and biblical?

          • Dwight McKissic says

            CB,

            I love you, and hope to see you in New Orleans.

            You’re right: “there is a great difference between Fred Luter and President Obama.” But the one thing they have in common is that they both are Black and they have managed to gain the confidence of the majority of voters to ascend to the pinnacle position in their chosen hiearchacial structures.

            Although I consider entity heads as much more powerful positions than the SBC presidency, the perception to the general public will be the SBC presidency is the most powerful position in the SBC. And I think that perception will serve the convention well, from a public relations point of view.

            What Barack Obama and Fred Luter have in common is, being a minority, and winning the pinnacle office that can’t be one without “majority” support. Given the history of racism in the SBC and in America,those are HUGE accomplishments.

            CB, you’re right again: there are significant and substantial differences in my my belief system and Michelle’s Obama’s belief system. I’m not sure though what you see as the difference between Mrs. Obama making the statement and me making this statement?

            CB, ole buddy, ole pal, I mentioned to my Wednesday night service my strong disagreement and disapproval of the President’s plans with regard to requring religious institutions to pay for abortifacents. My verbal disagreements with the president on this issue was met with a hearty Amen!!! The hearty Amen, somewhat suprised me.

            I totally agree that, ” he is in diametric opposition to most all you and I consider right and biblical”; but how does that make Mrs. Obama’s remark, or my remark, somehow untrue, unacceptable, or irrational?

            I’ll buy lunch in New Orleans, although we will be closer to the ‘Bama Nation:).

          • cb scott says

            Dwight,

            Thanks for that response. It has been my opinion that you and I have “crossed over” the racial barrier with one another, even upon our first meeting, and therefore can have open and honest dialogue even when we disagree.

            Therefore, indulge me in making a comment to you motivated only by my perception of you rather than one of my Irish heritage trying to look all cool and politically correct in my thinking or as one who is trying to make all the world think that I am totally without bigotry of any fashion.

            Here it is:

            You made the following statement:

            “…My verbal disagreements with the president on this issue was met with a hearty Amen!!! The hearty Amen, somewhat suprised me.”

            Dwight, that should not surprise you in the least. You have served a great number of those folks in your church for many years. Others are there because they have been attracted to a gospel preacher who has not compromised the biblical gospel on the altar of political expediency.

            In other words Dwight, you are a gospel preacher in a gospel believing and biblically accountable church. Therefore, you should not be surprised in any way that your people have recognized the direct opposition the President’s proposal is to biblical Christianity.

            I congratulate you on your stand and would expect no less from the flock to which our Lord has assigned you as shepherd.

          • Dwight McKissic says

            CB & David,

            Yes David, Sweet Tea and Cajun Food; somewhere, we will find it, and I’ll buy.

            CB, appreciate the dialogue. Yes, we have crossed that bridge as I have with a few other friends, where the love for Jesus and the love for each other is stronger than differences in opinion.

            I remain curious though: what do you see as the difference between Michelle’s Obama’s remark and mine? If this is a question that you would rather answer off-line, or not answer at all, that is alright too.

          • says

            cb scott – you are trying your best to turn a Blog about a black president of the SBC into a forum on President Obama , Healthcare , Retirements for missionaries etc. The insurance question is being settled as we all speak by people of many colors and religions.

          • cb scott says

            Dwight,

            The last time I made so many comments about the incumbent was prior to his election, if you will remember. Another brother of ours somewhat north of you tried to pull a Calvin and Servetus on me for those comments and great numbers of wild-geese attacked me with an amazing desire to help roast me. :-)

            Therefore, Let me use one word that is first in my mind when I make such a statement of comparative difference between you comment and that of the First Lady. Humility.

            We can discuss this later by another venue. I do not desire to become fodder for the camp fire at a wild-goose cook-out today. :-)

          • cb scott says

            Debbie,

            Tell me word-for-word exactly what it is I will have to say. :-)

            Seriously Debbie, Lighten up. Today is Saturday. Surely you finished your sermon for tomorrow by this past Thursday? Relax for a moment. Send some Valentines cards out to your friends. I think you still have my address, don’t you?

          • cb scott says

            Jack Wolford,

            If you will take the time to read the flow of this comment thread, you will see I did not bring the President into it. I did engage. And frankly, the bringing of the first Black American President of the United States would naturally become part of the dialogue of a post concerning the first Black American to become President of the SBC.

            So read the post and the thread Jack Wolford. To do so will amaze you with what you find out before you begin to post comments.

          • says

            cb scott – I’ve read that the First Lady Michelle Obama while knowledgeable of the Indian Code Talkers has not been mentioned in the same post – until now .

          • volfan007 says

            Todd,

            If you can make it to this lunch, and I can make it; then dessert is on me. Coffee is on CB. Lunch is on Dwight. You’ll make out like a bandit!

            David

  6. says

    It’s hard for me to understand why people that have graduated from a seminary – as well as some that haven’t – seem to want to act as attorneys act by using legalise and making a “case” when either asking a question or making a statement . If you would have made a gifted attorney then God would have arranged for you to attend Law school – all the way thru – in my humble opinion. I think that is why I believe I understand black people well – because some speak simply so I believe I’m understanding perfectly what they are saying .

  7. says

    Everything I know about Fred Luter says he is a good choice for any leadership position and I don’t see where it matters if he’s black, yellow, or pink with purple polka dots.

  8. says

    The election of an African-American SBC president would be a historic moment in the SBC. I would have a lot of high hopes for the future, including increased involvement in SBC life from many of the dually-aligned, predominantly Black churches in our area. Maybe it would also let us see some of our racist white churches leave the convention.

    Some of these comments have somewhat made me think. Do we really want anyone to run unopposed? Would you feel better if his challenger was also African American? What does that say about us? Does it betray a fear that a white candidate would likely beat a black one? Does it mean we care less about one’s specific vision for the SBC than we do for a man’s personal characteristics?

    Everything I’ve heard about Pastor Luter has been positive. I recognize his election to the SBC Presidency would be historic and could have a lot of benefit, and I currently have no reservations about voting for him. But I’m also willing to consider any godly man with a vision who would put himself forward for that position. Couldn’t a white president promote unity and diversity? What would the election of a Hispanic president do for the sake of unity and solidarity with that growing minority? How about a Korean, Chinese, or other Asian president?

    I’m all for this guy, but I don’t think we should hope that no one would challenge him. It might just be there’s another godly man, black, white, or other, out there with vision who could take the SBC in a God-glorifying direction just as well, if not better, than Pastor Luter.

  9. says

    I have the highest respect for Dr. McKissic that one can reasonably have and not have that respect turned into an idol. I think we need to listen to what Dr. McKissic is saying.

    I don’t believe whites have a clue how important this is. At least not all whites. Blacks have not been in any position of authority and the black churches. Dr. McKissic has written several posts on his blog and in other places that bears this out. He has been the voice behind racial discrimination which I do believe has occurred in the past. It’s about time that happened. It’s also important that Fred Luter’s theology is solid.

    It’s 2012 and about time and I personally believe it does matter that Fred is a black man. It’s time that black churches were actually a part of the SBC and proud to be SBC.

    • cb scott says

      “It’s also important that Fred Luter’s theology is solid.”

      There is no “also” about it. It is absolutely imperative that Fred Luter’s theology be solid, if he is going to be president of the SBC.

      We certainly do not need to go back to a visitation of the theology of some in the past. And most certainly we do not need anyone as president of the SBC whose theology would reflect that of the Commander and Chief and the First lady. Fred Luter’s theological moorings are miles and miles ahead of that of the President when it comes to orthodox faith in Christ.

      Dr. Luter will make a fine SBC president. The fact that he is a Black American is also a good thing in my opinion. But please do not relate him to the incumbent President of the United States. They are as different as night and day.

  10. Matt Svoboda says

    This is great for many reasons.

    Congrats to Dr. Fred Luter and all of the SBC. I cant wait to see this happen.

  11. Lydia says

    “Maybe then I can paraphrase Michelle Obama: For the first time in my life I will be proud to be Southern Baptist.”

    I was a bit astonished at the nerve of her comment. It was the first time she was proud to be an American??? even after:

    Attending Princeton
    Obtaining a law degree from Harvard
    Joining the staff of a Chicago Law Firm
    Sitting on the Board of the University of Chicago Hospital

    I just do not get that thinking. There are many white women (and men!) who have not reached for and obtained those sorts of goals.

    And I feel the same way about this as I did the push to hire women back in the early 80’s…that competence is what we should look for not gender or color. I think Booker T Washington had it right in his book that the color of “green” would be the indicator of true equality and make the biggest changes for African Americans. Sadly, he was not listened to. Work hard, build sucessful businesses, become the masters of your vocation as in be the best. Sort of like what George Washington Carver did and went on to wow congress with his discoveries. (Read his bio…incredible stuff!)

    • Dwight McKissic says

      Lydia,

      Let me help you to understand Michelle’s Obama’s thinking: Blacks only feel a sense of emotional attachment, ownership, or “at home”, in a place where they feel as if there is mutual respect, inclusion, empowerment, and ownership. When you’re Black, because of the history of this country, there is always a sense of walking or functioning on somebody else’s territory or space-no matter what you accomplish on that space-until an act takes place, such as the election of President Obama, or the election of Fred Luter, that makes it crystal clear that you’re not a stranger, guest, or one being simply tolerated or accomadated on someone else’s property-but you are a part of the ownership of the place. When that takes place, there’s a pride that accompanies that corresponding action, that so trumps any previous feelings of pride or appreciation, that you are left with the emotional and real excitement-based on fact(s), that for the first time-meaning in a way that you’ve never felt before, to this extent-you are proud to be an American or Southern Baptist. A lot of Blacks felt this pride when Barack Obama was elected; even those of us who may not have voted for him. I hope this helps you to at least understand this from a different perspective.

    • Frank L. says

      Lydia,

      A very brave and insightful post. I believe you demonstrate that whites (I am assuming you are white) can understand blacks and vice versa. However, as I pointed out in my post, even choosing to disagree with someone of another race, is something that can bring accusations such as, “unless you are of my skin color you cannot understand what I mean.”

      Even if that were the case–and there is some validity to the concept–then it would seem bette to try to make a connection than continue to make a distinction. This is why race is still a problem in our society, and no doubt will continue regardless of who is President or Convention President.

      For some, as you point out, enough is never going to be enough. This issue is like swinging on a pendulum–first to one extreme and then to another. We just cannot seem to find a way to let the pendulum find a place of rest in the middle. Someone or someone always seems to be determined to keep it swinging.

      The good thing about Lute announcing this early is that maybe some of the more delicate issues can be aired long before the Convention.

      In just one year we have swung from the issue of “The Great Commission” to “This Historic Moment.” I see an irony in this. What I long for is that we could get to a place in our convention that every Convention is about the Great Commission with not all the politics that usually dominate. There are a ton of “important” issue, but there is only one “gospel.” I say let’s get back to riding that train.

      Let’s not let even a “good” issue become the main issue.

      Could this be that convention?

      • Lydia says

        “When you’re Black, because of the history of this country, there is always a sense of walking or functioning on somebody else’s territory or space-no matter what you accomplish on that space-until an act takes place, such as the election of President Obama, or the election of Fred Luter, that makes it crystal clear that you’re not a stranger, guest, or one being simply tolerated or accomadated on someone else’s property-but you are a part of the ownership of the place”

        Bro. Dwight,

        When you are a women in the SBC you can NEVER, ever, no matter how good you are or how called you think you are, be an SBC pastor or SBC president. We are always to be a stranger or guest- someone tolerated and accomodated but never really have ownership of the place.

        Sure, I know how you feel. But it is not changing for us anytime soon. Paul said so, never mind that pesky pentecost prophecy coming true. (wink)

        • Frank says

          Lydia, I guess everyone could insert something in the blank, “When you are ________________,” and make the argument we are somehow disenfranchised. We are all victims of one sort or another. We are all strangers or guests in one arena or another.

          As far as I know, no hillbilly has ever been elected to the Presidency from my home state. Does that mean I’ve never been fully represented in the White (no pun intended) House?

          I just don’t see where the argument over race will ever end. In my state, the color of indentured service is brown, not black. The issues of poverty and oppression and disenfranchisement is no longer a black and white issue alone.

          • Lydia says

            Frank, I totally agree. I was just empathizing with Bro Dwight with my own plight which is being on the back of the SBC bus until Jesus returns……. and then you guys are in big trouble. :o)

          • cb scott says

            “As far as I know, no hillbilly has ever been elected to the Presidency from my home state.”

            Well Frank, I don’t know what your home state would be, but “we all” got what could be considered a “hillbilly” of the worst sorts when we got LBJ.

        • Bill Mac says

          Lydia: Is that true? Do our rules prevent a woman from being SBC president? Or are you saying that complementarians will see to it that no women is ever elected?

          • Lydia says

            “Well Frank, I don’t know what your home state would be, but “we all” got what could be considered a “hillbilly” of the worst sorts when we got LBJ.”‘

            Andrew Jackson is the first official hillbilly president.

          • Lydia says

            “Lydia: Is that true? Do our rules prevent a woman from being SBC president? Or are you saying that complementarians will see to it that no women is ever elected?”

            Is this a trick question? Because I am an easily deceived woman and cannot tell about such things. (wink)

          • John Wylie says

            Bill Mac and Lydia,

            I just looked through the constitution and by laws of the SBC and found no such prohibition. However, the SBC, at least in my lifetime, has always elected preachers as the president of the SBC. This, of course, would exclude women. A few years ago the Baptist General Convention of Texas elected a woman president for the first time in Texas history and the national SBC did nothing.

          • volfan007 says

            Davey Crockett should’ve been President, and Sam Houston, too. Of course, they had to take some TN boys down to Texas to help that state come into being.

            Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, and Andrew Johnson were some TN boys, who were President.

            So, we’ve had a few more hillbillies in the White House besides ole Billy Boy from Arkansas.

            David

        • Dwight McKissic says

          Lydia,

          If revival comes to the SBC as it did during the days of the Sandy Creek Revival that led to the birth of the SBC, women will play a major role as they did in the Sandy Creek churches. Admittedly, it will take a mighty move of God for that to repeat itself in today’s SBC. Ironically, many in the SBC celebrate the Sandy Creek Revival and the role it played in the formation of the SBC, but they conveniently forget the impactful and high profile roles that womed played at Sandy Creek. So, there is yet-hope.

  12. says

    Frank – In your post # 18 you said you knew nothing about Fred Luter as a person or as a SBC celebrrity. Wouldn’t you think it would be your obligation to become informed if for no other reason than to better ” sell ” your opinions . But it does seem since #18 you have mellowed a bit and who knows you and I might get invited to that special ” black ” tie get to-gether that will put all others to shame – and rumor has it that the White House will be represented but of what color no one will tell – but they won’t pay for anything or leave a donation but will be the subject of a raffle the winner of which guesses that person’s color – exactly !

    • Frank says

      Jack, I have no opinions about Luter to sell. So, as is the case with many of your posts, I have no idea what you are talking about.

  13. John Wylie says

    I think that Fred Luter’s election will be a milestone in SBC history. Hopefully it will not only be a harbinger of great things to come but it will put to bed the silly belief that Southerners are racists. I think that it’s interesting that 3 of the biggest race riots took place outside the South, namely, Detroit, Chicago, and Los Angeles.