An Open Letter to Wm Dwight McKissic, Sr.

by Dave Miller on October 5, 2011 · 29 comments

I am addressing this publicly to you because of public comments you made on SBC Voices yesterday.  You were upset by some comments a couple of our regulars made and you responded with your normal incisive and direct words.  You have a powerful manner of speaking and articulating your points.  I would not want to enter a debate with you – it might be like trying to counter a bazooka with a pop-gun!

But I have something I want to say to you.  And I want to say it publicly because I think a lot of us feel the same way.

I’m on a brief sabbatical at my church and while I’m managing this blog and doing a little writing when the spirit strikes me, I’m not paying as much attention to SBC Voices, so I did not enter into the conversation much yesterday.  Besides, my New York Yankees are trying to earn the right to deliver a spanking to the Texas Rangers and I had a game I was compelled to watch.

But you made statements within those comments that bothered me.  I hope you will hear my appeal to you today. My concern has nothing to do with the flow of the conversation yesterday.  It has to do with something I read into your comments – a growing frustration with the Southern Baptist Convention, with our sometimes culturally insensitive and hidebound ways, and with the slow pace of change on racial issues.

Here is some of what you said.

Your comments quoted above are perhaps the very reason African Americans and minorities are absent, askance, skeptical and distant from the SBC. That’s the reason those who are a part of the SBC give only 1% to the Cooperative Program.

If your feelings about a riot expresses the majority sentiments of SBC people regarding those who live in urban downtown areas, God help the SBC. They need a lot more than a name change; they need a heart change.

This is what bothers me.  When you spoke of the SBC, you said, “they.”  Not us.  They.  You write about the SBC as an outsider.  I can understand that – it can’t be easy to be an African American pastor who addresses racial issues in the SBC.  There is still racism out there (from stories you have told me in our conversations – storieds that anger and sadden me) and there is the frustrating attitude of many who seem to think that a public apology and some resolutions at the SBC mean that the problem has been solved and the SBC should be completely absolved from its racist past.  I cannot imagine the frustration that you feel.

Now, here is my plea.  Don’t give up on us.  We need you.  We need black pastors to endure the frustration, the aggravation, the discouragement, even the insults, and continue to point the SBC in the direction of racial equality and opportunity.

Last night, Curtis Granderson made two amazing catches to help the Yankees win.  That would not have happened if a very special man named Jackie Robinson had not endured abuse sixty-four years ago in breaking the color barrier in baseball.  But the pain and suffering he endured has produced positive results today.

Let’s look sixty-four years into the future.  Maybe, just maybe, the process will be advanced and in 2075 the SBC will be a convention that reflects the entire population of the USA, not just one segment of it.  By staying with us now, you can help make that a reality.  You may not see the fruit, but you can plant the seed.

You are not alone as a black pastor in the SBC, but you are among the more prominent.  And you have had your share of injuries.  What happened to you at Southwestern, while not racial in nature, certainly must have left you feeling like something of a theological outsider.  The refusal of the convention to vote your motion in Orlando was understandably frustrating.  Perhaps the most annoying problem must be dealing with people who simply do not admit that a problem exists anymore.

But we need you.  We need men of God who are black to continue to call attention to our inconsistencies and failings. We need men just like you.

I am asking you to do a hard thing – stick it out.  Your investment in the SBC may mean rewards for others in the future.  I know that we will benefit from it.  If you were to choose to disengage, no one could really blame you.  But I am hoping and praying you do not do that.

It should not be your burden to carry the torch of racial equality.  The majority should never demand that a minority earn its way to acceptance and full participation.  Inclusion is the burden of the majority, especially if it has previously and sinfully engaged in exclusion.  And I honestly believe that there are more of our leaders who have a genuine desire not just for toleration of racial diversity in the SBC, but desire to tear down all the walls.  We are moving in the right direction.

Progress is being made and men like you have had a part in that.  We need you to continue with us and help us speed the process.

The SBC is changing.  In my first pastorate in a Deep South church, active racism abounded.  That racism would no longer be tolerated in the vast majority of SBC churches.  Most have rejected active racism and discrimination.  But sometimes we are insensitive about racial issues.  We assume that since we are not actively racist or discriminatory, we have reached the destination.

You can help us see the progress that is still needed.  You can help us see when our comments are insensitive or exclusionary.  You can call us to account when not only the floor but the podium of the convention is lily white. You can use your greatest gift – your powerful preaching – to call us to greater things.

Don’t give up on us, brother.  God is doing a good work in the SBC on racial issues.  It may be slow, sometimes imperceptible.  And there will be injuries and insults along the way.  But there is progress being made and you have had a role in that.

The Southern Baptist Convention needs Dwight McKissic.  I hope you will hear my heart.

We need you to be part of what God is doing among us!

 

1 Dave Miller October 5, 2011 at 5:19 pm

I hope I don’t offend Dr. McKissic by making this statement public. But I just want it out there that from my experience with the SBC, and with Dwight McKissic, we need him as a leader in our denomination.

2 Wm. Dwight McKissic, Sr. October 7, 2011 at 2:35 pm

Dave,

I trust that your well-deserved time off will be refreshing. Rebooting is very important in electronics and life. Your message today counseled all of us who are pastors; thanks for being so transparent.

Let me thank you for yesterday’s post, An Open Letter to Wm. Dwight McKissic, Sr. I deeply appreciate that, and I thought SBC Voices needed to distance itself from Joe’s and Jake’s inflammatory comments. Yesterday’s post accomplished just that and encouraged my heart.

Finally, my assistant forwarded you a blog post article entitled “The Kingdom of God and the SBC, Regarding a proposed name change for the SBC.” I am requesting that you will consider posting this article on SBC Voices at your earliest convenience. I am sending you a copy via email for your convenience. Please confirm receipt of the article (dmckissic@cbcarlington.org).

Again, thanks!

3 cb scott October 7, 2011 at 2:48 pm

Dwight,

Don’t let Dave get to you. he is just feeling low because the Tigers chewed up the Yankees. Now he says he is going to look at leaves.

Next thing we will hear from him is that he is at Walden Pond going all Henry David Thoreau on us.

4 Christiane October 7, 2011 at 2:57 pm

Walden Pond ? too built up . . . DAVID needs to catch a flight out to Ireland and find glorious solitude in ‘a bee-loud glade’:

” The Lake Isle of Innisfree

by William Butler Yeats

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made,
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all aglimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of linnet’s wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day,
I hear lake and water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.”

Ahhhh . . . . . Yeats . . . !!!!! Love it, love it, love it !
how my heart flutters . . .

Three weeks in Ireland will do DAVID much good.

5 sal October 5, 2011 at 11:25 pm

Dave, let’s face it, we’re not always broad-minded and understanding. I’ve always known that. Being a conservative Protestant has meant that I’ve often been among reactionary people with petty viewpoints. I have my own. I realize this. Many of us crack jokes we think are funny but I find horribly provincial and stupid. Some of it’s charming. But some of it’s pretty dumb. I have the crazy notion that we should be ahead of the secular world in insight and maturity. That’s just not always the case.

6 Dave Miller October 6, 2011 at 12:55 am

Unfortunately true.

7 Blake October 6, 2011 at 1:18 am

Thanks Dave! As a young Southern Baptist I want to affirm what it means to me to have people like Bro. Dwight choose to stay with the convention. I still struggle to choose to stay in the SBC because I have a hard time seeing or believing that a heart change is even possible in our convention. I know many other young people are leaving that could make the SBC a place that followed after Jesus more closely. It means a lot to me to see people with unpopular views stick around to try and make the convention a better place in the future. It’s one of the few things that gives me hope and encourages me to keep with it as well.

8 volfan007 October 6, 2011 at 8:28 am

Blake,

What “heart change” do you see the SBC needing?

David

9 Jeff Parsons October 6, 2011 at 8:31 am

I’m afraid I stirred the pot somewhat when I left an inquisitive comment and then didn’t have time to engage the conversation, much like today will be. I will say, from my work I’ve done in my home town, while open racism may no longer exists, it exists in the attitude of our hearts. I was thankful for Dr. McKissic’s comments and disappointed in those who continued to defend the indefensible. While I no longer have the love I once had for the SBC, I do believe Dave is right. Dr. McKissic could be the Jackie Robinson of the SBC and may have been here for a time such as this. The only question is has he been burnt so much that he no longer believes the SBC is worth it…..

10 volfan007 October 6, 2011 at 11:03 am

And yet, the SBC is doing more to reach different ethnic groups than ever before in our history. And yet, a Black man is probably gonna be elected as President of the SBC for the first time ever in New Orleans.

Listen, I know that we can always work on being better, but give me a break. I’m tired of hearing all of this white guilt, and I’m thinking about leaving the SBC, and boo hoo hoo. C’mon, get over it.

Let’s move on….move forward. I’m tired of hearing the race card pulled all the time.

I love Dwight. I love my Black brothers and sisters in the Lord. I love my Chinese brothers and sisters in the Lord….and the Latino, and the Laotian….etc. But, c’mon people…rejoice in all that has happened in the SBC in the area of race relations.

If you dont, I’ll get CB Scott to get out his little violin.

David

11 Jeff Parsons October 6, 2011 at 11:56 am

David,

I can tell you from the daily work I do that this has nothing to do with white guilt, but with attitudes, like those expressed in the post referenced, that continually hurt any healing that has taken place. Once you get close to those who are affected by them, you see calls to just “get over it” as part of the problem than the solution. Just being happy over the good parts of the SBC won’t fix what needs to be fixed….and this has needed to be fixed for quiet some time.

12 volfan007 October 6, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Jeff,

Maybe you dont know about all the advances of the SBC in this area? And, brother, I live in the South. I was raised beside Black folks. I went to school with them. I played ball with them. So, no one can tell me that I dont know Black people, and they cant tell me that I dont know racism. I’ve seen it, firsthand. And, I know that we still have a ways to go…one the Black side of this issue as well as on the white side…and on the Asian side…and on the Latino side.

I went to a Black Church singing not too long ago. I had a great time worshipping with those Bro.’s and Sisters. But, a few of the Black folks in that Church werent too happy about some white people being there…..and I felt it. They were as racist as any White person I’ve been around.

But, what I am getting at is all of this racism this, and racism that…and whining about the SBC, and if things dont change then I’ll just leave….well, boo hoo hoo….

David

13 Jeff Parsons October 6, 2011 at 4:10 pm

First of all David, try clicking on my name and you’ll see I live and minister in the south. The fact that there are non-whites that are racist really is irrelevant. Racism is not limited to one race. You can take up the issue of leaving the SBC due to these issues with Dr. McKissic since I never made any such statement. I only alluded to what his attitude may be.

Also, going to school and playing ball with black people has given you some experience, for which I’m glad, but those type of experiences only scratch the surface. Sit down and talk to any person of color and ask them to be totally honest about their attitudes toward whites. Don’t try to defend white people, just listen….you’ll be surprised at the things we do that seem condescending to them that we see as innocent. Some of it may be their problem and some of it is definitely ours….but until we begin to fellowship consistently with people of other races, we will struggle with this issue and the comments like those in the post referenced will continue.

14 Louis October 6, 2011 at 10:31 am

I have not read Dwight’s comments, so I will have to go and read them.

Dwight has every bit as much right to say what he wants in relation to the convention and I know that no one on here would disagree with that.

The SBC does need a cultural face lift in some regards. The heart is right in most places, but there can be outposts or examples of insensitivity. This is true of many organizations.

David, one thing the convention could easily do is take “Southern” out of the name of the convention. That’s a no brainer. I think it should be done for other reasons, but some people do see a racial issue in that.

I do not agree with Dwight in an unwritten affirmative action plan for SBC entity boards. But I do agree in making extra efforts in that regard.

15 Louis October 6, 2011 at 10:34 am

Off topic:

The Wall Street Journal has a great article on the passing of Steve Jobs.

I did not realize that even Apple Computer, Inc., changed its name to Apple in the late 1990s or early 2000s because the company was no longer just into computers, but was doing other things. They wanted the name to keep up with existing realities. As you know, that is a good thing.

Here is a money quote from the article,

“Those who knew Mr. Jobs say one reason why he was able to keep innovating was because he didn’t dwell on past accomplishments and demanded that employees do the same. Hitoshi Hokamura, a former Apple employee, recalls how an old Apple I that was displayed by the company cafeteria quietly disappeared after Mr. Jobs returned in the late 1990s.”

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose,” Mr. Jobs said in a commencement speech at Stanford University in June 2005, almost a year after he was diagnosed with cancer.

Read more: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304447804576410753210811910.html#ixzz1a0n3uBFe

16 Louis October 6, 2011 at 11:03 am

I just went back and read a column on race and noted that the comments were closed.

The issues of homosexuality and race in the U.S. have completely different histories and require different rhetoric and approaches, in my opinion.

With homosexuality, we all know what is going on here. Some churches have abandoned the sexual ethic of the NT and Jesus’ teachings. They want homosexuality to be seen as a normal option for life. The fact that they restrain it rhetorically with statements like, “A loving, committed relationship – monogamous homosexuality” is really comical. So, they want sexual practices that are condemned by the OT and NT normalized, but only in the confines of NT sexual expression, which is quite ironic.

At any rate, these churches permit such unions, “bless” them, encourage them, ordain those who agree etc. We have some churches that openly think this way in the SBC. There are many more who believe this, but will not say so openly. “Dialogue” is the key word used by these people, I have found.

Looking back on Protestant history in the U.S. and in the SBC, the SBC became concerned that a movement to normalize homosexual behavior would be a creeping, inch by inch, phenomena, not always expressed with honest and forthright language. The SBC was concerned that this would creep into the SBC and affect the teaching at the colleges, seminaries, and in the cirriculum. We are light years from that, for sure. But what to do about this? The SBC decided to remove the voting status for all such churches so that they could not ever have the possibility of impacting the thinking of the larger body or the institutions of the convention.

Was what the SBC did necessary? Was it the right way to do it?

I think it was necessary. This was demonstrated by Broadway Baptist’s duplicitous behavior and refusal to come out and say what the position of the church was.

Was it the right way to do it? I am not certain about that. I am not itching to change anything, either.

Except that the flaw in the approach selected is now seen when someone else brings up some other sin. In this case, racism.

There is no doubt that racism exists in some quarters. As does lust. As does greed. As does pride.

The vast majority of SBC churces do not abide these sins any more than they do homosexual behavior. But the situation is not the same.

I know of no SBC church that is promoting racism. I know of no such SBC church attempting to reinstitute slavery, Jim Crow, or any such thing. The churches that I know are running from that. The SBC has apologized for slavery etc. No official racist act has been requested or taken at any convention meeting. If that occurred, I am sure we would have a actual fight.

I no of no racist material that is being published, or is being urged to be published.

I no of no SBC institution that is pushing any racist agenda or taking any racist action.

Again, I suspect that there are more than a few older people in many churches that do not have progressive racial views. What to do about them?

Should we demand that the churches where they attend throw them out or call them out? And if they don’t, kick the church out of the SBC.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that something very different is going on here. We are dealing with old racial attitudes that are slowly dying out in the SBC populaton.

The best way to deal with that, in my opinion, is for the modern day preachers, church members and the SBC itself, and its entities, to continue to preach against that sin and disciple those among us who have a long way to come on that issue.

This is not an issue that some are trying to promote or slip in the drinking water of the SBC, as in the case of homosexuality. This issue is the residue of a bygone era that is slowly being filtered and drained away from the SBC waters.

If we cannot see the difference between why these two issues might both be seen as equally bad, but be approached in ways that are most effective to the situation, then we are not acting intelligently.

17 Greg Harvey October 6, 2011 at 11:12 am

You make a great point, Louis: if we’re willing to throw out homosexuals for continued, presumably willful sinful behavior, we ought to throw out Christians who continue to express racism. It’s all sin, right?

18 volfan007 October 6, 2011 at 11:13 am

Greg,

Who are all of these racists in the SBC who need kicking out?

David

19 Louis October 6, 2011 at 11:55 am

Greg:

What I was trying to say was that the SBC should not have churches in its fellowship that do not agree with the sexual ethic taught by the NT and Jesus.

There are churches that do that openly and some, covertly.

The SBC should not have those kind of churches in their midst.

Likewise, the SBC should have have churches in its fellowship that promote or agree with racism.

The problem is that I know of no such church that does that openly or covertly. I suspect they may exist, but I really don’t know who that would be. I would be very interested in hearing about those churches, if anyone can name them and direct me to the facts.

There may be individuals in various churches that hold racist views. I don’t know of any individuals specifically. To my knowledge, I have not heard of persons promoting that their churches adopt or promote racist programs or positions etc. I would be very interested in that, too.

The churches where these members attend would be in the position to deal with them through discipleship or whatever other means the churches feel is appropriate.

The SBC could not do anything about individual persons because individuals do not belong to the SBC.

20 Dr. James Willingham October 6, 2011 at 12:08 pm

The basic assumption is that we are all at the same level of understanding and commitment, but that ain’t the case…and perhaps ever in this world. I have never forgotten the nightmares that I had from reading of how Black Americans were treated in the South during the times of slavery and segregation and some ven to this day. As late as the 60s a friend had a battle royal with a land owner who was holding a Black American (today, African American) in slavery, practically speaking. He raised the money to pay off the Black man’s debt, had a deputy sheriff witness the transaction, got a signed receipt, and went immediately and loaded the Black man’s furniture and moved him elsewhere. The landowner vowed vengeance against my friend, promising to get him fired from a church in Georgia, and he succeeded. My friend was fired from his church about a year later…after all it does take time to line up the votes, especially when you are not a member of that church.

One of the things I have learned is that there is no such thing as superiors and inferiors. We are all created equal. One might have a gift in one area, whereas another has a give in some other area. The distribution of gifts or talents balances out, if a person is right with God, if love has become the motive. I am a Southerner of umpteen generations (some of my ancestors had been here much longer than the folks from Europe, if you get my drift). I also have a Yankee grandfather. And, yes, some of my ancestors owned slaves…much to my grief and theirs as well, I am sure. The fact that the Southern Christian Leadership Conference retains “Southern” as a part of its name says that “Southern” in and of itself should not be the issue. The real issue should be the change in practices of the churches, and that is beginning to occur. Slowly, perhaps, but surely. Think of a Southerner such as myself writing a paper on the subject, “Intellectuals of the Western Sudan,” at Columbia University in the Summer of ’71 or proposing a doctoral dissertation on the subject, “The Baptist and Slavery,” the aim of which was to show how God had produced some tremendous Christain personalities in those Black folk in that terrible time, or doing a project in a local white country Southern Baptist church in North Caroline on the subject, “Christian Love and Race Relations,” and that without the support of the seminary. Indeed, my project director said to me: “You ought to have known better than to have selected a controversial topic like that. If they fire you, I will be right there behind them, supporting them.” And that from a professor who was what we would call a liberal and when the seminary (Southeastern) was noted to be the most liberal in the convention. What I did not know at that time was that God had His own plans for the church. A son of one of the deacons would later marry an African American lady and have two sons…What a change in attitudes and conduct that produced. The typical average deacon’s wife and mother of the son would brag to me in the past five years how proud she was of her Black grandsons. A fellow member at another church would be completely daffy over his Black grandson.

In the church I attend we have in a membership of perhaps 4-500 we have about 20 Black members. At least one interracial marriage…and perhaps two or three more (I don’t know all the members by a long shot).

Yes, things are a-changing as the saying goes. Let the Whites work to change attitudes in the White churches. Racism is an abhorrent evil, to say the least. I pray God to speed the day, when the issue will be as dead as a door nail. I can still remember the school principle in the church I pastored from 1962-64 in Missouri advising me: “Brother, Jim. Go up to Jefferson City. Go to Lincoln University. You will get a great education, world famous scholars in small classes.” I did, and I am glad I did. One of my professors was Dr. Lorenzo J. Greene (Ph.D., Columbia Univ., 1940), assistant editor to Carter G. Woodson, on the Journal of Negro Life and History. Dr. Greene put me on the track on the Intellectuals of the Mosque University of Timbuktu. I think it is named Sankore. In any case, I was able to check out what Dr. Greene had had to say about the scholars there, when I did the research and wrote the paper in the Summer of ’71 at Columbia. Basically, I compared Ahmed Baba, the Rare Jewel of Learning as he was called, with Ibn Khaldun (sp?) of Spain, the leading Arabic Scholar of the Middle Ages. It was an interesting and exciting bit of knowledge. Even afterwards, I would continue to learn more about Ahmed Baba…Well, I must close. Bro. McKissic, Leave the term Southern. After all, it belongs to Black folks as well. We shall bury racism where it belongs, in the grave of revulsion.

21 Jack Wolford October 6, 2011 at 3:59 pm

Lets brake the mold. What’s wrong with SBC ministers being in the midst of these groups of people protesting wherever – who are God’s children, without any sign on their backs etc. and furthering the Gospel. If you really need to ask how then don’t go – you might be killed. Saying Grace before they have something to eat. making small talk about where they are from etc. There’s pain out here and we could help if we might overlook some perceived differences. Nothing beats a try but a failure !

22 Job October 6, 2011 at 8:29 pm

It is as simple as this. The people angry over racism in the Southern Baptist Convention: what is the solution? The answer: they have none. There is no practical, implementable solution to the problem of racism in the SBC (or anywhere else for that matter). The only solution to racism is Jesus Christ. Racism will only be truly removed by the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, and even then for some Christians it will remain a thorn in the flesh.

So, a person can either acknowledge this reality and work to be the Christian and member of the Body of Christ that God has called them to be – and this includes forgiving people, bearing their faults, and suffering many things like the Bible tells us to, 1 Peter 2 is something that should be preached and practiced – or they can simply continue being angry and acting on the basis of that anger, resentment, fear and mistrust. The world – including the civil rights movement rooted in liberal theology – tells us to do the former, including in the context of the church. But the Bible clearly calls us to do the latter.

The first recorded controversy in the Christian church involved discrimination: one group of widows being denied what was due to them because they were of the dispersion (see Acts 6). And going back to the church of the Old Testament, you had Aaron and Miriam grumbling against the ethnic/tribal background of the wife of Moses. (The Bible pulls no punches: “And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman.”) Please recall that Miriam – whom scripture records as a prophetess – did not repent of her attitudes, or at least the Bible did not record her repentance. These issues have always been with us, and will always be with us until Jesus Christ comes back and perfects us. Put in that context, we should realize just how counterproductive it is to, say, claim that the opposition to T.D. Jakes has NOTHING to do with his oneness Pentecostalism and prosperity preaching, but is REALLY because he is black (as if there are all these white oneness Pentecostals in the good graces of the SBC). That is one example. There are many others.

To state again: the people angry over racism in the SBC should be asked (and should ask themselves) “What is it that you want?” and their responses, their desires and expectations, should be evaluated against the Bible.

23 Blake October 7, 2011 at 12:56 am

Acts 6 is a great example of what could be done. All the white Southerners get taken out of power and the reins of the convention are handed over to minorities and Northerners. It’s biblical, so let’s try it. ;P

24 volfan007 October 7, 2011 at 8:36 am

Wow, this sounds like reverse discrimination.

David

25 Blake October 8, 2011 at 12:35 am

It can’t be discrimination if there is scriptural precedent. :P Besides its discrimination that keeps the leadership from looking like the constituency in the first place. I don’t think 20% of our leaders are from the north and the numbers of megachurch pastors in leadership is very disproportionate to the percentage of churches in the SBC that are megachurches.

26 Lydia October 6, 2011 at 9:02 pm

Everyone keeps talking about racist ‘attitudes’ and hurtful things said or done that are racist. This has to be defined specifically and those doing it rebuked.

This idea of vague racist attitudes out there…somewhere…..roaming around in the SBC won’t cut it biblically. It has to be defined, pointed out and rebuked. How can people repent if they don’t know what is specifically defined as racist behavior or a racist attitude?

Changing the name won’t cure that. Come to think of it, it is more in line with Jim Crow behavior not to allow the messengers to vote on having the committee.

27 Debbie Kaufman October 7, 2011 at 2:32 am

Dr. McKissic wrote this on his blog in 2010.

The Southern Baptist Convention needs to call a solemn assembly and repent for passive and intentional acts of racism in SBC life since the ‘95 apology statement.

I coincidently happened to see Frank Page at the Louisville Airport in June ’09 at the close of the Annual SBC meeting. This gave me an opportunity to respectfully point out to him that not one Black person was appointed to the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force at the Louisville Convention. Dr. Page assured me that this was an unintentional oversight by President Johnny Hunt. Frank Page contacted Dr. Hunt and he quickly appointed an African American Pastor from Georgia to the GCRTF. I applaud Johnny Hunt for immediately rectifying this situation.

Is Johnny Hunt racist? Absolutely not. His unintentional oversight is just symptomatic of the problem. Systemic, institutional and individual racism in SBC life is usually passive, not intentional. Yet, it exists. Therefore, it must be biblically addressed by our leaders if we are serious about the Great Commission.

The racism that still exists in the SBC is unintentional according to Dr. McKissic. Unintential racism I believe is born out of simply not thinking actions or words written or spoken, through. It does require a heart change, and perhaps education. Although I believe we are intelligent enough as a whole people to realize what is or is not acceptable.

The conversation that took place yesterday in my opinion and apparently Dr. McKissic’s opinion, unacceptable. The conversation is a good example of what could easily constitute unintentional racism.

Does it make those who spoke the words racist? I don’t know. But I am concerned that there was no apology offered, only excuses.

I also think it gives all of us pause to be concerned in how far we have not come since the SBC apology of 1995.

28 Debbie Kaufman October 7, 2011 at 2:34 am
29 Lydia October 6, 2011 at 9:08 pm

“The SBC does need a cultural face lift in some regards. ”

Louis, Face Lifts are “plastic” surgery.

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