Ruminating on Race: Will a Colorblind Convention Ever Be a Reality?

by Dave Miller on March 22, 2012 · 179 comments

I was watching coverage of the trade yesterday between the Broncos and the Jets.  A nearly unknown quarterback (Tim something) was traded to the Jersey Jets for draft picks, in a move reminiscent of the Romans sending innocent Christians to the Coliseum to battle wild beasts.  Tebow has been the subject of more debate than any other player I can remember.  Supporters have accused John Elway and John Fox of conspiring against Tebow, possibly for reasons of faith.  Tim is an outspoken Christian (an understatement), which endeared him to some and annoyed others (even some Christians).

But what shocked me in this discussion was the introduction of race into the Tebow controversy.  A couple of former black players claimed that one of the reasons that many in the NFL do not like Tebow is because of suspicions that his popularity is based on the fact that he is a white man.  Stephen A. Smith (not one of my favorite commentators) addressed this and said something that started me thinking.  I didn’t write down the quote, but it went something like this.

You cannot ask us to forget our history. We’ve lived in a culture in which we were ostracized and abused on the basis of race.  You cannot tell us to simply forget that and embrace a colorblind approach.  When we see a quarterback like Tebow celebrated as enthusiastically as he was, it naturally raises racial issues in our minds. Would people be that excited about him if he were black?

(Again, this is more of an impression I gained from what Smith was saying.  It is nothing near to a quote.)

This morning there was a show that reviewed the spectacle of the OJ Simpson murder trial.  Racial divisions could hardly have been more apparent than at the announcement of the verdict.  White people had looks of horror on their faces that asked, “How could they let a murderer go free?”  Los Angeles’ black community rejoiced that a black man had gotten “justice” through the system.

Yesterday, it was announced that VCU men’s basketball coach Shaka Smart would not accept the same position at Illinois.  ESPN reported an interesting fact.  Illinois has never had a minority head coach in either football or basketball.  They wanted to hire Smart to end that record.  He turned then down.  But in the aftermath, the AD at Illinois made the requisite statement that ADs, GMs and owners have made.

We are looking for the best coach, regardless of race or anything else.

We all love the ideal of a colorblind culture in which one will be judged on the basis of the “content of his character” not the color of his skin.

The Southern Baptist Convention is opening a new era of race relations this summer. New Orleans Pastor Fred Luter will be nominated. It would surprise me if another serious candidate is even nominated.  Who is going to stand in the path of this historic event? Southern Baptists are not united on many things, but there is overwhelming opinion that it is time that the SBC elect a black president and that Fred Luter is the man to fill that role.

When we discussed the nomination here a month or so ago, one of the commenters raised the colorblind issue. He was not opposed to Fred Luter’s election, but said it should be done on the basis of Luter’s qualifications, not the color of his skin. Again, that is a noble goal, and maybe one day color will have no impact on anyone’s mind.  But in this day, I wonder if truly colorblind interaction is possible.

Answer this question.  When you think of Bryant Wright, what is the first thing you think about?  ”He’s a white guy.”  I doubt that is it.  But when you think about Fred Luter, what goes through your mind?  ”Black Southern Baptist pastor Fred Luter?”  Am I wrong?  Fred Luter is a prominent pastor who is, from everything I’ve seen, eminently qualified to be the president of the SBC.  But isn’t it a little bit of a fantasy to pretend that his race isn’t at least part of the reason we are voting for him?

I plan to vote for Fred Luter as president in New Orleans because I want to see our convention reverse years of history and negative perceptions by electing a black man as our president.  I am not going to New Orleans colorblind.  Luter’s race is a part of the calculation.

There are some facts that I do not believe most will argue with.

1) The SBC has a racist history.
2) The SBC has repented of its racist history.
3) The SBC has taken signigicant steps to include blacks and other minorities into SBC life.
4) The SBC has not completely removed all traces of racism or discrimination from its ranks.
5) The vast majority of white SBC pastors and even perhaps church members today reject racism, find it offensive, and consider themselves to be supportive of racial reconciliation.

Do I need to argue these points?

I’m a white guy.  In Iowa, we are indoors all winter with little exposure to the sun – we take whiteness to a whole new level.  I was raised in Iowa where whites are an overwhelming majority in population.  I am used to white culture and white company.  Both of the Iowa churches I’ve served in the last 20 years have had their doors wide open to minorities, but have reflected the Caucasian makeup of our neighborhoods.  My oldest son will turn 30 this summer, and I can say that not a one of my children has ever heard me use the “n-word”, except perhaps in instructing them about the word and why we should not use it.  I do not consider myself a racist, and I would argue with anyone who tried to paint me as one. But I do not see race the same way a black person does – my experience is so different as to make that impossible.

In my first pastorate (in rural Virginia) there was a strong strain of racism among the people.  According to the Bylaws, anyone was welcome, but I’m pretty sure many of our members would not have rolled out the welcome mat for any black people who decided to visit.  I had a good friend in Cedar Rapids who pastored a black church there.  I shared with him one day some of the things that happened to me at that church.  He especially loved to hear me repeat some of the horrifying things people had said to prove they weren’t racist.  I had a copy of a history of the county we lived in, which trumpeted the good race relations there and credited the fact that the blacks knew their place and stayed in it.  It is my understanding that even in that hotbed of racism, things have improved dramatically in the last two decades.

And I stood against those things at that church.  I remember saying, once, “Some of you aren’t going to like heaven very much.  There will be black people there.” Strangely, it got very cold in the sanctuary that summer day.  I was horrified when I heard one of our best men tell me that he wasn’t racist, because when he went hunting, their “maid” would clean the game he killed and he would give her some of the meat.

I was deeply offended by that nonsense.  But my reaction was not the same as a black man’s might have been – even one who loves Christ and wants to walk in unity.  I have never had to worry about the cops pulling me over for no reason other than the color of my skin.  I’ve never experienced being judged as “less than” simply because I was white.  My reaction to these things was anger and dismay.  How could Christians think that way?  But a black man might have a much more visceral and personal reaction.

I can say all day long that the SBC has repented of its racism (we have) and that we have taken steps to correct the past (we have).  But I can never understand race from Dwight McKissic’s view.  He has walked a different path than have I.  I will never know the injuries and hurts inflicted on black people by whites, or the insensitivities shown to them.  I can hate racism, but it may be hard for me to ever really understand what it is like to live under it.

  • I think we would all love a colorblind society, but right now, I think that is impossible.
  • While we have made great strides as a denomination, we need to continue to take the steps necessary.
  • It is not up to us to determine when we’ve done enough.  Perception is reality here.  When have we done enough to repair our racist history?  When people of other cultures and other skin colors no longer feel as if they are guests at the table.
  • We need to listen to minorities among us and pay attention not just to our actions, but to the perception of our actions.  I have never done anything in my life to hurt a black person because they were black. But has a black person ever felt I disdained them?  I don’t know.  But I have to factor in not only my intent but the perception of my intent from others.  We need to listen to the Fred Luters and Dwight McKissics of the SBC and try to hear how they perceive our actions.
All of this rambling boils down to one conclusion.  It will be a long time before race is an issue of the past among Southern Baptists.  It is a reality and it will be for the foreseeable future.  Is a colorblind convention our goal?  Perhaps.  But it is a long-range goal and will not be reached in my lifetime.  On the way, there are some significant and godly steps we can take.
Electing Fred Luters is a good next step!
1 Dave Miller March 22, 2012 at 5:21 pm

This is really a minefield!

But I think racial issues is one of the most significant not only in our history, but also in our future.

2 cb scott March 22, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Here I am all ready to ride shotgun on one post and you bring this one out.

OK. We shall adapt and improvise.

1). Timmy Tebow is first of all a Tebow. Tebows are tough, “root hog or die” Christians to the core. Adversity to a Tebow is like red meat to a wolf. It will not be poor Timmy has to go to New York. It will be, “Hey New York, meet Tim Tebow.”

2). I will use a few words from a former Alabama pastor:

“I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

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 a dream today.

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with a new meaning, “My country, ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.”

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

We still have a way to go, but we “ain’t settin” in the middle of the road wonderin’ which way to go. And that’s for sure. Progress has been made.

3 Dave Miller March 22, 2012 at 6:30 pm

This one was already in the pipeline, CB.

4 cb scott March 22, 2012 at 6:34 pm

That’s OK.

This one is pretty good all on its own.

5 Dave Miller March 22, 2012 at 6:32 pm

That was a pretty good speech.

6 cb scott March 22, 2012 at 6:36 pm

Made me cry the first time I heard it.

7 Josh Collins March 22, 2012 at 5:26 pm

I’m sure you’ll get plenty of comments on this one, Dave.

I do think it’s interesting the likelihood that Pastor Luter will run unopposed. Especially with as many (at least in the blogosphere) who have opposed the current direction the Convention has voted in the last few years, I would think there would be at least a serious candidate who would be promoted as “grassroots majoritarian Southern Baptist” and run on a platform to appoint trustees who would lead various entities back towards that particular traditional SBC vision. I kind of wish they would just to see how majoritarian those viewpoints really are. (maybe that’s a subject for a future post.)

Pastor Luter seems like a man who loves Jesus and loves his city. Seems like a good choice for SBC president.

8 Dave Miller March 22, 2012 at 5:33 pm

“I’m sure you’ll get plenty of comments on this one, Dave.”

You think?

9 Howell Scott March 22, 2012 at 6:46 pm

Josh and Dave,

You might get plenty of comments, but there will be many who will not comment because to do so is a “lose-lose” proposition. For me to even write this comment opens me up to certain unfounded accusations. For that reason, I have typically not commented on these types of posts, but I felt compelled to comment in this instance (probably against my better judgment). I voted against President Obama, not because of his race, but because of his atrocious policies. The appeal to vote for a candidate based on that candidate’s race or because such a vote will be seen as somehow “righting a past wrong,” is an argument that I find completely unpersuasive.

If I vote for Pastor Luter, it will be because of his stellar character, commitment to Christ AND his stance on the major issues affecting the SBC, including the GCR, Nickname/Name Change, and vision for the future of the SBC. Even though there are a significant number of Southern Baptists who oppose the GCR and the current direction of the Convention, Dr. Luter will be the ONLY candidate for President this year in New Orleans (unless someone loses his mind and wants to forever be branded as the man who would stand in the way of “history being made”). A President Luter may be just what the SBC needs for such a time as this. If God uses him to bring unity to all Southern Baptists, that’s reason enough to vote for him. But, it won’t be because of his race that he gets my vote in New Orleans. Thanks and God bless,

Howell

10 Dave Miller March 22, 2012 at 6:55 pm

To me, our racial history and the need to make that right are significant issues today. If Luters was heterodox or had some kind of wild ecclesiological views, I wouldn’t vote for him.

But, absent evidence of disqualifying factors, the symbolism of electing a black president is significant – far more than his views of the GCR (already adopted) or the GCB name (which will be voted before he takes office).

11 cb scott March 22, 2012 at 7:05 pm

Cousin Howell,

I think your comment makes perfect sense. Frankly, I would rather vote for Fred Luter to be president of the US than to vote for the incumbent.

I simply cannot vote for the incumbent because of his barbarian position on human life.

12 Frank March 22, 2012 at 8:13 pm

“”"You might get plenty of comments, but there will be many who will not comment because to do so is a “lose-lose” proposition.”"”

Absolutely. It may also be the reason that the next vote for President of the SBC will be . . . well, odd.

13 Dave Miller March 22, 2012 at 10:47 pm

I just don’t see it as a “lose-lose.”

14 cb scott March 22, 2012 at 10:51 pm

How can it be “lose-lose” to seek biblically based social justice and equality between all people?

15 Howell Scott March 23, 2012 at 11:17 am

Dave and CB,

I’m not sure, but I think you just (I hope inadvertently) made my point. I did not say that seeking “biblically based social justice and equality between all people” was a “lose-lose” proposition. Please, cuz, go back and reread my comment again. I said to even comment on a post like this would be a “lose-lose” proposition. Why? The OP is very clear about race and electing Fred Luter. To make a comment which in any way deviates from the OP presents a great chance to be misunderstood, as CB apparently has done.

Against my better judgment, I commented anyway. Some readers, like me, will not agree with the thrust of Dave’s article, even if those readers will be so inclined to end up voting for Dr. Luter. When race is injected into the discussion, particularly on a blog, it is difficult not to be misunderstood at best and labeled other things at worst. But, that’s why many will simply not comment. But, for the record, let me state unequivocally that I believe that it is a “win-win” proposition to seek biblically based social justice and equality between all people! Thanks and God bless,

Howell

16 cb scott March 23, 2012 at 11:35 am

Howell,

I need to make a comment here of clarification. My reference to the “lose-lose” statement was not directed to you. If you will notice in comment #11 I stated that your comment makes perfect sense.

By mistake, I related the “lose-lose” to Frank L. Upon review, due to your last comment to me, I realize that I did, in fact miss the context of Frank L’s comment. Therefore, Frank L, I apologize for the unwarranted challenge. Howell, I apologize to you also for poor analysis of the comment and seemingly to challenge you.

Guys, I hope that all makes sense to you. My reason for the challenge is because I did not see (due to my error in reading the comments) how it could be “lose-lose” to seek biblically based social justice and equality between all people.

Since that is not what either of you were stating, the error is completely mine. Again, you both have my apologies.

17 Howell Scott March 23, 2012 at 2:06 pm

CB,

I just got in from playing a round of golf — great weather, great view, great friends, and great golf. Three out of four ain’t bad :-) Thanks for the apology. It’s all good, cousin :-) I should have likewise asked for a clarification because your two comments (#11 and #14) seemed to be inconsistent. I’m sorry that I didn’t at least ask a follow-up question.

I do understand how you misread what Frank and I had written. However, there are others who will not only misread, but will intentionally read into comments a racial bias that does not exist. The racial politics involved in Fred Luter’s election — politics, by the way, which were injected very early by certain SBC leaders — maybe a reason, as Frank states, that the SBC Presidential election in New Orleans will be “odd.” Thanks again and God bless,

Howell

18 Dave Miller March 23, 2012 at 2:35 pm

Only liberals and heretics play golf.

19 Doug Hibbard March 22, 2012 at 5:44 pm

I think you’re right that there will be no opponent in the SBC Presidential race this summer. Which should happen as a testament to a common commitment to try and shed some of this baggage, and it’s the about the only condition under which having so many people tell individual messengers who they ought to vote for should be considered in a positive light.

What should not happen from it is an assumption that all the questions regarding SBC unity over methods and such are solved since we elected a president unanimously.

Hopefully, though, his two years will be an opportunity to move closer in unity.

20 Dave Miller March 22, 2012 at 5:45 pm

Or that by electing a black president we’ve arrived on racial reconciliation.

21 Doug Hibbard March 22, 2012 at 7:11 pm

That too. Given how little interaction many of us have with the President of the SBC, Bryant Wright could be a Martian and we wouldn’t actually know it, would we?

We’ll have arrived someday–but definitely not until we see racial reconciliation in our pews.

22 cb scott March 22, 2012 at 7:26 pm

“…but definitely not until we see racial reconciliation in our pews.”

“in our pews.” That is it really. Unless, we see anything first in the pews we will see little or no change in much of anything. And we will not see change in the pew until we hear it and see it in the pulpit.

23 Doug Hibbard March 23, 2012 at 10:59 am

Yep. Working on it. That divide runs pretty deep and runs through more than just churches. It’s also so established that most of us white folks don’t even notice it…being in a community that’s 98% ethnically homogenous just kind of blinds you to things.

24 Robert Vaughn March 22, 2012 at 6:12 pm

Dave: “I do not see race the same way a black person does – my experience is so different as to make that impossible.”

I am also white, and I completely agree with your comment. I have suffered little to no discrimination because I’m white (I leave a little hedge room there because I have been treated “differently” by some of other races on a few occasions, but I am not aware of any discrimination against myself because of being white as a race in the same sense there has been against blacks). The flipside of blacks and whites not seeing “race” the same is the question of whether it will ever be possible to do so. My suggestion may seem simplistic or idealistic, but perhaps the best option is to forget that and rather for both blacks and whites (and all men) to try to see race through the eyes of Christ and the Bible. We don’t have a good record of having done so. It is a sad commentary that sports have often done more to improve racial relations in a community than the community’s Christianity has!

25 cb scott March 22, 2012 at 6:39 pm

I don’t believe anything has done more to improve race relations than Christianity has.

26 Debbie Kaufman March 22, 2012 at 6:45 pm

That’s certainly the way it should be CB. But that is not the way it has been.

27 cb scott March 22, 2012 at 6:56 pm

So Debbie,

What do you mean specifically by “that is not the way it has been?

Do you mean the Tebows are not tough, root hog or die Christians?

Do you mean Christianity has not done more to improve race relations than sports or any other thing in human history?

Do you mean no progress has been made in this country in race relations?

Which is it? Or is it all three? Is it two of the three? Or is it just another of your hand grenade days?

28 Debbie Kaufman March 22, 2012 at 8:44 pm

“I don’t believe anything has done more to improve race relations than Christianity has.”

You made this statement. I am saying that is not true.

29 Debbie Kaufman March 22, 2012 at 8:47 pm

And I don’t have hand grenade days. When I make a statement, that is how I actually believe. Saying something to please the crowds is the least of my convictions.

30 cb scott March 22, 2012 at 8:47 pm

So Debbie,

Do you think paganism has done more for race relations that the Christian faith?

Now, don’t forget, when I use the term “Christian” I mean biblical Christianity.

Factor that into your answer before you respond.

31 cb scott March 22, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Debbie,

I have never thought you made statements to “please the crowds.” I would narrow the scope of who you desire to please down a great deal.

32 Debbie Kaufman March 22, 2012 at 8:51 pm

Yes I do. Unfortunately those who you call pagans, I would choose society, the churched and the unchurched has done a whole lot more. The church in the past has been the ones who were for segregation, many Southern Baptists belonged to the KKK and some of that thinking is still in the churches. Granted it is less but we were not the leaders.

33 Debbie Kaufman March 22, 2012 at 8:53 pm

“Biblical Christians” used the Bible to give credence to their view of segregation.

34 cb scott March 22, 2012 at 9:04 pm

Debbie,

Notice I used the terms “biblical Christianity” and “Christianity.”

It is correct that many true and biblical Christians did fall short in understanding the equality of God’s creative work related to humanity.

Nonetheless, Christianity as a whole: The Bride of Christ, the Church Universal. Those who embrace the faith for which Christ died and rose from the dead, has brought about freedom of humanity in all aspects than anything in human history.

I think maybe you are focusing on isolated failures in your comments. I am focusing on the Christian faith and those throughout history who truly embrace it.

35 Chief Katie March 22, 2012 at 10:17 pm

cb,

Good brother, you are correct. Wherever we find racism and slavery, the gospel made the difference and no amount of bemoaning those Christians who embraced racist views will change that truth.

Yes, we are guilty, yes we’ve used scripture to support profound evil, but still… the gospel made the difference.

John Newton, Wilburforce, Clarkson, et al……………..

The abolitionists who supported Harriet Tubman and the Underground railway… Christians all.

“I don’t believe anything has done more to improve race relations than Christianity has.” True, True, True!

36 Debbie Kaufman March 22, 2012 at 10:31 pm

“Do you mean no progress has been made in this country in race relations?”

In the church? Not near as much as there should be. You have heard the stories Dr. McKissic has told. Now in the world? Yes, we even have a black President. There is racism in the world, but more stand up against it than in years past. In the church however, while we think we are so good, frankly I don’t see as much good as we think we are. We have a long way to go from being good.

Chief Katie: Yes, a few individuals made a difference and without the help of the church. But as a whole the churches have failed. Miserably. And still are failing miserably.

37 cb scott March 22, 2012 at 10:48 pm

Debbie,

Dwight’s stories have to do with his lifetime and the lives of people he knows/knew and has read of and heard about from other people sharing an oral history. Dwight would not agree with you that Christianity has failed. He would agree with me that Christianity has done more to resolve issues of race than anything in human history. Debbie, the Christian faith, as revealed in Scripture, is our only hope of the eradication of any evil that men do to other men. Period. Anything else is a mere “band-aid.”

Christianity established true freedom when Christ Jesus rose from the grave. Debbie, racism is not confined to the issues between Black people and White people in this country. As I stated earlier, your focus is too small.

Debbie, Christianity has done more to rid the world of the mentality of inequality among peoples of the human race than any other thing in human history.

38 Frank L. March 22, 2012 at 11:16 pm

Cb, debbie’s answers are beyond belief.

39 Debbie Kaufman March 22, 2012 at 11:26 pm

My answers are reality Frank. I don’t think we as a denomination should be patting ourselves on the back.

CB: Reality is that Christianity as written in the Bible is not something we are even close to living out. I don’t pretend to speak for Dwight. I speak for myself.

40 cb scott March 22, 2012 at 11:36 pm

OK Debbie,

Maybe, for whatever reason, I don’t know, you are not “living out” your faith. Many of us are.

Once again, my statement was and still is: Christianity has done more to improve race relations that anything in human history.” That is just a fact. There is really no argument against that position of any rational substance.

41 Frank L. March 23, 2012 at 12:25 am

Chief, thank you for answering Debbie’s nonsensical statement about Christianity. I find it almost blasphemous to declare that Christianity did not have a positive affect on slavery.

I didn’t want to attempt an answer with my iPhone.

You did a good job.

42 Debbie Kaufman March 24, 2012 at 9:25 am

Frank: I disagree with Chief Kate’s answer. That answer does not compute in my opinion, not in light of the fact that we are just now getting around to including those of color in leadership roles 20 years after apologizing as a Convention.

43 Joe Blackmon March 24, 2012 at 9:31 am

Good brother, you are correct. Wherever we find racism and slavery, the gospel made the difference and no amount of bemoaning those Christians who embraced racist views will change that truth.

Chief Katie

Great point!! No one with any sense would argue or disagree with your statement above.

44 Frank March 25, 2012 at 7:22 pm

“”"Frank: I disagree with Chief Kate’s answer. That answer does not compute in my opinion, not in light of the fact that we are just now getting around to including those of color in leadership roles 20 years after apologizing as a Convention.”"”

First of all, as I said, your comments in regard to Christianity balance on the edge of blasphemy so I feel I am probably casting my pearls before the swine to respond. I’m sure I may regret this later.

The fact is, I cannot remember one time a Black person being nominated for president even though thousands of black people participated in the process. There is no “affirmative action” requirement for the SBC, nor should there be one.

The Convention can only act on those nominated.

Second, how disagreeable does a person have to be to disagree with someone for agreeing with someone else. Take it up with the Chief. She can handle it.

45 Debbie Kaufman March 25, 2012 at 9:02 pm

of all, as I said, your comments in regard to Christianity balance on the edge of blasphemy

What??? I think you had better read my comments again. I am talking about people in the SBC not Christianity as the Bible teaches. I am not even going to respond this comment is so far over the top.

46 Dave Miller March 25, 2012 at 11:32 pm

I’m not going to take the time to delete a bunch of comments, but either discuss the topic or don’t. Leave the personal insults and arrogant statements alone. No more.

47 Robert Vaughn March 25, 2012 at 6:52 pm

“It is a sad commentary that sports have often done more to improve racial relations in a community than the community’s Christianity has.”

I regret the distraction related to this comment I made. I was making an observation about something I have seen in my experience rather than making a comment about race relations throughout all human history, which is the direction the discussion went. My main point was about seeing race through the eyes of Christ and the Bible, rather than trying to see it from each other’s perspective. There are no directions on how white Christians ought to treat black Christians or how black Christians ought to treat white Christians. The Bible teaches how Christians ought to treat Christians. Love one another. Serve one another. Edify one another. Forbear and forgive one another, comfort one another, exhort one another, confess to and pray for one another, and so on. There are no classes there. We may never be literally colorblind, but if we apply the above commands equally we will be well on our way to true biblical relationships.

48 Wade Phillips March 22, 2012 at 6:46 pm

Yes, yes, and yes, Dave. I couldn’t agree more with everything you’ve said. As an aside, I’m going to be interviewing Dr. Luter next month for a series I’m working about the SBC for my station. Anyone have any questions you think I should ask him?

49 Dave Miller March 22, 2012 at 7:00 pm

For anyone interested in Luter’s views: Here’s a quote from an interview with Joe Carter published at the Gospel Coalition.

Recently, Gerald Harris, editor of The Christian Index, news-journal of the Georgia Baptist Convention, stirred up controversy by expressing his concern about the “encroachment of Calvinism.” Do you think resurgence of Reformed theology is a threat to the SBC identity?

Not at all.

A task force of the SBC was appointed last September to study a possible name change. After considering 535 possible names, the committee is recommending the convention keep its legal name but adopt an informal, non-legal name for those who want to use it: Great Commission Baptists. What do you think of the proposed auxiliary name?

I was at the meeting when that was discussed and was very impressed by the way the task force came to the decision. They didn’t feel the SBC name should be changed, but they wanted to provide an alternative option for people who think the name hinders our mission. The proposed solution gives newer churches and younger pastors who don’t yet have the same loyalty to the denomination a way to remain associated with the Convention. I thought it was a great compromise.

As a potential president of the SBC, what is your vision for the denomination?

If I’m elected, I would like to use the position to bring together all the different groups within the denomination. We share a common vision for reaching the world and carrying out the Great Commission. I want to bring us together so that we can fulfill that vision.

50 Greg Buchanan March 22, 2012 at 9:27 pm

My comment is ONLY to address the question of the title:

Will a Colorblind Convention Ever Be a Reality?

YES

When we realize that “RACE” is not an accurate term. There is only ONE “race:” Humans.

The modern term “race” is related to the evolutionary theories of 18th century Humanists. Darwinian evolution allowed judgmental and self-important people to justify prejudice with science. Therefore they could no longer be held morally responsible for their opinions.

I understand there is a history of prejudice in this country. WE (Christians) of all people need to undermine the pseudo-scientific basis and deny the concept of race and put the onus on peoples individual self-righteousness who would use any excuse (skin color, ethnicity, education, family background, etc) as justification:

“well, at least I’m not like (them). Do you see how they live? You want to be like them… that is a betrayal of (us).”

To move past a thing requires us to know from whence it comes. “Racial” prejudice is known is merely a symptom of sinful self-centeredness, self-righteousness, and pride. The fact that it happens in group-think only makes it easier to do, but does not lessen the level of sin for the individual; the line will be long at the Great White Throne of people saying, “but everyone was doing it.”

Analogy Time
– Until we realize and acknowledge that daddy is a mean drunk, we will continue to enable him to beat us without mercy.
– Until he realizes he is a mean drunk, he will continue to not seek help… for he has no problems; just everyone else.
– Until we all take responsibility for enabling daddy and he takes responsibility for his actions, we cannot move towards treatment, then forgiveness, then healing.

Truth Time
– Until we realize and acknowledge that people are REALLY prideful and self-centered and naturally prejudice towards themselves and against everyone else, we will continue to be surprised by evil and sin and continue to ENABLE people to be “racially prejudiced.”

– Until people realize and acknowledge and confess that they are self-centered, self-righteous, prideful, and thus judgmentally sinful towards others, they will continue to justify their sin of “racial prejudice.”

– Until we all acknowledge that there is no such thing as “race” and we acknowledge that the real problem is not prejudice but pride, self-righteousness… well, SIN; then we cannot move towards confession, repentance, and forgiveness.

Continuing to talk about symptoms will get us no where. Ever.

51 Job March 22, 2012 at 9:51 pm

Dave Miller:

Racism is a sin. So why should the Christian approach to racism be different from the approach to any other sin? Why treat racism any different from lying? Gossiping? Adultery? Fornication? Homosexuality? Theft? Idolatry? Coveting? Blasphemy? Pride? Witchcraft?

The approach to racism should be theological not social. We should have no different expectations or desires concerning race than we should for any other sin. This means holding everyone to the same standard. For example, blacks were as responsible for refusing to even try to attend your Virginia church as were whites for not wanting them there. Blacks most certainly fought to integrate housing, schools, workplaces and gain political and economic power in Virginia to attain material things, things in this world that you can’t take with you when you die, and will be destroyed along with everything else when this old earth is thrown into the lake of fire and replaced with a new heaven and a new earth in the eschaton. Yet the same effort is not given towards attending a Godly church for the sake of Christ, and use the benefits of fellowship and service there to lay up treasures in heaven that will last forever? Treat sin as a social issue the way that the world does, and most of the blame goes towards the whites because of, you know, the legacy of slavery, the effects of Jim Crow, the history of segregation, white privilege etc. But treat it as a theological issue, and the it is just as big a failure of black Christians as it is white ones. And that is just one example.

As with all other sins, Romans 7 should be studied when considering racism in the church, and the worldly ideas from humanists like Martin Luther King, Jr. (who unlike his evangelical father, rejected the divinity of Jesus Christ and other core Christian doctrines) are precisely what we need to be renewing our minds from, and are false ideas that need to be cast down instead of being allowed to deceive us and keep us in bondage.

52 BDW March 22, 2012 at 9:58 pm

Dave,

A couple thoughts and a question:

With regard to #5, you state that the majority of what SBC pastors “consider themselves to be supportive of racial reconciliation”

In your view, what is racial reconciliation and what practically does racial reconciliation look like?

I don’t think there will ever come a time when race is not an issue. Race matters. Luter’s election is a significant step.

But even today, I ventured over to CNN and read a column asking why white churches were silent on Trayvon Martin. The column specifically mentioned the SBC and noted that Southern Baptists in Florida have “so far been silent and invisible.”

How predominantly white churches relate to predominantly black churches in local communities is far more significant in shaping attitudes and opinions (opinions like that of Stephen A.) and far more significant in fulfilling the goal of reconciliation than the election of an African-American to a high denominational office.

I heard on TV today a civil rights activist say “We have a black man in the White House and can’t get justice for a black boy in Sanford. It’s an illusion.”

If the reconciliation really begins and ends with Luter’s election, a few outreach efforts at the national level to increase minority representation on committees, then many African-Americans will rightly hold to that “It’s an illusion” sentiment.

We Baptists in Texas have had a number of “symbolic” Presidents. I’m not sure though how those elections have changed much especially at the local level.

53 cb scott March 22, 2012 at 10:25 pm

What exactly do you want people in FL to do Big Daddy?

The man who shot Trayvon Martin is claiming self defense. He is standing on Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law. George Zimmerman is Hispanic. He is the captain of the neighborhood watch. He is licensed in FL to carry a handgun. He has been in the position he holds since 2004. According to testimony in the neighborhood, he has helped and proctected many people without preference to race.

Upon the arrival of the SPD at the scene, they reported that Martin was dead and Zimmerman was bleeding from a head wound and covered with grass due to a struggle with Martin. The SPD did not arrest Zimmerman because they deemed his actions as self defense.

Yes, Martin was a Black man. Zimmerman is a Hispanic man. We really do not know what happened. And yes, it could be what some might term “playing the race card” among those who are now calling so much attention to the situation.

Your use of the Martin-Zimmerman shooting is short sighted to use to accuse any Christian church, regardless of racial make-up of not being involved because of race.

Maybe you should let due process take place before making White Florida Christians out to be racist in one broad brush stroke, you think?

54 cb scott March 22, 2012 at 10:28 pm

BTW Big Daddy,

Do you not consider this to be a racist statement by the civil rights advocate you quoted?

“We have a black man in the White House and can’t get justice for a black boy in Sanford. It’s an illusion.”

55 BDW March 22, 2012 at 10:58 pm

Well, white Southern Baptists in the region could certainly reach out to their black Baptist brethren who are protesting and speaking out.

The rally tonight was being held at Shiloh Baptist Church. Another rally is scheduled at Sanford’s First United Methodist Church on Monday.

Southern Baptists dominate that region. Is silence an option? Does silence further that goal mentioned in this post of racial reconciliation? How does silence advance greater understanding and improved relations?

I’m not a Franklin Graham fan but I was pleased to learn of his involvement. Kudos to the Rev. Graham.

I don’t think folks should pick on any one group more than the other. As the respected religion reporter Mark Pinsky argued the silence has been from white churches in general in that area.

56 cb scott March 22, 2012 at 11:05 pm

Big Daddy,

Seriously, how could you not be a Franklin Graham fan? Who is one of the major Christian advocates for equality in the Sudan? Franklin Graham. He has done a hundred times more than George Cloney who spent 8 days there and gets a hearing from the President.

And again, let me ask you. Is this a racist statement?

“We have a black man in the White House and can’t get justice for a black boy in Sanford. It’s an illusion.”

57 BDW March 22, 2012 at 11:15 pm

Yea, I give kudos to Franklin Graham for his work in Darfur. I think you probably should give Clooney more credit too. He might not be a Christian but he clearly has devoted a great amount of his time and money – like Graham – to efforts in the Sudan.

I have much much more respect for Clooney and Graham than I do for Invisible Children.

Are you saying the statement is racist because her referred to Trayvon as a “black boy”? The person who made that statement was black. A black man referring to a black teenager as a “boy” is not racist, if that’s the point you were making.

The “It’s” in that statement refers to Racial progress. His point is that there is a sentiment that even though a black man is President of the United States, little if nothing has really changed for African-Americans. He’s saying the progress symbolized in Obama’s election is really an illusion.

It’s strong rhetoric, a little hyperbolic, but a good point: An election can’t solve racial problems. Those issues are too complex, both structural and individualistic components.

58 cb scott March 22, 2012 at 11:26 pm

Big Daddy,

I have never stated that an election will solve racial problems. I have stated that only the gospel will solve racial problems.

And you are wrong. The statement was a racist statement made by a Black man. It really should not matter who is in the White house. Justice in America should be for all people. Of course, I do not believe the incumbent to be a just man and that has nothing to do with race.

BTW, one of my sons interviewed George Cloney. He thinks he is a swell guy also. You actually remind me a lot of him. You guys have some of the same views.

59 Job March 22, 2012 at 11:55 pm

cb scott:

See my comment below. Your George Zimmerman defense has already been discredited.

60 cb scott March 23, 2012 at 12:41 am

Job,

I did not defend George Zimmerman. If that is what you drew from my comment, you are mistaken. If you make the same statement again, you are simply a liar.

I stated his position in the community. He does have community support for his position for since 2004. I stated the SPD did not take him into custody because they deemed is action as self defense. Beyond that, I do not, nor do you know what the situation is. He is hanging his whole defense on the Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law. That is really all I know.

My point in the comment in the first place was to respond Big Daddy’s comment of maybe accusing the churches there of not getting involved due to racial bigotry. I don’t believe that to be the case.

If, in fact, it does become a known and proven reality that Zimmerman did murder Martin, then he should be prosecuted accordingly. Yet, it is fair to point out that the churches in Samford, FL, no matter the primary ethnic make-up of the congregation, do not get involved in every murder case in the city. This situation may, as I stated earlier, be a case of “playing the race card.”

Yet, I do not know. I was not there when Zimmerman shot Martin. You were not either. And obviously, it seems that no one else was. For if there were eyewitnesses, why are they not speaking out as to what actually happened if it is different than what the SPD deemed it to be when they arrived on the scene?

Lastly, what do you know about criminals? Have you ever faced a criminal? Do you know any criminals? Have you ever faced another man with a firearm, edged weapon or open hand? Job, many people have attacked other people who are much larger with nothing more than anger or fear in their hands and heart.

Oh BTW, you asked me if it had been my child? Well Job, I have to say, based on experience (real life experience) that would greatly depend on the circumstances.

61 Job March 23, 2012 at 1:28 am

cb scott:

Your saying “we don’t know what happened because we weren’t there” is simply wrong. There are the 911 tapes. There is the cell phone transcript. There are the eyewitnesses telling the media that the police got them to alter their original statements claiming that they heard a teenager yelling for help to instead say that Zimmerman yelled for help.

And I am not lying. You are defending Zimmerman. When it comes to things concerning the case that are helpful to Zimmerman, you have no problem stating facts that you definitely know. But when it comes to things concerning the case that are helpful to Martin and harmful to Zimmerman, you either omit them or claim “we don’t know what happened.”

Yes, I know about criminals. I have faced criminals. I live in what you would consider to be a “high crime area” and I have been robbed twice in the past 16 months. And in the past I have lived in areas where there was even more crime: drug dealers, crack houses, pimps, you name it. But your saying “Job, many people have attacked other people who are much larger with nothing more than anger or fear in their hands and heart” … you are willfully ignoring the cell phone transcript where a terrified Martin told his girlfriend that there was a strange man chasing him, and she advised him to run. If Martin “attacked” Zimmerman, it was clearly because he feared being another one of the many people – including teenagers – that get abducted each year and are never seen alive again.

And by the way: while CRIMINALS do attack larger people, I refuse to apply that psychology to Martin because there isn’t a bit of evidence that Martin is a criminal. There is more evidence that Zimmerman is because of his assaulting a police officer. (How many neighborhood watches have people with that prior history as their captains? Again, there was no “neighborhood watch” other than in Zimmerman’s mind that he was the captive of.) And the fact that you are so willing to associate Martin with criminal behavior despite there being absolutely, totally no evidence that he was is revealing.

“For if there were eyewitnesses, why are they not speaking out as to what actually happened if it is different than what the SPD deemed it to be when they arrived on the scene?”

Did you see where I wrote: “according to eyewitnesses that night that have spoken to the media. Witnesses stated to the police ‘We heard a teenager crying for help.’ The police CORRECTED THEM and said “No you didn’t. You heard George Zimmerman crying for help. Why did SPD do that, cb scott?

You also ignored it when I told you that SPD apologized to Martin’s parents. Why on earth would they do such a thing if they honestly believed that Zimmerman killed Martin in self-defense, cb scott? When do the police apologize to the parents of someone that violently attacks people in the middle of the night? And why did it take legal and social pressure to get SPD to release the 911 tapes? They claimed that they didn’t release them because “the investigation was ongoing” yet they had already determined that Zimmerman acted in self-defense. This investigation did not include the cell phone conversation between Martin and his girlfriend. The state of Florida has already concluded that SPD made no serious attempts to adequately investigate this case.

In conclusion, there are absolutely no grounds for you to accuse me of lying, a charge which you yourself is more worthy of.

62 cb scott March 23, 2012 at 1:48 am

Job,

For you to state that I am defending Zimmerman is a lie. For you to continue to state as much makes you simply a bear-faced liar.

I am not defending Zimmerman as a “us against them Position.” Either you have not read my comments on this post or you do not have reading the comprehension of a third grader. If you do have reading comprehension beyond that of a third grader, and you have read my comments on this thread then for you to make the following comment proves you to have willfully lied as to my purpose in responding to Big Daddy in the first place.

“Seriously, what you are doing in defending Zimmerman is reprehensible, and it is only because you are taking a reflexive “us against them” position in a racial controversy.”

Again, let me say this one more time. I have not defended Zimmerman for killing Martin. I don’t really know why he killed the man. I have no idea. You have no idea either. One man was a Black man. The other is Hispanic. What really brought on the altercation, we do not know. For you to make the dogmatic statements you have about it or for Big Daddy to have made the statements he has about it is really very premature.

What we do know is that a man is dead. And due to the sensationalism of the multitude now involved, we may never know why. That man who has had his life ended may never get true justice. On the other hand, the man who did kill him may never get true justice either.

63 Dave Miller March 22, 2012 at 10:53 pm

Aaron, I guess I don’t really know exactly what the definition is, but something pretty close would be King’s words about “content of character” vs. color of skin.

I’d have to think that through a little more.

As to Trayvon Martin, I guess I would ask what you would have me (or us) do. I don’t really have all the facts, but those I have make me sick.

64 BDW March 22, 2012 at 11:05 pm

Todd B. wrote an excellent post here not too long ago about racism. We exchanged a Facebook message and realized that we both had read and appreciated the work of evangelical sociologist Christian Smith and Michael Emerson. They have a fantastic book called Divided by Faith.

They contend that interpersonal relationships are central to any effort at racial reconciliation. You being in Iowa – I’m only know what I see on TV and reruns of the West Wing, Season 2. But for those of us in the South, I’m not sure how many of us really make a serious effort at building interpersonal relationships, especially black-white.

I personally have made an effort at this over the years, which led to my work with John Lewis. I give credit to my dad and his example of fostering interpersonal relationships with people of different races and ethnicities.

For many I think, the New Baptist Covenant which so many of my fellow Baptists enjoyed – the racial diversity was incredible – made us realize that on the local level the relationships between white pastors and black pastors, white churches and black churches are (for the most part) non-existent.

65 BDW March 22, 2012 at 11:08 pm

I might have phrased the Iowa reference clumsily. Just trying to convey that for folks in the broad South, we have many opportunities because of the black-white-Hispanic diversity. Yet, despite those opportunities, on the whole, we tend not to make a serious effort at fostering those type of relationships.

66 Dave Miller March 22, 2012 at 11:12 pm

Building interpersonal relationships is a strong part.

Frankly, I’m guessing there will always (or for a long time) be black and white (predominant) churches. My belief is that the more we get the heart of the gospel and of Christ and the less we focus on extraneous things like our traditions, the more likely we are to have interracial fellowship.

67 BDW March 22, 2012 at 11:21 pm

I agree. I think “focusing on the gospel” has to mean intentionally seeking those interpersonal relationships in church and society.

I think Bryant Wright has set a great example. His focus on creating ethnic diversity is commendable. That process is a slow one. But if the focus is sustained, hopefully Dwight McKissic will visit Nashville again in 5 years or so and find a much more diverse HQ.

I think the denomination at the national level is doing what it can. It’s really up to the local churches (and this is where Associations can find real relevancy once again) to follow that example and do things differently. Some obviously already are on the path to racial diversity and authentic reconciliation. Many aren’t.

68 Dave Miller March 22, 2012 at 11:32 pm

The problem of perception was brought into focus for me in conversation with a black pastor a couple of years back. He pointed out to me that the podium at an SBC had been 100% white during the convention.

I never noticed that. It never occurred to me that we had been racially homogenous. I would wager my spleen that not a single one of those leaders said, “We need to keep the minorities of f the stage.” It was unintentional and I never noticed it – not until someone else pointed it out to me.

That’s what I mean about perception. Was there an intentional choice made to exclude blacks? Again, I am sure there was not. But how was that homogeneous podium perceived by minorities?

69 Frank L. March 22, 2012 at 11:46 pm

Black church is about more than color. It is a different approach to worship altogether.

I don’t think homogenization is likely anymore than a unity with another denomination.

We can cooperate and still retain our cultures.

70 cb scott March 22, 2012 at 11:18 pm

“But for those of us in the South, I’m not sure how many of us really make a serious effort at building interpersonal relationships, especially black-white.”

Big Daddy, I don’t speak for everyone in the Southland. I don’t speak for everyone in Birmingham. Yet, this I know. When I became the pastor of the church of which I serve here in Birmingham, having moved here from PA, I stated in the first morning worship service after taking the position, “Folks, there is a new sheriff in town. From this day forward you may vote on the color of the carpet in the sanctuary, but you will never again, while I am here, vote on the color of the member ship.”

Our church is a racially mixed church. Actually, the last person I baptized was of mixed heritage.

Also, some time back, two young Black men wanted to be baptized and become members of our local church. Although these were young men, both mothers told them they could not be members of a white church or be “baptized by a White man.”

Now, Big Daddy, the racist knife cuts both ways. And that may be what is going on in Samford, FL right now. I don’t really know, nor do you.

71 BDW March 22, 2012 at 11:25 pm

You can’t point to racism on the other side and then make the assertion that there is some sort of equivalence.

Yea, racism cuts both ways. Whites have never experienced the institutional racism that African-Americans are well-acquainted with.

Whites don’t regularly get stopped by the police for walking around minding their own business. The same can’t be said for African-Americans and Hispanics.

72 cb scott March 22, 2012 at 11:30 pm

“Whites don’t regularly get stopped by the police for walking around minding their own business.”

Big Daddy, that all depends on what country you are in at the time your are walking around minding your own business.

Racism is, at its core, a problem due to the fallen nature of humanity.

73 Frank L. March 23, 2012 at 12:21 am

“”"Yea, racism cuts both ways. Whites have never experienced the institutional racism that African-Americans are well-acquainted with”"”

BDW, did you mean to say qualify that statement with, “in America.”

Slavery has never been simply a black and white issue alone.

We now have people in our community that have experienced horrible treatment because of their race.

The “race” issue is not simpler in America today, but more complex. Anyone living in a major metropolitan area realizes the clash of cultures that exist on a daily basis–sometimes with a high level of violence.

74 BDW March 23, 2012 at 11:55 am

My comment referred to African-AMERICANS. So, of course, my comment was limited to the United States.

75 cb scott March 23, 2012 at 12:52 pm

Big Daddy,

You brought up the Zimmerman-Martin killing to illustrate a lack of outrage by White Christians in Samford, FL.

Let me ask you this. Where is the outrage about the young Coon boy in Kansas City? That was blatant racism, was it not? There is no question about that one. There are no yet to be determined circumstances or arguments to be made. It was racism plain and simple. Tell me if I am wrong. Yet, where is the outrage? Why is the media not all over that one?

Racism really does cut both ways. It is a two-edged sword. It is such because of the depravity of the human heart. The only real hope of change in this country or any other is the gospel.

If the Zimmerman-Martin killing does, in fact, manifest itself as murder, then George Zimmerman should be prosecuted and due to it being an act of willful intent of which he lied about, he should be executed. If it does turn out that he was acting in self defense, he should be free from prosecution.

All I can do is what I am doing. I stated to you in a comment above some of what I have done (comment #62). Either you did not see that comment or you ignored it in order to continue your argument. I don’t know. Nonetheless, it is my personal and publicly stated position that racism and true bigotry of any kind is wrong. It is sinful. Therefore, the best thing I can do is preach the gospel and take a stand against such sins of inequality when I see them. I do what I can do. That is all I can do, but I will continue to do it.

76 BDW March 23, 2012 at 1:43 pm

There are many acts of violence – racially motivated and not – that don’t receive adequate media treatment, that don’t result in nation-wide protests, etc.

People – black, white, Hispanic – in Central Florida are angry and marching. People across the nation are scheduling rallies and prayer vigils.

My point is that white evangelicals in Central Florida – which dominate that region – need to stand in solidarity with their African-American brethren and offer their support.

And the point of the CNN column that I referenced is that this silence is not due to racism but due to “cultural callousness”

The first Southern Baptist that I’ve seen address this issue was the snarky Todd Starnes. He questioned why President Obama decided to answer a question about the situation in Florida!

To the credit of James Smith and the Florida Baptist Witness, that paper’s website has featured several articles on Trayvon in the last week.

77 cb scott March 23, 2012 at 2:49 pm

Big Daddy,

You really did ignore the question about the Coon boy, I think. Was that or was it not a race related assault? I think it was an example of a far more heinous racial assault than was (if it was, we don’t yet know) the Zimmerman-Martin killing.

Again, racial sin cuts both ways. Bigotry in general is far more often, in this world, less about race than other factors, such as religion, social standing, cast, etc.

In addition, do you or do you not agree that he only hope to see true progress in the area of human equality is the gospel?

78 BDW March 23, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Re-read my previous comment. I didn’t ignore anything. I said there are many acts of violence – racially motivated and not – that don’t receive adequate media treatment.

The case of Coons looks on its face to be a racially-motivated crime. I don’t see how that’s a more heinous offense. Trayvon Martin is dead. Allen Coon is not. Both are victims of awful awful crimes. Both victims of what appears to be hate crimes. But murder is considered a more serious offense than attempted murder.

I think that true progress in the area of human equality will be made through both the sharing of the gospel (evangelism) and acting on the implications of the gospel by being the church in the world (social action).

Saving souls alone won’t save society. History tells us this much. The saved are still sinners. Preaching and sharing the Good News alone will not bring about equality. To suggest otherwise is to say that the Civil Rights Movement was not necessary. Action is needed on the part of Christians and non-Christians alike.

79 cb scott March 23, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Well then Big Daddy,

If the gospel alone will not bring about equality, nothing will. For racism and bigotry as a whole are present in humanity due to depravity. Nothing can change the depraved soul of humanity other than the gospel.

80 BDW March 23, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Notice my comment referred to the “sharing of the gospel” and “acting on the implications of the gospel”

My definition of the Gospel includes and requires both of those things.

81 cb scott March 23, 2012 at 5:15 pm

OK Big Daddy,

I don’t think I see the gospel any differently than you. if you had noticed or read my comment in #64 you would know I have “acted on the implications of the gospel” in a real life setting in a place where many would not try.

Maybe there is a bias here that you just cannot get beyond. I don’t know. Yet, I can say that my comments from the very beginning of this thread do not make me less aware of oft he problems of racism than you. And for sure, I have personally involved myself far beyond just rhetoric.

82 BDW March 23, 2012 at 6:50 pm

My statements were general in nature and certainly do not apply to individuals such as yourself who are actually working towards improving race relations and seeking authentic racial reconciliation.

There are many churches that do not have any real racial diversity and haven’t seriously tried – moderate and conservative churches alike.

83 cb scott March 23, 2012 at 7:09 pm

Big Daddy,

I agree with you Big Daddy. “There are many churches that do not have any real racial diversity and haven’t seriously tried – moderate and conservative churches alike.”

Earlier in this thread, Doug Hibbard stated of reconciliation, “…but definitely not until we see racial reconciliation in our pews.”

I responded, “in our pews.” That is it really. Unless, we see anything first in the pews we will see little or no change in much of anything. And we will not see change in the pew until we hear it and see it in the pulpit.”

Big Daddy, it is just a fact. Mankind: “Red, Yellow, Black, and White” are all fallen in His sight. And the only thing that will make things new is the gospel. (The gospel received and the gospel applied).

Big Daddy, we don’t have to be at odds on every issue. We do have areas of agreement.

Again, you do remind me so much of one of my sons. You both went to similar universities in regard to worldview. I love my son dearly. I greatly appreciate you. But you both are stubborn men. Maybe the apples did not fall too far from the trees. ;-)

84 Job March 22, 2012 at 11:43 pm

cb scott:

“He is the captain of the neighborhood watch.”

Actually, there is no neighborhood watch. ZImmerman is the self-appointed “captain” of an unofficial “organization” that consists entirely of himself.

“He has been in the position he holds since 2004.”

There is no position for him to hold. There is no neighborhood watch in that area.

You are totally ignoring the fact that Zimmerman called Martin a racial slur (coon) on those 911 tapes. You are ignoring that Martin was walking home from the store, minding his own business, when Zimmerman accosted him and provoked a confrontation. You are ignoring that Martin was on the phone with his girlfriend saying “there is a strange man following me” and his girlfriend telling him to run, which he did, and Zimmerman pursued him. If anyone was acting in self-defense, it was Martin. You are also ignoring that the Sanford police refused to release the 911 tapes until they were pressured to. You are ignoring that the Sanford police tried to mollify the Martin parents from pursuing the issue by apologizing to them for what happened to their son. If it was a case of self-defense, for what? When has a police department EVER apologized to the parents of the aggressor in a self-defense case?

” And yes, it could be what some might term “playing the race card” among those who are now calling so much attention to the situation.”

Would you feel the same way if it was your child?

Sir, what you are doing is loathsome, because you are purposefully omitting factual information that cannot be disputed. There are 911 tapes. There are the transcripts of the cell phone call. Based on those, we already know that Zimmerman is lying; that his account of what happened that night cannot possibly be true. That is why a very short time after reviewing the tapes and the cell phone transcript, the officials of the state of Florida – conservative Republicans who support gun owners and the Stand Your Ground law – announced that they were convening a grand jury, and stated that they were very unsatisfied with the “investigation” of the Sanford Police.

This is an example of how this “investigation that supported Zimmerman’s claim of self defense” went, according to eyewitnesses that night that have spoken to the media. Witnesses stated to the police “We heard a teenager crying for help.” The police CORRECTED THEM and said “No you didn’t. You heard George Zimmerman crying for help.” This is in the media. It has been reported several days on several outlets. You are fully aware of the (totally discredited) defense of Zimmerman, but you are unaware of these facts?

Sir, what you are doing is reprehensible and indefensible. Did you honestly believe that Martin, an honor role student with no criminal record and no disciplinary record at school with middle class parents, decided to attack a grown man that outweighed him by 50 pounds on the way home from the store? And before you state the black crime statistics, MARTIN WAS UNARMED. Criminals have guns, knives, tire irons, screw drivers, SOMETHING. Or they go after people smaller and weaker than them, like the elderly or women. THEY DO NOT ATTACK PEOPLE BIGGER AND STRONGER THAN THEY ARE.

Seriously, what you are doing in defending Zimmerman is reprehensible, and it is only because you are taking a reflexive “us against them” position in a racial controversy.

85 Job March 22, 2012 at 11:46 pm

Correction. Zimmerman outweighed Martin by ONE HUNDRED POUNDS, not 50. And this conservative website explains why Martin’s invocation of the “Stand Your Ground” law is bogus, and why the Sanford Police Department was wrong not to charge him.

http://reason.com/blog/2012/03/22/was-george-zimmerman-the-aggressor

86 Job March 22, 2012 at 11:48 pm

This statement in the that link shows that Zimmerman has already been proven to be a liar by the cell phone transcripts:

“As Slim points out in the comments, a FAQ (PDF) posted yesterday by the Sanford Police Department says “Zimmerman’s statement was that he had lost sight of Trayvon and was returning to his truck to meet the police officer when he says he was attacked by Trayvon.” That seems inconsistent with the account Martin’s girlfriend gave of the cellphone conversation she had with him right before the shooting. She said she heard Martin say, “Why are you following me?” She said she then heard someone else saying, “What are you doing here?”

And again, Reason is a very conservative site.

87 Chief Katie March 22, 2012 at 11:45 pm

“Chief Katie: Yes, a few individuals made a difference and without the help of the church. But as a whole the churches have failed. Miserably. And still are failing miserably.”

Debbie, you are most welcome to your opinion, I don’t, however, share it. The truth is, in my humble opinion, that the most segregated hour in America is a self-imposed segregation. There is absolutely nothing to stop Christians from integrating their churches willingly. The truth is, white and black congregants choose where they attend because they do not want to integrate. It has nothing to do with sin… it’s all about comfort, and custom.

88 Job March 22, 2012 at 11:54 pm

“It has nothing to do with sin… it’s all about comfort, and custom.”

Paul vehemently disagreed when he confronted Peter over his comfort level and custom of refusing to participate in table fellowship with Gentiles. Christianity is supposed to be about getting out of what is comfortable to our flesh and obeying the Holy Spirit. Blacks, whites (and other races) have been using excuses to surrender to their carnal natures in this area.

Not just racial/ethnic barriers by the way. Paul also upbraided the Corinthian church over class divisions. Based on that evidence, following after what is comfortable and customary is indeed sinful. Especially since the segregated worship system is not something that developed legitimately, but instead was the result of Jim Crow. Early in American history, blacks, whites, Native Americans etc. worshiped together. Segregation only came later.

89 Chief Katie March 23, 2012 at 12:17 am

Job,

Yes… and Paul was right. I agree that our churches developed out of Jim Crow, but that’s just not valid any longer.

I don’t think that Christians of any race consciously make a decision not to attend an integrated church, they simply go about their business and worship in a way that meets their comfort level. This is absolutely true. I’ve seen this happen as a teacher on repeated occasions. People are generally most comfortable with what they know and understand. As a teacher of young adults, black and white students gravitated towards their own race and nothing short of a seating chart, could change it. As soon as class was over, the whites and blacks joined their own race peers. No one was shunned. Every opportunity was available for mixing of races. The truth is, people are not interested.

I’ve no problem working to fix injustices, but let’s not blame every Christian in America for the segregation on Sunday morning. There is no legitimate social ill that keeps this in motion. It will never improve until Christians decide they WANT to change it. So far they don’t. I only want us to identify it for what it is, and it’s not about the racism.

90 Job March 23, 2012 at 12:45 am

Chief Katie:

“I don’t think that Christians of any race consciously make a decision not to attend an integrated church”

I am not trying to badger you or beat you up or anything, but this is untrue. We do consciously make decisions not to attend integrated churches. We drive miles past churches that do not fit our racial profile to find ones that do. We seek things that are based on that comfort level, but the comfort level is based on race.

And yes, it does resemble the experiences of how students self-segregate voluntarily. But that is the problem. Christians are supposed to be different from the world. When we follow the Holy Spirit, we are easily distinguishable from the world. But when we act carnal, there is no way to tell any difference. Again, go back to the early church. Jews, Gentiles and Samaritans were as divided by ethnicity/religion as America has ever been by race, and there were also real class divisions. So, the only place in Roman society of that time that you would have ever seen Jews, Gentiles, Samaritans, slaves and wealthy people together was at Christian church services.

When you say “it isn’t racism”, I agree (because the term is usually employed in the context of one race causing willful harm to another). But it is carnal. And that is the irony. Being carnal is better than being racist. Why? Because the world esteems being carnal (otherwise you are a “legalist” or a “fundamentalist”!) but despises being racist. My issue is not racism, because I am of the opinion that most people bear no ill will and mean no harm towards folks of other races. Instead, the issue is carnality, and segregation is only one area where this is manifested.

91 Chief Katie March 23, 2012 at 1:23 pm

Brother Job,

I think we are at cross-purposes saying the same thing.

My purpose is to say boldly that the segregation of Sunday morning in America is not about racism.

For goodness sakes, Christians beat each other up over style of worship when it comes to music, liturgy (or lack thereof), etc. There is a huge disconnect between worship style in AME churches and standard Baptist churches.

I don’t find anything sinful (carnal) about driving by an AME church on the way to my Baptist Reformed congregation. A stranger would be hard pressed to figure out that both congregations are worshipping the same Lord and Savior.

I don’t think this will ever change and I don’t think it needs to.

92 Bruce H. March 22, 2012 at 11:56 pm

Dave,

I struggle a little with the reasoning behind why we want to get to the point of colorblindness and the reasoning behind how we do it. Yes, we need to be colorblind but colorblindness means something different to each person. Each race sees colorblindness differently. The white man cannot see how a minority would view colorblindness nor can a minority see how a white man views colorblindness. When we can understand colorblindness from the other person’s perspective we will be able to address it in our own life. We can only see it from their perspective when we are standing in their shoes. How do we do that? Ask a missionary or someone who is in a similar situation.

If we accept a biblical process of choosing a President we would never have a problem with the outcome. When the disciples replaced Judas there was no vote. They chose qualified men and cast lots. God is the only one who is truly colorblind and the results would be based upon His providence through the lots cast. We say we believe God can do all things but I do not see actions similar to scripture in the things we do. There is a point where we must allow God to make this kind of decision and keep man’s hands out of it. When I say “cast lots” I mean that something is cast that allows God to cause the results. I do not mean that men write a name on something and cast it in with others and the majority wins. Do whatever it takes to allow God to do it all. That eliminates politicking which we want to get away from.

93 reformedsteve March 23, 2012 at 7:10 am

Does anyone else feel like they have nothing to prove to the world? Vote Luter if he is the better man, not strictly because you feel you have something to prove to the world.

Not one of you would call a black man as pastor strictly because he was black. Why would you do it with the office of President?

Our past is behind us. Those crimes are long pass. Yet, we are chasing after the world with an apology. And I fear, it will be an apology that will fall on deaf ears. If elected, Luter could do many good and positive things. However, he will not cause the world to forgive the SBC. Their unforgiveness is rooted in an enmity toward our God and Savior, Jesus Christ. And it is only Him, not Luter that can reverse their hearts.

94 Bruce H. March 23, 2012 at 10:11 am

I agree that we have nothing to prove to the world at this point. Jesus said in Matthew 6:14,15: “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” An apology or repentance is necessary for one to be able to forgive and also show forgiveness. The SBC has provided an apology for the sins of their forefathers and present day sins of racism. I do not know if there was ever an open general consensus stating that the SBC was forgiven. Regardless, we must live as forgiven and proceed with our Lord’s mission as a forgiven convention.

95 Dave Miller March 23, 2012 at 11:15 am

Steve, I think the key perception we need to change is the one of the minorities in our midst. They are the ones who often have felt excluded or unwelcome.

The symbolism of the election of a black president is most important in what it tells black churches and pastors in our fellowship.

It is a good next step.

96 reformedsteve March 23, 2012 at 12:42 pm

Sorry brother Dave, but all it will tell our black brothers and sisters in Christ is that we elected a black man as a political show.

I might add that if we were to take the same arguments as you have presented, by implication, it will only be a matter of time before a woman will be elected as Presindent of the SBC. I mean after all, we need to prove to the world that we aren’t sexists.

“But”, you will say, “racial equality is taught in Scripture, for we are not Greek or Jew but all are one in Christ.” I would agree, so then why the insistance on drawing attention to Luter’s skin color? I would argue that by making a deal out of a man’s race we would show a certain amount of disbelief; that we don’t really believe that we are one in Christ. If we were, then we wouldn’t be persuaded to vote according to color, but according to character.

97 Frank L. March 24, 2012 at 12:45 am

Steve, good points. It certainly seems we can put too much hope in one election.

98 Debbie Kaufman March 24, 2012 at 9:23 am

Frank: It’s a start. A good start. If we can get more people of color in roles of leadership, how can that not be anything but good.

99 Debbie Kaufman March 23, 2012 at 9:56 am

Reformed Steve: Our past is our present in many cases. We don’t believe in owning slaves, and we have repented of that, but we have been wrong racially in other ways.

The world is watching. I believe we do need to care what the world thinks, especially in this area. We say that we have a life changing message of Jesus Christ, which we do, but the world is also watching our actions and frankly they have been wanting.

Fred Luter’s theology is strong, his goals are goals I agree with and I am sure many can agree with. But I would be lying if I did not say that I would like a black President with all the values and theology we as Southern Baptists believe to be elected. It would send a message to the world. One I believe we need to send. We apologized in the 1990′s and in my opinion we have to put lip service to that apology or it doesn’t really mean anything but words. So I think we do have to prove something to the world and to ourselves.

If it falls on deaf ears it falls on deaf ears. But not all of the ears will be deaf. There are many black churches who do not feel a part of the SBC, and that is wrong. It should be corrected.

100 Bruce H. March 23, 2012 at 10:30 am

Debbie,

My apologies, but I would like to enter a thought. The world stands in judgement toward Christ’s church in general. Their perspective never fits Christ’s perspective of His church and they judge from Satan’s standpoint. The world is basically anti-Christ. If I stand alone before a Judge to plead my case without an advocate, I am sure to loose the battle. When we say we have to “prove to the world” that we are not racist or otherwise we are standing before our judges defending ourselves alone. We have submitted an apology and await forgiveness. I think we proceed with the task at hand and live forgiven. Not just on this topic but in every aspect of our lives. Let Christ be our advocate. If He chooses to respond to accusations, let Him. Our responsibility in repentance is complete and our responsibility ahead is to maintain the right relations with every human being. I do not think proving anything is ours to do.

101 Dave Miller March 23, 2012 at 11:07 am

Debbie, do the extremely negative assertions you have made describe the situation in Enid? I am glad they do not among churches here. Unless you are an expert in American church life, you should refrain from making the kind of broad generalizations you have made here.

If you have stats or evidence, present them. If you are simply presenting opinions, you might try doing it with a little more humility -as stating opinions, not as giving pronouncements.

First of all, the idea that Christians have done little about racism flies in the face of history. Yes, many Christians have engaged in it, but many have taken bold stands against it as well.

102 Debbie Kaufman March 24, 2012 at 9:33 am

Dave: The stats are available. But you don’t even need stats. Just look around.

103 Dave Miller March 24, 2012 at 9:39 am

Can I assume then that you have no evidence to back up your opinions?

104 Joe Blackmon March 24, 2012 at 10:23 am

If she had evidence, she would present it, don’t you think?

105 Jack Wolford March 24, 2012 at 10:33 am

Dave – Opinions backed up by hard evidence are called “facts” . Sometimes hard evidence , facts , are either not available or attainable to support an opinion. To wit – looking out the front window of an airplane and seeing a cauliflower cloud you have an opinion that is is rough . It’s not necessary to stick your nose into it to prove it.

106 Jack Wolford March 24, 2012 at 10:38 am

Whether or not sufficient “proof” is offered for any person to make a decision doesn’t alter the “facts” or “outcome” . Einstein prooved his “theory” of relativity which was true all along – even before he studied it.

107 Debbie Kaufman March 24, 2012 at 12:53 pm
108 Joe Blackmon March 24, 2012 at 1:49 pm

Ah, yes, Debbie, because blogs are valid, unquestionable sources of proof.

109 Debbie Kaufman March 24, 2012 at 2:31 pm

Ah, yes, Debbie, because blogs are valid, unquestionable sources of proof.

Dwight’s is. I believe Dwight McKissic. I have had the privilege of knowing this man. Yes, I believe every word he says as accurate. He is one of the most honorable people I have ever known.

110 Christiane March 24, 2012 at 10:24 am

‘Racism’ in our country is not limited to black/white difficulties alone.
Many Americans view people of Arabic and Hispanic descent as ‘other’ and we all know the story of the persecution of the American Indians.

‘Racism’ is fear of ‘other’, masked in hatred and contempt and a sense of ‘superiority’, yes. But the most prominent feature of ‘racism’ is that it fails to see the ‘other’ as ‘human’, deserving of the dignity of the human person, as created in the image of God.
When that dignity is NOT recognized, some pretty terrible things happen . . . the whole society is devalued, when one part of it is devalued. ‘Racism’ or ‘prejudice’ or spreading fear hurts the intended victims, but it also desensitizes the perpetrators of their awareness of their own true human dignity . . . a dignity that is God-given, and meant to be honored through self-respect which includes RESPECT for others, as human beings whom God has made worthy of that very basic consideration.

111 cb scott March 24, 2012 at 10:54 am

Debbie,

Surely you are missing the concept here. At least I hope you are. The original statement that sparked your disagreement was: “I don’t believe anything has done more to improve race relations than Christianity has.”

Debbie, how can you, if you have a high opinion of the gospel, believe otherwise?

It is correct that many true, born again Christians did fall short in understanding the equality of God’s creative work related to humanity.

Again, let me state, Christianity as a whole, meaning: The Bride of Christ, the Church Universal, those who embrace the faith for which Christ died and rose from the dead, has brought about freedom of humanity in all aspects more than anything in human history.

I think maybe you are focusing on isolated failures in your comments. I am focusing on the Christian faith and those throughout history who truly embrace it.

112 Debbie Kaufman March 24, 2012 at 12:57 pm

CB: I agree that the Gospel in scripture is the answer, but then I have a question. Since it has taken us this long to get where we are in this topic of race, have we in the past preached the real Gospel? I would tend to answer no.

113 Debbie Kaufman March 24, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Dwight McKissic has said something that I agree with, you will find it in the comment section of the article I linked to from 2 years ago:

“THE GREAT COMMISSION AND GREAT RACE RELATIONS ARE INSEPARABLE.”

This post was written by Dr. McKissic in Feburary of 2012.

http://dwightmckissic.wordpress.com/2011/10/07/the-kingdom-of-god-and-the-sbc-2/

In it he wrote this thought: Unlike the GCR panel, this advisory committee has at least one African American on the panel as forethought, as opposed to an afterthought. This I believe is what the 21st Century SBC should reflect: The Kingdom of God (Rev. 5:7-9).

Nope I believe we have a long way to go. It’s 2012. I hope it is this year that I can say I am happy and proud of the SBC in this area.

114 Debbie Kaufman March 24, 2012 at 1:08 pm

I forgot to add, but this is a good start.

115 cb scott March 24, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Debbie,

I probably do not know how to answer your question for maybe I do not understand it. Nonetheless, I will give it a shot.

You stated, “Since it has taken us this long to get where we are in this topic of race, have we in the past preached the real Gospel? I would tend to answer no.”

The only way I can respond to that question is to state that according to your rationale, the gospel has never been preached in the history of the human race. You are seemingly to state here that the gospel of Christ has failed in its purpose due to no one ever having preached the “real gospel.”

Ultimately, that would mean we are all lost and on our way to hell for no one has the real gospel.

116 Debbie Kaufman March 24, 2012 at 2:11 pm

CB: I am saying the health of our churches reflects if we are preaching the true Gospel or not.

117 Debbie Kaufman March 24, 2012 at 2:13 pm

The Gospel of the Bible is so much more than a message of going to hell or not btw. It is much more than just the message of salvation through Jesus Christ.

118 Joe Blackmon March 24, 2012 at 2:28 pm

The Gospel of the Bible is so much more than a message of going to hell or not btw. It is much more than just the message of salvation through Jesus Christ.

Of course, you won’t answer this question, because doing so would require integrity and a willingness to be honest about what you believe–but please, enlighten us (the unwashed masses that we are), what is the gospel of the Bible???

Again, I know you won’t answer the question, but expect me to hound you with it on every comment thread until you do.

119 Debbie Kaufman March 24, 2012 at 2:44 pm

The Gospel is that God is Holy and I am not. We do not achieve salvation, God has achieved it for us. It’s not what we do or don’t do but what Christ has done for us. Jesus is the hero of the story. He is the story.

As a result of this we are new creations. Totally new people. We are not who we once were inside. We still sin, but we hate it. How do I equate race relations to this? We love people. We love all people so much that we want those of color and those who do not agree with us 100% on secondary theology issues to be a big part of the SBC, of our churches, of our lives. We want no one of color who is a born again Christian left out.

I do agree that much of this was done without realizing it. But we still have maybe one person of color on a board to five or ten white people. I keep thinking this is 2012, way past the sixties, seventies or even nineties. The world on the other hand, although having a ways to go, has made greater strides in race relations than we have. And they don’t have Christ. It should be the other way around.

120 cb scott March 24, 2012 at 3:02 pm

Debbie,

I really do not know how to respond to you here. It is obvious that your acquired knowledge of Church history and even the history of the social structure of America itself is limited. I don’t know any other way to state that without making a false statement.

I also do not understand how you as a believer use this phrase when speaking of the Atonement: ” just the message of salvation”

Nonetheless, let me state again, in hopes of you understanding what we are in reference to here: I think, thus far, you are focusing on isolated events and circumstances in the history of the faith. On the other hand, my reference was to to totality of Christianity. That is my rationale for stating, “Christianity, in and of itself, has done more to improve race relations than anything in human history.”

121 cb scott March 24, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Debbie,

The realm of Christianity is not limited to the SBC, at least I hope not.

When I made the original comment, I was speaking of Christianity as a whole. The SBC basically was not even in my thoughts when I stated, “Christianity has done more to improve race relations that any other thing in human history.”

Now, does that clear up the intent of my statement for you?

122 cb scott March 24, 2012 at 3:25 pm

Debbie,

I must state this also.

You stated: “The Gospel is that God is Holy and I am not.”

In reality that is not correct. That is not the gospel.

It is true that “God is Holy.”

It is true that “I am not”….(holy).

Yet, that is not the gospel. Think about that for a moment and I think you will agree.

123 Debbie Kaufman March 24, 2012 at 3:38 pm

CB: Read my entire statement.
.

124 Joe Blackmon March 24, 2012 at 9:37 am

First of all, the idea that Christians have done little about racism flies in the face of history. Yes, many Christians have engaged in it, but many have taken bold stands against it as well.

Dave,

There is no question that many Christians stood boldly againt racism. A simple reading of history provides all the proof anyone needs to substantiate that assertion. It’s completely illogical and irrational for any people to claim otherwise.

125 Debbie Kaufman March 24, 2012 at 1:12 pm

I wouldn’t say many Joe. Some. Not many next to the large number who call themselves Christians, which is a staggering amount. I would even say a good number with the numbers possibly(hopefully) growing. But I am remembering a time that was within the last 2 years and further back where more white Christians attacked Dr. McKissic for his views of not enough blacks in leadership and others like him than stood by him. 2 years ago is not a significant amount of time. It has not been that long ago. If that is changing, you won’t hear a word out of me in defiance. I will be the one dancing in the streets.

126 Debbie Kaufman March 24, 2012 at 1:13 pm

It’s also hard for me to forget growing up in what was supposed to be a neutral state, we didn’t have separate drinking fountains in Kansas nor separate restaurants but the racial slurs from good Baptist men and women are still ringing in my ears.

127 Joe Blackmon March 24, 2012 at 1:47 pm

I wouldn’t say many Joe. Some.

Oh, and of course, you can prove that? Dave and CB have asked for proof. You have offered none. Whatsamatter, can’t find it on the first page of a Google search? (snicker)

128 Christiane March 24, 2012 at 3:02 pm

If Christian people can activate fully the Gospels of Our Risen Lord in their lives, the power of racism over our society will be broken.

It has already begun. Christianity lived is a force like no other.

129 Debbie Kaufman March 24, 2012 at 3:24 pm

CB: Is it isolated? I hope so, but I don’t think so. I hear more of what you are saying, and that is the way it should be. The Gospel should be the answer but is it?

Lydia: I believe that if we were preaching the true Gospel, we would not have all the problems or at least fewer problems than we have now both in the SBC and in churches. And it cannot be denied there is a mess among both still. This topic of race among the many problems that we will hopefully solve. Not through taking years, but it should be practically done overnight. It should be done within days, months. Not years. It’s as though we either have a lot of lost among us, or that some live as if they are lost.

14 But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?”

130 Debbie Kaufman March 24, 2012 at 3:27 pm

“The Gospel should be the answer but is it?”

By this I mean are we really preaching the true Gospel that transforms lives, hates sin without having morals law sermons, but through the work of the Holy Spirit? If so then why in 2012 are we just now beginning what we should have had 20 or more years ago before the world did.

131 Debbie Kaufman March 24, 2012 at 3:31 pm

Lydia: This has nothing to do with Calvinism. Believe it or not, the Gospel is the same for Calvinist and non-Calvinist. I am speaking of the Gospel that in Paul’s words in scripture “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come”
2 Corinthians 5:17.

That means we change in everything, including in race relations, or even how we deal with each other on secondary issues. But for this topic it is race. I do not think we have gone far enough even if we elect Fred Luter as President. It’s a good beginning. But it should not take years. It should be yesterday that we have multiple people of race in leadership positions in the SBC, in our churches and in our colleges. It can be done in months and not years.

132 cb scott March 24, 2012 at 3:32 pm

” The Gospel should be the answer but is it?”

Debbie,

In all reality the gospel is the answer. It is the only answer. There is no other hope than the gospel for the depravity of man. Issues related to man’s inhumanity to man is due to the depravity of the human race. Therefore, the only hope to change that is the gospel. By the gospel all things that will be made new are made new.

133 cb scott March 24, 2012 at 3:50 pm

Debbie,

Many, many people were making a difference “20″ years ago and much further back.

I know I was trying 20 years ago. Debbie, do me a favor. Go back up this thread to comments 64-67 maybe. There you will find a comment I made to Big Daddy Weave. That will explain what we have and are doing. I can only do what I can do. I cannot answer for other people.

134 Lydia March 24, 2012 at 2:51 pm

“CB: I am saying the health of our churches reflects if we are preaching the true Gospel or not.”

Now, I am really confused. Reading about Boyce (Broadus’ bio) your statements in this thread would mean the “true Gospel” was not preached by quite a few of our Founders. They not only affirmed slavery, some of them either fought for it or supported the Confederacy in other ways. Broadus even makes the statement that Boyce did not want succession but if they had to give up slavery, he supported it. So what would the “health” of the early Southern Baptists be, considering such beliefs in our beginnings? Why would we then want to go back to the “Founders” thinking on doctrine? Did they not see the huge error? Did they not read the book of Philemon? Did they not read “neither slave nor free”–In Christ?

On the other hand, many Quakers, Anglicans, Methodists, and Baptists, etc in the North started the abolitionist movement in churches. The movement was funded early on by women’s groups in these churches before the Garrison types took it on the road by publishing, speaking tours, etc. The resettlment of freed slaves in upstate NY was mainly Christians funding the whole thing helping escaped slaves despite the fugative laws. The impetuous that took this fledgling movement to great heights was Harriet Beecher Stowe’s book, Uncle Tom’s Cabin whom Lincoln referred to as the “little lady who started the big war”. Her father was the president of Lane Theological seminary in Cincinnati.

There were even abolitionists in the South!

Christians stood on principle and inspired other believers. Wilberforce was one of them who was recruited by the Clapham abolitionist group of nobody’s, many of whom were Christians, to take on the slave trade in Britian in parliament. It was ended on a technicality of shipping law!

135 Dave Miller March 23, 2012 at 11:10 am

Okay, good folks. I deleted several comments by several different authors. I you want to make personal insults against others, please find another forum to do so.

And, please, stick to the topic of the post, okay? The post was about progress being made in the SBC in race relations and how we can improve that. A lot of extraneous stuff has been discussed – and that is where most of our problems lie.

136 Frank March 23, 2012 at 6:23 pm

Dave,

In regard to progress, I guess I have to agree this would be a step in the right direction.

Where we might differ is “how big will that step be,” and “how lasting.”

We elected the first Black President of the U.S. I do not see how that has moved the racial reconciliation bus very far down the road. Does that mean it had no affect? No, I think it did.

I just don’t want to put all my eggs in one Convention basket.

137 John Wallace March 23, 2012 at 1:05 pm

Hi Dave,

Fred Luter’s race will weigh favorably in my decision to vote for him as SBC president (assuming I make it to New Orleans). I see this as an historic opportunity and am excited that we are being presented with an eminently qualified candidate who is African American.

I don’t believe that I will ever be completely color blind this side of heaven. My formative experiences have been so different from those of most African Americans in this country. I have often made attempts to better understand and to appreciate the strengths of my African American friends and colleagues. Yet I have more than once caught myself evaluating their qualifications on a “white” scale. It has taken me time to appreciate some of their most valuable gifts, strengths to which I was once oblivious. For this reason I tend to exercise some measure of personal “affirmative action.” It’s the way I attempt to accomodate for my ethnocentrism.

I think it’s a good thing to seek diversity, even to staff with a view toward diversity. For me it’s not about making a statement; it’s about embracing people who have something precious to give to me, something I may not yet understand or appreciate. Diversity is a gift.

138 Frank L. March 23, 2012 at 2:09 pm

This Convention election will be all about race . . . even if we have people pronouncing, “I’m voting based upon his stellar character, not his race.” That will be the feeling of many, maybe most, and it is about race.

One way around it would be to nominate someone of Mexican heritage, or Asian American, or both. But even then, race would be the elephant in the room.

If God designed the diversity of the human race, I think we are barking up the wrong tree. God certainly is not “racist,” but it seems to me He is not color-blind, also.

This post is insightful and it points to an important need to distinguish what one means by “color-blindness.” I do appreciate what the person making this post means, but I think it is helpful to expand on exactly what we are talking about.

Racism is sin and sin is here to stay. Also, the “race” issue is not the same color as it was in the 50′s and 60′s I think we would be wise to expand our sensitivities.

Someone mentioned above about being “profiled” for having black skin. In my area, you may be profiled for having “brown or yellow” skin.

I’m all for continuing the fight to allow all men and women to be judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin. If that is what we mean by color-blindness, we should embrace it hardily.

Just as an aside: some people are discriminated against not based upon “color” but based upon “social status.” I guess that’s a whole other can of worms.

139 Bruce H. March 23, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Frank L.

What would be wrong with men nominating the candidates and God doing the electing? Allow God to elect by the method of casting lots. There are many instances in scripture, both Old and New Testament, of this practice for determining God’s choice or direction or will. I never recall any SBC church using this practice to show God’s hand in the matter and accepting it. I have mentioned it above and have not seen anyone pick up on it. It just seems to me that the final decision would be God’s decision since He is colorblind and knows the character of one’s heart more than any other.

140 Frank L. March 23, 2012 at 2:58 pm

Bruce H.,

I would say, “That’s what God is doing.” What you are quibbling about is the methods. The O.T. used the Urim and Thuman. Do you know what that is? I don’t. The N.T. used “lots.” Do you know what that is? I don’t.

You seem to be hung up on a particular methodology that is neither explained nor commanded by any Scripture verse I know of. You seem to say, “This way is more holy,” but you don’t exactly explain how you know this way is the way it was.

Also in Acts 6, it seems like there is some type of vetting going on among the ones gathered. We don’t know the process, but it does not rule out men and women casting their lot based upon the moving of the Holy Spirit.

I think you are “straining gnats and swallowing camels.” I think your argument is one based upon presupposition not prescriptive Scripture.

So, my short answer is: we are allowing God to choose.

141 Bruce H. March 23, 2012 at 3:14 pm

Frank L.

Maybe today we presume we are more advanced or more spiritual to think biblical methods that remove all human intervention are archaic. Casting lots is the trust in God to make the final decision outside of man’s sincere approach to leave out politics, human calculations or racism. Whether it is flipping a coin or rolling dice or any other method that removes human decisions we must find a means to prove to the church that the final decision was of God. I believe the “casting of lots” in this particular instance would be appropriate. That way, no one can complain about the outcome.

142 Frank L. March 23, 2012 at 3:51 pm

Bruce, I’m not sure what point you are trying to make. What is a lot? If we are going to do it the “Biblical” way, I’m sure that rolling Vegas die is not it.

Also, why is it you have so much faith in dice, and so little faith in men and women who have been fully redeemed and filled with the Holy Spirit of God.

You have an agenda that you are not revealing. It simply does not make sense to say that the only way God can work is by “flipping a coin or rolling dice.” That’s like saying the only way to heal a blind man is to “spit in the dirt and put the mud pack on the eye.”

You are confusing the process with the result. You are confusing cause and effect. I believe God can and does use men and women who are filled up and prayed up.

You completely dismiss this as an appropriate way for God to act even though it is the primary way God acted throughout the entirety of His Word.

The means you mention are obscure and incidental. Nothing indicates they are part and parcel of God’s divine methodology.

Are you married? Did you “flip a coin” between two women? I dare you to tell that to your wife if you did :)

Know this: I’m not big on voting as the way we normally do it. I think the process could be greatly improved. But, if God can cause a coin to land on one side or the other, cannot God also cause a man or woman to right “yes” versus “no” on a ballot?

And, if that man or woman is truly trying to understand and obey (partner with God) is it not even easier for God to cause a “yes” versus a “no.”

Leave the playing with dice for the Vegas Convention.

143 Dave Miller March 23, 2012 at 4:36 pm

Let me help you there, my friend, CB.

As to Bruce’s point, I might observe that “casting lots” was how the disciples made a decision before they had the indwelling Holy Spirit.

After the Holy Spirit we are to do things a very different way. Those who have the Holy Spirit need not cast lots. To do so would be to insult the power of the Holy Spirit to lead us.

144 cb scott March 23, 2012 at 4:46 pm

You are a good man Dave. No doubt about it. You came to the rescue just in the nic-of-time.

As you are probably aware, no amount of “ink” has been spared by many scholars who have debated as to the legitimacy of the “appointing” of Matthias as the replacement of Judas. Many declare that Peter was to quick to call for Judas’ replacement. They argue that God’s replacement for Judas was Paul, an apostle born out of due season.

Naturally, that is a debate among scholars, but it is a debate that has gained much attention, nonetheless.

145 Bruce H. March 23, 2012 at 4:53 pm

Frank,

Hebrew: lot – pebbles used for systematically making decisions.

Greek: 1) an object used in casting or drawing lots, which was either a pebble, or a potsherd, or a bit of wood
a) the lots of several persons concerned, inscribed with their names, were thrown together into a vase, which was then shaken, and he whose lot fell out first upon the ground was the one chosen.

We have done it the way you have described for many years. I do not ever recall doing it similar to the definitions above. If we ever did, I would like to know. Some of your statements sound like you have read into my intent and described something completely different. Do you always go in the opposite direction of what someone intends to say? Or do you try to comprehend where someone is coming from? If that is not your normal process I can understand. Frankly, it really doesn’t matter to me how a president is elected in the SBC. I just wish we would consider a method that only God could control the end result and no one can point to politics or anything else. That way the end result will be based upon the control of God and our faith in His final decision. Regardless, the world will never agree how we do anything and we never have to prove anything to them.

146 Bruce H. March 23, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Dave,

Didn’t see you and cb’s comment until after I posted. I didn’t think about it offending the Holy Spirit. I was only thinking about removing all doubt within our convention about it becoming a racist issue through men voting. If I openly throw my influence to one of the candidates I am saying I am filled with the Spirit and everyone should consider the Spirit is talking to me and they should vote for the one I promote. Wouldn’t that be just as offensive to the Spirit if someone else won the election? Would I be considered not led by the Spirit if my candidate lost? I do not mean to be argumentative, but I want to cast the light from a different direction, too.

147 Frank March 23, 2012 at 6:18 pm

I’m sorry you were offended, Bruce. No need to get personal. I think I understood perfectly what you were saying, but I wanted to give you a chance to correct what certainly looks like a slap against the Holy Spirit to me.

But, that is your right. If you want to roll dice, or scatter chicken bones instead of trusting the Holy Spirit to lead and guide chidlren of God, that’s your choice.

I just disagree. Nothing personal. I just think your idea is a “bad idea.” It does not have the weight of a Scriptural mandate and seems like hocus-pocus to me–even a cop-out.

Just because someone thinks your ideas lack credibility does not mean one “”"always go in the opposite direction of what someone intends to say?”"”

This is a common defense mechanism offered on blogs when someone’s ideas are not strong enough to stand on the merits of the case.

Let me be clear: I just don’t think your ideas will work and I don’t think they have a Scriptural mandage, and I think they are slanderous to the very idea that God can and does reside in the hearts of men and women.

For me, the infilling of the Holy Spirit trumps methodology in the absence of a direct and clear Scriptural mandate.

PS–in the casting of lots to choose a replacement for Judas, where in Scripture does it direct the Eleven to do this?

PSS–You also talked about rolling dice and flipping a coin. Now, you have Googled “lot” to try to make your case sound Biblical. I don’t think it strengthens your case at all.

PSSS–I’m still waiting on how you choose your wife :)

148 Bruce H. March 23, 2012 at 10:14 pm

Frank,

I wasn’t offended in the way you think I was. It wasn’t a personal offending that you did with your straightforwardness. You are forgiven.

The point in the “lot” had nothing to do with dice or chicken bones. I will be extremely careful when explaining things to you in the future. I felt you could figure it out for yourself. The essence of reasoning is absent in the remarks.

PS #1 – This is my point. Not mandated and exercised with liberty by the 11. God honored their faith.

PSS #2 – It was from http://www.blueletterbible.org using Strongs. Hebrew – 1482 and Greek – 2819 (I’m a layman and cannot quote these things like most of you)

PSS #3 – Seems like you are fishing for an argument. This will remain private because it doesn’t even fit with this discussion.

149 Frank L. March 24, 2012 at 12:05 am

“”" The essence of reasoning is absent in the remarks.”"”

Again, insults are the reaction of a weak mind. I’m not genius, but my reasoning faculties are probably on par with yours.

The problem is: you don’t extend your remarks far enough out to see the inconsistencies of what you are proposing. I do not see your insistence on using “holy pebbles” as any different than reading “tea leaves.” or chicken bones.

Again, if there is a weakness in reasoning it may be in your persistent use of a causal fallacy.

150 Frank L. March 24, 2012 at 12:09 am

“”"Seems like you are fishing for an argument. This will remain private because it doesn’t even fit with this discussion.”"”

Not fishing for an argument but showing the obvious fallacy of yours in a light-hearted way (notice the smiley face).

I respect your privacy. I think you get the point.

PS–I will tell you if I believed the way you do and I chose my wife by flipping a coin, I wouldn’t have the courage to admit it in print, either.

PSS–For sake of full disclosure, I didn’t have enough options to flip a coin when I met my wife. I’m eternally grateful she picked me out the lot.

151 Bruce H. March 24, 2012 at 12:48 am

PS #1 – My choosing of privacy in this matter does not imply that I would be in a position to flip a coin for a wife. I would not date two women to that point of intimacy and neither should anyone. That is why this comment is off subject.

PSS #2 – Hopefully, your other options were never remotely comparable to the present Mrs. Frank. If they were, flipping a coin would not rid you of the “what-ifs” after a fight.

152 Bill Mac March 25, 2012 at 12:20 am

So, my short answer is: we are allowing God to choose.

Two responses to this: We don’t allow God to choose anything. He does or He doesn’t, according to His will, not ours. Casting lots without employing wisdom or reason is still our choice.

Second, decisions, whether important or trivial, are ours to make. We do not and should not live life without making choices. Our lives are shaped by them, good and bad. God is not hindered by our choices, but can be honored by them. I for one do not wish to give up a gift that He has given me, but rather to use it, even if I err in its use.

153 Frank L. March 25, 2012 at 1:03 am

Bill Mac, the word “allow” was not meant to suggest we give God permission, but was meant to imply that we gratefully, and with full trust embrace His decisions.

154 Bruce H. March 25, 2012 at 6:15 am

Bill Mac,

I agree with Frank L. on this one. To add one example, it is by faith (full trust) that we allow God to save us. “Allowing” is the complete removal of my desire, will, efforts and control of any situation.

155 Jack Wolford March 25, 2012 at 9:29 am

Bruce H. – Don’t forget , ” The devil made me do it !” – which Flip Wilson made a living from.

156 Bruce H. March 25, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Jack,

I hear you!

157 Jack Wolford March 25, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Since it’s Sunday and not much traffic around , I would like to share with you that YouTube has some awesome Mahalia Jackson videos . That women had more feeling , rhythm and interpretation in her little finger than most . She’s “church” just in herself . There is yet another somewhere who will evidence themselves and along with a dynamic preacher lead a crowd that sorely needs to be lead . We have our eyes on a leader alright – but we march out of step with each other .

158 cb scott March 23, 2012 at 5:25 pm

“Wouldn’t that be just as offensive to the Spirit if someone else won the election?”

No, Bruce H. It would not. Have you ever considered that fact that it could just mean you were wrong?

159 Bruce H. March 23, 2012 at 5:34 pm

cb,

If an influential person who was suppose to be and considered to be filled with the Holy Spirit threw his/her influence to the one who lost, it would have a damaging affect. It would show that the person wasn’t really filled with the Holy Spirit and throw a bad light on the losing side. The losers would appear to be less spiritual, in a way.

160 cb scott March 23, 2012 at 5:56 pm

No Bruce H. It would not mean that the person was not filled with the Spirit. It could just mean the person was wrong about a particular issue. That’s all.

If being filled with the Spirit means that we will never be wrong, then none of us are ever filled with the Spirit. Bruce H., none of us are ever going to live a day wherein we are not wrong about something. Yet, the Bible declares we can be filled with the Spirit daily and continually.

161 Bruce H. March 23, 2012 at 10:43 pm

cb,

I understand the broad statement about being filled with the Spirit and making wrong decisions occasionally. Being filled with the Spirit and choosing a new lawn mower for the Summer mowing ahead of me and choosing the wrong brand of mower, I would agree with you. I see the presidency of the SBC more important than the Presidency of the United States. A reverent fear of God should grip our hearts when approaching who to choose, who to support, who to recommend and who to vote for. Do we see the importance of this position and do we make sure we are prepared to vote God’s will in the matter? Are we fasting? Are we proving God’s will? I know that if we declare we are fasting and proving God’s will we loose something in that statement. I do not need to know. I hope we are and I would urge everyone who will be voting to understand this is not just a get together but a divine responsibility. I only provided a suggestion for discussion and got my answers. Dave brought up a reason and it sounds right but was not a mandate of scripture. I just have another way of getting to the same conclusion that the convention will get to with their standard way of voting.

162 cb scott March 23, 2012 at 11:09 pm

Bruce H.,

I am not talking about buying “lawn mowers.” Nor was Dave. There is no “broad” statement about being filled with the Spirit and making wrong decisions “occasionally.” A person who lives a Spirit filled life will still, in his daily walk, make wrong decisions. Who do you think brings about the conviction of truth when a Spirit filled person does make a wrong decision?

We make wrong decisions, the Spirit calls our attention to the sin, and if we are sensitive and submissive to the Spirits direction, we will repent. We are cleansed and the Spirit gives us assurance.

Casting lots or picking a number between 1 and 10 is not how a New Testament believer finds or knows the will of God.

BTW, I have been to many votes for the pres. of the SBC. It is really not a major decision in our lives as to who to vote for the pres. of the SBC. I have been involved in the politics of the SBC for many years. Looking back, I have to say, maybe we made some wrong turns with the votes we won in some things.

Sometimes I think maybe winning or losing at something we have prayed earnestly about is no sign at all that we are filled with the Spirit or being submissive to His will. I think maybe that being faithful to God’s Word and desires for us no matter the situation is a far greater indicator of being filled with the Spirit. Can I be at peace and know God’s will and movements in my life no matter the consequences may be the greatest indicator of the Spirit filled life. Do I confess and repent of sin regularly and consistently? do I abhor the sinfulness of my heart before a just and righteous God? Do I long for Him to lead me every moment of my life? Do I seek Him daily and constantly? Do I ask Him about the purchase of a new lawnmower because I know He is interested in every aspect of my life no matter how great or small? :-) Do I faithfully suffer as a good soldier of Jesus Christ? I think those things are better indicators of being Spirit filled than winning or losing a vote at a convention or a church business meeting.

163 Bruce H. March 23, 2012 at 11:41 pm

I don’t disagree with your statements, cb.

From my perspective, as a layperson looking at the one who leads the SBC as President, I would view the approach to whom I was voting for differently. Like I said, that position is greater than even the Presidency of the United States in my eyes.

164 cb scott March 23, 2012 at 11:52 pm

Bruce H.,

Do you really believe the the position of SBC president is of greater importance than that of the presidency of the United States?

If the SBC folded tonight and never returned as an entity, it would not really have a great effect on your personal life or mine.

I will say to you, the election of your local church pastor is, in reality, more important to you than who is president of the United States. I really do believe that.

165 Bruce H. March 24, 2012 at 12:00 am

I agree with that, too. Every position in the body of Christ is more important than the President of the United States, even retired pastors. I was only addressing the subject at hand.

166 cb scott March 24, 2012 at 12:14 am

Let me also add Bruce H., I believe that the election or appointment of your local church pastor is of a “mega-greater” amount of importance than who is pres. of the SBC.

167 Sima March 23, 2012 at 7:40 pm

In my humble opinion as an African-American and life-long SBCer, I am thankful that we have reached a point in our history to possibly elect our first black president. However, I hope that Fred Luter’s election will cause all of us, regardless of ethnicity, to look beyond just electing a black president without dealing with the deeper issues. As the Martin case has shown us just the election of a black president, does not equal a “color-blind” society. We as the body of Christ have “nothing to prove to the world”, but hopefully we would want to be a witness to Him who has broken down the dividing wall of hostility and is OUR peace.

168 Christiane March 23, 2012 at 9:04 pm

“We as the body of Christ have “nothing to prove to the world”, but hopefully we would want to be a witness to Him who has broken down the dividing wall of hostility and is OUR peace.”

‘hopefully’ is a good word here, I think . . . a very good word

169 Bruce H. March 23, 2012 at 10:53 pm

Amen.

170 dr. james willingham March 23, 2012 at 11:28 pm

Having qualified, I suppose, to be a Black Historian with a white skin, I guess I ought to take part in this discussion a little. My experience begins in an all white area of the South, Clay County Arkansas in the 40s and 50s. I was never around Black folks until I moved to St. Louis in 1955. The fellow in the next seat in my home room was an African American who took my lunch money every day due to our betting on baseball teams and games. I wasn’t a Christian then, so gambling was no trial to my conscience. However, it was hard on my pocket book, because I did not know the baseball teams, etc., and James Williams did. Finally, I said to him one day, “James, I got to quit. You are taking my lunch money every day, and I get hungry.” He laughed and we stopped our betting. I learned a measure of respect for Blacks right there. However, I had reasons in my family background for both respect and disrespect. My ancestors on both sides of the family (with one exception of my maternal grandfather) were slave owners. That was the element of disrespect. On the other hand, there was the instance of a Black man who kept my grandfather from harm by getting him out a Black community that was hostile, and then, as my father said, if it had not been for a Black man, he and his sisters might not have survived childhood. His mother and step-father came down with the Spanish Flu in 1918 and were in a hospital in Arkansas with no one at home to care for my father and his sisters (6-8 years of age or thereabouts). Dad said a Big Black man came into the home, prepared the meals, took care of their clothes, and watched the children until their parents recovered. It is things like this that make the difference in one’s attitude towards people who differ due to skin color, language, culture, etc. However, it was in my attendance of Black university, Lincoln in Mo. and the study of Negro History (as it was then called) made a serious difference. This was followed by courses in Black History in my Master’s program in Intellectual History, and more courses in my work toward the Ph.D. in which I wrote a Prospectus for a Doctoral Dissertation in the field and delivered a lecture in a Summer Afternoon Lecture Series at Columbia Univ. in ’71. By that time I was employed as an Instructor in American History at South Carolina State College. What a learning experience, seeing and meeting Black folks from all walks of life. One thing I learned and that is they are extremely talented people. They do not need or want a paternalistic, “We know what is good for them,” attitude. Honest support and encouragement in their labors, what we all want, is all that they want. It has been my good fortune, a blessing from God, to have some Black folks as personal friends. They are people I pray for every day, and they pray for me. I thank God for the privilege of having been able to study their history (and it is great) and know them personally. One of the great things I learned is that God produced some great Christian people among the Black folks, people who are just as disciplined, dedicated, and daring in their faith and labors as any white. I dedicated this comment to an unknown Black Marine in Vietnam War. A former Marine and I were talking one night about Black Folks, and he said to me, “I don’t feel about them folks like most whites. One night in ‘Nam we had incoming fire, and my buddy jumped in the way to save me. I sat there and held that Black man in my arms and cried like a baby while he died!” To my shame, I did not ask that Black Marine’s name. So to him I dedicate this comment.

171 Louis March 24, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Humans will never overcome racism. We should strive for a color blind society in the treatment of people, but we need to be conscious of our nation’s history of slavery and discrimination and how that affects things today.

When we see large percentages of poverty, unemployment, poor education and social pathologies in the African American Community, it would be foolish to not recognize that some of that is due to the fact that these people’s ancestors were brought here in chains. They were eventually freed but it took another 100 years for them to obtain equal status and opportunity under the law. In most cases, the have a completely different history in terms of economics, employment and education. That has lingering effects.

There is no perfect remedy.

I agree with Chief Justice John Roberts when he wrote in recent opinion, “They way to stop discriminating on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.” (or something like that).

But we need to be aware of inequities, and we need to make efforts to continue on the path to racial harmony, as much as that can be achieved in this lifetime.

On the tragedy in Florida, from everying that I know (and all I know is what has been reported – I have not looked at one piece of evidence), the situation appears to be ridiculous. I am hopeful that the Florida authorities will look into this more careful. That boy and his family deserve that. But also, we should not lynch Zimmerman. I am afraid that he will not get a fair trial and that any grand jury or petit jury considering this will come under great pressure to act beyond what the facts may show.

I was in NYC this week and accidently ended up in the middle of the protest. I cannot speak to all of the participants. But many of them appeared to be strange and wild people, kind of like the worst of the worst in public protests. The statements I heard from some were chilling. It was a mob. I don’t think I have ever been that close to a mob. Some were carrying signs that said “Captialism = Racism” and the like.

I think that many people are concerned about being part of or associated with that kind of a scene. That may explain, in part, an initial hesitancy to speak on this issue.

But I suspect that as the days go by that pastors and others will speak to this.

But, again, having said all of this, I suspect that the chance of getting a fair hearing after all of this is going to be impossible. I have no idea if Zimmerman has any legitmate defense. But I am concerned that he will never get an opportunity to present it. Surely, from what I know, the young boy did not get fair treatment.

I am hoping and praying for the best outcome possible.

172 Jack Wolford March 24, 2012 at 1:53 pm

Louis – Many aren’t speaking because they have no knowledge of the ” Castle Doctrine Law ” which in Florida morphed into something else other than originally intended .

173 Frank L. March 24, 2012 at 10:45 pm

Louis, you are absolutely correct. We will no more eliminate racism that “greed, adultery” or any other sin.

174 Christiane March 24, 2012 at 5:14 pm

The Gospel of Our Lord IS the answer.
But it must not remain in a Book gathering dust. Or kept isolated in the mind of a believer who will not cooperate to release the Gospel’s power to conform him to Christ, Crucified and Risen From the Dead.

Essentially, the power of the Gospel is released when a person begins to conform their lives to Christ . . .
Christ IS the Power of the Gospel.
He releases us from the spirit of fear and and sends forth the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with Divine Love.
And our prayer becomes: ‘Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.’

175 Bill Mac March 24, 2012 at 6:50 pm

Christianity is much bigger than the SBC. It has always been my understanding that while some Christians have sometimes been on the wrong side of the slavery issue, the backbone of the major anti-slavery movements have been Christians.

176 Dave Miller March 27, 2012 at 12:57 am

Yep.

177 Jack Wolford March 24, 2012 at 8:39 pm

What anybody did 100 or even 20 years ago “against ” slavery doesn’t help us today. Let us just go back 6 months and look at what has happened in our Country concerning racism both within our churches and in our streets . Why weren’t any SBC Christians – particularly pastors/ministers a part of the Selma to Montgomery remembrance ? I think we are afraid . I said – Afraid . Wimping out ! AFRAID ! Of whom ? Maybe their relatives , fraternity brothers or just maybe their own reputation they don’t know how to bury . 100 -50 or 20 years ago the people that made a difference were in the fight and most of them were black. The ones causing the trouble were even elected officials- congressmen , senators , law enforcement , judges – and most of them were white . Times are changing . SBC is changing . Who is giving a helping hand now – and how ?

178 Frank L. March 24, 2012 at 10:44 pm

Ridiculous!

179 Jack Wolford March 25, 2012 at 1:34 am

Frank L. – What part is ridiculous ? History has names & places whether you choose to acknowledge them or not .

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