It’s not the time of year we would normally talk about resolutions. But I don’t think I ever posted this two years ago when our state convention passed it. Unanimously, by the way. This was months after the 2017 SBC when we ultimately passed a resolution condemning the Alt-right. Between the SBC’s actions in Phoenix (June 2017) and the November annual meeting of the SBC of Virginia, the “Unite the Right” rally was held in Charlottesville. This resolution deals with the intersection of those events.
Dwight McKissic’s call for the SBC to speak against the Alt-right and White Supremacist movements proved prophetic. Not only as seen in Charlottesville, but now in other events as well, including the recent shooting in El Paso. But not only in individual events. I continue to believe emboldened white supremacist ideologies are one of the greatest threats our society faces today.
I was able to serve on the Resolutions Committee for the state convention that presented this resolution. If you followed the events at the SBC in 2017, you may notice that the resolution combines some aspects of the resolution passed at the national level, some aspects of Dwight McKissic’s original resolution, as well as some material original to our committee.
Take a few minutes, read the words, and heed the call to action that is contained in this resolution. Underlined sections my emphasis.
ON CHARLOTTESVILLE AND THE SIN OF RACISM
WHEREAS, Scripture teaches, “From one man [God] has made every nationality to live over the whole earth and has determined their appointed times and the boundaries of where they live” (Acts 17:26); and
WHEREAS, The Psalmist proclaimed, “The earth and everything in it, the world and its inhabitants, belong to the Lord” (Psalm 24:1); and
WHEREAS, The Apostle Peter said, “God doesn’t show favoritism, but in every nation the person who fears Him and does what is right is acceptable to Him” (Acts 10:34–35); and
WHEREAS, Our justification before God is based on faith in Christ Jesus alone and not in our ethnicity (Galatians 3:27–28);
WHEREAS, Scripture proclaims that Jesus is purchasing by His blood believers “from every tribe and language and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9); and
WHEREAS, Throughout eternity we will gather with a “multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language” in worship of our risen Savior (Revelation 7:9); and
WHEREAS, The Baptist Faith and Message 2000 conveys that all Christians are obligated to make the will of Christ supreme in their own lives and in human society, opposing all forms of racism, selfishness, and vice, and bringing government and society as a whole under the sway of the principles of righteousness, truth, and brotherly love; and
WHEREAS, Racism and ideologies of racial supremacy are, sadly, not extinct but present all over the world in various movements, including white supremacist movements, “white nationalism” or the “alt-right”; and
WHEREAS, these movements in the United States represent a growing threat to political order and justice that seeks to reignite social animosities, reverse improvements in race relations, and divide the people of our country, and
WHEREAS, these movements must be opposed for the totalitarian impulses, xenophobic biases, and bigoted ideologies that infect the minds and actions of its disciples and are contrary to Jesus’ command that we “love one another,” (John 13:34); and
WHEREAS, these racist philosophies are now influencing public discourse in America in ways that are contrary to Christian teaching (Galatians 3:28, Titus 1:9), and are, therefore, negative to our country, our colleges, our online communities, and, potentially, some of our churches; and
WHEREAS, on June 14, 2017, the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, overwhelmingly passed a resolution “On The Anti-Gospel Of Alt-Right White Supremacy,”
WHEREAS, white supremacists have gathered for rallies in May, August, and October of 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia; and
WHEREAS, these rallies were held to propagate white supremacist ideology and to attempt to intimidate those who oppose it, especially racial minorities, by making use of historical symbols, behavior, and slogans; and
WHEREAS, these rallies have gained national attention through media coverage, especially due to the deaths of two Virginia State Police Troopers, Lt. H. Jay Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates, and the death of Charlottesville resident Heather Heyer by a white supremacist who drove his car into a crowd gathered in Charlottesville in an act of domestic terrorism; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the messengers to the SBC of Virginia Homecoming, meeting in Colonial Heights, Virginia, November 12–14, 2017, extend our love and compassion to those in Charlottesville devastated by these events; and be it further
RESOLVED, That we decry every form of racism, including and specifically alt-right white supremacy, as antithetical to the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Acts 10:34-43); and be it further
RESOLVED, That we denounce and repudiate every form of racial and ethnic hatred as a scheme of the devil intended to bring suffering and division to our society (1 Peter 5:8); and be it further
RESOLVED, That we denounce every form of nationalism that violates the biblical teachings with respect to race, justice, and ordered liberty (Philippians 3:20); and be it further
RESOLVED, That we acknowledge that we still must make progress in rooting out any remaining forms of intentional or unintentional racism in our midst and we repent for failing to do so sooner (Mark 1:15); and be it further
RESOLVED, That we will guard our hearts and minds from consuming or embracing this evil ideology (Romans 12:2) ; and be it further
RESOLVED, That we will stand with ethnic minorities and anyone else targeted for intimidation so that the attempt to devalue our fellow image bearers results in a bold witness of the sacrificial love to which Christ calls us (Galatians 2:11-13); and be it further
RESOLVED, That we strongly urge any and all groups in our nation opposed to the alt-right and white supremacist movements, to only employ peaceful, non-violent means in their protest of these groups; and be it further
RESOLVED, That we will encourage churches of the SBC of Virginia to prayerfully consider increasing diversity among local church and denominational leadership (Acts 10:34-35); and be it finally
RESOLVED, That we earnestly pray, both for those who advocate racist ideologies and those who are thereby deceived, that they may see their error through the light of the Gospel, repent of these hatreds, and come to know the peace and love of Christ through redeemed fellowship in the Kingdom of God, which is established from every nation, tribe, people, and language (Revelation 5:9, 7:9).