It’s stunningly stupid that in the 21st century any church or individual would not recognize that white people using black theatrical makeup to portray any African American is highly offensive. But, one Oklahoma church pastor did (8 years ago, when Obama was president) just that. The mostly dysfunctional SBC Executive Committee recently expelled the church.
Here’s what I don’t like about that:
It looks like a case of a stubborn pastor, not a racist church.
The pastor should have said about the 2015 incident, “Yeah. That was dumb. I apologize for it.” He doubled down instead.
So, a committee of the SBC Executive Committee has a closed-door discussion and votes to recommend expulsion. The EC complied and offered some explanations after the fact. The church can appeal at next year’s SBC Annual Meeting if they wish. There’s zero chance of overturning the decision unless the pastor rethinks his recalcitrance and backs down.
I conclude that blackface is now the standard for identifying racism in an SBC church; make that blackface put on Facebook. I’ve run across many racist SBC pastors over the years. It’s just subtle, not, ahem, in your face.
A private discussion about expelling a church for a public act is a disgrace.
One can make an exception for abuse because victims should be protected. Aside from that, why wouldn’t a public discussion and individually recorded votes be the practice? If the case is so clear cut why not put our EC reps on the official record?
It looks like we are comfortable picking on the small church and insignificant pastor.
I’ve seen this practice for years, holding an inconsequential church or church member up for our haughty, self-righteous practice of discipline. In my experience, admittedly anecdotal, the only cases where church discipline has been exercised was on ‘minor’ members, non-deacons, non-family connected. Ditto when dealing with local churches. Fat chance of any mega church or church pastored by a celebrity or by a pastor who is well-known in the SBC.
We now have several listed reasons to expel a church but are content to ignore major offenders and offenses. Here are the offenses that will get a church excluded.
Racism (“Does not act to affirm, approve, or endorse discriminatory behavior on the basis of ethnicity.”) Guess we should know this when we see it. So far, it’s blackface and nothing much else.
Doctrinal requirements; “Has a faith and practice which closely identifies with the Convention’s adopted statement of faith.” In a curious manner, this is where we get at homosexuality: “(By way of example, churches which act to affirm, approve, or endorse homosexual behavior would be deemed not to be in cooperation with the Convention.)” Yes. Homosexuality gets only a parenthetical reference. One need not ask about Lord’s Supper practices. None of the tens of thousands of churches whose communion practices are not in accord with the BFM (the ordinance is for “members of the church” only) have risen to the level of actual expulsion.
vague sex abuse requirements: “Does not act in a manner inconsistent with the Convention’s beliefs regarding sexual abuse,” which defies any coherent explanation. I don’t like the double negative in this line. Isn’t there a way that churches could be required to act in a manner consistent with the Convention’s beliefs here?
money and noncooperation , but I cannot recall ever seeing a church publicly excluded for either of these.
Well, we do have committees and task forces working on these which are our usual solution to any problem. For now, Facebook videos seem to be the key.
Do we really think that a committee of almost 100 can efficiently police 50,000 SBC churches at this level,of detail? Wait until (and if) the convention passes The Amendment. Then we will have a Job Title EC subcommittee. The fun will continue.
Cooperative Program down $6 million? Look to the mess of the Executive Committee over the last few years as the main culprit. The EC has a lot of members, good and faithful Southern Baptists, yet their overall credibility trajectory is unsustainable. Need a solid staff leader and EC officers who have the acumen to reverse this.
Just for fun some clever troublemaker should find and post pictures and videos of all the womanless weddings that SBC churches used to do for good clean fun. Those were very popular in past years — mocking the sanctity of marriage and making fun of women while doing it. Go figure.
Go dawgs! We buy better players than your team buys. It’s the way things are done. See what happens to the Commodores Saturday.