I had a conversation with Jonathan Greer today and I’d like to share a few minutes ago and I’ve, frankly, done little else since I got up today. I also received some other information from two sources.
1. Jonathan’s story has been confirmed in general by other sources. Of course, none of us can know exactly what happened in the church meetings, but the fact that this was about race and not about visitation has been confirmed independently. Unfortunately, those sources have not given permission for their names to be used, but they are knowledgeable and reliable.
Those of you who want to soften this story by questioning it need to stop. It’s over. Jonathan Greer was fired by Mt. Sterling Baptist Church because he invited black children to VBS. More to the point, he probably got fired because he confronted the sin of racism in the church and called them to repent. Instead of repenting, they fired him.
2. Jonathan told me in no uncertain terms and wanted me to relay this: Mt. Sterling Baptist Church is NOT the norm in his association, Choctaw Association. He said that the association has made racial harmony and reconciliation a priority in their ministry. Mt. Sterling is the outlier, the exception, not the rule.
3. The ironic part is that he was involved in an associational ministry of racial reconciliation the morning this all began. A white church in the association, one in a predominantly black community, had died. The associational ministers were prayer-walking the area in preparation for replanting a diverse or predominantly African-American church. He got back to his church and that is when he thought to go out and hand out the fliers for VBS that started the problem.
The point is that Choctaw Association has made a priority of racial reconciliation and should not be smeared because one church has chosen racism over godliness.
4. Jonathan is doing well, but he’s a little shell-shocked. Pray for him. Also, if you saw this in Alan’s post yesterday, there’s a place you can donate to help the Greer family. This young man was fired for standing for truth. Mt. Sterling Baptist Church gave him not a penny of severance. Alan has promised to give every penny that comes to that fund until further notice to the Greers.
5. A racist church is NOT actually a Baptist church. What is our fundamental thing? We are called to go and make disciples of “all nations.” All “ethnos.” If we refuse to make disciples except in our nation and our ethnic group, if we say, “We don’t want black kids in our VBS” it’s not some small problem. Mt. Sterling Baptist Church is NOT a gospel church. They are not a Baptist church. We preach Christ to all nations.
This is an important time for the SBC. I can’t remember the name of the church (I could google it if I wasn’t lazy, I guess) that was in the news a few years ago because they refused to marry the black couple. The light shined on that church. It was an ugly time, but that church repented and as I understand it came to walk in the light.
Let us pray that Mt. Sterling Baptist Church will abandon the sin that binds it in the darkness and become a true church that proclaims Christ to all nations.
Or may Christ remove their lampstand!