The Biblical Recorder has an article that was just published concerning a letter by pastors James Merritt, Vance Pitman, and Bryant Wright, written to the Search Committee for the EC, expressing concerns about the perceived lack of minority involvement in the hiring process. The article is entitled Diversity in focus as Baptists await EC announcement.
The article says that many expect an announcement of the candidate for president of the EC at the February 18-19 EC meeting. The three pastors are asking whether any minorities have been interviewed.
1. We do not have to lower our standards to hire minority candidates for SBC entity leadership positions. Frankly, this blogger is losing his patience with the tendency of people to assume that diversity is a de facto lowering of doctrinal standards or professional qualifications. When Curtis Woods was appointed to head the Resolutions Committee, people raised questions about whether this represented an abandonment of standards.
No one asked such questions about Keith Whitfield!
Why would we question whether Curtis Woods is qualified but assume Keith is? What explanation could there be for the fact that selecting an all-white leadership team is okay, but a diverse team is blamed on quotas?
This nonsense needs to stop. There are plenty of qualified minority and female candidates for office in the SBC and those who label seeking to include minorities in the process “SJW” or see it as “quotas” need to look at their hearts and ask some hard questions.
2. I would be thrilled to be corrected on this, and will gladly correct the record and apologize if someone will give me information to the contrary, but informed and credible sources (information I have received from said sources has been unfailingly accurate) have told me that to this point, in the three entity searches that are the farthest along in the process, NOT A SINGLE MINORITY CANDIDATE has made it to the interview round! A few minority candidates have received questionnaires but all have been eliminated before being interviewed.
This would only be acceptable if there were no qualified candidates, but there are.
If this information is correct, what possible reason can we give to not even give minority candidates an interview?
3. We can understand that the Executive Committee Search Team is probably tired after a long process, but it is not too late to correct this. Better to hire slowly and rightly. Our president, JD Greear, has made including minorities a key part of his administration – and he has done a great job of it.
To hire five empty entity leadership positions and not even give a qualified minority candidate a serious interview is not acceptable. The Executive Committee has been a leader in this process and for their search committee to hire without even interviewing anyone other than white males is unacceptable.
We join Merritt, Pitman, and Wright in their concern and express our hopes that the Search Team will listen to their concerns.