Southern Baptist seminary presidents have agreed that Critical Race Theory in incompatible with Baptist Faith & Message—CRT will not be taught on their campuses. Not all prominent Southern Baptists agree, however.
CRT includes the concept that racism is systemic.
From Baptist Press, Seminary presidents reaffirm BFM, declare CRT incompatible:
In a statement adopted in the council’s annual session, the seminary presidents assert that as “confessional institutions,” the SBC’s six seminaries stand “together in this classic statement of biblical truth.” Additionally, the statement declares that while condemning “racism in any form,” the seminaries agree that “affirmation of Critical Race Theory, Intersectionality and any version of Critical Theory is incompatible with the Baptist Faith & Message.”
“As this statement demonstrates, our convention leaders affirm without reservation not only our historic Baptist theological confessions, but also a biblical view of justice, which I also affirm and applaud,” [SBC President] Greear said. “While we lament the painful legacy that racism and discrimination have left in our country and remain committed to fighting it in every form, we also declare that ideological frameworks like Critical Race Theory are incompatible with the BFM. The Gospel gives a better answer.”
Jason K. Allen, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary:
“At any given moment, there are a host of challenges confronting the church and to which Christians should speak. Yet, these days there’s a particular relevance to Critical Race Theory, and what it portends to mean for Gospel ministry and for the church. Clearly, Critical Race Theory is at the forefront of our cultural and denominational moment. Confusion abounds on Critical Race Theory, but one thing is clear: the closer you look into the history, advocates, and aims of Critical Race Theory the more troubling it becomes.
“Given our national and denominational history, causes and cures of racism are often emotionally charged, yet we need the moral and theological clarity to guard against racism and ethno-centrism, while also defending our most cherished beliefs: the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the inerrancy and sufficiency of Scripture, and the full body of truth contained in The Baptist Faith and Message.
“Unfortunately, the problem of racism still exists, but Critical Race Theory is not a biblical solution. We must be a people who stubbornly fight against both racism and Critical Race Theory, while fighting for racial reconciliation and the truth of Scripture.”
[The seminary presidents’] statement launched another wave of discussion around the place of critical race theory in Christian discourse and teaching, with fellow Southern Baptists and Christian leaders outside the denomination weighing in.
In the resolution approved at the 2019 annual meeting, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) referred to the theory as “a set of analytical tools that explain how race has and continues to function in society” and clarified that it could only be employed “subordinate to Scripture.”
“Some in our ranks inappropriately use the label of ‘CRT!’ to avoid legitimate questions or as a cudgel to dismiss any discussion of discrimination. Many cannot even define what CRT is,” tweeted SBC president J. D. Greear on Thursday. “If we in the SBC had shown as much sorrow for the painful legacy that sin has left as we show passion to decry CRT, we probably wouldn’t be in this mess.”
Greear appears to both support the statement by the seminary presidents’ and say the kerfuffle is used as a distraction from truly addressing racism. His tweet above came in a thread in which he praised this statement by Tony Evans in which he says secular perspectives like CRT can have “beneficial aspects”.
Thank you Dr. Evans!
This is a discussion that needs nuance, not blunt force trauma. (1/9) https://t.co/cD5PggEJdz
— J.D. Greear (@jdgreear) December 3, 2020
In the same year that George Floyd was choked to death by a police officer while being live-streamed on iPhones, and Breonna Taylor was murdered in her own apartment by police executing an outdated no-knock warrant, and Ahmaud Arbery was chased down and killed by white supremacists for jogging, the only thing the brilliant presidents of SBC seminaries could think to do with the opportunity provided by their annual meeting was to double-down on the SBC’s historic institutional commitment to racism and white supremacy.
It is precisely because the SBC continually refuses to reflect the ethics of the New Testament Jesus that the SBC is not worthy of bearing the name of Christ and should instead be defined as what it has always been: a white supremacist organization created to give theological justification for racism, sexism and xenophobia.