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Southern Baptists: A new morality?

Southern Baptists: A new morality?

The Southern Baptist Convention holds its annual meeting this week (in St. Louis, with 6,000 attending), addressing racism, homosexuality and the Orlando massacre in statements inclusive and critical by turns. The Southern Baptists invited and included “the president of a historically black denomination in a rare address to their national gathering.”

From Religion News Service:

“Those who would like to suggest that racism is not indeed a problem for the church but rather it is a sociological problem, I would argue it is without question a sin problem,” the Rev. Jerry Young, president of the National Baptist Convention, USA, told the predominantly white Southern Baptist Convention on Tuesday (June 14).

Young’s appearance was the first time a president of the black denomination had addressed the nation’s largest Protestant denomination in at least 35 years. Outgoing Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd extended the invitation, saying that any form of racism defies the dignity of human life.

The convention also passed a resolution against the display of the Confederate flag. In the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

The group overwhelmingly approved a resolution at its annual conference saying that the flag is perceived by many as a symbol of “hatred, bigotry and racism” and asking people to take it down.

“We call on our brothers and sisters in Christ to discontinue the display of the Confederate battle flag as a sign of solidarity of the whole body of Christ, including our African American brothers and sisters,” the resolution said.

The Washington Post gives some historical context on the connections between the Southern Baptists and the Confederate flag:

The Southern Baptist Convention is linked from its origin with the history of the Confederacy and of race in America, as Dwight McKissic, the black Texas pastor who proposed the Confederate flag resolution, pointed out in blog posts. The denomination was founded in Georgia in 1845 by Baptists who split from the northern Baptist church because they disagreed with its anti-slavery positions.

The church has acknowledged its ugly past and apologized to African-Americans in previous resolutions, and it elected a black president in 2012.

Still, McKissic wrote, rejecting the Confederate flag would help mend the still-raw wounds of the denomination’s history.

…and includes some of the comments on McKissic’s blog opposed to the removal of the flag:

“If this resolution passes, the SBC will never get another dime of mine. No offerings, no support for fund raises and no attendance. Period…. I could give many historical examples of why the South was right in seeding [sic] from a tyrannical government.”

“I will leave the Convention if this is pursued, and I have been in SBC churches FROM A BED BABY! … I am the Daughter of some 34 Confederate veterans and the niece of some 120. NONE OF WHICH HAD SLAVES.”

The topics of violence and race met in a remembrance of the shootings nearly a year ago at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston:

Right after Young spoke, the leader of a prominent Southern Baptist church in Charleston, S.C., spoke of the “grief and grace” that filled his city after the shooting deaths of nine members of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church almost exactly a year ago.

“Racially motivated murder hurt all of us,” said the Rev. Marshall Blalock, pastor of First Baptist Church of Charleston. “The white community for the first time in some ways was experiencing the depth of the pain, for the first time beginning to understand it was our church that was attacked, our people, our brothers and sisters, our neighbors.” [from RNS]

…and in prayers for and condemnation of the shootings in Orlando. While speaking out against “bigotry, hatred [and] violence,” Floyd

also condemned what he said were sales of aborted fetus parts by Planned Parenthood and the lighting up of the White House in rainbow colors after the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage.

“These days are not some new morality,” he said. “They are signs that our nation is on the ragged edge of moral insanity.”

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Paul Woodrum

Equating racism and homosexuality leaves one breathless. Last night Rachel Maddow showed clips of a couple Baptist preachers (Southern or otherwise, she didn't say) cheering on Omar Mateen for ridding us of 49 sodomites. The battle for liberty, dignity and justice is never over.

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Gregory Orloff

Nor is the struggle for Christlikeness ever over, if it is indeed seriously taken or engaged at all.

How in heaven or on earth can one really be "in Christ" and yet cheer on a killer for "ridding us of 49 sodomites"?

(Never mind the brash presumption that all of the innocent victims were homosexual — as if heterosexuals don’t form friendships with homosexuals and socialize one with the other.)

One cannot gleefully gloat over cold-blooded murder and be in sync with the Christ Jesus who, when confronting with a woman caught in sexual sin, did not egg on the mob bent on stoning her to death — though they were fully convinced that law, justice, religion and morality were wholly on their side in doing so.

No, Christ Jesus shielded her from their homicidal intent and told them to drop the rocks and look at their own sins.

Those who are truly his followers behave likewise — not to the contrary of the example he set.

Sigh. Oh, how the world needs a lot less “Christian” — and a whole lot more Christlike.

As Christ Jesus our Lord and our brother said:

“Why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don't do what I say?” (Luke 6:46)

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JC Fisher

"presumption that all of the innocent victims were homosexual"

I think it is safe to assume that Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, mother of 12, was not gay [McCool, 49, died throwing her body on top of her son, who survived]

May all the Pulse departed rest in peace, and rise in glory!

...which is more than I might predict for the reward for the Southern Baptists, who couldn't even bring themselves to mention that (most of) the Orlando victims they prayed for, were LGBT. [Noting that might get in the way of continuing to hatefully discriminate against them, doncha know?]

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