The Southern Baptist Convention has just wrapped up in beautiful St. Louis. Okay, the beautiful part might be a bit of a stretch.
But you have to hand it to the Southern Baptists for coming out as the progressive party. Here are some highlights that just crossed my desk. The words below come directly from the Souther Baptist Convention official media source.
Denounces Confederate Flag and Wants It Removed
“WHEREAS, SBC President Ronnie Floyd has rallied Southern Baptists to “rise up and cry out against racism that still exists in our nation and in our churches,” recognizing we are in a “desperate hour” that calls us to “replace these evils with the beauty of grace and love”;”
“WHEREAS, We recognize that the Confederate battle flag is used by some and perceived by many as a symbol of hatred, bigotry, and racism, offending millions of people;
RESOLVED, That we call 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;” – Source
“The Southern Baptist Convention voted overwhelmingly to repudiate the display of the Confederate Battle Flag. The Convention recognized today what the flag represents, and what it says to our African American brothers and sisters in Christ. The flag hearkens back to a day when in order to justify idolatrous Mammonism, Southern religion wove a counter-biblical folk theology that stood on the other side of Jesus. The flag also points to years and years of domestic terrorism against African-Americans, often with threats of physical violence.”
“As I’ve said before, the Cross and the Confederate flag cannot co-exist without one setting the other on fire. Today, messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention, including many white Anglo southerners, decided the cross was more important than the flag. They decided our African-American brothers and sisters are more important than family heritage.” – Source
Defends Rights of Muslims to Build Mosques
“Having a government with “the power to outlaw people from assembling together” and confessing their beliefs “does not turn people into Christians,” Moore said. “That turns people into pretend Christians, and it sends them straight to hell.”
“Russell Moore offered a ringing defense of religious freedom for all, including Muslims, during the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission’s report.”
“On at least three occasions, messengers addressed Muslims’ right to build mosques in America.”
“During the ERLC report, a messenger asked ERLC President Russell Moore how any Southern Baptist can defend the right to build mosques in light of the fact some Muslims are terrorists. Moore responded that part of “what it means to be a Baptist is to support soul freedom for everyone.” The Gospel, not government coercion, is the answer to Islam, he said.” – Source, Source
The SBC said, “The world is facing the largest refugee crisis since World War II, with over sixty million people displaced throughout the world and considered refugees. Southern Baptists have a long record of caring for and ministering to refugees throughout our history. [W]e encourage Southern Baptist churches and families to welcome and adopt refugees into their churches and homes as a means to demonstrate to the nations that our God longs for every tribe, tongue, and nation to be welcomed at His Throne.” – Source
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary Growing, Less White
“A new way SEBTS is partnering with local churches is to make theological education accessible to lay leaders. Starting this fall, Southeastern will offer new GO Certificates for Christians at any level. “We’ve been praying and thinking for several years, how is it that we might also serve our local churches even better, in a more direct kind of way,” Akin said.
The certificates are completely online and provide a flexible schedule for students to work at their own pace. The classes can help Bible study leaders, Sunday School teachers and others to go deeper in their understanding of Scripture so that they can better serve in their ministries.”
“Akin also reported that the seminary, located in Wake Forest, N.C., is in its sixth year of record enrollment with more than 3,500 students. The Kingdom Diversity Initiative, an effort to make the SEBTS student body more reflective of the church in heaven, made significant strides, going from 8.3 percent in 2011 to 15.5 percent in 2016, growth of more than 137 percent in the non-white student population.” – Source