Southern Baptist Convention Condemns "Alt-Right" Movement

People worship during the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting Tuesday

People worship during the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting Tuesday

In his draft resolution, for example, McKissic had mentioned "the curse of Ham", a religious teaching based on the Bible that was used by Baptists and other Christians to offer theological justification for owning slaves of African descent and, decades later, for racial segregation.

Dwight McKissic, a pastor at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas, initially proposed a resolution Tuesday urging Southern Baptists to "reject the retrograde ideologies, xenophobic biases, and racial bigotries of the so-called "Alt-Right" that seek to subvert our government, destabilize society and infect our political system".

When a black pastor submitted a statement condemning white supremacy to the Southern Baptist Convention for review this week, the resolutions committee swiftly denied it and moved on.

If the resolutions committee decides not to hear a proposal, delegates are permitted to re-introduce it from the floor for a second consideration.

The Southern Baptist Convention has long grappled with issues of racial equality.

"The Southern Baptist Convention is a denomination that was explicitly founded to support slavery".

"When we stand together as a convention and speak clearly, we are saying that white supremacy and racist ideologies are risky because they oppress our brothers and sisters in Christ", Moore said from a microphone before Wednesday's resolution was overwhelmingly adopted. This included the convention's repudiation of slavery, the convention's first African-American president and condemnation of the Confederate flag.

The committee passed a minor amendment to the language of the resolution during the session to replace the phrase "of the devil" with "a scheme of the devil meant to bring suffering and division to our society", in order to add clarity to the resolution. So late Tuesday, McKissic did just that, but once again, it failed.

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Barrett Duke, chair of the Southern Baptist Convention's 2017 Resolutions Committee, listens to the Rev. Dwight McKissic, original drafter of a resolution criticizing the "alt-right" movement and white supremacy that was adopted on June 14, 2017.

I see the "alt-right" as a Klan without a hood.

Moore, who champions diversity within his denomination, has been a target of alt-right trolling, as have many fellow advocates, evangelical leaders of color, and interracial and adoptive families within the church.

"This may show my ignorance, sir, because I don't know how this works", Kell said. Then the committee made a decision to revisit the resolution.

Meanwhile, McKissic was incensed.

McKissic's proposal was part of an effort by the SBC, which is the largest Protestant group in the U.S., to continue to detoxify its origins in the 19th century in defence of slaveholders.

The controversy comes at a time of a growing divide between evangelicals over politics.

"We are saying that white supremacy and racist ideologies are risky because they oppress our brothers and sisters in Christ", said the Rev. Russell Moore, who leads the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the Southern Baptist public policy arm. "Being unclear on the spirit of this is dumb, foolish and bad stewardship of time".

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He told reporters in Phoenix that it was appropriate that this convention underscore "that we believe, as the book of Romans teaches, that God is both just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus through the atoning sacrifice of Christ".

Standing at another microphone across the room, Kell pressed further.

Pressure built on Southern Baptists to make some statement against the movement.

Speaking from the stage, Gaines responded, "I'll speak for myself". There is only one race, the human race.

Gaines also spoke about a three-step path that ministry must take. They know what's at stake.

Sources who identify as "traditional Baptists", tell The Christian Post that they attribute this to Southern Baptists having fewer babies, an increasingly secularized culture, and a lack of Southern Baptist leaders. "I think we're back to a good place after a 24-hour roller-coaster ride".

However, the fact that they issued a statement 22 years ago officially renouncing racism and white supremacy does not mean that everyone got the memo.

The number of baptisms dropped by more than a third since 1980, when the denomination fell into a 10-year controversy over biblical inerrancy, which led into believers splintering into new groups like the Alliance of Baptists and Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. As an outspoken critic of Trump in 2016, Moore became a polarizing figure past year - at least temporarily - within the denomination.

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