Southern Baptists, celebrating the twentieth anniversary year of the Baptist Faith & Message, reaffirmed the message in a statement in which they firmly denounced racism but also clearly denounced Critical Race Theory and intersectionality, writing that they were “incompatible with the Baptist Faith & Message.”
As the Baptist Press reported, the Council of Seminary Presidents of the Southern Baptist Convention wrote:
On this twentieth anniversary year of the Baptist Faith & Message (as revised and adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention in 2000), the Council of Seminary Presidents of the Southern Baptist Convention, meeting in its annual session, hereby reaffirms with eagerness the Baptist Faith & Message as the doctrinal statement that unites and defines Southern Baptist cooperation and establishes the confessional unity of our Convention. Our six seminaries are confessional institutions, standing together in this classic statement of biblical truth.
All professors must agree to teach in accordance with and not contrary to the Baptist Faith & Message. This is our sacred commitment and privilege, and every individual faculty member and trustee of our institutions shares this commitment. We are thankful for the theological commitments of the Southern Baptist Convention, standing against the tide of theological compromise and in the face of an increasingly hostile secular culture.
In light of current conversations in the Southern Baptist Convention, we stand together on historic Southern Baptist condemnations of racism in any form and we also declare that affirmation of Critical Race Theory, Intersectionality, and any version of Critical Theory is incompatible with the Baptist Faith & Message.
Danny Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and current chairman of the Council of Seminary Presidents, stated,“This is not a statement for fringe groups. This is for the regular, faithful Southern Baptists who love us and make it possible for us to do what we do.” He also stated, “While we must continue to speak with clear conviction against any aspects of racism, the sure and certain cure to any evil of this age is the gospel of Jesus Christ. No unbiblical ideology can solve the social issues that confront us.”
Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, wrote, “We also honor and affirm the Southern Baptist Convention’s very clear and historic condemnations of racism in any form and the Convention’s acknowledgement of our own history and the moral responsibility we bear. Instructed by the Bible and motivated by the Gospel, we are called to stand together in opposing the sin of racism. We must make clear that racism has no rightful place within the SBC, our churches, or our entities.”
SBC President J.D. Greear, pastor of The Summit Church in the Raleigh-Durham, N.C., area, said, “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. 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, said,“ … 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. … 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.”
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