February 24, 2021

SBC President asks churches: What is most important? Southern or Baptist?

After several Black congregations associated with the Southern Baptist Convention left the United States’ largest Protestant denomination in recent months following denouncements of Critical Race Theory (CRT) by denominational leaders, Convention President JD Greear, the pastor of The Summit Church in North Carolina, recently admonished Executive Committee Members by saying:

“We are not, at our core, a political activism group,” he said in an address to the SBC’s Executive Committee. “We love our country, but God has not called us to save America — he’s called us to build the church and spread the gospel and that is our primary mission.”

Greear contended to the group that the gospel itself demands diversity, and — while he has some issues with Critical Race Theory (CRT) — he acknowledged that criticism of CRT has served to further divide the convention rather than unify it.

“We are not, at our core, a political activism group,” he said in an address to the SBC’s Executive Committee. “We love our country, but God has not called us to save America — he’s called us to build the church and spread the gospel and that is our primary mission.”

 

In recent months, Southern Baptist leaders have been embroiled in a debate over critical race theory, an academic framework that seeks to explain systemic racism. Leaders of the denomination’s seminaries labeled CRT as incompatible with the SBC’s statement of faith.



 

That led several prominent Black Southern Baptist pastors and congregations to announce they were leaving the denomination.

 

Greear called his fellow Baptists to focus on the gospel instead of things that divide them. And the gospel, he said, demands diversity.

 

“If we are going to be gospel above all people, it means that we will be a church that engages all of the peoples in America, not just one kind,” he said. “And that’s hard. Bringing together people of different backgrounds and cultures and ethnicities into the church creates challenges. Anybody that says it’s not hasn’t actually done it.”

Read the entire story here.

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