BY Rev Thomas Littleton 6/21/2019
Concerns have been confirmed that the false “social gospel” which virtually destroyed mainline denominations decades ago is all dressed up in slightly new clothing as “Social Justice” and it is thriving in SBC/ PCA / TGC affiliated seminaries and institutions. Those concerns have now expanded as the SBC annual meeting in 2019 left no room for doubt that such concerns are WELL FOUNDED and spread into every corner of Baptist life.
(Note from the author -True diversity in the Kingdom of God is easily obtained by the preaching of the Gospel, aggressive prayer , evangelism and discipleship. We cast the net and God brings in all kinds of humanity as a result. I have seen truly ethnic diversity in the church and in the SBC churches. It is never achieved by intentional and questionable tactics like quotas or by the fiendish , Cultural Marxist and altogether worldly and demonic ideologies like Liberation Theology , Critical Race/ Feminine /Gender / Queer Theories. Our Christian seminaries are now filled with these doctrines of demons . Enough already. )
A DECADE OF AFFIRMATIVE ACTION IN THE SBC
Under the headings of “racial reconciliation, preventing abuse of women and children, and ending the cultural war slogans and anti-gay rhetoric, the Southern Baptist Convention has been driving social change and engaging the ideologies and tools of political progressivism to do it. The efforts of social change began in earnest in 2010/ 2011 at the same time a key member of the SBC Executive Committee joined forces with progressives and the Obama Administration to include the SBC, its entities and churches in participation with funding for Urban Renewal, Community Development, church/ ministry based provision of Social Services , FEMA Disaster Relief , Community Based Health Care (part of the Obama era Affordable Health Care Act ) and other programs.
SBC leadership has been engaged for decades in promoting a demographics driven AFFIRMATIVE ACTION in the SBC to “encourage” ethnic and gender minorities into leadership roles. Now the revelations of the SBC 2019 controversial postures toward progressive tools of analysis provide greater insight into the history of SBC leaders willingness to employ such secular and progressive political tactics while presenting them as Great Commission causes and Gospel driven efforts.
WHAT JUST HAPPENED AT SBC 2019
The post- SBC annual meetings “water-cooler” topic has been the shocking reality that SBC leadership openly drove (approval as useful analytical tools) progressive political and legal construct “group guilt” called Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality in the Southern Baptist Convention. Just one year ago these realities hid below the surface. Most Baptist would have denied their existence or any notion they would become mainstream in a year’s time. Further -the idea that the SBC would engage or allow CRT /Intersectionality to be approved as uses tools of assessment provides helpful insight into examining in retrospect (in their own words) the SBC long term Affirmative Action Programs for minority / ethnic / gender inclusion in leadership.
SBC leaders are both comfortable and familiar with using such radical ideology .
One of the most effective ways the SBC has driven these conversations forward is through the Resolutions Committee’s handling of Resolutions submitted by the rank and file of the SBC members and messengers.
The actions of the members of the 2019 Resolutions Committee reflect the affirmative action /inclusion efforts and produced resolutions:
*Supporting “Critical Race Theory” (although he author of the resolution sought to condemn it . http://capstonereport.com/2019/06/13/sbc-2019-resolutions-committee-severely-altered-resolution-against-identity-politics/32605/ -the authors own words https://sovereignway.blogspot.com/2019/06/sbc19-resolution-9-on-critical-race.html?m=1)
*Affirming multiple efforts for Women’s Empowerment and Inclusion as well as “addressing abuse “
* Refused to condemn the radical Revoice LGBT+ Thriving Conference with deep ties to SBTS/ ERLC and homosexual orientation
Instead the RC provided their own resolution affirming Same Sex Attraction / fixed Sexual Orientation / Celibate gay people who are Christians pay “Costly Obedience “to follow Christ and the Church should engage “Hospitality “ and welcome the LGBT community especially those “Struggling with SSA but who commit to remaining celibate . (This narrative sadly negates the reality of Gospel Transformation of the desire or attraction and the RC refused the Biblical language of “temptation” be used instead of “attraction”
WHO IS ON THE 2019 RESOLUTIONS COMMITTEE ?
It Should be noted from the information above that SBC President J.D. Greear who lead the 2019 convention meetings and panels has a “Pastor for Community Development “ on his staff and that he was part of the Resolutions Committee (RC).
“Tremayne Manson, associate pastor for community development and outreach, The Summit Church, Raleigh-Durham, N.C”
It is also of note that the RC Chair is a part of SBTS / President Albert Mohler’s efforts to “Remove the Stain of Racism from the SBC” and a panel discussion on the Co-operative Program stage in Dallas 2018 which spoke of Critical Race Theory positively but with little notice from convention goers.
Another member of the RC is Walter Strickland an SEBTS professor (head of the Kingdom Diversity Dept ) whose admission to the New York Times that he teaches radical the Black Liberation Theology of James Cone at SEBTS (President Danny Akin ) has likely led to the removal of the Kingdom Diversity archives and -before that – removal of every mention of the funding behind it .
Greear’s “Pastor of Community Development “ on the Resolutions Committee would be strategic to keeping the issues that help Summit Church stay in the Urban Game of community and economic development . This appointment certainly appears self serving on Greears part. Others presence ensure that an resolutions that make it through the Committee reflect the SBC leadership agenda on race- gender-and LGBT.
Read more on how the Resolutions Committee is working to drive race/ feminism / pro LGBT policy through the 2019 resolutions
LONGSTANDING SBC AFFIRMATIVE ACTION IN THE NAME OF DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION
SBC Executive Committee has had an aggressive Affirmative Action program since 2011 under the administration of Frank Page as CEO.
In this booklet we see the intentionality of the SBC push for demographic /numbers-based inclusion and diversity.
FRANK PAGE /SBC THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION AND TAX DOLLARS
It should also be noted that Frank Page as head of the Executive Committee had also yoked the SBC with the Obama White House and its revision of the Bush Era Faith Based Partnership Programs enabling SBC churches, ministries, and entities to receive federal grants i.e. taxpayer funds under which guidelines non-discrimination was /is a key component of participation .
“Inaugural Council Members”
“Dr. Frank Page
Pastor, Taylors First Baptist Church; President Emeritus, Southern Baptist Convention”
SBC AFFIRMATIVE ACTION PLAN
We will primarily focus on the section/ Part One of the Executive Committee plan for increasing diversity in SBC leadership. The other portions recount history and seek to affirm their actions and assess remaining needs for more emphasis on what are clearly demographics driven programs. The entire report is available and is presented in the context of a Biblical narrative but the focus on numbers and outcomes do not lie.
“Copyright © 2018 The Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee”
“The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) adopted twelve action steps in 2011 to encourage increased participation of ethnic minority churches and pastors in the overall fabric of Southern Baptist life. That same year, Frank S. Page, president and CEO of the SBC Executive Committee, appointed the first of numerous ethnic advisory councils to assist the Executive Committee and the Convention’s entity leaders to understand and appreciate perspectives ethnic minority churches bring to the Convention’s task of reaching our nation and the nations with the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. The chapters in this book set a contemporary context for the Convention’s progress in racial reconciliation, summarize the ethnic advisory councils’ reports, and highlight their recommendations to strengthen the Convention’s effectiveness in reaching people from every race and language group with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The writers inform the larger Southern Baptist family on the state of ethnic work within the SBC, reflecting on the Convention’s past efforts to reach and include ethnic churches and leaders, assessing the present reality of ethnic church participation in Southern Baptist life, identifying what needs to be done to increase effectiveness of reaching people from every ethno-linguistic group with the Gospel, and suggesting specific action steps for prayer, collaboration, and unity for a Great Commission Advance.”
ROLLING OUT A NUMBERS DRIVEN -NOT GOSPEL DRIVEN PLAN FOR INCLUSION OF ETHNIC AND GENDER MINORITIES
“For many decades, the Southern Baptist Convention has been known as the most culturally diverse evangelical denomination in the United States. This has not happened by chance; for from its inception in 1845, the Southern Baptist Convention expressed a commitment to reach lost souls in America and around the world with the saving message of Jesus Christ. The task of reaching every ethnic/racial group in America with the Gospel has not been easy because, throughout the years, each of these groups has continued to grow, thus continually changing the cultural face of America. For example, between 2000 and 2015, the African-American population expanded by 23 percent; the Hispanic population by 60.3 percent; the Native American population increased by 62 percent; and the Asian American population grew by 76.1 percent.1 From the perspective of percentage population growth, the picture that emerges is that while in 1950 the ethnic/racial groups comprised less than one-fifth of the American population, by 2010 they comprised one-third of the population. By 2050, ethnic/racial groups are projected to comprise more than half of the US population.2 These demographic realities clearly illustrate that the cultural face of America is constantly shifting. This leads to the question, “How is the face of the Southern Baptist Convention changing?” The answer is that in 2017, more than 20 percent of the churches and church-type missions that cooperate with and contribute to the Southern Baptist Convention were predominantly-ethnic/racial congregations. This is supported by the fact that between 2000 and 2015, SBC-related Native American congregations grew by 24 percent; Asian congregations by 52.3 percent; Hispanic congregations by 56.2 percent; African-American congregations by 61.4 percent; and “all other” congregations (including Haitian and multiethnic) grew by 71 percent.3 The Many Faces of the Southern Baptist Convention 8 In light of these changing demographics, it is indeed encouraging that in 2015 the Southern Baptist Convention approved a Resolution on Racial Reconciliation that called for Southern Baptists to be more proactive in enlisting participation and representation from ethnic/cultural groups in its boards and entities. We are indebted to Dr. Frank Page, former president of the SBC Executive Committee, for his passion to lay the foundation and carry forward the recommendations adopted by the SBC in 2011, which concluded the Ethnic Study Committee Report. The report called for greater participation of ethnic churches and church leaders at all levels of Southern Baptist life. As a response to this 2011 report, and in an effort to seek greater involvement from the ethnic/racial groups participating in SBC life, the SBC Executive Committee was instrumental in appointing numerous advisory councils representing African Americans, Asians, Hispanics, Native Americans, multi-ethnic, and bi-vocational church leaders. The Executive Committee also appointed a Women’s Advisory Council and a Young Leaders Advisory Council.4 In order to provide leadership and coordination among these groups, I was appointed vice president of convention advancement for the SBC Executive Committee. In turn, I enlisted Paul Kim to serve as Asian relations consultant and Bobby Sena to serve as Hispanic relations consultant in the Office of Convention Advancement. This collective work contains a number of essays written by representatives from many of these advisory councils. The introduction was written by Roger S. (Sing) Oldham, SBC Executive Committee vice president for convention communications and relations, who was instrumental in crafting the Ethnic Study Committee report and worked closely with each advisory council in its work.”
EXCERPTS REFLECT SECULAR THINKING AND POLITICAL MOTIVATION
On page 11
Sing Oldham of the Executive Committee recounts the history of efforts dating back between 1961 to 1995. His language is very biblically sounding as were the resulting efforts to plant churches and engage outreach in ethnic regions.
By the time the 2011 report/ effort is launched that language reflects a far more affirmative action narrative of advancing participation of diverse leaders in SBC elected roles. How this has been accomplished is disturbing.
“Steps Toward Partnership “
“Despite these small steps, by 2009 it was apparent that full participation of ethnic minorities in elected and appointed roles in SBC life lagged behind the growth in the number of ethnic congregations and church members that cooperated with the Convention. That year, Korean pastor Paul Kim asked the Convention to study ways to increase participation of ethnic churches and church leaders in the total fabric of Convention life. His motion resulted in a two-year SBC Executive Committee study that called for intentional, measurable steps toward greater inclusion of all Southern Baptists in Convention processes. In 2011, twelve recommendations contained in the report were adopted by the SBC. That same year the first of numerous ethnic minority advisory councils was appointed by Frank Page, elected in 2010 as president and CEO of the SBC Executive Committee. The Many Faces of the Southern Baptist Convention 14 Reports of these advisory councils consistently revealed a glaring void in the life of the SBC. Though SBC entity ministries and ministries at state convention and local levels engaged in numerous ministries to people of various racial and ethnic minority groups, these ministries frequently failed to yield full partnership from the targeted groups. A common refrain across the Convention’s ethnic minority churches— and echoed during the councils’ deliberations—was that ethnic minority church leaders want to be viewed as more than a mission field of the SBC (the objects of mission and ministry); they want to be part of the Convention’s mission force, valued and respected for their contributions as equal partners in reaching the peoples of our nation and the world with the Gospel. Southern Baptists of every ethnicity embrace the doctrinal positions espoused by the Convention: personal conversion from sin through faith in Jesus Christ alone; the inerrancy of Scripture; baptism as an external sign of the inner working of God’s grace; regenerate church membership; fidelity to a biblical worldview in matters of ethics and morality; and commitment to the Great Commission—to proclaim the Gospel, making disciples of all the people and peoples of the world (mathēteusate panta ta ethnē, Matthew 28:19). And yet . . . too often these brothers and sisters in Christ feel marginalized from Convention processes. For generations, white Southern Baptists have largely shaped the culture of the Convention. They have made the decisions about how Cooperative Program funds are distributed through state Baptist convention and SBC ministries. They have stood before SBC messengers as the visible leaders of the Convention. They have filled the vast majority of executive and administrative leadership positions. They have promoted the ministries they believe best represent the biblical mandates outlined in Scripture.”
“Biblical” case for the effort transitions into the numbers / demographics driven narrative.
“Population Trends Table 1 shows the change in the ethnic and racial makeup of the population during the past fifteen years. White non-Hispanic (also referred to as Anglo) population had modest growth of less than 2 percent. Hispanics experienced the greatest numeric growth (21.3 million persons), while Asians had the fastest rate of growth, 76 percent.”
(Graphs of Table 1 and 2 can be seen on page 27 and 28 of the report linked along with other graphs)
“Further evidence of demographic shifting is found in Table 2. During the 15 years between 2000 and 2015, the Anglo percentage of the US population decreased from 69.1 to 61.6 percent. Each of the other ethnic and racial groups increased its share of the population, led by Hispanics with 17.6 percent in 2015, compared to only 12.5 percent in 2000. Also, the numeric growth of 21.3 million Hispanics accounted for more than half (53.2 percent) of the total growth of 40 million during the period. The growth of 8.1 million Asians resulted in a substantial increase of their proportion of the population, from 3.8 to 5.8 percent. And although the numeric growth of African Americans was also about 8 million, their share of the population remained relatively constant, increasing from 12.3 to 13.3 percent.”
SBC leaders then measure Asian, African American and Hispanic demographics and SBC emphasis among those ethnic groups .
Disparity between SBC numbers and demographics are causing alarm for SBC leaders
“It is a concern, however, that the increase in African American congregations since 2010 has become stagnant, with a net gain of only 213. Future projections for growth in the African American population are given in the bottom portion of Table 6. For the ratio of population per congregation to reach the levels suggested, a new emphasis on planting and conserving African American congregations is needed. Because African American population growth is less rapid than some minorities, projecting just modest net growth of 686 congregations from 2015 to 2030, 991 from 2030 to 2045, and 1,208 from 2045 to 2060 would result in lowering the ratio to 9,000 by 2060. More robust growth of churches would lower the ratio even more.”
DID RACIAL RECONCILIATION LEAD TO TODAY’S CRITICAL RACE THEORY IN THE SBC?
“At the 1995 annual meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, the Resolutions Committee voted unanimously to present a resolution, “On Racial Reconciliation,” for consideration by the Convention. The Resolutions Committee felt that on the historic occasion of the Southern Baptist Convention’s 150th anniversary, it was appropriate for the Convention to address aspects of its past that needed to be acknowledged. The resolution acknowledged that relations with African Americans had been damaged by the role slavery played in the formation of the SBC, lamenting and repudiating “historic acts of evil such as slavery from which we continue to reap a bitter harvest.” It repented of racism past and present, saying, “We apologize to all African Americans for condoning and/or perpetuating individual and systemic racism in our lifetime; and we genuinely repent of racism of which we have been guilty, whether consciously or unconsciously.” The resolution concluded by committing to pursue “racial reconciliation in all our relationships” for the glory of God.1 Gary Frost, then the second vice president of the Convention, spoke in favor of the resolution, calling on messengers from the churches to lead the reconciliation process based on the unifying power of Christ. After the resolution was overwhelmingly adopted by the messengers, Frost, on behalf of African American Christians, accepted the apology and extended forgiveness. He closed by praying for forgiveness for racism in all forms and thanking God for the grace He extends to all people.2 Nineteen years later, at the 2014 SBC annual meeting, Alan Cross moved that, in light of the resolution’s twentieth anniversary at the 2015 SBC annual meeting, the SBC president assign a task force to assess the progress Southern Baptists have made in racial reconciliation since 1995 and offer recommendations to the 2015 SBC annual meeting regarding “how Southern Baptists, facilitated by the A Demographics Review 37 Convention’s entities and seminaries, may better reach, make disciples, and raise up leadership from and among diverse racial and ethnic groups in North America.” Upon recommendation by the Convention’s Committee on Order of Business, messengers referred the motion to the Executive Committee.3”
CRT AND INTERSECTIONALITY ARE NOW APPROVED ANALYTICAL TOOLS
“ The Executive Committee determined that the Alan Cross motion largely paralleled a motion made by Paul Kim at the 2009 SBC annual meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, asking the Executive Committee to examine ways in which ethnic churches and church leaders could be more involved in SBC life and leadership.4 Following a twoyear review, the report, A Review of Ethnic Church and Ethnic Church Leader Participation in SBC Life, was presented to the messengers at the 2011 annual meeting.5 The 2011 report included ten recommendations to the SBC and offered two suggestions to outside groups—ethnic and racial church leaders and the Southern Baptist Pastors’ Conference leadership—about ways to expand intercultural diversity in Convention life (see APPENDIX at the conclusion of this report). The recommendations sought to provide a consistent mechanism for enlisting racial and ethnic church leaders for elected leadership positions in Southern Baptist life, including service on SBC committees and boards; to encourage SBC entities to give special attention to employment and involvement of ethnic church leaders through their ministries; and to increase visibility of diverse Southern Baptists through Convention communications and selection of platform personalities at the SBC’s annual meetings. The recommendations were adopted by the messengers, with the requests forwarded to the groups specified in the report.6”
“AN UPDATE ON THE 2011 REPORT
“In the four years since the adoption of the ten SBC-focused recommendations contained in the SBC-adopted “Directing the Executive Committee to Study Greater SBC Involvement for Ethnic Churches and Leaders,” the following action steps have been taken by various SBC entities, committees, and leaders. • In tandem with the adoption of the Ethnic Study Report in 2011, EC president and CEO Frank S. Page, during his inaugural Executive Committee report, invited leaders of each SBC entity, the cooperating state Baptist convention executive directors, and presidents of more than twenty ethnic fellowships that participate in Southern Baptist life and ministry to join him in signing an “Affirmation of Unity and Cooperation,” pledging trust and cooperation between all ethnicities and races in order to “engage all people groups with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”45 • The Executive Committee, as part of its annual “data call” from the Southern Baptist Convention entities, has requested a descriptive report of participation of ethnic churches and church leaders in the life and ministry of the respective SBC entity for 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.46 • The Executive Committee amended the SBC President’s Notebook given to each newly-elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention to include a section encouraging the president to give special attention to appointing individuals The Many Faces of the Southern Baptist Convention 44 who represent the diversity within the Convention, and particularly ethnic diversity, among his appointees to the various committees under his purview (Committee on Committees, Credentials Committee, Resolutions Committee, and Tellers) and encouraging the president to encourage the selection of annual meeting program personalities by the Committee on Order of Business that represent the ethnic diversity within the Southern Baptist Convention.47 • The SBC president reported the ethnic and racial diversity of appointees he selects for the committees under his purview in 2012, 2013, and 2015, with the descriptive information printed in the respective SBC Daily Bulletins, SBC Annual, or the SBC President’s Page on SBC.net.48 • The Executive Committee has requested the seven-member SBC Committee on Order of Business (six elected members and the SBC President) to give due consideration to the ethnic identity of program personalities it enlists for each Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting, chronicling each year’s program personalities.49 • In 2011, the Executive Committee amended the nomination form used by the Committee on Nominations to provide a place where a nominee may indicate his or her ethnic identity, should he or she so choose.50 During the 2014 SBC annual meeting, the Executive Committee observed that the nomination form used by the Committee on Committees lacked a place where a nominee may indicate his or her ethnic identity. The Executive Committee has since amended the nomination form used by that committee.51 • The SBC entities continue to give due consideration to the recruitment of students, production of resources, offering of services, and employment of qualified individuals to serve in the various professional staff positions, on seminary faculty, and as appointed missionaries in order to reflect the intercultural diversity within Southern Baptist life as reported in the annual “data call” report contained in the Ministry Reports submitted to the Cooperative Program committee of the Executive Committee each winter and posted online at SBC.net/CP/Ministry Reports. The Executive Committee Communications Workgroup has reviewed the intercultural component of the Ministry Reports at its February meeting each year since 2011.52 • The Executive Committee, through its various publications and news outlets, continues to provide news coverage of interest to individuals of all ethnicities and to carry stories that demonstrate the wonderful works the Lord is accomplishing through the vital ministries of Baptists of “every tribe and tongue and people and nation.” A search of Baptist Press and SBC LIFE, using search terms relative to specific ethnic and racial groups or fellowships such as, for example, A Demographics Review 45 NAAF, Chinese churches, Korean churches, Native American, Deaf ministry, messianic, and a myriad of other terms, will yield scores of returns. Historical articles such as those written on the fiftieth anniversary in 2013 of the Birmingham church bombing53 and an historical review of ethnic participation in the Convention at the time Fred Luter was elected SBC president in 201254 are also routinely sprinkled throughout these two news outlets for Southern Baptists.55 • Other Executive Committee-produced publications, such as the Forged by Faith film series, Meet Southern Baptists, and The Southern Baptist Convention: A Closer Look, include images that reflect the diversity of the Convention.56 • In concert with the North American Mission Board, the president of the Executive Committee has appointed four ethnic advisory councils (Hispanic, 2011; African American 2012; Asian American, 2013; and Multi-Ethnic, 2014), requesting reports from each advisory council designed to assist the EC, NAMB, and the other SBC entities in understanding and appreciating the perspectives the various racial and ethnic churches and church leaders bring to the common task of reaching the nation and the world with the Gospel, and to provide information, insight, and counsel to NAMB and EC staff relative to the special needs and concerns of the many ethnic churches and church leaders in the Southern Baptist network of churches.57 The first two have completed their three-year assignments and have submitted their reports to Executive Committee President Frank S. Page. They are posted under the “Ethnic Participation” tab at www. sbc.net/cp/ministry reports/2014/sbcec.asp. • In concert with the six seminaries and Union University, the Executive Committee hosted an Intercultural Educational Summit to further discussions with numerous racial and ethnic leaders about how best to deliver educational opportunities for God-called pastors from non-Anglo Southern Baptist churches.58 • Working in concert, the North American Mission Board and the Executive Committee have hosted the “Many Faces of the SBC” booth in the exhibit hall at the SBC annual meeting in 2012, 2013, 2014, and will again in 2015,59 and has conducted numerous interviews with ethnic church leaders at the Cooperative Program booth in the exhibit area.60 The high visibility of the many faces of the SBC in the exhibit hall and in the SBC annual meeting sessions of the SBC has raised the visibility of ethnic church leaders in Convention life and provided numerous opportunities for networking and ministry throughout the Convention. • The SBC Executive Committee employed its first two non-Anglo professional employees, Diana Chandler, general feature writer/editor,61 and Ken Weathersby, vice president for Convention advancement,62 and has subsequently enlisted its first Hispanic and Asian ministry consultants. The Many Faces of the Southern Baptist Convention 46 • As noted above, the Southern Baptist Convention elected its first African American president in 2012, one of only five presidents over the past forty years who was elected by acclamation in two successive years,63 and had a Korean presidential nominee in 2014 who received more than 40 percent of the vote.64 • In response to the killings of unarmed African Americans in 2014, ERLC hosted a Racial Reconciliation Summit in Nashville in late March 2015.65 • In light of the continuing “globalization” of the American population, NAMB hosted a two-day summit in April 2015 of more than twenty Southern Baptist leaders representing numerous ethnic and racial groups to discuss “current outreach efforts” and to “explore how NAMB can effectively help plant churches for diverse populations in cooperation with” the ethnic and racial fellowships that cooperate with the SBC.”
THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEES SUMMARY AND FINDINGS
“The hundreds of pages of information referenced in this brief report demonstrate that much has been accomplished over the past twenty years in regard to increased racial and ethnic diversity in the life of the Convention, both in terms of awareness and participation. The data indicate that many potential barriers to participation have been identified and are being systematically addressed. There are also numerous sign-posts indicating a higher degree of inclusion of individuals of every race and tribe and tongue in the total fabric of Convention life. And, clearly the conversation has changed: increased participation of individuals of all ethnic and racial backgrounds is a topic of intense interest and frequent discussion at all levels of Southern Baptist life. We rejoice that individuals of many races and ethnicities are routinely nominated and elected to key leadership roles in state Baptist convention and SBC life. We celebrate the tremendous growth in the number of churches and church members from every kindred and tongue and tribe and nation that we have experienced since 1995. We applaud the numerous proactive steps our SBC ministry entities have taken to enlist qualified individuals of all races and ethnicities for senior staff positions; to serve on faculty; to be appointed as missionaries and church planters; to write, edit, and produce Christian resources; to service the retirement needs of pastors and church staff; to raise awareness of the moral issues confronting our nation; to equip leaders; and to otherwise serve our churches in a variety of ways. A Demographics Review 47 We affirm efforts taken by our ethnic fellowships and advisory councils to promote increased Cooperative Program support in their respective churches, encourage enrollment in all levels of Bible college and seminary training (including Ph.D. programs), challenge church members to respond to God’s call for overseas and domestic missions and church planting, and serve as salt and light in their communities. We humbly acknowledge the appropriateness of having repented of our Convention’s past complicity with the systemic racism that marked our country, rather than having challenged our churches and our country to tear down entrenched social structures of inequality, hostility, and prejudice. We further acknowledge the propriety of clearly stating in our confessional statement that racism is a sin against Almighty God and against our brothers and sisters in Christ. Indeed, we give thanks that, as a network of autonomous churches, we seek to reflect the intercultural diversity that reflects what the gathered church will look like in heaven and should look like on earth as a display of God’s glory. However, the materials referenced in this report also reveal that more can and needs to be done. This is especially true in regard to proportional representation on SBC committees and boards. To that end, the Executive Committee formally and humbly suggests the following action steps be undertaken for at least the next five years so that they become ingrained in our normal way of doing business. 1. That the president of the SBC report the racial and ethnic composition of the committees and group he appoints each year—the Committee on Committees, the Resolutions Committee, the Credentials Committee, and the Tellers— through Baptist Press; that the SBC Executive Committee include this report in the Daily Bulletin, Tuesday, Part 1; and that the SBC Recording Secretary include this report in the proceedings of the Convention when the president announces his appointments. 2. That each state/regional member of the Committee on Committees have a sufficient number of potential nominees to the Committee on Nominations to recommend to the full Committee on Committees so that the Committee on Committees will be able to propose a Committee on Nominations that reflects the racial and ethnic diversity of the Convention; and that the chairman of the Committee on Committees give special attention that, as much as possible, the final report reflects this intercultural diversity. The Many Faces of the Southern Baptist Convention 48 3. That each member of the Committee on Nominations solicit a sufficient number of potential nominees for the vacancies on the boards and committees of the Convention for which he or she is responsible so that the full Committee will be able to present to the Convention a list of nominees that builds or sustains equitable racial and ethnic diversity on each SBC board and committee; and that the chairman of the Committee on Nominations give special attention that, as much as possible, the final report reflects this intercultural diversity. 4. That the chairmen of the Committee on Committees and Committee on Nominations report the racial and ethnic composition of the committees and boards they nominate each year (along with other information such as representative church sizes, average CP giving of nominees’ churches, baptism ratios, representative ages, and gender considerations) when their reports are released through Baptist Press; that the SBC Executive Committee include these reports in the Daily Bulletin, Tuesday, Part 2; and that the SBC Recording Secretary include these reports in the proceedings of the Convention when the chairmen move the adoption of their respective reports. 5. That the editors of Baptist Press, SBC LIFE, and the state Baptist publications make use of the information contained in the annual Ministry Reports submitted by the SBC entities to the SBC Executive Committee each February and the entity reports printed in the SBC Book of Reports each June to tell the good news of what God continues to do through the life and ministry of our SBC entities, giving particular attention to the participation of ethnic churches and church leaders in the ministries of the respective entities. 6. That our cooperating state Baptist conventions, local associations, and racial and ethnic fellowships encourage all cooperating Southern Baptist churches to submit an annual church profile for these prevailing reasons: (1) the information contained in the ACP routinely serves as the basis for determining whether a church, regardless of its racial or ethnic identity, fully cooperates with the Convention, and is used by the SBC President, Committee on Committees, and Committee on Nominations to determine if an appointee or a proposed nominee is “qualified” as representing a fully supportive, cooperating church; (2) it is unlikely that someone from churches that fail to submit an ACP will be selected to serve the Convention, with the result that the diversity their church brings to the Convention remains unknown, uncelebrated, and unrepresented; and (3) the information contained in the ACP becomes part of an aggregated total that serves as a report card to ourselves to inform us on how we are doing as a network of churches to impact the lostness across our nation through evangelism, discipleship, missions, church planting, attendance, and stewardship and to spur us to address areas of apparent weakness in these key areas of Christian responsibility. A Demographics Review 49 7. That the Executive Committee, each SBC entity, each cooperating state Baptist convention, and each racial and ethnic fellowship seek to educate all Southern Baptist churches, especially those that do not have a history with the SBC, that Cooperative Program giving serves as the primary means of measuring a church’s support for its state Baptist convention and SBC missions and ministries. While the Convention celebrates the generous support of Southern Baptists as they channel giving to Great Commission causes through their churches, the Convention voted in 2010 to “continue to honor and affirm the Cooperative Program as the most effective means of mobilizing our churches and extending our outreach,” affirming that “designated gifts to special causes are to be given as a supplement to the Cooperative Program and not as a substitute for Cooperative Program giving.” (emphasis supplied) The Executive Committee observes that none of these steps answers the fundamental question about whether reconciliation has occurred in individual Baptists’ lives. Reconciliation is, at its core, a spiritual concept. True reconciliation is a condition of the heart. It is a restoring of right relationships between formerly estranged individuals or groups. It begins with fallen individuals being reconciled with God through Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:18–21; Colossians 1:21–23). When separated from its redemptive roots, racial reconciliation, while laudable, is merely a humanistic achievement; but when grounded in the Gospel, it demonstrates the majesty and goodness of God’s grace. Once an individual has been reconciled with God through Jesus Christ, the indwelling Holy Spirit begins a sanctification process in his/her redeemed spirit, targeting such destructive emotions as prejudice, anger, malice, and bitterness (John 4:9–42; Ephesians 4:30–32), replacing them with divine qualities such as love, joy, longsuffering, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22–23). Such a radical transformation provides the fertile soil for reconciliation between both individuals and groups. In Christ, the “dividing wall of hostility” between brothers and sisters is torn down (Ephesians 2:14). The Lord creates “in Himself one new man from the two” and reconciles “both to God in one body through the cross,” putting the former “hostility to death” (Ephesians 2:15–16). The resultant peace cannot be given by the world (John 14:27). It is a transforming peace that “surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7). The referred motion raised the question about how Southern Baptists, facilitated by the Convention’s entities and seminaries, can “better reach, make disciples, and raise up leadership from and among diverse racial and ethnic groups in North America.” The Many Faces of the Southern Baptist Convention 50 Simply stated, the answer is to stay the course that is currently in place and intentionally implement the proactive steps enumerated above. Heightened awareness of the need to be more broadly inclusive leads to greater sensitivity to where we are and where we need to be. Greater sensitivity leads to intentional accountability, both in monitoring specific accomplishments and in celebrating continued progress through routine news reports and day-to-day conversations. We pray God will use and bless this report for His Kingdom purposes. Respectfully submitted, The Executive Committee, June 15, 2015”
Part 2 recounts Ethnic Groups History in the SBC
“• African American — Robert Wilson
- Asian American — Peter Yanes, Paul Kim, Minh Ha Nguyen
- Hispanic — Daniel Sanchez and Bob Sena
- Native American — Gary Hawkins
- Multi-Ethnic — Lennox Zamore
- Anglo Church Planting and Ministry — Rodney Webb
- Bivocational and Smaller Church Ministry — Ray Gilder
PAGE 171 – WOMEN IN THE SBC
“Southern Baptists determined one of the best ways to increase the involvement of women in the SBC was to start a conversation. In January 2016, Frank Page, president and CEO of the SBC Executive Committee, appointed a Women’s Advisory Council to gather information concerning the involvement of women’s ministry leaders and ministry wives in their churches. The task force is comprised of eighteen ladies from fourteen states representing different age groups, stages of life, ethnic backgrounds, and ministry positions. The task force was hosted on three on occasions (January 7–8, 2016, August 11–12, 2016, and March 30–31, 2017) by officers of the Executive Committee of the SBC including: Frank Page, president and CEO of the SBC Executive Committee; Ken Weathersby, vice president for Convention advancement; and Roger S. (Sing) Oldham, vice president for Convention communications and relations. During the meetings, the purposes of the task force were defined:
- To determine if and how women are involved in the SBC; • To discuss how the SBC can serve women as they minister to other women in and through the local church; and • To recommend a variety of ways for Southern Baptist women to be involved at all levels in Convention life according to biblical guidelines. Rhonda Kelley, president’s wife at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and a leader in women’s ministry, served as chairwoman of the Women’s Ministry Advisory Council and facilitated the discussion of the following: • What ministries, training, and resources are provided at this time for women in the SBC? The Many Faces of the Southern Baptist Convention 172 • What evangelistic methods and resources are effective in reaching women with the Gospel of Jesus Christ? • What additional support is needed by the women of the SBC? • What recommendations should be made to the SBC Executive Committee for consideration to increase involvement of women in Southern Baptist life, according to biblical guidelines?”
“The Bible teaches that women are created in God’s image, equal in worth and value, and have unique roles in ministry based on their gender (Genesis 1:26–28, 2:8–25; 1 Corinthians 11:2–16, 12:7–11; 1 Timothy 2:11–15; Titus 2:3–5). Southern Baptists follow a complementarian perspective of gender roles in the local church and across denominational entities. (See Baptist Faith and Message, Article VI on The Church and Article XVIII on The Family for additional information.) Throughout history and in the Southern Baptist Convention, women have played important roles in the local church and denominational life. For more than one hundred years, Southern Baptist women have been involved in mission education through the capable leadership of the Woman’s Missionary Union. This mission organization was begun in 1888 with a three-fold purpose: to learn about missions, to do missions, and to support missions. Southern Baptist churches have organized missions for women in different ways. During the 20th century, women within many local churches recognized the need for more than missions and began to organize a variety of other ministries. At several times in more recent years, SBC leadership has considered how to involve and support women more effectively. In 1992, SBC President Ed Young appointed a task force to consider how the denomination could support women’s ministry. Then, in 1993, the Baptist Sunday School Board (now LifeWay Christian Resources) created Women in the SBC 173 the Women’s Enrichment Ministry to provide resources, leadership, and field services specifically for women’s ministry. In 1996, a research proposal summarized the historical, biblical, philosophical, and ministry perspectives in order to recommend increased involvement and support of women in the SBC. Other entities of the SBC have also appointed staff to specifically serve women of the SBC. Current Findings National – Several entities of the Southern Baptist Convention provide specialists in women’s missions and ministry. • International Mission Board – Global Mission Catalyst, Women, and Non-Traditional Churches. • LifeWay Christian Resources – Women’s Ministry Specialist. • North American Mission Board – Consultant for Pastors’/Ministers’ Wives. • Woman’s Missionary Union – Consultants for myMISSION, Women on Mission, and Adults on Mission. Regional – The six Southern Baptist seminaries are located in different geographic areas of the country to focus on ministry training in their areas. Women are enrolled in all Southern Baptist seminaries for training in ministry. All six Southern Baptist seminaries have programs for student wives and several have academic training for women’s ministry students. • Gateway Seminary of the SBC (Ontario, CA) – http://www.gs.edu. • Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Kansas City, MO) – http://www.mbts.edu. • New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (New Orleans, LA) – http://www.nobts.edu. • Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (Wake Forest, NC) – http://www.sebts.edu. • The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Louisville, KY) – http://www.sbts.edu. • Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Fort Worth, TX) – http://www.swbts.edu. State – Most Southern Baptist state conventions have a staff position for women’s missions and ministries and/or ministry wives, often requiring seminary training. Several states have consultants working with specific ethnic groups, such as Hispanic women in Arizona and Texas and Asian women in North Carolina. Associational – Many associations of Southern Baptist churches have lay leaders serving in women’s ministry as mission leaders, and as ministry wives. The Many Faces of the Southern Baptist Convention 174 Local Church – An increasing number of Southern Baptist churches have organized women’s ministry and missions programs, each varying according to the local church context.”
Part 3 CONCLUSION
Among the Conclusion of the Executive Committee
3 “We must continue to celebrate our ethnic leaders’ participation and to encourage more participation from all the churches in our Convention. The Lord has blessed Southern Baptists to become the largest and most diverse protestant denomination of congregations in the United States. Therefore, we recognize that we can do more together than what we can do alone. We must invite all congregations, whether they are Anglo, Black, ethnic, large, Deaf, small, or bivocational to be on mission for and with Jesus Christ.
4 We must intentionally build relationships with people who are different and value their opinions. Frank Page, president and CEO of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, appointed advisory councils to assist him in the work of the Convention. These council members were comprised of leaders from various groups within the Southern Baptist family. It is important for us to consider the recommendations resulting from their efforts and work hard to implement the ideas that they believe will help us to reach more people with the Gospel.
5.We must identify and embrace passing the baton to the next generation to give leadership in making disciples of all the nations. God has raised and is raising young leaders who are committed and who are making disciples in the United States and around the world. We must give them a platform The Many Faces of the Southern Baptist Convention 216 and opportunity to carry out the vision that God has given them. They may have some ideas and strategies that we may not fully identify with or understand, but that is not a reason to prevent them from carrying out the vision and values God has given to them.”
SING OLDHAM OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OFFERS A SUMMARY
“Though the 2009 SBC annual meeting exposed numerous flash points of acrimony and debate,34 the meeting proved catalytic for a pivotal transition of the Convention. Over the next twenty-four months, the Convention adopted the Great Commission Task Force report authorized at the 2009 meeting (June 2010); adopted sweeping recommendations flowing out of the GCTF report (June 2011); saw changes in presidential leadership at its two missions entities and its Executive Committee (all in 2010); adopted twelve recommendations of a report designed to increase participation of ethnic church leaders in response to a referred motion at the 2009 meeting (June 2011); and reduced the percentage of Cooperative Program funds going to the SBC Executive Committee, shifting the difference to the International Mission Board (June 2011).”
“With so many dramatic changes in such a short time, new SBC Executive Committee (EC) President Frank S. Page set out to “rebuild trust by reducing bureaucracy” in preparation for the 2011 SBC annual meeting.35 He reduced EC staff by 19 percent, cut the EC budget by 14 percent, and presented SBC messengers a Cooperative Program allocation budget that directed “95 percent of Cooperative Program dollars to international missions, North American church planting and evangelism, and seminary education.”36 Page invited the SBC president, the eleven SBC entity presidents, the executive director of Woman’s Missionary Union, executive directors of the forty-two state Baptist conventions that cooperate with the SBC, and leaders of numerous Southern Baptist ethnic and racial fellowships to join him in signing a historic document Synergy, Cooperation, and Autonomy 223 called “Affirmation of Unity and Cooperation.”
“More than sixty Southern Baptist leaders joined him on the platform at the 2011 SBC annual meeting to demonstrate unity among and between these key Southern Baptist leaders.37 Two of the Affirmation’s pledges addressed the fragile nature of cooperative relationships—“We pledge to maintain a relationship of mutual trust, behaving ourselves trustworthily before one another and trusting one another as brothers and sisters indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God (Philippians 4:8; Ephesians 4:20–32; 2 Peter 1:3–8),” and “We pledge to attribute the highest motives to those engaged in local church ministries and those engaged in denominational service in any level of Convention life— motives that originate within hearts truly desiring to serve the Lord Jesus Christ, whom we also serve (1 Samuel 2:3; 1 Corinthians 4:1–5; Matthew 7:1–5).”
“Page has since appointed a Calvinism Advisory Group, whose 2013 report helped calm rising theological tensions,39 four ethnic and racial advisory councils, a mental health advisory group, a smaller church/bivocational ministry advisory council, a women’s advisory council, and a young leaders advisory council, all with the goal of building bridges and rebuilding trust across the Southern Baptist landscape.40”
“ In 1973, Elmer Towns predicted that collaborative ministries of denominations would be replaced by what he called “super-aggressive churches” with no need of a denominational apparatus to accomplish bold Kingdom purposes.54 While there will always be a certain number of strong churches that can do mighty ministries on their own, there is still a place for a network of churches of every size and economic status to impact the world with the Gospel. Despite current challenges of declining evangelistic effectiveness and church membership at the local church level, SBC ministries continue to flourish. At the end of the most recent reporting year, the six SBC seminaries reported more than twenty thousand students enrolled for at least one course through their various degree programs, with a full-time equivalency of 7,976 Southern Baptist students in training for ministry.55 The North American Mission Board (NAMB) reported 926 new church plants, bringing the five-year total of new churches to more than 4,700.56 NAMB reported more than one-half of these new churches have been planted in some of the most culturally-diverse areas of America’s major cities.57 Following a year-long financial reset, the International Mission Board (IMB) reported in November 2016 that its trustees celebrated a balanced budget for the first time in two decades. The mission agency also reported the appointment of fifty new fully funded missionaries, stating its goal to appoint an additional 451 field personnel in 2017 to replace the estimated 350 missionaries who will retire from service or otherwise transition to other ministries. The agency projects a net increase of 3 percent to its overseas missions force.58 The Southern Baptist Convention is not a perfect organization. It has experienced many times of testing and will be tested in the future. Trust will be strained. A group of churches will believe it has a better plan for reaching the nations with the Gospel. Voluntary cooperation will seem a poor investment. Some churches will deviate from their founding orthodoxy. The beauty of denominational synergy is that the long-term vitality and sustainability of the Convention’s ministries, supported by a network of churches, are not dependent on the continued viability of any single church. By pooling their resources to “establish and advance Great Commission work,” the SBC provides an opportunity to “create a synergy in which the impact of the whole can be greater than the sum of the individual parts, giving churches a way collectively to express their convictions and realize their vision.”
THIRTY PIECES OF SILVER
It is far more likely that the willingness to engage Affirmative Action / Critical Race Theory / Intersectionality and Feminine / Gender/ Queer theory (see multiple revelations of SBTS ties to these theories and the Revoice conference which the Resolutions Committee refused to condemn) by the leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention is driven by desire for participation than desire for inclusion.
NO accounting is being given to SBC members of the amount of funding / grants / global activist dollars going into SBC entities and institutions. Few Baptist even know it is happening. No one knows where or if it will end.
True to progressive forms- once adopted – the narratives promising equality/ inclusion/ diversity/ non discrimination / choice / and ending bullying and abuse- dilute the eternal TRUTH and totally blunt command to “forgive as we have been forgiven” . These are lost to the corruption, greed, poor planning, bad partners and politics of the very ideology that espouses care for them.
Like Judas, our leadership have chosen to attempt to provoke the Lord to social action instead of joining in as He is receiving the worship due to Him alone . They have been willing sell out the Master for “thirty pieces of silver”. The Gospel is always proven to be the great casualty as it becomes buried somewhere in the POTTERS FIELD of progressive good intentions like “ ending poverty” or “protecting” minority populations. In a Word the SBC leadership and others in the broader Christian church leadership have failed to recognize and heed the most simple of warnings from the lips of the Savior Himself “You cannot serve God and Mammon “ .
Matthew 6: 24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”