Recently Rev. Dwight McKissic, a leading African-American Southern Baptist pastor, declared that it was past time for the Southern Baptist Convention to elect a black president. McKissic called on the SBC to “repent of systemic, institutionalized and historic negative attitudes toward women, race and dissenters.” He continued, “When we repent of our sins and turn from our wicked ways, then God will forgive our sins and heal our convention and anoint us to go forth with power in carrying out the Great Commission.”
McKissic has again addressed the subject of race and the Southern Baptist Convention in a blog post titled Attitudes Toward Race in SBC Life
Read McKissic’s post here. I won’t attempt to summarize but here is a sampling of quotes from McKissic:
The Southern Baptist Convention needs to call a solemn assembly and repent for passive and intentional acts of racism in SBC life since the ‘95 apology statement.
McKissic points out that not a single African-American was appointed to the much-talked-about Great Commission Resurgence Task Force. Only later was an African-American put on this task force to correct what McKissic describes as an “unintentional oversight.”
McKissic notes that this unintentional oversight is an example of institutionalized racism in SBC life
Ten years after the ’95 racial reconciliation and apology statement, there has not been one African American appointed to a position as the Chief Executive Officer of a SBC entity. There are three entity executive positions currently vacant. I pray that a qualified African American will be appointed to one of them.
…One of the objections that I’ve often heard from minorities concerning SBC missions efforts is that the approach is paternalistic rather than a partnership approach.
It hard to make this stuff up:
In February, I attended the Southern Baptists of Texas Evangelism Conference where the SBC Evangelist Jimmy Davis, preached a message comparing President Obama to the wicked King Manasseh. Davis clearly communicated that President Obama was not a Christian, being fully aware that the President claims to be a Christian. He challenged the conference to pray for the President’s salvation. As Davis sees it, if the President doesn’t repent of certain social policy positions and his spiritual condition, then he encouraged the Southern Baptist of Texas Convention to “pray that God providentially remove President Obama from office”.
…The picture of hundreds of Anglo Southern Baptists on their knees praying that God “providentially” remove the first African American President of the United States from office is not a pretty picture to African American Southern Baptists or biblio-centric fair minded Americans of any color. It’s a horrible witness to the world and a poor testimony of Southern Baptists. The SBTC officials are very much aware of this message and have remained publicly silent. Does silence equal consent? If Evangelist Davis’ remarks and prayer that God “providentially” remove President Obama is not repudiated by SBC and SBTC officials, Wiley Drake is owed and apology (2010 Empower Evangelism Conference, Southern Baptists of Texas , February 15-17, 2010). I’m publicly asking Dr. Jim Richards and Johnny Hunt to publicly disavow and repudiate the portion of Evangelist Davis’ message that dealt with President Obama.
Next, McKissic cites the example of a Baptist deacon-blogger named Bill Fortner who described President Obama as “Barack the Tragic Negro.” According to McKissic, less than a year ago Ergun Caner of Liberty Seminary recently made “condescending and stereotypical remarks concerning the Black Church” in a sermon at FBC Jacksonville, Florida.
A couple more quotes:
Although the SBC claims thousands of African American members, the highest ranking Black at the SBC Executive headquarters is the head custodian. This is certainly reminiscent of the Antebellum South.
All of the above incidents took place since 1995. The SBC needs to hold a Great Repentance Resurgence that precedes a Great Commission Resurgence, so that we can be cleansed of unbiblical and ungodly attitudes toward women and race. Unfortunately, my pastor friends who refuse to join the SBC are right. The SBC is “southern and racial” and this must change if God is to breathe on our Great Commission Resurgence.
It’s really hard to understand why Dwight McKissic has chosen to stick with the SBC.