Race Baiting: Beth Moore and the Black Sheep

The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is in crisis.  It’s dying out.  I mean that quite literally.  The old white people who line the pews of the typical SBC church are dying.  Dead people don’t tithe.  Dead people don’t shop at LifeWay.  This has already been recognized by those at the top of the economic heap in the SBC, those who most benefit from the millions of dollars given and spent by Southern Baptists every year.  In order to stay in the green, SBC leaders recognize that they must reach outside of the white.  Make no mistake, this is not a matter of spirituality, it’s a matter of cold, hard cash and marketing demographics.  Historically, the SBC has not received much money from black people.   Currently, church attendance among whites is trending downward while black and Hispanic church attendance rates are holding somewhat steady.  Thus, a concerted effort to encourage people of color to participate in SBC life has been launched.  It’s not by accident that Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary has a “Kingdom Diversity” office.   It’s not coincidental that the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission has held a “Racial Reconciliation” conference.   It’s no surprise that Beth Moore, the unofficial first lady of the SBC and one of LifeWay’s most popular authors, is now tweeting that skin color is relevant when it comes to book authorship.  In a response to a tweet inquiring about influential theological books, Moore had the following response:

 

According to Beth Moore, the race of a book’s author is theologically relevant.  Do you agree with Beth?  Was the dark skin of Athanasius relevant to his defense of the eternality of Christ?  Is City of God more or less insightful because Augustine was African.  Was the bondage of Martin Luther’s will any worse because he was a Caucasian German?  Did the whiteness  of John Calvin’s white hands affect the insights of the Institutes of Christian Religion?  Are Beth Moore’s books any less banal for being written by a blonde-haired white lady from Texas?  Does her skin color reflect positively or negatively on her endorsement of Priscilla Shirer, who happens to be black?

It doesn’t seem like race is a primary issue for Mrs. Shirer.

Jesus, whatever color his hands may have been (tan, I imagine) didn’t write any books.  The guys who wrote about him, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were inspired by the Holy Spirit.  I don’t care what color they were, they were inspired by the Holy Spirit, who has no skin of which to speak.  When it comes down to it, God sees our insides.  No matter our skin color, we are either black as sin on the inside or washed white as snow by the red blood of Jesus Christ.  God descended to Earth in human form.  He lived his life as a Jewish man.  His blood ran as red as any Caucasian, black, Asian, or Hispanic.  His blood paid for the sins of any who would believe in Him, Jew or Gentile.  For Beth Moore to make theological truth about race is to do a great disservice to her devoted readership.

Sadly, this is just more race-baiting from an SBC big shot.  It’s one more black spot on the SBC’s long history of abysmal race-relations.    Maybe one day, Beth Moore, JD Greear, Danny Akin, Dwight McKissic, and their ilk will repent of letting race get in the way of gospel proclamation.  Southern Baptists would do well to remember that justice begins in the household of God.  Does our Heavenly Father, who has adopted us as sons and daughters through our Lord Jesus Christ, really care about the color of the hands who glorify him through writing?

For those of you who are considering going to the next Beth Moore conference, I offer you a preview of the theological depth which you can expect:

*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.

 



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Seth Dunn

Masters of Divinity in Christian Apologetics, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary Member of the Evangelical Theological Society Certified Public Accountant