This post was written by Thomas Littleton and has been reposted here with permission. Article originally posted at Thirty Pieces of Silver.
Southern Baptists and the Social Justice Voter:
The Dreadfully Racial Annual SBC Meetings Coming to Birmingham, Alabama in 2019
Pictured above is Albert Mohler at the SBC Dallas 2018 panel discussion on “Removing the Stain of Racism from the SBC.”
Mohler’s glaring racial hypocrisy will be shown in the article below.
(As this article is being released my home town Birmingham Alabama is suffering the national spot light as a mall shooting during the holiday shopping season is being turned into a stage for Black Lives Matter and the National media circus. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/24/us/alabama-mall-shooting.html
The dread of watching a repeat performance of the horrific racial TGC and ERLC event in Memphis being repeated among our residence of all races – creeds and ethnic origin is too much to remain silent over. Birmingham, Alabama needs the Gospel – Al Mohler and Russell Moore – NOT a racial movement in our churches driven by hypocritical Baptist professors of Theology and progressive politics. Please- NO MORE)
Race and Racism in our culture are hotbed issues in the political arena and in the daily news. It is reported that some $85 million and counting have gone into Black Lives Matter to fuel that organization’s racial narrative alone. There is always power and advantage to be gained by those who promote racial division, who are determined to distort issues and manipulate people along racial divides. In the church, sad to say, there are many with the same motive and willingness to use these same tools of the trade. Instead of slavery, some Evangelical leaders want to promote an endless “reconciliation” as a means of enslaving of the Church to their racial narrative and forcing them to maintain ownership of it.
This writer grew up in the deep South and in the 1960s. By the mid-70s things were changing, and by the 80s, racial discrimination was greatly reduced. Many people on both sides of a once racially divided city and region have seen great progress in moving beyond race and racial divides especially in the church. In 2018, we have a generation that do live in a largely post racial generation and who look at the politized narratives of today and wonder what is behind them. In the Church we can and should be far removed from racial identity politics. It is not sinful to be white or black or Hispanic or Asian or to value our respective cultures and ethnic diversity. My own family is comprised of 5 ethnic groups and 6 nationalities. It is not so easy to conflict such genetic diversity and this is true of more Americans than not. There really are such distinctions that have no trace of racism whatsoever. In the Church, we celebrate a higher identity.
Christ our Peace
14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.
This writer was also part of a church body in the ethnically diverse and often racially charged New York City for over a decade. In that body of believers over 100 nationalities worshipped the King of Kings side by side under one roof in five services each week and then went forth as yoke fellows to minister in our diverse neighborhoods daily with virtually no focus on race or the many ethnic differences represented. Race was a non-issue because of Christ and the great common ground our mutual faith provided. It is possible for true Christians to live, worship, and serve together in such an atmosphere. The great common bond is the shared joy and life of redemption by which means our sins have been forgiven and we no longer identify by them. What remains a mystery is how the constant drum beat of selective remembrance of the racial histories of others can serve the Southern Baptist leaders who are hounding the church about reconciliation.
SBC Seminary Head, Albert Mohler, Sits Atop a Racist Chair While Pointing the Finger of Racial Accusation
In November of 2018 the Baptist Press announced that Albert Mohler was elected Vice President of the Evangelical Theological Society. In that article, a brief bio of Mohler noted that “Mohler, now in his 25th year as president of Southern Seminary, has been at the forefront of public theological dialogue in evangelicalism. In addition to his responsibilities at Southern, Mohler also is the seminary’s Joseph Emerson Brown Professor of Christian Theology.”
The SBTS archives and special collections reveal the pivotal role played by Joseph Emerson Brown in the history of SBTS. After the Civil War, the seminary faced closure. “The seminary community faced other challenges. The faculty carried out constant fundraising efforts in the 1880s and traveled extensively to solicit donations. Notable successes included fifty thousand dollars from U.S. Senator Joseph E. Brown of Georgia and twenty-five thousand dollars from prominent Baptist oilman J. D. Rockefeller.”
While Mohler is being admired for his more than 3 decades of involvement at ETS and 25 years as President of SBTS, a careful look at the Joseph Emerson Brown Chair he has proudly occupied for 13 years reveals a very disturbing fact:
Joesph E. Brown: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_E._Brown
Joseph E. Brown made a fortune in the growth of the Railroad industry after his term as Governor of Georgia, during the lead up to and the duration of the Civil War. He was Georgia Governor and served 2 terms after which he went on to be elected senator and serve on the supreme court of Georgia. According to his biography Brown was ‘A former Whig, and a firm believer in slavery and Southern states’ rights, he defied the Confederate government’s wartime policies…. He denounced Confederate President Jefferson Davis as an incipient tyrant, and challenged Confederate impressment of animals and goods to supply the troops, and slaves to work in military encampments and on the lines. Several other governors followed his lead.
According to Douglas Blackmon’s Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II (2008), p. 347, Joseph E. Brown owned slave mines of the cruelest sort:
The most powerful politician in Georgia from the 1860s until his death in 1894, Brown, still contemptuous of the Emancipation Proclamation, filled his mines with scores of black men forced into the shafts against their will. A legislative committee visiting the sites the same year [Brown sold] them said the prisoners were ‘in the very worst condition…actually being starved and not having sufficient clothing…treated with great cruelty.’
Albert Mohler has held the position of Joseph E Brown Professor at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary since 2005.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)–Southern Baptist Theological Seminary’s board of trustees has elected President R. Albert Mohler Jr. to the Joseph Emerson Brown Chair of Christian Theology.
The chair has been held by other giants on the landscape of Southern Seminary’s history such as founding President James Pettigru Boyce and E.Y. Mullins, seminary president from 1899 to 1928. Mohler was elected the seminary’s ninth president in 1993.
Fellow Southern Baptist Race Baiter, Russell Moore, now head of the Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission, had the greatest of praise for Mohler’s ascent to the esteemed position in 2005:
It is an historic chair in systematic theology and we believe an historic president like Dr. Mohler deserves to be teaching from this chair,” said Russell D. Moore, Dean of the School of Theology and Senior Vice President for Academic Administration, after the Seminary Trustee action on April 26. “This will be a great and momentous act in Southern Seminary history.
The chair is named in honor of Joseph Emerson Brown, who served two terms as governor of Georgia during the Civil War and played a critical role in keeping Southern Seminary from closing on two separate occasions.
The first came during Reconstruction in the 1870s. The seminary, then located in Greenville, S.C., emerged from the Civil War financially destitute and faced closure. Brown, a seminary trustee, donated $50,000 which kept seminary doors open and left the institution in sound fiscal health for many years.
In the 1870s, $50,000 was worth what is now several million dollars in constant cash,” Mohler said. “It answered the question as to whether the seminary would survive. It actually allowed the seminary to go from a question of survival to the reality of thriving.
Mohler was equally proud of the honor bestowed on him as he assumed the staunch advocate of slavery SBTS chair.
“This means more than I can say,” Mohler said of the trustee action.
Especially with Dr. Boyce and Dr. Mullins holding that chair during their presidencies, it is an historical connection that speaks to my heart and to the sense of calling.
It also is a reminder that the Lord has used significant individuals [such as Brown] to make this institution what it is. Some of these names are inscribed on buildings, some are memorialized in scholarship and professorships, and it is easy for us to forget what they meant and who they were.
Flaunting Racial Hypocrisy While Pointing Fingers
What Mohler did not say about his Chair is disturbing. Joseph E. Brown boasted, “One thing every white man knows, regardless of how low his estate, he is the better of every black man.” As it is recounted, “He saved The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary financially in the 1870s. There is now an endowed chair, the Joseph Emerson Brown Chair of Christian Theology at the institution.
Dr. Mohler, you have been sitting atop the “Stain of Racism” in the SBC. Yet you castigate all Christians as “racists” knowing full well that the Joseph Emerson Brown whom you praised in 2005 as “a significant individual” and “that the Lord has used…to make this institution what it is” was a white supremacist who bred the racial hatred which fueled slavery and led to the carnage of the Civil War. In your September 2018 Q&A below, after you acknowledge Joseph E. Brown’s true character, your feigned sympathy for victims of oppression rings hollow:
The low view of Joseph E. Brown you expressed in your September 2018 Q&A utterly contradicts the high praise you and Russell Moore lavished on Brown in the 2005 Baptist Press article. One would think that, as President of SBTS, you would be zealous to repudiate that professorial chair and retire it immediately. Instead, the rhetoric of critical race theory in the SBC continues unabated, dividing the black and white races in unison with the secular culture which seems to be fomenting the next American Civil War.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution points to the ironies of Brown’s legacy still being celebrated in Georgia.
“Case in point, Atlanta’s Brown Middle School. Located in the city’s West End neighborhood, it has a mural in its auditorium of black leaders such as Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Harriet Tubman. It is an interesting juxtaposition for a school named after the Georgia governor who opposed the abolition of slavery and pushed the state into the Civil War.
Like many who were Confederates for four years, Joseph Emerson Brown shows the complex and multi-layered history that is the South. He reentered American society after the war and served in key positions. He helped start the Atlanta public school system and served on its board for 25 years until his death in 1894.
While it is debatable that removing confederate statues and legacies from public view in the South will change or ease the modern day politized racial tensions that drive them, the stark irony of Mohler’s hypocrisy in “Removing the Stain of Racism in the SBC” while holding the Professorship endowed by Joseph Emerson Brown is beyond disgusting. Russell Moore loves riding the nerve of fellow Southern Baptists over racism but has only praise for its legacy upon which his mentor, Mohler, sits enthroned while teaching future generations of pastors and missionaries. Mohler is quick to recount the “fortune” that $50,000 represented in the post-Civil War era so it appears the money speaks louder than the racial heritage its donor represents to the sensitive Doctor of theology, Mohler and Moore.
Theological Mask of TGC/ERLC has Slipped – Breeding Social Justice Voters
During the lead up to the 2018 midterms, The Gospel Coalition (TGC) and the Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission (ERLC) of the SBC outed themselves and the masquerade is OVER. The efforts of these organizations to use issues like Race, Immigration, Refugees, and Sexual and Gender minorities as essential values driving Evangelical voters, thus producing a Social Justice Christian Voter block, is now undeniable. No longer can the Genie of progressive political change be hidden or forced safely back into the bottle of neo Calvinist theology. No effort needs to be wasted in denying the retooling, re-thinking or re-messaging operation. Tim Keller and Russell Moore ARE political tools of the progressive political left and no thinking Christian need ever mistake them as anything else. By now it is clear they are bringing all their resources to bear upon unhinging the Evangelical vote from the conservative wing of the Republican Party, its family values platform and even from the “single issue voting” of pro-life convictions.
Advancing the insane narrative of the radical Left may be working for some but a growing number of evangelicals have seen the light and an alarm has gone off in the collective Evangelical mind. How can our leadership from TGC/ ERLC be operating on Biblical conviction or principle while at the same time attempting to redefine family and weaken the pro-life base among evangelical voters by broadening pro-life to embody progressive policies like refugee resettlement, racial identity politics and the global goals of the United Nations?
The Thrill is Gone
For years parachurch ministries like TGC and their denominational affiliates have enjoyed unquestioned influence in Reformed circles as they touted the resurgence of theology among the Young Restless and Reformed. With a massive internal media machine, huge funding and inroads into our seminaries, the talking points of evangelical media has been changing rapidly. Some few smelled the distinct odor of progressive politics and compromise, but the turning point came in April 2018 with the ERLC/ TGC co-sponsored event called MLK/ 50.
The rush to shame white evangelicals, deify racial reconciliation, vilify Southern Baptists as worshipping Jim Crow and alienating African Americans by voting for President Trump, and swimming in a swamp of white privilege – just did not thrill the souls or resonate with believers both black and white who live far beyond the realm of the rhetoric of CNN or TGC. By the end of MLK/50, social media in the SBC and PCA circles were lighting up and the bluesy sound of the “Thrill is Gone” filled the air. The TGC/ ERLC star was and is fading.
By the time June rolled around and the Southern Baptist Convention held its annual meeting in Dallas TX, the reconciliation mantra was full bore. Messengers were being told to “Check your privilege” at the door. Every sermon and most of the reports from the platform contained the obligatory nod to Racial Reconciliation and even one messenger attempted to force an amendment to one resolution up for vote to include a demand that Vice President Pence make a similar statement in his upcoming address to the Convention.
In the press room, a host of years old racially packed ERLC materials and books were left out for members of the press like dead animals at a cat owners’ doorstep. One of these was a 2015 collection of essays titled “Removing the Sin a Racism from the Southern Baptist Convention.”
Albert Mohler and the Stain of Progressivism and the LBGTQ+ Flourishing in the SBC
Albert Mohler’s SBTS incubated the development and growth of the most radical pro LGBTQ+ movement Evangelicals have seen to date.
Three weeks before the SBC Dallas meetings the story broke of the radical LGBTQ+ Revoice conference with deep ties to Al Mohler’s Seminary SBTS and to the ERLC. One of the most controversial parts of Revoice prior to the late July conference was its boast of the “Treasures of Queer Theory and Queer Culture for the Church and the New Jerusalem.”
At the annual meeting, this author personally interviewed Dr. Mohler about his concerns over Revoice. Dr. Mohler expressed agreement with the problematic language on Queer Theory but left the interview and headed to the CP Stage for panel discussion on the retreaded 2015 book and topic of “Removing the Stain of Racism from the SBC.”
Mohler contributed a chapter to the book and sat down with his other contributors, most if not all SBTS affiliates, and the compiler of the article, author Kevin Jones. In the panel discussion, Critical Race Theory was mentioned, highlighting the irony that Dr. Mohler had just agreed that Queer Theory being touted by his recent New Testament Instructor and Revoice Founder, Nate Collins, was using in the LGBTQ+ Christianity conference was problematic.
Mohler at minute 3 asserted that the SBC was “born in racism and Jim Crow.” He further asserted that the “stain of Racism will never be completely removed from the denomination this side of eternity and therefore we must always work to do what we can to address it.” Mohler continued at minute 5 to say, “racism is a stain we will always be dealing with in the SBC but if handled rightly ….” Here we are given the clear message that this effort to drive the wedge of race will be ongoing in the SBC.
Removing the Stain: Authors take SBC Men to Racist Zimbabwe
“Zimbabwe white farmers must fight or flee,” Daily Mail UK (See original article for link).
Near the end of the panel discussion in Dallas on Removing the Stain of Racism there is a discussion about how to start dealing with the stain – the books co- compiler Kevin Jones boast the contribution of new-ager Dallas Willard to his own personal journey and advocates the infusion of, in his view, a racially balanced selection of books into homeschool, Christian School or public schools curriculum. He asserts that other higher educational faculty do the same integration of their “approved” racial reconciliation books. This is no different than what public schools are doing in designing curriculum to “confront white privilege .
The panel discussion also revealed that some of its members are working with NAMB to take White pastors to Zimbabwe and use their book Removing the Stain as curriculum for some type of “SBC Spiritual Race Journey “ to free participants of their own stains. All this while the nation of Zimbabwe is undertaking a government appointed landgrab and potential genocide in white farmers in their country President Robert Mugabe demands that 3000 of the nations 4500 white owned farms be given over to black occupation even after 112 years of ownership.
Mohler and Moore are positioning their team to keep their racial spin front and center in the SBC. Fellow Mohler panelist and SBTS guy, Curtis Woods, was selected to serve on the resolutions committee which decides which submissions for official positioning on key current issues will come each year before the Baptist Messengers in the annual Convention meetings. Mohler and Moore appear to have “leveraged their privilege as Curtis suggest to make this strategic placement on the Committee. This is little more than Critical Race Theory and Racial Identity Politics SBTS style but this strategy will keep the racial issues, as Mohler and Moore want them seen, front and center.
Published April 3, 2018:
DALLAS—The Kentucky Baptist Convention’s associate director for convention relations, Curtis Woods, has been selected to serve on the Southern Baptist Convention’s Committee on Resolutions during its Annual Meeting in Dallas on June 12-13.
“I am absolutely humbled by the invitation to serve our messengers, and a watching world, on this committee. God has providentially selected a diverse group of thinkers who will help each resolution reflect a clear voice in chaotic times,” Woods said.
Curtis Woods, Associate Executive Director for Convention Relations
“Woods, a contributing author to “Removing the Stain of Racism from the Southern Baptist Convention,” is a member of Watson Memorial Baptist Church in Louisville.”
NAMB/ERLC/IMB Racial Politics and Affirmation Action in SBC Missions?
- ”Ministry leadership at; the ERLC, NAMB and IMB – Dr. Russell Moore, Kevin Ezell and David Platt have been game changers regarding the rebranding process of the SBC in the eyes of ethnic minorities. Not only have initiatives been created to recruit, train and send qualified minorities on the field for service, key leadership positions with influence and decision-making capacities have been extended to competent and qualified emerging minority leaders.”
The sad reality is that Southern Baptist efforts to deal with the race issue in our culture and in our churches have little to do with reality. The real time progress in racial relations is virtually ignored. The glaring self-exemption among leaders like Albert Mohler and Russell Moore are nauseating and reek of the worst kind of hypocrisy.
Young black men in the SBC are being used and exploited to drive, not true reconciliation, but the worst sort of racial division – the sort that profits those who enslave us all in their false narrative. Kingdom goals and Gospel causes are not served in the least, and using white guilt or black anger has zero redemptive drive and will produce no peaceable fruit of righteousness.
More of the Racial Reconciliation Drive in the TGC, ERLC, SBTS, and PCA
Here are just a few of the many prongs of the racial division in the TGC ,SBC and PCA circles. It is an honest question to ask where is redemption and forgiveness and unity – in fact where is the Gospel in any of this so-called Gospel Issue movement?
Red Yellow Black or White- just stop when you have had enough:
The TGC / ERLC hard sell – you must buy this book
Race baiting in the Chapel at Covenant College by Jamar Tisby of RAAN/ Witness a Black Christian Collective – “The Long History of Racism in Reformed Theology,” (See original article for link).
The TGC/ ERLC handbook for the Racial Narrative.
TGC celebration of WOKE Church – keeping white privilege on the ropes and checked at the door. https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/thabiti-anyabwile/woke-is/
And the turning point for many Christians who have had enough of the Social Justice narrative in the SBC and PCA came with this horrific Critical Race Theory Extravaganza in Memphis by TGC and ERLC in which Russell Moore accused white Christians in the South of worshipping Jim Crow as Jesus, and Thabiti Anyabwile – who still uses his black Muslim identity and name knocked the conversation out of the actual Gospel ball park .
http://mlk50conference.com/ (Warning: Sane individuals or people with high blood pressure should not attempt to watch more than one of these videos in a 24 hour period.)
Part of ERLCs ongoing legacy from the MLK/50 race-fest was for political operative and former TN Republican Party Executive Directer Brent Leatherwood to announce the establishment of a MLK Scholarship endowed at the announcement with $1,5 million dollars from Lord only knows where. SBTS, SEBTS, and TEDS (TGC headquarters) Wheaton are named among the 20 schools participating in the Scholarship. It is fair to say the Dream Forward MLK Scholarship Initiative will serve to honor MLK/ 50 and its sponsors ERLC and TGC more than it will honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King. http://mlk50conference.com/memphis/
“For #MLK50, Christian Schools Launch $1.5 Million in Minority Scholarships,” Christianity Today (See original article for link.)
SBC Painting the Town Black in Birmingham, Alabama in 2019
While touting the racial divide the SBC leadership are furthering it, if anyone is paying attention. When we consider that the core message of the Gospel is forgiveness, how can the endless remembrance of past sins – in many cases the sins of fathers or grandfathers over the generations – represent the true Gospel message? When is forgiveness truly embraced and who grants absolution? Only God can forgive sin and transform a human heart. Where is the past sin of Christians deposited? It is cast into the depths of the sea and remembered no more. Micah 7:19.
Birmingham Alabama does not need more of the SBC leadership driving the racial divide in the name of racial reconciliation. All of it in light of TGC and ERLCs midterm rhetoric appears to little more than progressives in the SBC attempting to further their drive to creat a Christian Social Justice Voter in our denoiminations. Our painful history does not need to be dredged up and exploited to provide a canvas for Albert Mohler or Russell Moore to spread their politicized racial messages while they sit on theological chairs celebrating the racist heritages of those who endowed them, like the white supremacist, Joseph E Brown.
Birmingham and cities across the nation and the world and the Southern Baptist Convention need the Good News that God was in Christ reconciling the World unto Himself and has committed to us the Ministry of Reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:11-21. We have a higher calling and a greater task and need better leadership than those who want to exploit race in the Church for their own gain. Stop the Madness or don’t bring it to our town.
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