Last December, Pulpit & Pen reported how Southern Seminary decided to launch a completely unnecessary investigatory committee into the seminary’s racist past in the post, Virtue Signaling Southern Baptists Apologize for Slavery for the 1,394th Time. The committee found nothing new, and all of SBTS’ torrid affair with slavery has been widely publicized literally forever. The committee was designed by Albert Mohler as an overture to a newly woke evangelical culture. But the committee report backfired, and we predicted that people would now call for reparations, which is something SBTS would not be willing to do.
Make no mistake about it and have no misconceptions. There is no major momentary tragedy or crisis that leads Al Mohler and so many other Social Justice liberals in evangelicalism to focus so heavily on racialism. They are just children of their age and influenced more by the current zeitgheist than the Holy Bible. Mohler, no doubt, thought he would be carried out on the shoulders of the same New Liberals that champion his protege, Russell Moore. Led by darker-skinned Social Justice Warriors and Democrats, Thabiti Anyabwile and Dwight Marxissic, surely Mohler thought this herd of racialist malcontents would be impressed at his public parade in sackcloth and ashes lamenting the sins of his fathers.
No such luck. Instead, they’re demanding reparations.
The thing about virtue-signaling is that sometimes it looks little different than the white flag of surrender.
In terribly ironic but perfectly predictable behavior (after all, we predicted it), a nearby black Baptist college insisted via letter that Southern Baptist Theological Seminary pay them reparations.
A clergy alliance of black and white ministers sent the letter to Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, demanding that they “transfer a meaningful portion of its financial wealth” to Simmons College of Kentucky. Simmons College is widely known as a “black school” with black leadership. They demanded that SBTS make the wealth transfer for the sake of “repentance and repair.” Furthermore, they suggested that true repentance would mean that SBTS should give the college a “Biblical tithe” of 100 million dollars.
Albert Mohler’s Gospel Coalition fellow council members, like Thabiti Anyabwile, are actively promoting financial reparations as a part of “Biblical repentance.” This puts him in an awkward spot, but it’s not so awkward that Mohler is willing to cough up the dough.
Mohler responded in a letter to the clergy alliance, “We do not believe that financial reparations are the appropriate response.”
The clergy alliance, called Empowered West, wrote:
“While the weight of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary’s history is shared by its alumni and all Southern Baptists, we call specifically on Southern Baptist Theological Seminary to make a global moral witness by publicly bearing fruits of repentance as the natural and right response to its historic and undisputed role as chief apologists in defense of slavery,”
Albert Mohler needs to understand that the cost of virtue-signaling outweighs its benefits. For conservatives, it’s a lose-lose situation. You cannot negotiate with terrorists.
Mohler has made this mistake repeatedly. In 2015, Mohler demanded (at the behest of his friend, Russell Moore) to demand the removal of Confederate flags and monuments from public property, but refused to remove the names of Confederate soldiers from Southern Seminary and Boyce College.
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