Ternae Jordan and the Hamilton County Baptists

On June 5th, churches from the Hamilton County Baptist Association in Chattanooga, Tennessee participated in a prayer rally which the Association advertised as “Churches United in Prayer for Racial Justice and Reconciliation” at Mt. Canaan Baptist Church on Highway 58.

The rally was organized in the wake of nationwide riots which were themselves preceded by the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. Although there is no evidence that Floyd’s killing was motivated by racial prejudice, many outraged individuals have concluded that racism was a (or the) contributing factor. One such individual is the pastor of Mt. Canaan, Ternae Jordan. During his last Sunday sermon, Jordan utilized (once again) 2 Chronicles 7:14 to talk at length about racial issues. Many of his statements were startling. Among other things, Jordan claimed that:

  • George Floyd was lynched.
  • Black-on-black criminal acts are a part of a system of (white) racism.
  • Since they do not have the power of oppression, black people cannot themselves be racist.

The incendiary language which proceeded from Jordan’s pulpit last Sunday sounded more like Cultural Marxist agitation than Biblical exposition. Yet, his church is the one Hamilton County’s Baptist leaders have chosen as the site of their “racial justice” prayer rally. To make matters worse, while Jordan’s illogical definition of racism cannot be found in the dictionary, the concepts of “racial justice” and “racial reconciliation” cannot be found in the Bible. Simply put, if there were black Christians and white Christians in the parking lot at that prayer rally on Friday night, they were already reconciled together as brothers and sisters in Christ and sons and daughters of God the Father. Men and women of every color are descended from the same man, Adam. Men and women of every color are dead in their trespasses until they receive as their Savior, the second Adam, Jesus Christ. This simple gospel truth takes a backseat when political concerns and media sensationalism are pushed to the forefront of purportedly Christian discourse.

The Baptists in Hamilton County and beyond would do well to keep a closer eye on the men who organize their common efforts.

*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