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TRUMP MUST PROCLAIM THE ALT-RIGHT ‘RACIST’ AND ‘EVIL,’ EVANGELICAL LEADERS URGE IN LETTER

President Donald Trump needs to be crystal clear in his condemnation of the so-called alt-right, a group of Southern Baptist and other evangelical leaders said in a letter addressed to the commander in chief. The document, first obtained exclusively by CNN and published September 29, urges Trump to “join with many other political and religious leaders to proclaim with one voice that the ‘alt-right’ is racist, evil, and antithetical to a well-ordered, peaceful society.”

The letter—drafted by the Reverend William Dwight McKissic, senior pastor at the Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas, and Keith Whitfield, a professor and dean at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary—comes in the wake of Trump’s varied and widely criticized responses to white nationalist rallies that turned violent in August in Charlottesville, Virginia. The president alternated between blaming both sides for the violence and condemning groups like white supremacists and the Ku Klux Klan.

The events in Charlottesville “reminded us of a time years ago when such brazen displays of bigotry and white supremacy were common and were upheld by political leaders,” reads the letter, which is now also available on a site where leaders beyond the original 39 signatories can add their names. “We have overcome much racial injustice, but we fear that without moral clarity and courageous leadership that consistently denounces all forms of racism, we may lose the ground that we have gained toward the racial unity for which so many of us have fought. Our nation remains divided racially and ideologically.”

The letter includes a section thanking Trump for signing a joint resolution on September 14 that condemned the violence in Charlottesville and rejecting white nationalists, white supremacists, the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and other hate groups. But that document did not mention the alt-right.

“This movement has escaped your disapproval,” the letter says, despite the racial supremacy expressed by leaders such as Jared Taylor and Richard Spencer. It continues:

We believe it is important for this movement to be addressed, for at its core it is a white identity movement and the majority of its members are white nationalists or white supremacists. This movement gained public prominence during your candidacy for President of the United States. Supporters of the movement have claimed that you share their vision for our country. These same supporters have sought to use the political and cultural concerns of people of goodwill for their prejudiced political agendas. It concerned many of us when three people associated with the alt-right movement were given jobs in the White House.

After Charlottesville, McKissic says, he tried to get a sense of where the president stood on the events that transpired and the groups that participated, including the alt-right. “It was unclear to me then and unclear to me now,” he tells Newsweek. “Obviously, he knows how to be very clear and specific and leave no room for doubt when he opposes something.”

But Trump has allowed his public feelings about the alt-right to remain ambiguous, even as leaders of both the National Baptist Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention denounced the movement.

McKissic worked with Whitfield, who he says led the effort to write the letter to make it clear this was a united response. “This is not a racial response. This is a kingdom response. The kingdom of God stands opposed to what the alt-right stands for. We ask the president to stand with kingdom of God,” he says.

It’s also not political, he emphasizes. “Whenever the church gets in bed with politics, it’s the church that always gets pregnant,” he says. “We’re not aligning with either political party. We’re talking about calling out darkness, and the alt-right represents spiritual darkness on the offensive, attacking our Pledge of Allegiance, our Constitution.”

The goal of the letter is to try to elicit an explicit statement from the president condemning the alt-right movement and the bigoted views many of its members espouse. McKissic says he prays it will get president’s attention. Trump “clearly has some history of a relationship with alt-right,” he says, pointing to former members of his administration as well as the support Trump received from the movement during and after his election campaign. “It needs to be made clear that people with alt-right ties and connections are not welcome in this administration.”

Dozens of people have added their names to the letter, including Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. McKissic says Rodriguez’s affiliation as a member of Trump’s informal evangelical advisory boardadds weight to the letter.

However, “this is not an attack on the president. This is a loving plea to the president to stand with religious leaders, to uphold the Constitution and the Pledge of Allegiance and the Declaration of Independence,” says McKissic, who calls the country a “racial tinderbox.” He says he’s never seen the level of polarization, division and distrust he sees today.

“A house divided cannot stand,” he says. “Our land needs healing, and we need our president to lead the way.”

The White House has yet to release a statement about the alt-right in response to the letter and did not immediately respond to Newsweek’s request for comment.

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Dr. Steve GaiYoung NBC and Gaines SBC together 2nes, President of the Southern Baptist Convention and Dr. Jerry Young, President of the National Baptist Convention are signatories on a letter released September 28, 2017, denouncing the Alt-Right and respectfully calling upon President Trump to speak out against the Alt-Right movement, noting “This movement has escaped your disapproval.”

An additional thirty-five well known Pastors, professors and religious leaders have endorsed the letter, including Dr. Tony Evans, Bishop T.D. Jakes, Dr. Danny Akin, Dr. Fred Luter, Dr. J.D. Greear, Dr. Joel Gregory, Dr. John Jenkins, Dr. Maurice Watson, and Dr. Bruce Ashford. Many more prominent Black and White leaders have signed the letter. The initial forty (40) signatories are almost perfectly balanced evenly racially. That is a rare feat. This may even be unprecedented. Sam Rodriguez added his name to the list after the initial publishing at CNN. He is first member of President Trump’s advisory council to do so.

The goal is for Charlottesville to never repeat itself and this letter was written to cast salt and light into the world, to hopefully season and change society in such a way that race relations will improve and the display of darkness, August 12, in Charlottesville will not repeat itself in a scheduled Alt-Right rally in Charlotte, NC in December.

Furthermore, we’d like to see President Trump unite with the Pastors with one voice and with passion, denouncing the Alt-Right and aligning with us to lead our Nation into racial healing. May The Lord use this letter for His glory and to these ends.

To read and/or add your signature to the letter click this link: https://www.unifyingleadership.org/

Read a CNN article about the letter here: https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2017/09/28/politics/trump-alt-right-evangelicals/index.html

 

OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT TRUMP FROM AMERICAN RELIGIOUS LEADERS:

WE NEED YOU TO SPEAK

Dear President Trump:

The events that took place in Charlottesville, VA on August 12 grieved us. We were deeply troubled by the public display of racism on that day, and it was a reminder of a time years ago when such brazen displays of bigotry and white supremacy were common and were upheld by political leaders. We fear if something does not soon change we may return to such a time in our country.

We love the United States of America. We have overcome much racial injustice, but we fear that without moral clarity and courageous leadership that consistently denounces all forms of racism, we may lose the ground that we have gained toward the racial unity for which so many of us have fought. Our nation remains divided racially and ideologically. We struggle to stand together to denounce racial inequality and injustice in our country.

Mr. President, you have, on occasion, denounced the KKK and the Neo-Nazis by name. And, on September 14, 2017, you signed a joint resolution condemning white supremacy. With your signature on that important statement, you also said, “No matter the color of our skin or our ethnic heritage, we all live under the same laws, we all salute the same great flag, and we are all made by the same almighty God.”

We thank you for signing the resolution and for your words expressing the profound solidarity of the American people regardless of skin color and ethnic heritage. The joint resolution was needed to provide moral clarity that white supremacy and white nationalism are outside of American values—indeed, it is outside human values—and will not be accepted in our country. We are grateful that the resolution addresses your role, Mr. President, to “speak out against hate groups that espouse racism, extremism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, and White supremacy.” Further, we commend your commitment to “use all resources available to the President and the President’s Cabinet to address the growing prevalence of those hate groups in the United States.”

Now, we respectfully call upon you to respond to the resolution by speaking out against the alt-right movement. This movement has escaped your disapproval. We believe it is important for this movement to be addressed, for at its core it is a white identity movement and the majority of its members are white nationalists or white supremacists. This movement gained public prominence during your candidacy for President of the United States. Supporters of the movement have claimed that you share their vision for our country. These same supporters have sought to use the political and cultural concerns of people of goodwill for their prejudiced political agendas. It concerned many of us when three people associated with the alt-right movement were given jobs in the White House.

Alt-right ideology does not represent constitutional conservatism. The Constitution promotes the dignity and equality of all people. It maintains that we all have the ability to contribute to a just and free society.

The alt-right, however, attributes the uniqueness and achievements of America to the so-called superior capacities and virtues of Anglo-Europeans. American Renaissance editor and alt-right leader Jared Taylor said, “The alt-right accepts that race is a biological fact and that it is a significant aspect of individual and group identity and that any attempt to create a society in which race can be made not to matter will fail.” The core of the movement is the protection of white identity. Richard Spencer, a prominent leader in the alt-right movement, desires to transform our country into an ethno-state that serves as a gathering point for all Europeans.

We request upon you to join with many other political and religious leaders to proclaim with one voice that the “alt-right” is racist, evil, and antithetical to a well-ordered, peaceful society.

While addressing a political convention in Illinois in 1858, in a climate and country divided over slavery, Abraham Lincoln quoted Jesus, saying, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” The current and growing racial divide in America must be confronted, or the divided America of which Lincoln spoke will revisit us. We can see the haunting potential of this turn. Ferguson and Charlottesville may be a foreshadowing of things to come. We must set aside our political, ideological and racial differences, particularly on the issue of the alt-right. We cannot be divided and still defeat this new demonic racist force.

Yes, it is time now for Christian churches to come together for the sake of the nation and the Kingdom of God. Recently, two major denominations, which have not always seen eye to eye on social and political issues, have come together on the issue of racial bigotry and injustice. In the aftermath of violence and protests in Charlottesville, leaders of these denominations called white supremacy and the alt-right racist and evil. Jerry Young, President of the National Baptist Convention USA, said white supremacy cannot be dismissed with moral ambivalence. He explains, “There are not two sides when it comes to white supremacy. It is a belief system that is anti-Christian at its core and must be repudiated without confusion.” Steve Gaines, President of the Southern Baptist Convention, condemned the alt-right, describing the gathering in Charlottesville as “a gathering of hate, ignorance and bigotry” and stating the ideology violates core Christian beliefs.

These are powerful and strong words coming from the leaders of two historic Baptist Conventions, denouncing the alt-right by name. We also need healing and unifying leadership from our political leaders. President George H.W. Bush and Pastor Edward Victor Hill II modeled this type of leadership for us 25 years ago. They worked together to address the shared pain of the African American community and the nation in the aftermath of the exoneration of the police officers associated with the Rodney King brutality.

Our country desperately needs unifying leadership again. We need you, President Trump, to lead us in such an effort. America needs your voice and your convictions to defeat racist ideologies and movements in every form that they present themselves. America is profoundly fractured and divided. We can envision the change that could emerge if you would provide the moral leadership we so desperately need for racial healing. Our polarized nation could unite around your leadership on this critical issue.

We are praying, and call upon God’s people to humble themselves and pray that you would take the bold and moral step to denounce the alt-right. And we pray that we may see the beauty of people from all racial backgrounds dwelling together in unity, from which the blessings flow; and then we may see—God Bless America (Psalm 133:1).

Respectfully,

 

Dr. Danny Akin

President

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

Wake Forest, NC

 

Dr. Bruce Ashford

Provost

Professor of Theology and Culture

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

Wake Forest, NC

 

Dr. Michael Bell

Senior Pastor, Greater St. Stephens First Church

Fort Worth, TX

 

Rev. R. Marshall Blalock

Pastor, First Baptist Church

Charleston, SC

 

Dr. René F. Brown

Pastor, Mount Zion First Baptist Church

Baton Rouge, LA

 

Rev. Alan Cross

Executive Director, Community Development Initiatives

Missional Strategist, Montgomery Baptist Association

Montgomery, AL

 

Dr. Tony Evans

Senior Pastor, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship

President of The Urban Alternative

Dallas, TX.

 

Dr. Nathan Finn

Dean of the School of Theology and Missions, Union University

Jackson, TN

 

 

 

Dr. Robert E. Fowler

Senior Pastor, Victory Missionary Baptist Church

Las Vegas, NV

 

Rev. Micah Fries

Senior Pastor, Brainerd Baptist Church

Chattanooga, TN

 

Rev. James D. Gailliard

Pastor, World Tabernacle Church

President – The Impact Center

Rocky Mount, NC

 

Dr. Steve Gaines

President of the Southern Baptist Convention

Senior Pastor, Bellevue Baptist Church

Cordova, TN.

 

Dr. Ronnie W. Goines

Founding Pastor, Koinonia Christian Church

Arlington, TX

 

Dr. J. D. Greear

Pastor, The Summit Church

Raleigh-Durham, NC

 

Dr. Joel Gregory

George W. Truett Endowed Chair in Preaching and Evangelism

George W. Truett Theological Seminary of Baylor University

Waco, TX

 

Dr. T. D. Jakes

Bishop of the Potter’s House

Dallas, TX

 

Dr. John Jenkins

Pastor, First Baptist Church of Glenarden

Glenarden, MD

 

Rev. Kenneth Jones

Senior Pastor, Como First Missionary Baptist Church

Fort Worth, TX

 

Dr. Ed Litton

Senior Pastor, Redemption Church

Mobile, AL

 

Dr. Fred Luter

Pastor, Franklin Avenue Baptist Church

New Orleans, LA

 

Dr. Rayford E. Malone

Pastor, Greater Beulah Baptist Church

Dothan, AL

 

Dr. William Dwight McKissic,

Senior Pastor, Cornerstone Baptist Church

Arlington, TX

 

Dr. James Merritt

Lead Pastor, Cross Pointe Church

Duluth, GA

 

Dr. John Ogeltree

Senior Pastor, First Metropolitan Church

Houston, TX

 

Rev. Vance Pitman

Senior Pastor, Hope Church

Las Vegas, NV

 

Dr. R.A. Redwine

Senior Pastor, Soldier Creek Baptist Church

Oklahoma City, OK

 

Dr. C. J. Rhodes

Pastor, Mt. Helm Baptist Church

Jackson, MS

 

Dr. Manuel Scott, Jr.

National Evangelist for the National Baptist Convention

Los Angeles, CA

 

Dr. Ed Stetzer

Executive Director, Billy Graham Center for Evangelism

Wheaton College

Wheaton, IL

 

Dr. Walter Strickland

Associate Vice President of Kingdom Diversity

Assistant Professor of Systematic and Contextual Theology

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

Mr. Jemar Tisby

President, Reformed African American Network

co-host “Pass The Mic” podcast

 

Mr. Lawrence Ware

Co-Director of the Center for Africana Studies and Diversity Coordinator

Philosophy Department of Oklahoma State University

Stillwater, OK

 

Dr. Maurice Watson

Senior Pastor, Metropolitan Baptist Church

Largo, MD

 

Dr. Keith S. Whitfield,

Dean of Graduate Studies

Assistant Professor of Theology

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

Wake Forest, NC

 

Rev. K. Marshall Williams

Pastor, Nazarene Baptist Church

Philadelphia, PA

 

Dr. Jerry Young

President of National Baptist Convention

Senior Pastor, New Hope Baptist Church

Jackson, MS

What Evangelical Advisors Should Say to President Trump

by William Dwight McKissic, Sr.

Mr. President,

We respect and support your commitment to place conservative judges on the Supreme Court; but we disagree with your Charlottesville commentary regarding there being “fine people” among the Charlottesville “Unite the Right” Rally. We disagree with your position that those protesting people are just as evil as the KKK—Neo Nazi and White Supremacist.

We need you to speak with a certain sound that the Alt-Right is racist, evil and wrong; and “fine People” would not have any association with the Alt-Right. Your comments give oxygen to racists and racism; and by association, we give oxygen to you…and therefore by extension, to racists and racism.

Please repudiate your Charlottesville comments, or we will be forced to repudiate you. We respect you and the Office of the President, but we do not respect your Charlottesville comments.

For His Kingdom,

Wm. Dwight McKissic, Sr.

President Young’s Statement on Charlottesville, VA

By President Jerry Young |  August 19, 2017

The events that occurred recently in Charlottesville, VA were neither unclear in goal or purpose.  The “Unite the Right” rally was a gathering of White Nationalist groups: the KKK, Neo-Nazis, and “Alt-Right” groups.  These groups gathered for the express purpose of protesting the removal of an image that epitomizes White supremacy, the statue of Robert E. Lee.  For them, the protest was about much more than preserving something of cultural worth.  They marched through the streets proclaiming racist and Anti-Semitic rhetoric. It seemed that they wanted the world to know that their movement was based on white supremacist ideologies.  Why else would some of the featured speakers for this event be leaders who champion White Nationalist thoughts?  This rally’s goal was to declare to the world that the evil of white supremacy is not dead.  It was to demonstrate that white supremacists are willing to do as they have done for centuries, commit acts of violence to spread their beliefs.  Ultimately, a young counter-protester, Heather Heyer, died as a result of this hatred.  Her name has been added to the list of those who died at the hands of White supremacists, like Emmett Till, Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King, Jr. and many others.  A young African American, DeAndre Harris, was seriously injured; a helicopter crashed resulting in the death of two police officers who were monitoring this event; and nineteen persons were injured by a weaponized vehicle used as a terrorist weapon, all at the hands of White Supremacists on one weekend in Charlottesville.

We must not and cannot meet the evil of White supremacy with moral ambivalence.  We cannot equivocate when confronted with such a diabolical movement. There are no two sides when it comes to White supremacy.  It is a belief system that is anti-Christian at its core and must be repudiated without confusion.  Is this not the colossal failure of our president in dealing with this issue? His first response to the events strangely condemned hate “on many sides.”  On Monday, President Trump seemed to have understood the weakness of his first statement.  He provided a stronger condemnation of the white supremacist groups and acknowledged young Heather Heyer, who had been needlessly killed.  But, oddly, on Tuesday, he doubled down on his first comments, making the focal point of his discussion the violence that had occurred.  Speaking of the groups involved he stated, “You have some very bad people in that group [Antifa and other groups] but you also had people that were very fine people on both sides.”  There is no moral equivalency here.  White supremacy fueled the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade and led to the Holocaust.  It has led to the deaths of many Blacks, particularly here in the south, through lynching.  It promoted segregation and the codification of racism called Jim Crow in America and Apartheid in South Africa.  Its origin is a direct assault on the biblical account of the origin of the human race.  As, I understand it, the other side did not gather because they hated white people.  They gathered because they wanted to protest what they perceived as hatred personified.  This is not to condone any aggression on their part.  But we must acknowledge, first and foremost in my judgement, that white supremacy is the culprit in this matter.  Thus, there could not have been any “fine people” marching alongside Neo-Nazis and the KKK.  The president, by his words and his work, has empowered these groups and has given them a degree of respectability and acceptance.  And thus, he has either by intention or inadvertently given indication to these groups that they have a friend in the White House.  By focusing only on the violence, it appears that he has tacitly given his support and approval to the racism practiced by these groups.

Now, the president calls the removal of Confederate statues “foolish.”  He claims that they are “beautiful.”  There appears to be no ambiguity in these comments.  He seems to be implying that he supports what these groups supported when they gathered in Charlottesville, VA.  Simultaneously, one must conclude that he is not on the side of those counter-protesters who stood against the White supremacist groups.  Whatever condemnation that he has spoken about these White Nationalist groups has been undermined by his own latest comments.

The National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc., as a group standing on the side of Christ the Lord, rejects the views of these White Nationalist groups.  We stand against the president’s ambivalence on the matter.  We make it clear: the evil present in Charlottesville was the result of the divisiveness of White supremacist racism.  We condemn this evil in the strongest possible terms.  We, also, call on the president of the United States to change his words, both in tenor and tone, towards groups that support such repugnant ideas.  We call upon him to let such groups know that they may have a legal right to exist in this country but they have no moral right to exist.  They represent the worst kind of ideology, and therefore, should not feel welcomed in our nation.  We call upon him to stand on the Lord’s side who calls us to remember that of one blood God made all humanity.  Therefore, he must not be ambivalent; he must call out this evil in no uncertain terms.  In so doing, he will help to create the context that will become advantageous and conducive to bringing unity to this country and thereby undermine the plans of those intent on promoting the heretical and evil agenda of White supremacy.

The law of Christ demands that Christians of every creed, confession, and convention denounce the racist, toxic ideology of the alt-right movement and stand united against its every expression and aspiration for cultural and political correctness. The deadly consequences our nation will reap, should we tolerate the alt-right’s murderous quest for legitimacy, were seen in Charlottesville this past week, and they are frightening.

The failure of President Donald J. Trump to perceive the true nature of this evil, his unwillingness to denounce its exponents in unambiguous terms, seems to speak volumes regarding whether he plans to be the president for ALL of America.

We must all remember that lawlessness cannot be met with indifference.  Racism cannot be met with equivocation. Hatred cannot be met with uncertainty. Not only must President Trump, but all our leaders from both the secular and the sacred communities must speak with one voice to declare that this kind of hatred, bigotry and racism is totally unacceptable.

The alt-right is antithetical to Christian principles. Its leaders are purveyors of racism. And those who would tolerate this growing menace or suggest that the First Amendment affords protections for their inducements to violence are morally bankrupt as is the alt-right movement itself.

I call upon on all people of faith to bear prophetic witness against the alt-right, to expose its teachings and teachers for the evil menace they promote, and to reject any claim that racist nationalists should find acceptance in our country. I call on people of good will to continue to pursue racial harmony and unity for the good of our nation.

God bless America!

Dr. Jerry Young, President
National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.

A BIBLICAL VIEW OF RACE AND UNITY
By William Dwight McKissic, Sr.

“These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the whole earth was populated.”
(Genesis 9:19 NKJV)

God created one race—the human race—through the blood of Noah, his wife, their three sons and wives. John MacArthur stated (The MacArthur Study Bible, Footnote on Page 29):

All physical characteristics of the whole race were present in the genetics of Noah, his sons, and their wives.” (Genesis 9:19 NKJV)

While preaching to a predominately White audience, the late Rev. E.V. Hill spoke these words:

“If you are looking for your roots, if you promise not to go back to Europe, I’ll promise not to go back to Africa, and we’ll meet up somewhere on Noah’s Ark.”

The Bible clearly teaches that all mankind is derived from Noah and his three sons. Noah’s three sons’ names were Shem, Ham and Japheth (Genesis 9:18). The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, 1956 Edition, states that the word Ham means “dark or black,” Shem means “dusky or olive-colored,” and Japheth means “bright or fair.”
Biblical scholars, and at least one prominent anthropologist, consider Ham to be the ancestral father of Negroes, Mongoloids and Indians; Shem is considered to be the ancestral father of Semites (Arabic and Jewish); and Japheth is considered to be the ancestral father of Caucasians. Are the scholars correct? Based on the etymology of the three sons’ names, the nations associated with these names in Genesis 10, historical research and biblical data, I’m inclined to agree with the scholars: Noah’s three sons were the progenitors of the three basic races of mankind. I was puzzled though as to how could a monogamous Noah produce three sons of three different complexions, and, consequently, ethnic identities. This seemed biologically impossible to me. I was forced to consider the ethnicity of Adam and Eve.

Vince Lombardi was a fanatic for fundamentals. And when the Green Bay Packers lost two games that they should have easily won, Vince Lombardi called his men in for a special session, held a football high in the air, and said, “Men, this is a football.” I’ve simply come to say, this is the Bible. The Bible is the inerrant and infallible Word of God. And the Word of God says in Genesis 2:7, “God formed man from the dust of the ground…”

Dirt comes in a wide variety of colors, but it usually has a color component to it. The name Adam in Hebrew means “red” or taken out of red earth. The name “Adam” is also translated “man.” Adam was the first human. The prefix “hu” in “human” means color. Adam, made from dirt, was a man of color.” He and Eve possessed the genetic capacity to produce all of the colors you see on the face of the earth today.

Therefore, with all of us descending from one common origin, we must be unified. We all can trace our roots back to Ham, Shem, Japheth, Noah and Adam. That makes us one family.

  • We must be unified because Jesus said His Kingdom missionary agenda is intertwined with His followers being in unity (John 17:21).
  • We must be unified because Acts 2:1 is clear that the Holy Spirit descended when the church was unified.
  • We must be unified because the Psalmist said it’s a beautiful picture, and blessings flow when God’s people are unified (Psalm 133:1-3).
  • We must be unified because we cannot stand against the wiles of the devil, if we are not in unity. Jesus said, “And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand” (Mark 3:25).
  • We must be unified because the church cannot defeat the Alt-Right unless we are unified (Ephesians 6:10-12).
  • We must be unified, now. The early church was unified (Acts 13:1), and the hand of the Lord was upon them (Acts 11:21). They were a multi-ethnic church in a multi-ethnic city—“and a great number believed, and turned to the Lord.”

During the days of slavery, a woman became temporarily separated from her fairly newborn baby on a very large cotton plantation. After many hours of unsuccessfully searching for the child, the idea was suggested that all the workers should join hands and walk down each row until they found the baby. Sure enough, this method worked. But when they found the baby, the baby was lifeless, dead, because of the many hours in the sun without water. Someone then remarked, had we joined hands earlier, we could have saved the baby. My brothers and sisters, if the White Church, Black Church, Hispanic Church and Asian Church join hands, we can save America. If we join hands, we can defeat the Alt-Right. If we join hands we can show the world a beautiful picture and win the world for Christ together. Jesus said, “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” (John 12:32)

“How to reach the masses, men of every birth; for an answer, Jesus gave a key. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, I’ll draw all men unto me.”

Let the Church say, Amen!

 

Bibliography (Cited Work):

The MacArthur Study Bible (NKJV), Holy Bible, John MacArthur, Word Publishing, Nashville, TN, 1997, p. 29.

Noah’s Three Sons; Human History in Three Dimensions, Arthur C. Custance, Vol. 1 of “The Doorway Papers,” Zondervan Publishing House of the Zondervan Corporation, Grand Rapids, MI, 1975.

Beyond Roots: In Search of Blacks in the Bible, William Dwight McKissic, Sr., Renaissance Productions, Wenonah, NJ, 1990.

DFW Area Churches And Pastors Come Together To Host A Kingdom Conversation On Race And The Alt-Right Sunday, August 20 At 6:30pm.

Wm. Dwight McKissic, Sr., Senior Pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church, Jason Paredes, Lead Pastor of Fielder Church Arlington and Ken Jones, Senior Pastor of Como First Missionary Baptist Church are co-hosting a gathering and bringing the President of the Southern Baptist Convention, Dr. Steve Gaines to Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington, TX ~ August 20, 2017 @ 6:30 pm.

ARLINGTON, Texas – August 17, 2017. With the climate of our Nation clouded by increasing racial tension, uneasiness, violence, anger, hatred, and separatist movements, leaders are gathering together to confront the issues at hand with the hope of bringing healing and unity to our communities, churches and conventions.

McKissic made a tremendous impact on breaking down the historical stigma of racism in the SBC by presenting a Resolution Against The Alt-Right at the Annual Southern Baptist Convention in June of 2017. The SBC now has the credibility to address the Alt-Right and their White Supremacist/Nationalist ideology. Local Southern Baptist Pastors, Dwight McKissic, Sr., Jason Paredes, and Ken Jones are looking to bring a healing balm to the convention and the Nation. Taking the lead in bridging the gap and healing the convention, the President of the SBC, Dr. Steve Gaines, will speak at Cornerstone Sunday night and participate as a panelist at the event entitled, “A Kingdom Conversation On Race and The Alt-Right.”

During the first hour of the gathering the audience will hear from the choirs of Fielder Church in Arlington, TX and Cornerstone Church. Dr. Gaines will present his message (A Baptist View of Race) followed by messages from Pastor Ken Jones (Who Is The Alt-Right) and Pastor McKissic (A Biblical View of Race).

During the second hour there will be a panel discussion on Race and The Alt-Right. Panelists include, Dr. Steve Gaines, Arlington Police Chief Will Johnson, Pastor Ken Jones, Dr. Joseph W. Caldwell, Pastor Jason Paredes, Dr. Ronnie Goines, Min. Oza Jones, and Pastor Wm. Dwight McKissic, Sr. The purpose of the discussion is to answer questions, bring healing and understanding, and gain insight into how race has impacted the influence of the church on our Nation.

The service and panel discussion will be streamed live at 6:30pm via the following link: http://www.lifestream.tv/cbca/ . You can also view it via the Cornerstone website at www.cbcarlington.org and click the live stream icon.

Cornerstone Church is located at 5415 Matlock Rd. in Arlington, TX and you’re invited to attend this discussion August 20 at 6:30pm. The service is free and open to the public.

It is our hope that this gathering will be the beginning of rebuilding the unity our Nation so desperately needs and by denouncing all separatist movements and taking a stand for unity, love, and togetherness as one Nation under God.

Contact: Veronica Griffith, Cornerstone Baptist Church, 5415 Matlock Rd. Arlington, TX 76018
Telephone: 817.468.0083 ext. 203 / Fax: 817.468.0309 / Cell: 817.903.0283
Email: vgriffith@cbcarlington.org Web: cbcarlington.org; FB and Twitter @CornerstoneTX

 

A ROAD MAP ON RACE IN THE SBC IN LIGHT OF THE PHOENIX ’17 ALT-RIGHT RESOLUTION

By William Dwight McKissic, Sr.

The Southern Baptist Convention’s response in its Annual Session in Phoenix, June 2017, to the White Supremacy/Alt-Right Resolution that I submitted, may be recorded by historians as a defining moment in SBC history, particularly on the racial front. Phoenix may prove to have been a pivotal turning point and place in how racial matters are dealt with in the SBC for years to come. To reflect on the Resolution and to offer a road map to navigate through uncharted racial waters as an interracial Baptist Convention—are the twin topics of this article.

The major news story emanating from Phoenix should have been the historic election of Pastor H.B. Charles—arguably the best preacher in the history of the SBC—being elected as President of the Pastors’ Conference. Thirty-one full-time International Mission Board missionaries being appointed to serve is a phenomenal accomplishment worthy of celebratory heralding also. Passing the Alt-Right Resolution fulfilled the commandment of Jesus to “be the salt of the earth.” Salt keeps meat from decaying and the prophetic witness of the SBC on the Alt-Right issue makes it crystal clear that the SBC renounces that movement, and no one affiliated with the SBC should be in any wise connected to the Alt-Right. The passing of the Resolution will help keep American society from decaying. May The Lord bless the SBC for doing so! President Steve Gaines is to be commended for his leadership in this matter. Job well done!

If the Resolution had been approved smoothly, the Alt-Right Resolution would not have been the primary news from the Phoenix SBC and would not have garnered so much attention, of which I regret. The cumulative effect of the decision of the Resolutions Committee and subsequent votes by the messengers to affirm their decision to reject the White Supremacist/Alt-Right Resolution sent a stunning message to the Nation: The SBC may be complicit with the Alt-Right and White Supremacy. The majority of the messengers, twice, thankfully disagreed with the Resolutions Committee and wanted to bring this to the floor of the Convention for discussion, and I believe, ultimate approval. Unfortunately, it was not a two-thirds majority either time. Therefore, it appeared there was no other logical explanation as to why the SBC would deny thrice a resolution denouncing White Supremacy and the Alt-Right. The majority of the messengers were feeling like the majority of the folk on the outside. Is the SBC complicit with White Supremacy and the Alt-Right? Barett Duke, the Chairman of the Resolutions Committee, denied that the Committee’s inaction demonstrated in any capacity, complicity, or sympathy, toward White Supremacy or the Alt-Right. I tend to agree with Barett, but it begs the question: Why then did the Committee reject the initial Resolution? Duke’s answer was it was “poorly written” and “inflammatory.” What metrics did Duke use to determine that my resolution was “poorly written” and “inflammatory”?

It is unprecedented for a resolution, once voted down by the messengers, to be publicly discussed positively or negatively after the vote. I’ve never heard of a resolution publicly condemned by the Chairman or anyone else across the 34 years I’ve attended the SBC. This is an example of the majority culture mindset that rules the SBC. Who determined the Resolution was “poorly written” and “inflammatory”? Were those determinations factual? Did one Black person agree that it was poorly written and inflammatory? Why didn’t the Resolutions Committee reword the Resolution to their satisfaction, and then submit it to the messengers for approval, on the front end of the process, rather than on the back end? That is the normal course of action. Why was this Resolution handled so differently?

The National African American Fellowship of the Southern Baptist Convention certainly registered their disagreement with the rejection of the original Resolution and their support of the original wording. They did not agree with the assessment that it was “poorly written and inflammatory.”

I do not believe Barrett Duke or any of the ten mainly White Resolutions Committee members are racist. I do believe that there is a systemic majority culture mindset that still dominates and rules the SBC, and often dictates policies, agendas, protocol, practices and resolutions. This will only change as committees become more diverse. The Resolutions Committee rejected my Resolution not because of a sympathy or support of White Supremacy or the Alt-Right. Their rejection was personal, directed toward me because of my outspokenness on race and other issues. The Committee subjected the entire Convention to a crisis-like situation, because of their personal rejection and failure to anticipate the backlash from the Convention floor. This is no longer your great grandfather’s convention.

Joseph Caldwell, “a white guy who has spent most of his life and ministry in SBC churches and institutions,” spoke the unadulterated truth from the perspective of many Black pastors who have volunteered their view with me on this matter, in an article entitled “Why Pastor McKissic’s Language Matters and the Southern Baptist Convention Should be Ashamed.” Caldwell is President at the Memphis Center for Urban Theological Studies.

For any White SBC brother or sister who wants to know what it feels like to be Black and belong to the SBC, please listen to the Podcast by the Reformed African American Network (RAAN) (https://www.raanetwork.org/pass-mic-sbc-alt-right-condemning-white-supremacy/) concerning the Resolution. It is quite introspective, transparent, and eye opening about how most Blacks felt during the deliberations in Phoenix. Even after the vote, most Blacks still were not pleased…not even with the final wording of the Resolution. I attended a gathering of Black pastors in Fort Worth this morning. The pain behind the Resolution is still being felt among many. The exclusion of significant Black input on the final wording of the Resolution is considered the most egregious error in the entire process.

Because I’m of an older generation, I was pleased with the final wording of the Resolution that passed with the exception of the removal of the “curse of Ham” section. Many Black pastors were sorely displeased with the fact the original wording was rejected by the committee; but I assured them that by denouncing White Supremacy and specifically naming the Alt-Right, the two most important matters of the Resolution were dealt with. By ultimately passing the Resolution, the SBC avoided a mutiny with Black pastors and churches who I’m hearing daily were highly offended by how the Resolutions Committee and the Convention’s two votes to approve the Committee’s decision made them feel. There is still some mending work to be done, in my opinion.

Barett Duke expressed to me a non-specific apology regarding the Resolution—that I accepted for peace and unity sake. I believe it’s time to put this matter behind us (now that I’ve expressed myself) noting lessons that we’ve all learned something, and it’s time to move forward.

Therefore, I offer the following as a suggested road map for the SBC to consider regarding moving forward on racial matters in the days to come.

First of all, the SBC needs to lay the axe at the root of the tree and corporately confess and repent of their complicity in the teaching of the “curse of Ham” theory, in order to root out any vestiges of racial residue remaining from persons yet alive (which is most of us) when that doctrine was prominently taught. The reoccurring racial problems we face as a Convention may be directly connected to the lack of corporate repentance for this hideous sin of abusing the Bible in this manner.

Dr. Al Mohler in discussing the origin of the Southern Baptist Convention stated:

“Indeed, we cannot tell the story of the Southern Baptist Convention without starting with slavery. In fact, the SBC was not only founded by slaveholders; it was founded by men who held to an ideology of racial superiority and who bathed that ideology in scandalous theological argument. At times white superiority was defended by a putrid exegesis of the Bible that claimed a “curse of Ham” as the explanation of dark skin, an argument that reflects such ignorance of Scripture and such shameful exegesis that it could only be believed by those who were looking for an argument to satisfy their prejudices.”

This “putrid exegesis” concerning the “curse of Ham” continued to be taught into the ‘70’s, by select Southern Baptists, and in isolated places, reports are, it is still being taught. I purchased the Smith’s Bible Dictionary at a Lifeway Bookstore in 2000 where this doctrine was taught. Lifeway has since removed Smith’s Bible Dictionary. I listened to Mrs. Criswell teach this doctrine on a DFW radio station in the late ‘90’s. “You can’t get good fruit, from a bad root,” and therefore the place to begin, post-Phoenix, is to repent of the “curse of Ham” teaching in Dallas 2018 or Birmingham 2019. This would signify a new start for the SBC on the racial front; and as far as I’m concerned, I would join the chorus with David Brumbelow and others saying, there’s no more need for any other apology on race, unless new incidents occur—from either side—that determines such.

Slavery was the fruit. The curse of Ham was the root. The SBC has yet to repent of the root which is—“the curse of Ham”—that gave rise to White Supremacy—that gave rise to—Alt Right. Therefore, repentance for teaching “the curse of Ham” is necessary, in order for the Convention to be totally right in the sight of God.

Secondly, I want to boldly proffer that the SBC follows a biblical model in the future as it relates to appointing leaders and entity heads, by intentionally balancing qualified and called persons of all races appointed to serve throughout the life of our Convention.

When there was a complaint by the Grecian widows, with regard to the “daily distribution,” there were seven men with Greek names selected to meet the need, and all were pleased (Acts 6:5). That was a bold move, to have only Greek men responsible for the “daily distribution.”

When God established the first Gentile congregation in Antioch, He specified the geographic origin of the leadership: Barnabas (Acts 4:36, 13:1, “a native of Cyprus”); Cyprus was located in Southern Europe. “Simeon” who was called Niger (Acts 15:1); “Niger” is a Latin term meaning black and indicative that Simeon was darker than the Mediterranean norm; “Lucius of Cyrene” (Acts 13:1); Cyrene is located in North Africa (Libya). “Manaen, a lifelong friend of Herod the tetrarch”; Manaen is believed to have been from Rome; and Saul (Acts 13:1); Saul was from Damascus. My point is that, if the Lord intentionally selected leadership from Europe, Africa and Asia to lead the very first Gentile congregation He formed, shouldn’t the leadership of the SBC also in every area, and on every trustee board reflect a similar kind of racial makeup and balance? What if the Resolutions Committee had looked like the leadership team at Antioch?

When God sent wise men to honor the coming of His Messiah, as a babe in Bethlehem, He chose men of African, Asian, and European descent—or descendants of Ham, Shem and Japheth (Psalm 72:10, 15). An African, a Roman and a Jew showed up at the crucifixion and were changed. We can change the Nation following this model.

The biblical authors, including the gospel writers, were also men descended from Japheth (Europeans), Shem (Middle Eastern/Asian) and Ham (African). My point is, if the Lord intentionally called the early church leaders and biblical writers to be multi-racial, shouldn’t the SBC follow the same model? The SBC has an opportunity going forward to pattern after the biblical model.

If there are 100 persons on the Executive Committee, maybe the ethnic makeup should be more like a third of each people group. As entity vacancies occur, we should be intentional that they begin to reflect God’s will as revealed at Antioch. Your hesitancy may be the same as mine. Frank Page and Russell Moore, two of the relatively recent entity head appointments that I’m totally supportive of, may have been overlooked if we made race the priority. That’s possible. But who believe it was not intentional that all seven men selected in Acts 6 were Greek, and not Hebrew? My point again is to reach the diversity reflected in Scripture, going forward we must be intentional. I celebrate Jim Richards in leading our Convention to a 14% increase in minority appointments this year. Yet, the SBC has a 20% minority membership; and again, the biblical model looks more like one third of each race in leadership. The 14% increase is far greater than what it was in times past; so my heart rejoices.

Finally, our land needs to be healed racially. Only the church can do this. I believe only the SBC and her churches have the potential and racial constituencies to pull this off. But in order to do so, our churches must become interracial, and we must plant interracial churches. Going forward, if the SBC strategizes and prays as hard to plant interracial churches and to seek to allow God to remake existing churches into interracial churches, we will see our churches revived and our nation healed as never before. The Convention that’s currently “stained” and branded with racism will then become branded with racial healing and reconciliation. May the Lord help us to move pass the resolution rankle in Phoenix, appreciate the recovery and move to racial healing and harmony for Kingdom advance!

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