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A BRIEF AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL REFLECTION REGARDING THE ADVENT OF THE FULL GOSPEL BAPTIST CHURCH FELLOWSHIP

By Wm. Dwight Mckissic, Sr.

Dr. Doug Weaver, Professor of Religion and Director of Undergraduate Studies at Baylor University, recently asked me to share some insights/reflections that I hold regarding The Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship. Dr. Weaver is writing a book on The Holy Spirit in Baptist Church Life, and my reflections would simply be a part of his back-story research/information gathering. I found his request delightful, after having enjoyed a meal with him and some of his colleagues in Waco recently, including my spiritual son who is a New Testament PH.D student at Baylor School of Religion, Marcus Jerkins. We were also joined by the distinguished Baptist historian, Dr. Bill Leonard; Dr. Bill Bellinger; and Dr. Mikeal Parsons. What a delightful evening!

I want to share with you the reflections I shared with Dr. Weaver regarding the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship.

The FGBCF was preceded by The Baptist Free Spirit movement, led by Bishop Otis Floyd of Flint, Michigan. I was made aware of The Baptist Free Spirit movement in the seventies, comprised primarily of National Baptists with a strong charismatic bent. I observed the assimilation of The Baptist Free Spirit movement into the Full Gospel Baptist Church movement in the early nineties. Like The Baptist Free Spirit movement, the Full Gospel Baptist Church movement largely comprised National Baptist Convention pastors and churches who desired a greater emphasis on The Holy Spirit. Knowing The Holy Spirit as a person; understanding The Holy Spirit as a doctrine; practicing the gifts of the Spirit, according to His will (I Corinthians 12:7); for the edification of Christ’s body, seemed to have been the heartbeat of The Baptist Free Spirit Movement of the seventies and the FGBCF of the nineties. They eventually formed one group led by Bishop Paul Sylvester Morton in the early nineties.

I am grateful, indeed, for the evolution of the FGBCF. When Bishop Morton announced the advent of the FGBCF in the early nineties, he simply raced to the front of the line and got ahead of a marching army. The FGBCF provided leadership, affirmation, identity, training, fellowship and a denomination-like expression or outlet for thousands of Black Baptist Churches, who adhered to Baptist doctrine, but a Pentecostal or native African-type worship style.

I was overwhelmed with joy at the news of the soon-coming FGBCF in the early nineties. My worship style preference and doctrinal bent resonated with what this fellowship proposed to offer. The name presented somewhat of a pause, because there is only one gospel. The tag, “full gospel,” leaves room for one to consider by implication, that there were other options as it relates to the gospel.

Bishop Morton’s wife served as his Co-Pastor. Whereas, I affirm women in ministry and women who exercise proclamation gifts, I believe scripturally, that the office of Pastor (particularly the Senior or Lead Pastor) was assigned exclusively to men.

Not only did the name, initially give me pause and the seeming affirmation of women pastors, I was also concerned about what would be the doctrinal and practical position adopted by the FGBCF on the topic of tongues. From having read a few of Bishop Morton’s books at the time, it was apparent to me that he personally embraced speaking in tongues, not only as a gift of the Spirit, but also as a gift that places the tongues speaker in a spiritually superior category, to the non-tongue speaking believer. This hierarchy of believers based on speaking in tongues was going to present a huge barrier to me as a pastor to lead my congregation to affiliate with the FGBCF. Morton’s published view that tongue speakers were riding in first class while non-tongue speakers were riding in coach was a biblically indefensible position from my understanding of Scripture.

Bishop Kenneth Ulmer was and is a dear personal friend of mine. Bishop Morton had charged Bishop Ulmer with the task of writing the initial doctrinal statement of the FGBCF. Bishop Ulmer was kind enough to allow me to have input and consultation with him in the development of the initial doctrinal statement, for which I shall forever be grateful.

The language officially adopted in the original doctrinal statement made it quite clear that the FGBCF would be distinct from classical Pentecostalism in that tongues would be affirmed as a gift of the Holy Spirit; but the phraseology, “The Baptism of the Holy Spirit, with the evidence of speaking in tongues” was intentionally left out of the original document. Furthermore, another distinction from classical Pentecostalism was made when the statement asserted that “The Baptism of the Holy Spirit” occurs simultaneous with salvation, as opposed to a subsequent experience. These are extremely important distinctions and explicit differences with classical Pentecostalism.

Tongues as a necessity, and absolute universal requirement or evidence, for all believers as an “indicator” or sign of being filled or baptized in the Spirit, was not a doctrinal belief affirmed in the original FGBCF statement. Tongue as an “indicator” of the Spirit’s presence was added to the doctrinal statement many, many years after the original statement. Dr. Paige Patterson recently used that “indicator” line as a reason to deny the Texas State Full Gospel Baptist Fellowship led by Bishop Kenneth Spears from renting the facility at SWBTS to accommodate the annual Texas State Full Gospel Baptist gathering.

There was recognition that “The Baptism of the Holy Spirit” and “The fullness of the Holy Spirit” are often used as synonymous terms. Yet, how it was defined in the statement made it clear that “The Baptism of the Holy Spirit” occurred at salvation, and it may or may not be accompanied by a tongues-speaking experience.

I was extremely thrilled with the original FGBCF doctrinal statement. The pauses over the other aforementioned issues, gave way to my excitement over a sound, solid, biblical and theologically defensible FGBCF doctrinal statement.

However, there was one hurdle left for me before I could consummate a relationship with the FGBCF. And that was, the doctrinal statement adopted, directly contradicted Bishop Morton’s published and often preached views as it related to tongues. Bishop Morton was kind enough to have lunch with me and Bishop Ulmer at the famous Dooky Chase’s Restaurant in New Orleans to talk through my dilemma.

Bishop Morton was extremely gracious, kind and congenial in our dialogue. He was rather resolute in his positions though. I could never reconcile in my mind, how could the official FGBCF doctrinal statement and the Bishop Morton position “dwell together in unity.” We departed lunch as friends, but I chose not to officially unite with the Fellowship, because I thought inevitably, these two “visions” would result in “division.” And actually a few years later, that’s exactly what happened. Several Bishops and pastors departed from FGBCF, because of the insistence of Bishop Morton holding all Bishops and pastors accountable to speak in tongues and leading their memberships to do the same.

Later, the following statement was added as a “Compendium on Distinctives” to the original doctrinal statement, after Bishop Ulmer departed the fellowship.

“We believe in tongues, as our heavenly language that builds us up in our most holy faith. Tongues are an indicator, not a qualifier. (Jude 20, Acts 19:5-6; Acts 2:1-4, I Cor. 14:14-15)

“Tongues” as an “indicator” is an extremely unbiblical, “unbaptistic” and a theologically problematic statement. “Tongues”……”not a qualifier” is somewhat of a confusing statement to me; not exactly sure what is meant by that statement. If what is meant that Tongues is not a qualifier for salvation, that would certainly be a true statement. This doctrinal statement would have been far, far better if they had left this confusing, controversial and incorrect statement out.

Finally, as it relates to doctrine, a statement on the doctrine of eternal security or perseverance of the saints is conspicuously absent from the FGBCF doctrinal statement. Honestly, I recognized that glowing absence from the outset; but, never paused to ask about or address the matter. By the time, I could not get my other doctrinal concerned resolved, I decided not to ask about the absence of a statement on eternal security, because I would not be a member. I earnestly believe that the vast majority of the Bishops and pastors in the movement believe in eternal security. But even the current, updated statement, presently on the FGBCF website, does not address eternal security.

I have huge respect and appreciation for Bishop Paul Sylvester Morton. He would be welcome at any time in my pulpit, and indeed recently preached at my church, for a meeting under the auspices of Bishop Marvin Winans. The FGBCF was and is a game changer. Thank God for Bishop Morton and the FGBCF!

Prosperity Gospel

In response to Dr. Weaver’s inquiry regarding the FGBCF and “the larger Prosperity gospel of which it is a part,” I wrote:

That’s news to me. I have not had an engaged presence with FCBCF since the early ‘90’s. I’m simply unaware of any teaching or emphasis of the prosperity gospel among FGBCF churches or in their gatherings. But, I yield to your knowledge. I am aware that the NBC is strongly opposed to the “prosperity gospel” and have released statements warning churches about its dangers.

Joseph Walker

A response to Dr. Weaver’s mentioning of the FGBCF current Bishop, Bishop Joseph Walker and the FGBCF’s relationship to the NBC:

I’ve heard a similar story about Bishop Walker’s congregation being “booted” out of the Baptist World Center. However, when the NBC met in Memphis just a few years ago, Bishop Walker was welcomed to the stage, enthusiastically received, and asked by the current NBC President, Dr. Jerry Young, to address the audience.

I don’t sense any current tension between the NBC and FGBCF. Many pastors/churches hold dual membership in the NBC and FGBCF. There are many of us in the NBC who hold theological and worship practice convictions very similar to the FGBCF. The worship life in the NBC is quite animated, dynamic and would, by most White Baptist standards, be labeled—charismatic.

These two groups may not be as far apart as one might think. Dr. Jerry Young stated at his inaugural installation service as President of the NBC, in Jackson, Mississippi, in January 2015, that as Baptists “We need to go by Calvary to get our pardon, but we need to stop by Pentecost to get our power.” Yes, these two groups have different emphasis, and the NBC has a doctrinal statement, quite similar to the ’63 BF&M—that simply does not address in detail—charismatic beliefs as does the FGBCF statement. But, from my vantage point, there is not enough difference to really separate the groups. The difference is more in emphasis, than distinctions, in my judgment.

The NBC by design is a denomination. The FGBCF by design is a fellowship. Therefore, it’s quite understandable that they would have a difference in focus and emphasis. However, the NBC is theologically diverse and does not exclude or include Pastors/Churches beyond the parameters of their doctrinal statement. Consequently, the adherents to a doctrinal and worship bent quite similar to the FGBCF would be huge within the NBC. Many NBC Pastors/Churches belong to both. The NBC addresses and focuses on denominational-like stuff. The FGBCF has an almost singular focus on The Spirit and His impartation, empowerment, enablements (gifts) and presence. Therein, lies the difference!

The Cornerstone Baptist Church of Arlington, where I pastor, is dually aligned, exclusively, with the NBC and SBC. Yet, we have great appreciation and admiration for the excellent ministry and fellowship led now by Bishop Joseph Walker, The Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship. Bishop Morton was certainly led by the Spirit of God in choosing Bishop Walker as his successor. Bishop Walker is a very effective, affable, accomplished and charismatic leader.

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Alabama Voters Will Determine Whose Voice Matters Most

By

William Dwight McKissic, Sr.

 

The Chairman of the Deacons approached me about a rumor floating around the church during my tenure as an Arkansas Pastor from 1977-1983. The rumor: the pastor is engaging in inappropriate sexual contact with girls between the ages of 13-17. Although astonished by the deacon’s inquiry, I hurriedly and truthfully assured my deacons that there was not one iota of truth to the rumor. I then asked the deacons the source and basis of the rumor. The source of the rumor was the church’s janitor. His evidence; “feminine napkins” he often had to discard from the trash can in my office after youth choir rehearsal.

It later dawned upon me after I watched my wife shed my newborn baby’s diaper in my office trash can, that the 85 year old church janitor was apparently misconstruing the smallest pamper made with a feminine napkin. Yet the rumor continued until every girl in the youth choir (that I also accompanied and directed) was asked, had the pastor inappropriately touched her in his office or elsewhere. It was only after every single young lady (without failure) denied any inappropriate contact or even ever coming inside my office alone, that the rumor died. Had just one of those girls claimed I touched her inappropriately, I would have been in serious trouble and my pastorate and freedom would have probably come to a screeching halt.

My point is, that I know what it feels like to be falsely accused. My salvation rested in the fact that the allegation was coming exclusively from an 85 year old man rather than a 14 year old girl. There was not one teenage girl making such an allegation, let alone nine. However, if one of the girls would have made such an allegation, she deserved to be heard. Their allegations must had been taken seriously. And although, I believe in the presumption of innocent until proven guilty, I answered any and all questions from parents, church members, church deacons and leaders. And yes, I would have gladly answered questions from news reporters or law authorities if I had been asked.

Judge Moore will not answer questions from the media on this matter and that’s troubling for a man who claims innocence. Moore has literally walked away without answering questions from reporters asking probative questions on this matter.

The probability that all nine ladies are lying is highly unlikely. The 14 year old told a couple of people about the sexual assault back at the time it happened. That lends credibility to her allegation.

If the Alabama voters elect Judge Roy Moore, the message that they are sending to teenage girls is, if an older man denies an accusation, his word automatically trumps theirs and that’s tragic.

For the sake of our teenage daughters, Alabama please don’t disregard, discount and devalue the personhood and the voices of our daughters. The male and female voice should weigh equally in any matter. But with Judge Moore refusing to answer any and all questions related to this matter, we simply can’t get his account on record. Therefore, Alabama voters, you should give the benefit of the doubt to the female. History will judge you harshly if your vote is nine ladies corroborated lies on Judge Moore beginning 35 years ago. Unbelievable Alabama and you know it. Now show it.

Alabama, you are famous for being on the wrong side of history in the not too distant past. Please don’t make the same mistake on this issue and side with the oppressor rather than the oppressed.

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.

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.

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