Removing the Stain of Racism from the Southern Baptist Convention
by Jarvis J. Williams and Kevin M. Jones
“The Southern Baptist Convention has a big, dark, historical stain on it: racism. Evident by the SBC’s affirmation of slavery, its failure to repudiate this sin until 1995, and the numerous segregated Southern Baptist churches, this stain continues to hinder Southern Baptist churches from embracing the one new man in Christ outlined in Ephesians 2:11-12 and from participating in the new song of those saints from every tongue, tribe, people, and nation referenced in Revelation 5:9.
The gospel of Jesus Christ requires and demands all Southern Baptists to do their parts to erase this stain from the SBC–or at least to make the stain less apparent. This act requires a relentless commitment to Christian unity. An Christian unity requires us as a denomination to make the necessary sacrifices and to take the necessary steps to experience this unity in every aspect of Southern Baptist life sooner rather than later.
This book, edited by and written primarily by African-American voices in the SBC, is one small effort to help erase the stain of racism from the SBC in pursuit of unity in our beloved denomination ….
The editors inclusion of white Southern Baptists alongside a majority of African-American contributors symbolizes the kind of partnership we as African-American editors believe must take place within the SBC if the stain of racism is to be removed once and for all. The historical stain of racism in the SBC exists in part because of the participation of many white Southern Baptists in the marginalization, oppression, and exploitation of black and brown people.
As editors, we do not believe racism necessarily will be removed if more black and brown Southern Baptists are in leadership over the white majority in the SBC. Neither do we believe racial discrimination is a sin committed only by the white majority. Black and brown people discriminate too! We mean the ethnic status quo in the SBC, which has historically privileged the white majority over black and brown people, can no longer remain the status quo if the stain of racism is to be removed from the SBC.”
Jarvis J. Williams and Kevin M. Jones
B&H Academic, 2017.