Black Southern Baptists incriminate civil servants’ important criticism of racial concept

(RNS) – The President of the National African American Fellowship of the Southern Baptist Convention has requested a meeting with six seminary presidents who recently stated that an academic set of ideas about race known as “Critical Racial Theory” is inconsistent with the Faith of denomination compatible is declaration.

Rev. Marshal L. Ausberry Sr., who is also the first vice president of the predominantly white SBC, said in a statement posted on Friday (December 11th) on Baptist Press: “We affirm that systemic racism exists and like everyone else Southerners Baptists We are against racism in all its forms.

“We recognize that there are theories and constructs that help us to see and discover otherwise undiscovered systemic racism in institutions and in ourselves.”

Critical racism, which focuses on structural racism in institutions, has been a hot topic of debate in Southern Baptist circles, especially after a resolution on it was passed at the 2019 SBC denominational meeting.

CONNECTED: The presidents of the Southern Baptist Seminary have no critical theory of race

The six seminar presidents issued a statement on November 30th, which read in part: “We stand together on historical condemnations of racism by Southern Baptist in all forms and also declare that the confirmation of the theory of critical racialism, intersectionality and every version of the Critical theory is incompatible with the Baptist faith and message. “

Like the presidents of the seminary, Ausberry said in his statement that he and the National African American Fellowship “hold the supremacy of Scripture most sacred and dear in our hearts” and reaffirm the SBC’s Declaration of Faith.

“(W) We recognize that there are ideologies from a sociological and anthropological perspective that, when used appropriately, help us better understand the inner workings of life in a fallen and sinful world,” he added. “(W) We affirm that none of these ideologies replace the predominance of Scripture in any way. And where such ideologies conflict with Scripture, it is Scripture that determines our view of the world, our decisions and our lives. “

He told Baptist Press that the presidential statement raised concerns among African American pastors as well as clergy from other ethnic SBC groups.

“Especially for those of us who have experienced the brunt of systemic racism in our daily lives, our seminary presidents are good men and they had good intentions,” said Ausberry, “but the look of six Anglo brothers meeting around discuss racism and other related issues. ” Problems with no ethnic representation in the room in 2020, in the worst case it looks like paternalism, at best insensitivity. The only outcome may be their life experience, which the broader Southern Baptist family really ignores. “

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In the statement, Ausberry said his organization would “meet in the near future to further discuss our concerns” with the leaders of the SBC and its Council of Seminar Presidents.

Rev. Emory Berry, a pastor and community member in Decatur, Georgia, told the Religion News Service that the seminary presidents ‘decision to post their statement the day before the 65th anniversary of Rosa Parks’ refusal to have their seat in a segregated room To switch, Bus “shows that we really haven’t made as much progress as we would have hoped.”

Berry is a member of the Alumni Board of the Candler School of Theology at Emory University.

“I believe the Bible is the authoritative word of God,” he said. “I think, however, that God is big enough to be able to deal and argue with other theories, including other thinkers.”

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