Russell Moore’s article in the most recent issue of Southern Seminary magazine is about the SBC and racism, and it is a must-read. It’s impossible to understand the significance of Fred Luter’s candidacy for president without remembering where Southern Baptists have come from. We all have our stories, but Moore shares one of his. He writes:
One of my earliest memories is of a substitute Sunday school teacher in my Southern Baptist church chastening me for putting a coin in my mouth. “That’s filthy,” she said. “Why, you don’t know if a colored man might have held that.” It might just be my imagination playing tricks on me, but it seems as though she immediately followed this up with, “Alright children, let’s sing ‘Jesus Loves the Little Children, All the Children of the World.’”
The rest of the article traces how Southern Baptists went from support for segregation to the probable election of its first black president. In the conclusion, Moore reflects on what the presidency of Fred Luter would mean to the SBC.
I’m thrilled about where God might be taking the SBC. A denomination formed to protect slavery led by a descendant of slaves, that’s just the kind of providential irony our God loves. Maybe it will prompt our denomination to stop seeing non-white people as opportunities for “ethnic ministry,” and prompt us to see there opportunities to find our leaders. Maybe seeing a non-white face with the gavel of the SBC might remind us that the Man we’ll see on the Judgment Seat, well, he isn’t a white guy either.
Read the rest here.