I just saw a report on MSNBC.com about the Southern Baptist Convention’s internal deliberations about a possible name-change. The reporter suggests several negative associations in connection with the SBC. The last example that he cites is an egregious error on his part and needs to be corrected immediately. He writes:
“Just this month, a Southern Baptist church in Kentucky voted to ban interracial couples, a controversial decision the pastor later overturned.”
Here’s the correction. It was not an SBC church that banned interracial marriage; it was a Free Will Baptist Church. Not only is this story incorrect, but the story that it links to does not corroborate his claim.
In 1995, the Southern Baptist Convention denounced in no uncertain terms racism in all its forms and repented of the “racism of which we have been guilty.” Read the entire text of the SBC’s resolution on racial reconciliation here.
UPDATE: After I contacted the reporter, he acknowledged the error and has corrected the story. There is now a note in the middle of the story explaining the correction. I am grateful for the prompt response.
Good on you for catching this and calling them on it right away.
I was going to say, “…at least it wasn’t in an actual news organization,” but then I saw that the reporter responded very, well, responsibly and promptly. So now good on him.
Denny, two questions after reading the article: what relationship does Pat Robertson have with the SBC? and Does the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship really have 15 seminaries? That does’t seem possible.
I was also wondering if the news story is correct in what it says about Jimmy Carter leaving the SBC for the CBF. As I understand it, Carter is still a member and Sunday School teacher at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, GA, a church that remains affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.
I know Carter has announced at least twice in recent years that he is leaving the SBC, but news organizations never seem to understand that individuals do not affiliate or dissolve affiliation with our denomination; churches do. As far as I know, Carter has never left his Southern Baptist church to join a church affiliated with the CBF.
When mocking MSNBC, you need to parse the OPINION programs from the news programs. Their news is, by far and wide, some of the best on cable. Their opinion programs are subjective, as opinion programs ought to be. Acknowledge good journalism wherever you find it, regardless of whether or not you like the results.
Good to keep an eye on the media . . . there is enough that is true for people to distinguish the SBC as a certain kind of Christianity, so that no one needs to tell lies or disseminate false information concerning the SBC to the public.
The SBC is not well-received by most people in our country, it is true, but at least let them make their decisions about the SBC based on what the SBC itself proclaims, not something ‘made-up’ or misconstrued.