Southern Baptist President Says Racial Insensitivity Shows Disregard for the Gospel
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (RNS) — Speaking at a black church Sunday (June 9) in a city that is nearly 75% percent African American, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention, J.D. Greear, said white Christians who are racially insensitive are disregarding the gospel.
“I do not need to tell this church the church of the West has had a horrible history of racism,” Greear, a pastor in North Carolina, told Sixth Avenue Baptist Church.
“And there’s one primary reason that that happened: Christians lost touch with the gospel.”
Greear, who had come to Birmingham for the upcoming annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention, cited a verse from the New Testament book of Galatians in which he said the Apostle Paul issued a rebuke about “segregated eating,” when some Christians from Jewish backgrounds stopped dining with Christians from Gentile backgrounds.
“The gospel teaches us that there’s only one kind of person: human,” said Greear. “We’ve all got the same problem: sin.”
As some 8,000 of Southern Baptists arrive in a city once called by experts “the most segregated in the country,” Greear expressed hope that Southern Baptists also may amend their constitution to remove churches that affirm racially discriminatory behavior.
“I’m praying that even with our past history on it, that Birmingham for us this year will be a big step forward in the hope and the healing,” Greear told Religion News Service
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