SBC’s ‘Racial Reconciliation Sunday’ Condemned by Conservative Baptist Network, Other Leaders

“Division is caused exclusively by sin, and Jesus Christ crucified and raised to life offers the only solution to sin. We do not need any worldly ideologies or frameworks to recognize sin as the problem and Christ as the solution.” - C.Leaders

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Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

There's a false disjunction here, and I hear/read expressions of it all the time it seems. Grew up hearing variations of it from the revivalist crowd. The false disjunction is that social problems can't be mitigated by human efforts and also be due to sin. So we hear these false choices all the time: either we work on this problem by preaching the gospel or we work on this problem by encouraging people to think and behave differently everywhere, whether lost or redeemed.

There is not really any reason we can't do both, and we do this all the time in other areas. Consider this example: abortion is surely due to sin, but I'll bet a very high percentage of the CBN crowd voted for Trump because he would help oppose abortion through Supreme Court nominations and other policy efforts. And I bet lots of CBNers observe a "Sanctity of Life Sunday." Where was CBN's outcry when SBC observed Sanctity of Human Life Sunday?

CBN decries "worldly ideologies or frameworks" and doesn't recognize how politicized its own thinking is.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

josh p's picture

I mostly agree but personally I would not want my church to have a "sanctity of life" Sunday either. It's simply not the mission of the church. 

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

While I agree with you that both can be tackled, I would argue that which we tackle depends on which sphere we are working in.  Personally, I see no need for a "racial reconciliation" Sunday, as such is not the job of the church, just as election rallies for an anti-abortion candidate are also not something the church should be doing.

(And yes, "Sanctity of Life Sunday," which I'm not familiar with, sounds like a gimmick.)  Abortion can be handled as part of handling the scriptures.  Same with advocating choice of wise leaders.  But I believe doing either of those should adhere closely to the exposition of the scriptures, rather than as special events that are more politically than scripturally oriented.

Ministries that function alongside (but outside) the church are not limited in all the same ways as a church would be, and can therefore have other priorities and methods, though still with the overall goal of bringing the nations to Christ.

Dave Barnhart

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

I never did a sanctity of life Sunday, but I think these special days are nothing more than a special emphasis... and special emphasis days are routine in church life, whether they're given an official tag or not.

I did often preach/teach a bit on sanctity of life sometime in January, though I think not every year. How we view human life is definitely an important part of the Christian mind, as is how we view race. The two are more related than they may seem since both go back to creation in God's image, love of neighbor, honoring all men (Peter's language) etc. 

The liturgical calendar that gets so much attention this time of year leading up to Easter was initially nothing more than a teaching tool: a way for the early church to emphasize different aspects of the life of Christ on different days to teach the whole story throughout the year. It was curriculum. I'm not sure Baptists should have abandoned that. But, relative to the point here, using a day to emphasize a teaching has some history, though admittedly emphasizing a biblical principle isn't the same as emphasizing a historical event.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

Well, in a sense, I agree with you.  Labels are just labels.  Sanctity of life emphasis would not necessarily be a bad thing in concept.  It depends on how it is used, and how much is just tied to what's in the scriptures vs. tying it to the current political scene.

When I was younger, those types of "special" services were much more common in fundamentalism, and I didn't think anything of it at the time.  Looking back now, they did seem a bit political and jingoistic, and using church for something it was wasn't intended (IMHO).  Given my history, I'm a little less inclined to be positive toward named Sundays in that vein, even if they're only used similarly to the liturgical calendar.

Dave Barnhart

Larry's picture

Moderator

Consider this example: abortion is surely due to sin, but I'll bet a very high percentage of the CBN crowd voted for Trump because he would help oppose abortion through Supreme Court nominations and other policy efforts. And I bet lots of CBNers observe a "Sanctity of Life Sunday." Where was CBN's outcry when SBC observed Sanctity of Human Life Sunday?

Why would there be an outcry?

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Why should there be an outcry: the argument the CBN group is using requires it.

Part of CBN's argument against a racial reconciliation Sunday is that there shouldn't be observance of any special Sundays that address social problems. But their larger argument, as I pointed out earlier, is that all social problems are due to sin and the only response is to preach the gospel. 

There's a false disjunction here, and I hear/read expressions of it all the time it seems. Grew up hearing variations of it from the revivalist crowd. The false disjunction is that social problems can't be mitigated by human efforts and also be due to sin. So we hear these false choices all the time: either we work on this problem by preaching the gospel or we work on this problem by encouraging people to think and behave differently everywhere, whether lost or redeemed.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Larry's picture

Moderator

Part of CBN's argument against a racial reconciliation Sunday is that there shouldn't be observance of any special Sundays that address social problems.

Not seeing this anywhere. Can you point us to it?

I am also not seeing the false disjunction you mention here. 

I have no real view on the CBN or a Racial Reconciliation Sunday so this is neither a defense nor a condemnation of it, but the statement by the CBN mentions "division" as the subject they are talking. So whatever they might be saying about this, it does not apply to abortion.

Further, careful critical thinking should lead all of us to understand that racism and abortion are two different issues. Let's not conflate them, even in a good cause.