Report on Slavery and Racism in the History of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

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Jay's picture

but it certainly does not include eternal groveling or incessant apologizing for things I can't control (like my skin color) or things done by others supposedly in God's name.

I am not sure why the term grovelling keeps being used.  They acknowledged their sin which is appropriate.  In the future they will likely make changes in keeping with repentance, as they should.

So why are people acting like Mohler et al are going to be making public statements and pleading for forgiveness from society for the next ten years? Is it just because they made an admission of guilt and others can't or won't do so?  BJU admitted their fault on the interracial relationships and I don't think have they have needed to say anything publicly since then.  Even when people do drag that up, most people will admit that they did make the correction that was needed.

One of the biggest complaints about the FBFI, for example, is that they generally don't admit when they screw something up.  That's why the kerfuffle a few months ago about BJU was noteworthy - because they actually owned a mistake and made it right.  Nobody has made an issue about it since, and even I (as one of their biggest detractors) am acknowledging it positively.

Are we so far gone that we can't own our mistakes and sins? 

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Don Johnson's picture

What cultural sins do you bear responsibility for?

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Bert Perry's picture

Don, pretty simple.  Here are some examples that I've seen.

The pastor who did my wedding noted when he was stationed in the South in the early 1970s--keep in mind here this is after Dr. King had been murdered and the Civil Rights Act had been passed--and all of the evangelical and fundamental churches in the area were still preaching on the need for racial segregation in the church.

A major fundamental institution in Greenville, South Carolina was defending a ban on interracial dating as recently as 18 years back.  Even today, it's unclear whether they've dealt with the root arguments they used.

On a minor fundamental message board we both belong to, whenever the subject of music comes up, there are a number of people who see no problem with arguing with no Scriptural support that white peoples' music prior to Elvis Presley is OK, but that other peoples' music, especially genre with roots in black Gospel, delta blues, and jazz, is inherently suspect of being worldly and sinful.

Personally, as an heir to a lot of the work that's been done in fundagelicalism, I feel it's necessary for me to speak up from time to time to reduce the chances that these sins are repeated, and quite frankly, I get my opportunities, and not just here.

Sure, there are people that will never be convinced that we're now bearing good will.  However, when you convince the 95% of others, you've just isolated the fringe.  And even though that fringe apparently includes CNN, that's what you can do.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

WallyMorris's picture

Bert: Some of your comments give the impression that because someone disagrees with you that they are not as "smart" as you are and need help "figuring things out". Perhaps you should back off comments & impressions like that. Doesn't help your argument. I've lived in this community for over 24 yrs. I think I know what's going on.

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

amomentofcharity.blogspot.com

Jay's picture

I'm not sure what TGC has to do with this...

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Larry's picture

Moderator

On a minor fundamental message board we both belong to, whenever the subject of music comes up, there are a number of people who see no problem with arguing with no Scriptural support that white peoples' music prior to Elvis Presley is OK, but that other peoples' music, especially genre with roots in black Gospel, delta blues, and jazz, is inherently suspect of being worldly and sinful.

On what board was this argument made? I would love to see it.

Joeb's picture

Wally I don’t think Bert purposely does what your saying.  Bert is just very intelligent and logical.  So when he raises his arguments their done in a very logical and biblical convincing way.  The problem is the receiving end that can’t overcome or keep up with Bert most of the time.  

GregH's picture

Joeb wrote:

Wally I don’t think Bert purposely does what your saying.  Bert is just very intelligent and logical.  So when he raises his arguments their done in a very logical and biblical convincing way.  The problem is the receiving end that can’t overcome or keep up with Bert most of the time.  

Um OK...

I sometimes think this site should be renamed either the Fundy Twightlight Zone or maybe Bert's Wisdom (about everything).

Bert Perry's picture

Wally, perhaps instead of making an ad hominem attack, you could....say....deal with the evidence as presented?  Are you telling me that the pastor who did my wedding was lying, or that BJU did not in fact have a ban on interracial dating until very recently, or that there's no indication that a lot of musical conservatives' preferences do indeed boil down to "white peoples' music prior to Elvis is fine, other music not so much"?   Or are you saying that those who are not "WASPs" should just forget about all of this when choosing churches?  My experience suggests to me that there is indeed quite a bit of memory about these things in minority communities, and therefore we might want to see whether we  can take a few visible steps away from positions like these.

Same for you, Greg.  I've visited your personal site, and quite frankly I find a fair amount with which I agree with you.  That noted, it's mystifying why you don't bring some of your expertise to bear here.  You could contribute quite a bit.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Bert Perry's picture

Larry wrote:

On a minor fundamental message board we both belong to, whenever the subject of music comes up, there are a number of people who see no problem with arguing with no Scriptural support that white peoples' music prior to Elvis Presley is OK, but that other peoples' music, especially genre with roots in black Gospel, delta blues, and jazz, is inherently suspect of being worldly and sinful.

On what board was this argument made? I would love to see it.

This one; if you think about what kinds of music are generally proscribed by musical traditionalists, you're looking at rock & roll, and like I said, the proscription boils down to "white peoples' music prior to Elvis is OK, other peoples' music not so much."  Not advocated in so many words--though Garlock and Gothard came pretty close and thankfully their rhetoric is being repented of, but at the end of the day, the meaning is precisely what I said, and it's a meaning that a lot of people are going to catch. 

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Don Johnson's picture

Larry wrote:

On a minor fundamental message board we both belong to, whenever the subject of music comes up, there are a number of people who see no problem with arguing with no Scriptural support that white peoples' music prior to Elvis Presley is OK, but that other peoples' music, especially genre with roots in black Gospel, delta blues, and jazz, is inherently suspect of being worldly and sinful.

On what board was this argument made? I would love to see it.

For the record, I have no idea what Bert is talking about in the quote above.

Also for the record, I have to say I agree with GregH for perhaps the first time ever. Hope you can handle it, Greg.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

TylerR's picture

Editor

How many average degrees of separation are there before a music comes up on a Baptist fundamentalist website, no matter what the alleged topic under discussion is supposed to be?

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

GregH's picture

Don Johnson wrote:

Also for the record, I have to say I agree with GregH for perhaps the first time ever. Hope you can handle it, Greg.

Haha, rare but not the first Smile

 

Larry's picture

Moderator

This one;

I have been here a long time and never seen any musical conservative make it about race. You have been here less time but you haven't seen it either which you admit in this very post.

..., the proscription boils down to "white peoples' music prior to Elvis is OK, other peoples' music not so much." 

No. You have repeatedly showed in this discussion that you appear to not even know what the discussion is about. You have confused arguments and argumenters. You have confused issues. You have trotted out logical fallacies that are no such thing at all. And you have made false accusations. 

That doesn't help the conversation. It doesn't help understanding. It's the wrong thing to do.

Not advocated in so many words

This should have clued you in not to make the statement.

Ron Bean's picture

These are from Frank Garlock's  foundational work, "The Big Beat: A Rock Blast"

"All one needs to do is to make a trip to the place where rock 'n roll has its roots (Africa, South America, and India) and observe the ceremonies which often go along with this kind of music--voodoo rituals, sex orgies, human sacrifice, and devil worship--to know the direction in which we are a nation are headed." (page 22)

"In the jungles of Africa,, missionaries have for years told stories of strange, "super-natural" things that natives do under the influence of their music." (pages 23-24)

Now get back to the subject----or start yet another useless music discussion.

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

GregH's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

Same for you, Greg.  I've visited your personal site, and quite frankly I find a fair amount with which I agree with you.  That noted, it's mystifying why you don't bring some of your expertise to bear here.  You could contribute quite a bit.  

Bert, you want me to jump in here and defend you because you know that I have written things in the past that are aligned with what you are saying now. I am hesitant for two reasons.

First, while I enjoy the entertaining nature of these discussions, I really don't care any more about the church music debates in a significant way. I have pretty much decided what I believe, have come to the conclusion that these discussions are a waste of time, and also decided that the church-at-large has far bigger problems than music. It is basically on life support. It is like focusing on a hung fingernail while you are having a heart attack.

Second, one of the things more important to me than church music concerns your approach here. I have been clear in the past. You present yourself here as an expert on well, everything, when you really are not. In my opinion, you are the quintessential postmodernist, unable to recognize that your opinions on many many matters are not as valuable as others. In regards to music, you are woefully uninformed. Worse yet, if someone that knew music pointed your errors out to you, you would just dig in deeper and argue. It is so tiring. So even if I agree with you on some things about music (and even the role of racism in the church music debate), I disagree with you on more important matters and I really don't want to encourage you or be associated with your arguments. 

Those are the main reasons I am sitting this out.

Bert Perry's picture

Greg, it's not asking you to agree.  I'm asking you to provide some actual evidence for your positions instead of just taking potshots.  You want to prove I don't know beans about a topic, I'm fine with that and have (ahem) repeatedly encouraged you to do just that.  You just need to do it with evidence.  

But if you want to just take potshots, hit and run and all that, I'll be glad to point out what you're doing.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Jay's picture

How many average degrees of separation are there before a music comes up on a Baptist fundamentalist website, no matter what the alleged topic under discussion is supposed to be?

It's like we need a corollary to Godwin's Law or something.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Bert Perry's picture

Ron Bean wrote:

These are from Frank Garlock's  foundational work, "The Big Beat: A Rock Blast"

"All one needs to do is to make a trip to the place where rock 'n roll has its roots (Africa, South America, and India) and observe the ceremonies which often go along with this kind of music--voodoo rituals, sex orgies, human sacrifice, and devil worship--to know the direction in which we are a nation are headed." (page 22)

"In the jungles of Africa,, missionaries have for years told stories of strange, "super-natural" things that natives do under the influence of their music." (pages 23-24)

Now get back to the subject----or start yet another useless music discussion.

Now Larry, having taken Garlock's work from none less than Garlock, how can you seriously argue that there is not, historically speaking, a racial component that many would characterize precisely as I wrote?   Yes, it's mostly sanitized today, though you can still (regrettably) get Garlock's books on Amazon, but these are the roots that many people would remember.

Moreover, even if this history did not exist, the simple fact is that the "traditional music" arguments really are centered against the genre, instrumentation, and vocal techniques associated with rock & roll, and people are going to connect the dots to the predecessor genre and precisely whose music it is that is being argued against.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

GregH's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

Greg, it's not asking you to agree.  I'm asking you to provide some actual evidence for your positions instead of just taking potshots.  You want to prove I don't know beans about a topic, I'm fine with that and have (ahem) repeatedly encouraged you to do just that.  You just need to do it with evidence.  

But if you want to just take potshots, hit and run and all that, I'll be glad to point out what you're doing.

1) You need to reread what I wrote.

2) I have not given any positions here about music and racism or music at all except I hinted that I would lean toward your side. I have nothing to defend here in the music debate.

3) What I have said and will reiterate is that I am not going to get into a back and forth with you on music. I have said what I have to say which is simply that you are not qualified to talk about music in the way you do. I suspect that is true for many areas you opine in but for music, I am certain.

Joeb's picture

Greg I think it has clearly been shown that even church music is about race with some Fundy/Evangelicals.  My brother is going to a new SBC plant north of Charleston. It’s a mixed church so the new young African American Whorship Pastor is trying to bring a little other music to the church other than whiteman’s CCM folk music as my brother puts it.  

I’ll make a bet that Wally and Don would both disapprove of the music and people worshipping their Lord by dancing to it in a limited way.  However did not David correct his wife when he was joyfully dancing to worship his God.  Correct me if I’m wrong Don and Wally.  If it’s preference fine but I don’t think you can biblically argue that the music or the dancing is sinful.  You sure can argue racism is sinful.  

Larry's picture

Moderator

Now Larry, having taken Garlock's work from none less than Garlock, how can you seriously argue that there is not, historically speaking, a racial component that many would characterize precisely as I wrote? 

That's not what you wrote. Go back and read what you wrote and what I responded to.

And if you actually read Garlock's quote, he doesn't mention race. Again, I have no idea why Ron brought it up. 

Moreover, even if this history did not exist, the simple fact is that the "traditional music" arguments really are centered against the genre, instrumentation, and vocal techniques associated with rock & roll, and people are going to connect the dots to the predecessor genre and precisely whose music it is that is being argued against.  

Again, Bert, you appear (I keep using that word to give you the benefit of the doubt though we are probably far past that point) to not get the argument at all. GregH is right. 

Bert Perry's picture

Larry, you seriously don't see why people would see race as being involved in what Garlock (and Gothard) wrote?  Seriously?  When Garlock wrote of "voodoo rituals, sex orgies, human sacrifice, and devil worship", that had nothing to do with race, despite voodoo's roots in sub-Saharan Africa and growth in mostly black Haiti?  When his work about "six decades of decline" and "Music in the Balance" attacks not only rock & roll, but also jazz and the practice of swaying to the music, you're willing to assume that the people whose ancestors created jazz and rock & roll aren't going to connect the dots?

And in the case of modern groups coming out against rock & roll, like the FBFI, are we really going to believe that nobody is ever going to figure out that it's "their" music that the FBFI doesn't like?  Really?  Nobody's going to figure out that the rhetoric is simply a milder version of The Case For the South?  (which by the testimony of the author was actually a mild argument for the Jim Crow era--I've got a signed copy that belonged to my great uncle, a Louisiana newsman who was at Ole Miss)

Perhaps we will indeed find that our African-American brothers do indeed have the kind of amnesia that would be required not to make this connection, but quite frankly I would not bet the future of my local church on it.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Larry's picture

Moderator

Larry, you seriously don't see why people would see race as being involved in what Garlock (and Gothard) wrote?  Seriously? 

I don't know what Gothard wrote but Garlock's writing says nothing about race, at least in what Ron quoted. People from Africa, India, and South America would be surprised to find out they are all of the same race. And the great number of Caucasians who enjoy and perform this music would also be surprised that the music is not their music. 

But it does remind me of another podcast story (perhaps the same episode as the other story or perhaps not; I can't remember). A song written or originally performed by a black group was not widely accepted and played on the radio until it was recorded by a white group. I can't remember the song or the groups. But it does to show that the "their music/our music" thing doesn't really work out that well, and that this is somehow a Christian thing also has some holes in it.

But that's not what you said and it's not what I responded to. I was specific in what I said. You made a claim about this board and I simply asked where anyone on this board said anything of the sort. And you responded by admitting that they didn't. 

You should consider GregH's advice as worth taking, BTW.

WallyMorris's picture

So now it's come to the point where any negative comment about a race other than Caucasian is a racist comment? I have never viewed Dr. Garlock's analysis of African music as racist, just a factual comment about what was actually happening in the pagan African religious rituals. If someone views that as racist, you are reading racism into his comments. Furthermore, do Dr. Garlock the courtesy of asking him personally about it instead of making accusations from the safety of your computer.

Additionally: I don't think the person who brought music into this discussion would claim to be a Baptist Fundamentalist. So unless I am mistaken, the introduction of music into this discussion came from another person/group.

As far as dancing: I wonder if those who criticize the concerns some have about modern dancing have ever done a subject study of the topic in the Bible? If you do, you will find positive and negative passages about the topic.

The subject of this discussion is supposed to be the SBTS and its study about racism. Many people who are not Baptist Fundamentalists are concerned about what SBTS did, including many within the SBC. And their concerns are unrelated to music or dancing.

Bert: You implied in an earlier comment that I needed to go to Ft. Wayne in order to learn about this topic. That suggestion, and the attitude behind it, is what I was responding to. I appreciate the thought you have put into your comments, but that particular suggestion was not necessary and a little condescending.

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

amomentofcharity.blogspot.com

Bert Perry's picture

Larry, though it might be much easier to follow Greg's example and just throw around accusations without providing evidence, I think I'm going to go with the old ways of actually providing evidence.  And if you think I'm going to accept his claims without evidence, and quite frankly with his abject refusal to even try to provide evidence, dream on.  It's quite frankly an abusive way of behaving he's gotten into, and no way do I want to reward that.  

And regarding the notion that because Garlock doesn't fess up to a racial animus, that therefore it's unreasonable to interpret his actions in that light, what you (and Wally and others) are arguing is that if it's not said explicity--if Garlock et al don't fess up to it--that it's not there.  Well, fair enough, but keep in mind that a fair number of important doctrines are inferred in exactly the same way, like the Trinity, faith alone, grace alone, Christ alone, and really all of the Baptist distinctives.  You will not find any "proof texts" that clearly say any of these; you have to infer it from the context.

Quite frankly, I'm going to go here with the history of logic and rhetoric and argue what I read Dr. Bauder argue once; that a valid inference is as binding as a set of proof-texts.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Bert Perry's picture

WallyMorris wrote:

So now it's come to the point where any negative comment about a race other than Caucasian is a racist comment? I have never viewed Dr. Garlock's analysis of African music as racist, just a factual comment about what was actually happening in the pagan African religious rituals. If someone views that as racist, you are reading racism into his comments. Furthermore, do Dr. Garlock the courtesy of asking him personally about it instead of making accusations from the safety of your computer.

Additionally: I don't think the person who brought music into this discussion would claim to be a Baptist Fundamentalist. So unless I am mistaken, the introduction of music into this discussion came from another person/group.

As far as dancing: I wonder if those who criticize the concerns some have about modern dancing have ever done a subject study of the topic in the Bible? If you do, you will find positive and negative passages about the topic.

The subject of this discussion is supposed to be the SBTS and its study about racism. Many people who are not Baptist Fundamentalists are concerned about what SBTS did, including many within the SBC. And their concerns are unrelated to music or dancing.

Bert: You implied in an earlier comment that I needed to go to Ft. Wayne in order to learn about this topic. That suggestion, and the attitude behind it, is what I was responding to. I appreciate the thought you have put into your comments, but that particular suggestion was not necessary and a little condescending.

Wally, if I made a series of comments connecting identifiable traits of WASP culture to bad outcomes, I know you'd object.  Why, then, do you object so vociferously to the notion that blacks would do the same?  In fact, on this and the other thread regarding Doug Wilson, you've done precisely that.  

And regarding the challenge to go 25 miles up the road, it's not a matter of intellect, but rather of experience.  Growing up in Chesterton, ~70 miles west of you, I'd thought I'd learned quite a bit from numerous trips to Chicago, track meets in Gary and Michigan City, and the like--until I spent two summers at a predominantly Chinese church in Torrance, where one of the ministries I took part in was an outreach to a mixed black/hispanic church in Compton--south central LA. 

Taught me a lot of things that I'd never picked up on in my hometown and at Michigan State, which of course has a strong black population, especially from Detroit.  It's all about seeing things as others will, and in 96.4% (2010 Census) white Huntington, you're simply not going to easily get that perspective.  In Fort Wayne--73% white and 15% black--it's likely another story.  See what I'm getting at?

And as a person who mentioned music, yes, I would claim to be a Baptist fundamentalist--not in the FBFI mold, of course, but five fundamentals/five solas/etc., you bet.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Greg Long's picture

I distinctly remember being told the 2/4 beat was sinful was because it was the beat the African natives used in their demonic worship or to call people to that worship. It is guilt by association, by associating a musical style with African natives in their deep, dark jungles worshipping Satan. If it's not outright racist, it certainly has racist undertones.

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

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