In a fiery letter announcing his departure from the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), progressive Pastor Charlie Dates, who incidentally pastors Progressive Baptist Church in Chicago, slammed the SBC for rejecting Critical Race Theory and intersectionality.
He further described the SBC as a bunch of racists that will never change, calls some black SBC pastors mere “tokens” or “assimilators,” calls SBC seminaries “vestiges of racial animus,” says that “Black people will never gain full equality in the Southern Baptist Convention. My acknowledgment of this is not a statement of submission, but an act of defiance. The SBC’s power structure wants to maintain white dominance,” and a host of other invectives.
Then he got doubly weird.
In a very telling comment, he lists a bunch of things that have been wrongly accused of being “liberal” and ostensibly bad, like abolition of slavery, civil rights movement, women suffrage movement, black faculty at SBC seminaries, etc.
Then he throws right in the middle of that “a Black U.S. president who was initially against partial-birth abortion” counting it among the things that are “supposedly liberal.”
To them (SBC Leaders) a belief in a high view of Scripture must mean an adaptation of Republican politics and, with it, the dismissal of critical race theory and intersectionality because of a fear of “liberalism.” That said, our church has just as high a view (if not higher) of Scripture as any SBC church, but theirs is an inconsistent epistemology. They are selectively conservative.
But what is “liberal” in the history of American Christianity? What is liberalism to the conservative Southern Baptists?
I’ll tell you: abolition, the women’s suffrage movement, the civil rights movement, a Black U.S. president who was initially against partial-birth abortion, non-white male faculty at their seminaries and now a theory that uncovers our nation’s de jure and de facto segregation.
One of these things is not like the other, right?
But apparently for Dates, they are.
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