Well, well, well Danny Akin. For one part of the “seminary six” who signed a statement declaring that Critical Race Theory is incompatible with scriptures, you sure have a lot of explaining to do.
This, of course, is the result of James White, Pastor of Christ Our King Community Church in Raleigh, North Carolina preaching a Chapel Message at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) on February 2nd.
SEBTS is one of the six seminaries operated by the Southern Baptist Convention, a repository for all those delicious cooperative dollars that SBC congregants sacrifice so greatly to give and is overseen by Danny Akin, surely the squirreliest of the bunch. Though Akin distances himself from CRT in word, he does not do so in deed and practice, with frequent collaborator Pastor White demonstrating that the message of Critical Race Theory is alive and well at SEBTS.
In the sermon, White “connects Mark 2:1-12 and the hypostatic union with American chattel slavery and social justice, accusing conservative Baptists of leaving the resurrection of Christ out of gospel presentation.” Include an obligatory reference to a fear of lynching by white folk and a note that the gospel of forgiveness of sins by faith in Jesus isn’t enough, and you have one for the ages.
The point of the story is this. It’s not who’s Southern Baptist, who’s not Southern Baptist. It’s not even simply a doctrinal argument. The point of the story is the doctrinal argument that clarifies who Jesus is. That’s what’s at stake. And it’s at stake because historically, when you’re a slave holder, historically, when you’ve not honored the Imago Dei, historically, when you’ve enforced and endorsed segregation, historically, when you haven’t changed positions of power, here’s the problem with that. Historically, when you align up with the nationalistic America rather than the gospel of Jesus Christ, the problem with that is simply this: that you misrepresent who Jesus is. And so Jesus changes the whole trajectory of this. So now that it’s about him, the paralyzed guy just happens to be there in the midst. Similar to being a tool of the story. I got news for you: I know you think that your ideas and everything are so important, but you’re simply just a product and a tool of the story about Jesus. And honestly, I really don’t care whether the Southern Baptist Association goes forward or not, because what’s most important is: will the gospel of Jesus Christ and will Jesus be represented correctly? That is what’s most important…
I serve a Christ who does the impossible when we do the unthinkable. I hope this is a generation that doesn’t get distracted. See, I serve a Christ that I can talk correctly about the historic reality of who we are as black people and white people. I serve a Jesus, who, where we can talk correctly about the injustices that’s been done to the black church. I serve, see, you got to understand, I’m even dressed that way today, because, understand something. From the top up, I’m dressed for the conservatives. From the top up, I’m dressed for you. From the bottom down, I got on my jeans because I’m ready to do some work. Then I got on my boots, too. And I wear a bow tie as a reminder that I tied this myself, and by tying it myself, my neck will not hang from anybody’s rope anymore, because I’m afraid of what I might say that there’s a possibility of lynching. Because black men often had to say those things, and their speech was relegated off of that. But my speech will not be relegated. I tied this myself this morning. And I have to wear that to remind me of speaking truth…
What you see here in Mark chapter 2 is the hypostatic union. That’s to help some of you seminary people out, to make sure that you understand your education is valued and very much so. But it’s the hypostatic union, that you see God and man at work. Don’t try to put him in a box. He’s the God that can deal with the pain of what you and I are going through. He’s a God that’s very present in any kind of sociopolitical framework that you might want to take him out of. But guess what? He’s also the God that can heal and has authority above all of that. God and man always comes together in the hypostatic union that we see here in scripture. Jesus could have just left him on the pallet. He could have just said, “I forgive your sins,” and that would have been enough. See, I’ve heard many say you just need to preach the gospel, and that is enough. But Jesus is showing the holistic purpose of him being God and man. He doesn’t leave this man paralyzed, because when you leave someone simply talking about forgiveness of sins, you leave them at the cross but you don’t take them to the three days later of the resurrection.
And so when you only preach necessarily theological truths without sociological and practical realities, you got a cross gospel but you don’t have a full gospel, because the resurrection says there will be change. You cannot have theological truth without social impact, because that would mean you would say that people are free and still leave the chains on. We’ve had a history of that. We have. You don’t simply have vertical celebration without horizontal reality.
[Editor’s note: Thanks to @wokepreachertv for the clip, transcript, and even part of the video description. It’s not theft, it’s flattery ;)]
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