On Wednesday members of the Southern Baptist Convention will vote on its stance toward a political movement known as the “alt-right.” The movement gained traction during the 2016 presidential election, combining racism, white nationalism and populism, according to ABC News.
Originally leaders in the Convention had chosen not to bring the issue of condemning the movement to the voting floor, but after discussion, chose today to vote again whether to condemn it, after rewording some of the verbiage.
The original resolution, according to Barrett Duke, a Southern Baptist leader, was rejected because it contained possibly inflammatory language that might be interpreted as “implicating” conservatives who do not support the “alt-right” movement.
On Tuesday night, Reverend Dwight McKissic made a direct plea from the voting floor, beseeching Southern Baptist leaders to reconsider the verbiage, decrying the “alt-right” movement with strong language, calling it a symptom of “social disease,” “deceptive” and “antithetical to what we believe.” MicKissic’s resolution voiced opposition to Christians who attempted to use biblical teachings to justify white supremacy, according to ABC News.
The resolution was pulled from the floor and redrafted for Wednesday. The verbiage now includes a statement that Southern Baptists “decry every form of racism, including alt-right supremacy as antithetical to the Gospel of Jesus Christ” and “denounce and repudiate white supremacy and every form of racial and ethnic hatred as of the devil,” the new resolution reads.
The Southern Baptist Convention was originally founded in the 19th Century and has strived to distance itself from any position that condones slaveholding and racism. Based in Nashville, the Convention has 15.2 million members, the largest in the United States.
Ed Stetzer, a Southern Baptist speaker an executive director of the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism at Wheaton College in Illinois, said that the issue demands a vote. “Too many Southern Baptists were on the wrong side of the fire hoses in Birmingham. They need to get on the correct side of the rising tide of racism,” he wrote.
Please pray for healing in our nation on the issues of race and racism, that we can come together to glorify Jesus Christ.