The SBC will be making choices about how we respond to abuse, race, and more at this watershed convention.
I could have titled this piece, “Southern Baptists are at a Crossroads.” Southern Baptists have faced many crossroads in their history. Where things sit for Southern Baptists in June 2021 isn’t a crossroads moment, but a fork-in-the-road moment.
The choices facing Southern Baptists in the year of our Lord 2021, remind me of Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken.”
In that poem Frost talks about how two roads diverged in the woods leaving him with a choice of which road he was going to take. Southern Baptists in a few days will be facing votes on a series of issues, including a president, that have the weight to set the trajectory of the denomination either positively or negatively for years to come.
First, there needs to be an independent investigation regarding recent accusations of mishandling of abuse claims. We need to ask hard questions about what was handled well, what went wrong, and more. Truth be told, survivors and our Baptist family deserve better than leaked letters with accusations followed by counter accusations. Given the severity of the issue at hand, we need clarity on these accusations that only an independent third-party investigation can give.
If we are people of truth, we need to seek the truth.
Second, we must continue to deal with the issue of race and listen to our African American brothers and sisters more and the voices claiming CRT has infiltrated the SBC less. Also, race will likely be a key factor in both the resolutions report and the presidential election.
The issue is not (usually) blatantly racist comments; it is the inability to recognize—and consequently address—issues of systemic racism that remain. It’s failing to listen to African …