North Carolina Baptists approved a resolution condemning racism at their annual meeting in Greensboro Tuesday, after passing an amendment from a messenger who did not fully agree with the wording of a similar resolution that was approved at the 2017 Southern Baptist Convention meeting.
The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s two-day gathering was held in a city of historic significance to the African-American Civil Rights Movement. Greensboro was the scene of a six-month long sit-in movement that took place at a Woolworth’s lunch counter until it was integrated in the summer of 1960.
The “Resolution Denouncing Racism” was put before the assembly of church representatives by the convention’s Committee on Resolutions and Memorials.
Committee Chairman Jonathan Blaylock said, “North Carolina Baptists denounce racism in all its expressions as sin against a holy and just God.”
Photo by Steve Cooke
Phil Addison, pastor of Friendship Baptist Church in Bunnlevel, proposed an amendment to the Resolution Denouncing Racism that affirmed the “sentiments” of SBC’s “Resolution on the Anti-gospel of Alt-right White Supremacy,” but rejected wording in the national statement that discouraged the use of the Confederate battle flag.
Two amendments to the resolution were proposed.
Ray Barnhill, pastor of Union Missionary Baptist Church in Rocky Mount, proposed the first change, which was intended to remove a section referring to the “preservation of history,” a reference to debates over Confederate monuments and statues, and a section affirming a controversial resolution on the “alt-right” from the Southern Baptist Convention’s (SBC) annual meeting in Phoenix earlier this year. Barnhill’s amendment was voted down overwhelmingly.
Phil Addison, pastor of Friendship Baptist Church in Bunnlevel, proposed an amendment to the Resolution Denouncing Racism that affirmed the “sentiments” of the SBC’s “Resolution on the Anti-gospel of Alt-right White Supremacy,” but rejected wording in the national statement that discouraged the use of the Confederate battle flag.
“I do not have a Confederate flag. I will not fly a Confederate flag, because it offends my brother,” Addison said. “But what happens when the American flag becomes so hated that it offends my brother? What happens when [anti-fascist groups], what happens when Black Lives Matter – you see, I agree with the sentiment of the [alt-right resolution] but I do not agree with the content.”
Addison’s amendment passed narrowly in a ballot vote, then the revised resolution was approved with a near unanimous show of hands.
The Resolutions Committee explained why they felt such a statement was needed in an article published last month. They called racism “a critical and perennial issue in our culture and particularly in our own state,” and said the convention should “formally express a biblically grounded opinion.”
The convention also passed a resolution affirming “God’s good design that gender identity is determined by biological sex” and that “North Carolina Baptists commit to pray for our neighbors who identify themselves as homosexual and transgender.”
Read the amended Resolution Denouncing Racism below:
WHEREAS, The Bible clearly teaches that God has created all men and women in His image, from all tribes and nations of the world (Genesis 1:27; Acts 17:26); and
WHEREAS, Christ died for the sins of people from every nation, tongue, and tribe (Revelation 5:9); and
WHEREAS, Christians are commanded to make disciples from every nation (Matthew 28:19); and
WHEREAS, The Bible declares, “God does not show favoritism, but in every nation the person who fears Him and does what is right is acceptable to Him” (Acts 10:34-35); and
WHEREAS, Significant racism still exists in our communities, as evidenced by recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia, Durham, North Carolina, and other cities across our nation, and the devil uses these opportunities to perpetuate division and strife in our society; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina Annual Meeting in Greensboro, North Carolina, November 6-7, 2017, denounce racism in all its expressions as sin against a holy and just God, because it disregards the image of God in all people and denies the truth of the Gospel that Christ died for the sins of all mankind; and be it further
RESOLVED, That we affirm the sentiments of the resolution adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention, meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, June 13-14, 2017 titled “On the Anti-Gospel of Alt-Right White Supremacy”; and be it further
RESOLVED, That we call on North Carolina Baptists to humble themselves before God, acknowledging that while the preservation of history is critically important for a nation, the demonstration of Christ’s love and the proclamation of the Gospel to all peoples must take precedence over the important personal preferences of individual Christians, including the preservation of history. Therefore, we call on North Carolina Baptists to joyfully set aside anything that might create a barrier for the sharing and hearing of the full truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; and be it finally
RESOLVED, That North Carolina Baptists commit to pray fervently for those who advocate racism, so that they may become aware of their sin through the light of the Gospel, repent of the sin of racism, and recognize that the love of Jesus Christ has been extended to all men and women of every race and nation.