President of the Southern Baptist Convention, J.D. Greear, endorsed the black lives matter movement as a Gospel issue to members of the world’s largest Baptist denomination Wednesday, but denounced the Black Lives Matter organization that sparked the movement in 2013.
Greear made the endorsement during an SBC presidential address in which he told Southern Baptists that disagreeing with the worldview of the Black Lives Matter organization doesn’t make the issue “black lives matter” untrue.
“Black lives matter,” Greear said after acknowledging the SBC’s racist past and highlighting the denomination’s growing diversity, as well as the ongoing civil unrest over racial inequality in the wake of the death of George Floyd while in the custody of Minneapolis police officers on Memorial Day.
“I realize that the movement and the website have been hijacked by some political operatives whose worldview and policy prescriptions would be deeply at odds with my own, but that doesn’t mean that the sentiment behind it is untrue. I do not align myself with the Black Lives Matter organization,” he said.
“I think saying bold things like ‘defund the police’ is unhelpful and deeply disrespectful to many public servants who bravely put themselves in harm’s way every day to protect us. But I know that we need to take a deep look at our police systems and structures and ask what we’re missing. Where are we missing the mark? And I’ll say that we do that because black lives matter. We know that honoring Christ in this moment … means listening to those who hurt, lamenting with them, and bearing their burdens,” he said.
Greear, who leads The Summit Church in the Raleigh-Durham area and has long been a champion of intentional diversity in the SBC, explained how the denomination started 175 years ago because founding members supported slavery. The denomination has, over the years since then, rejected and repented of its racist past to become “one of the most ethnically diverse religious groups in the United States.”
“A lot of people don’t know that, but nearly 20% of all Southern Baptist churches are majority non-white and the North America Mission Board tells us that more than 60% of new churches planted recently have been planted and led by people of color,” Greear said.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair