Black Pastors Jeffery W. Friend and Rolland Slade Say There is Room for Disagreement in SBC Over Critical Race Theory

The Rev. Jeffery W. Friend is pastor of Suburban Baptist Church in New Orleans, La., and executive board member of the National African American Fellowship of the Southern Baptist Convention. | Suburban Baptist Church

As a racial and ideological divide over critical race theory continues to roil the Southern Baptist Convention, two of the denomination’s senior black leaders insist the denomination is big enough to accommodate dissent.

“My understanding is that there is enough room under the tent of Southern Baptist for differing opinions,” Rolland Slade, the 62-year-old senior pastor of Meridian Baptist Church in El Cajon, California, who was elected as the first black chair of the SBC’s executive committee last June, told The Christian Post.

“What must hold us together is our collective passion to fulfill the Great Commission. We may disagree along the way and those disagreements will cause tension, yet they should not separate us from our calling to be salt and light in a world of darkness. We must focus on what we have in common rather than our differences as we are all created in the image of God.”

His comments come after a megachurch pastor, who is not part of the SBC, called on black leaders in the denomination to leave over the CRT dispute.

“My call is for African American pastors is to simply get out!” Theron Williams, pastor of Mt. Carmel Church of Indianapolis, Indiana, said in an interview with WXII 12.

Williams, who is also the founder and president of The Bible is Black History Institute, argues that a statement last year by the SBC’s Council of Seminary Presidents to condemn “racism in any form” while rejecting CRT as incompatible with their faith is white supremacy at work.

“It’s actually a response to the Southern Baptist Convention’s position that critical race theory is inconsistent with their theology as they see it and so [in] their theological seminaries, there will be no discourse, there will be no teaching, no conversation about how race affects our society,” Williams argued.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair

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