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Dwight McKissic: Why I Will Leave the SBC If They Rescind Resolution 9, Affirming Limited Beneficial Aspects of Critical Race Theory

American life is much richer because of diversity that has had to be fought for long and hard against all odds, in order for substantial progress to take place. The diversity inclusion efforts led in 2008 to America electing a Black president — something many of us thought we would never see in our lifetimes.

To ignore the value and need of diversity is to be satisfied with, and to accept, exclusion.

The advances in inclusion we see throughout America are a result of marches, protests, demonstrations, legislation, and prayer. Advances have come from exposing the fact that White America is often content to function without any minorities holding cabinet-level, corporate-entity head or leadership positions — as has been the case in the Southern Baptist Convention throughout her history.

Jesus affirmed the value of diversity and inclusion when He commissioned His disciples to evangelize the world from the theological and spiritual foundation of unity surrounding His incarnation (John 17:21).

3. There is value in acknowledging where systemic injustice exists and is embedded in societal structures, and applying biblical principles to root it out.

As we see in Acts 6, the complaint of the Grecian widows with regard to food distribution was responded to with the appointment of Greek men to serve in the distribution, assuring fairness.

These aforementioned tenets are central to Critical Race Theory, and they are also compatible with the Bible and the BFM2K.

Derrick Bell, who is considered the father of Critical Race Theory, denied any Marxan influence or European scholarly influence on his development of CRT. He purposefully excluded them, he said, so that his work would be only influenced by persons such as Phyllis Wheatley, Frederick Douglas, WEB Dubois, and Martin Luther King, Jr. If you want to know what CRT is, it is everything Martin Luther King, Jr., has written, including his “I have A Dream” speech.

It is totally dishonest and intellectually bankrupt to discredit CRT by falsely associating it with Critical Theory. Again, Derrick Bell denies any connection. You would have to call him a liar to believe or write such.

If, as some argue, CRT declares all White people everywhere are racists, solely by virtue of being White—I reject that, and so does the Bible.

If CRT declares, as some argue, that Blacks cannot be racist, I reject that notion—and so does the Bible. Racism is a sin, and there are no sin Black people cannot commit—including racism. Because there are those who hold some aberrant, unbiblical views who may place them under the rubric of CRT, is not a valid reason to throw out the entirety of CRT, as the SBC is poised to do.

It would be a slap in the face of Sid Smith, George McCalep, L.B. George, Emmanuel McCall, and so many of the Black SBC pioneers to denounce CRT in its entirety. The SBC may indeed do so, though. If they do, I will not be leaving because they rejected CRT. I will be leaving because they dishonestly rejected CRT; and in the process, denied and denounced (1) the value of storytelling; (2) the value of diversity and inclusion; (3) the value of intentionally opposing systemic and structural injustice and racial sins—all in the name of rejecting CRT.

Honestly, it takes great audacity, given the SBC’s history, to take such a bold step, to denounce the entirety of CRT—particularly with the National African American Fellowship of the SBC unanimously opposed to denouncing CRT in its entirety. I am often asked how many Black churches may leave the SBC if Resolution 9 is rescinded. I honestly have no idea, and no desire to influence any to leave, which is one major reason why I am not going to attend the Nashville meeting. I do not want to be accused of leading churches away from the SBC. But what I do know is—as for me and my house—if the major thesis and thrust of Resolution 9, passed by a majority in Birmingham 2019, is gutted or rescinded—we will exclusively align with the National Baptist Convention and the Baptist General Convention of Texas.

This article originally appeared here.

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Dwight McKissic, Sr. is a prominent African-American Southern Baptist minister from Pine Bluff, Arkansas. He is the founder and current senior pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas.