While Richard Land had kept the Southern Baptist Convention in the thick of the Republican party, the SBC continues to make strides toward a more centrist position under its new leadership. The SBC, which was founded in 1845 over the issue of owning slaves, has taken strides to elect a black President, pastor Fred Luter, and has passed a resolution urging members to avoid displaying the Confederate battle flag.
Why this story matters for church leaders:
The SBC shift on politic issues toward the center shows that the denomination is weighing ways to remain faithful to the gospel without letting politics get in the way of its message.
- Changing History? While the SBC can’t change its past, members are finding ways to apologize and reconcile over past support for slavery and racist symbols.
- Focusing on the Gospel: As factions in the SBC has called into question the previous support of one political party, the denomination appears to be shifting toward a middle ground that will make it possible to share the gospel widely.
- Outsiders Matter: While the Confederate Battle Flag is valued by some SBC members, the SBC has listened to outside voices and many voices within the SBC who have pointed out the racist implications of the flag.
Are there conversations you need to have in your church about the things that get in the way of the Gospel?
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