One of the most respected pastors in evangelical Christianity says the Southern Baptist Convention has lost its way and isn't likely to make it back.
When Southern California's Grace Community Church held its "Truth Matters Conference" last week, Pastor John MacArthur delivered a bleak assessment of the Southern Baptist Convention.
"When the Southern Baptists met in June and passed Resolution 9 and they said intersectionality and critical [race] theory are useful tools in interpreting the Bible, that was a watershed moment for that entire movement," MacArthur stated.
Critical race theory (often referred to as CRT) teaches people can be grouped by different oppressions, like racism or gender bias; and intersectionality says all oppressed groups are interdependent and subject to overlapping systems of oppression. Specifically, the SBC said critical race theory and intersectionality (CRT/I) can be useful tools in interpreting scripture – and that's a problem, according to MacArthur.
"If the culture has the right to interpret the Bible, they will interpret the Bible and liberalism will take over," he said at the conference. "This is an evidence that they are allowing the culture to interpret the scripture."
He continued: "This is not a minor issue. When you literally overturn the clear teaching of scripture to empower people who want power, you have given up biblical authority."
It's a sign, MacArthur concluded, that the Southern Baptist Convention has strayed from biblical truth and may not be coming back – ever.
"I guess that in some ways it is remarkable that they lasted as long as they did when all the other denominations have been gone 30, 40, 50, 60 years ago and [the SBC] held on to inerrancy and … held on to a legitimate hermeneutic," he offered.
"But when you decide to let the culture interpret the scripture and you need cultural cues to translate the Bible, the horse is out of the barn."