Mefferd: Past time for pastors to apologize for 'woke' apologies

Friday, October 30, 2020
 | 
Steve Jordahl (OneNewsNow.com)

1 Corinthians 13Pastors in Southern states have joined together to denounce racism and affirm racial harmony but a talk radio host, who has tracked that same effort for years now, says it is past time to move on.

The Deep South Joint Statement on the Gospel, Racial Reconciliation, and Justice, which can be viewed here, states that its signers lament the slave trade and Jim Crow laws, and they confess the current sins of inaction and apathy and pledge to pursue racial reconciliation with black Americans.

“Each of our cities,” the Statement states, “were centers of the slave trade in the Antebellum South as well as racial oppression and division through Jim Crow segregation.”

The signers apparently represent congregations in two Alabama cities, Montgomery and Mobile, as well as Charleston, South Carolina. Among that list, the famous Montgomery bus boycotts in the 1950s is cited as the first major demonstration to fight segregation in the Deep South.

Responding to the Statement, author-radio show host Janet Mefferd says there is scant data to suggest there is still systemic racism in America, much less that the Church is at fault.

Janet Mefferd“I believe they're responding more to a narrative than a real issue,” she says of the signers. “I think that they have bought into the assumptions of critical race theory in which you look upon American society now as having structural racism.”

Mefferd has used social media and her radio show to blast what she calls pandering Southern Baptist leaders who are apologizing for the sins of their forefathers and begging forgiveness for wrongs they never committed. 

“It would be hard to hold the slave trade up as a sin, and an example of a sin that the modern-day church has committed, when none of us were alive back then,” she complains. “It makes no sense.”

Southern Baptists were denouncing racism at least as far back as 1995, a quarter-century ago, during the 150th anniversary of the denomination that traces its roots back to 1845 and a split over slavery with Baptist congregations in the North.  

Rosa Parks“We apologize to all African Americans for condoning and/or perpetuating individual and systemic racism in our lifetime,” the ’95 resolution read, “and we genuinely repent of racism of which we have been guilty, whether consciously or unconsciously."

The newest “Deep South Joint Statement” carries a similar theme:

We Commit to act locally in our own cities and region to sacrificially love our neighbors of all backgrounds, to lay down our lives for one another, to work for justice to right past wrongs, and to rebuild our ancient cultural and relational ruins and raise up the age-old foundations (Isaiah 58:12) of trust, peace, and integrity so that the church would be unified in love and concern for each member and for our communities regardless of race, ethnicity, cultural background, economic status, or zip code and so the church can give a witness to the watching world of the justice, love, right actions, and humility that should accompany followers of Jesus (Micah 6:8). 

A resolution supporting racial reconciliation passed at the annual SBC convention in 2015, and a resolution condemning white nationalism and the “alt-right” passed in 2017. That resolution three years ago created controversy after some SBC messengers balked at the politically-charged language in an earlier draft that was introduced by a black pastor.

After a new version was introduced, other SBC leaders expressed frustration that some of their colleagues had opposed the first version.

“We regret and apologize for the pain and the confusion that we created for you and a watching world,” the resolutions committee chairman said at the time, “when we decided not to report out a resolution on alt-right racism.”

Feinstein

More recently, in 2019, the “watching world” watched Southern Baptists who gathered in Birmingham, Alabama take a pastor’s resolution denouncing critical race theory, and water down the language so much he didn’t recognize the original version.

“When I compared the differences," Pastor Stephen Feinstein told OneNewsNow last year, "I had my pen out and put a checkmark next to each paragraph that, for the most part, had my content. And I realized that about 60 percent of it was completely rewritten and it removed the whole worldview aspect of this.”

Southern Baptist ConventionFeinstein, a California pastor, had introduced the resolution entitled “On Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality” after a parent informed him their child had enrolled in an evangelical college only to return home talking about “white privilege” and social justice.

When similar ideas began popping up at SBC conferences, the pastor began researching the topics and was alarmed to watch the Church embrace what he called a Marxist theory. 

At last year’s convention, the Resolutions Committee introduced his Resolution 9 critical race theory and intersectionality as a “set of analytical tools” that can help people but are “subordinate to Scripture.”

“It really makes you wonder,” says Mefferd, “if it is a wise thing for Southern Baptist pastors to continue to dive in to the bottomless pit of woke, because there never seems to be any bottom to it.”

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