An evangelical leader says despite the serious issues on its plate, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is not heading toward a split.
A growing chorus of conservative Southern Baptist pastors and congregations is expressing deep concern over the denomination's dalliance with critical race theory (CRT) and intersectionality – subjects that many see as socialist tools that have no place in the church. Meanwhile, another group of Baptist churches is threatening to leave if the SBC drops its endorsement of CRT -- something they see as a tool to help bring understanding and context to America's racial issues.
Southern Evangelical Seminary President Richard Land says the subject is sure to come up this summer at the convention in Nashville, and he thinks he knows how it will go.
"You're trying to herd cats," he suggests. "I'll say this: the number of Southern Baptists that are upset about CRT is a lot higher than the number of people that would leave if we ditch it. It's one side of a woke agenda that is impacting some churches, and a lot of Southern Baptists are upset about it."
Land personally believes the key to reconciliation is for the SBC to return to its root focus of winning the lost to Christ.
"You've got to make the main thing the main thing, and the main thing is telling people about the gospel of Jesus Christ," he contends. "That will solve all of our problems."
While he laments that some churches are bound to leave the SBC over CRT, Land says that is not the same thing as a denominational split.
"If we didn't split over the conservatives, we're not going to split over this. We may have some people leave. Beth Moore just left the convention, and that's her right. It's a voluntary association of churches and members, and if they are not happy with what Southern Baptists are doing, and if they don't believe in what Southern Baptists believe, then they ought to leave," he concludes.