It has been said that Evangelicals are five to ten years behind the rest of the culture in terms of embracing fads and trends.
That seems about right.
Last election cycle, a plurality made a considerable fuss over and selected a candidate for the Presidency of the United States primarily because the individual claimed to be Black.
Now it seems movers and shakers within the Southern Baptist Convention have been whipped up into a similar frenzy.
Of the election of Fred Luter to the highest office in that particular ecclesiastical association, the Dean of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Russell Moore gushed, "To have the son of slaves now leading this denomination as it reaches the world with gospel is a sign of God's mercy."
So as a man well over 100 years of age, Rev. Luter is looking remarkable fit and vital.
Moore continued on in a vein of self-deprecation that would make most Jews blush, “This denomination was once described...as ‘white as a tractor pull’. It that’s the case, the denomination will not, and should not, survive.”
Over the centuries, most to hold the Papacy have hailed from the Caucasian end of the racial spectrum. So should critics call for the end of that institution because it has not lived up to some arbitrary notion of racial diversity?
More importantly, the formulation of Moore’s response to this question put to him is quite revealing and exposes a number of assumptions.
What exactly does “white as a tractor pull” mean anyway?
Are not Whites allowed to have a form of entertainment inherent to their particular culture? Does Moore intend to criticize forms of recreation that tend to appeal to Black folks but not Whites?
Likewise, will this same spirit of condemnation be brought to bear against Black Baptist bodies that do not enact outreach and set aside opportunities particularly aimed towards White people?
For overall, one will find it is probably more likely that a Black person will advance within the ranks of the Southern Baptist Convention than for a White person to advance very far within predominately Black ecclesiastical administrative organizations and associations.
If the Rev. Fred Luter was elected from a truly Biblical perspective, not a single word would be mentioned about his color. Instead, all that would be said is that he is the most qualified man for the position from the standpoint of his Christian character and his aptitude to apply sound theology to the challenges facing American culture today.
by Frederick Meekins