During their annual meeting, prominent figures of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) discussed a number of issues that have emerged following some controversies and revelations.
Outgoing SBC President J.D. Greear warned about hypocrisy, citing Matthew 23.
While he appreciated the convention's Conservative Resurgence and said that liberalism is a "curse," he also mentioned about the warning of Jesus on the other "way to lose the Gospel."
"There was another. A leaven Jesus warned about also, perhaps one even more deceptive than liberalism, He called it the leaven of the Pharisees," Greear said, captured by The Christian Post.
"What is most dangerous about this leaven is that it grows in the soil of orthodoxy," he added.
He also gave examples of manifestations of this hypocrisy in the convention.
One of these is the cover up of sexual abuse allegations by creating non-disclosure agreements, blocking the victims from seeking justice.
He also spoke about the convention's strict implementation of policies on "complementarian issues" but allows women who are victims of sexual abuse to be "mistreated and maligned."
"It looks like an SBC that expends more energy decrying things like CRT than they have done lamenting the devastating consequences of years of racial bigotry and discrimination," he added.
Greear opposes the Critical Race Theory (CRT), stating that it defies the Gospel. But he said that criticizing the theory would be irrelevant to other people if Christians "remain silent on the suffering of [their] neighbors."
He urged the participants of the meeting to fight with the victims of racism "against all forms of discrimination" to show that believers stand with the people of color in their suffering.
He also pointed out the relevance of racial minorities in SBC's growth, telling them "we need you."
Further, Greaar also warned about mixing the church with politics, saying that it causes a result that "does not look like our Father in Heaven."
Mike Stone, one of the candidates for SBC presidency, also opposes CRT.
On Twitter, Stone introduced his proposed resolution that condemns the theory. He said that the "Resolution on the Incompatibility of Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality with The Baptist and Message" aims to "provide leadership with clarity, compassion, and conviction." The pastor shared that 50 people have already expressed their support on the proposal.
The resolution states that CRT and Intersectionality have brought division and confusion in churches by describing these factors as relevant analytical tools in explaining "how racism functions in society and how to evaluate human experiences." It also says that the ideologies are "rooted in Neo-Marxist and postmodern worldviews" which are incompatible with the Bible.
On the other hand, Ronnie Floyd, SBC's Executive Committee president, tackled the importance of sending missionaries around the world, stating that it is the "heart" of the convention. He also said that doing such is "what [they] are really about."
"So I challenge you, pastors and laypeople today: Go back to your churches and begin to ask God to raise up people to go to the mission fields from your churches. The urgency is now," he added.
Further, Floyd reiterated the plans of the denomination in accordance with the SBC's Vision 2025. These include increasing the number of full-time missionaries and workers in the field, adding new congregations, addressing the convention's decline of sharing the Gospel, baptizing and discipling teenagers, as well as raising the funding on cooperative program.
He then called for SBC members to support the vision by praying.
"We cannot be content doing ministry without the power of God. We need to do ministry with His power and His power. When we pray, God places His power upon our lives," Floyd said.