Resolution against 'alt-right' prompts NAAF statement

by Diana Chandler, posted Friday, June 16, 2017 (4 months ago)

PHOENIX (BP) -- Calling the resolution denouncing "alt-right white supremacy" the Southern Baptist Convention's "strongest statement to date" condemning racism, the president of the SBC's fellowship of African American pastors offered to help churches and entities overcome the evil.

Byron Day
 
Byron Day, president of the SBC National African American Fellowship of 4,000 churches, extended help to churches and entities through a written statement to Baptist Press June 15, just one day after the resolution passed by a near unanimous vote.

"NAAF stands ready to assist our churches and entities in pursuing the elimination of any remaining forms of intentional or unintentional racism among us," said Day, senior pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Laurel, Md. "I am confident by the grace of God that the Southern Baptist Convention will be a true picture of the Kingdom of God that consists of every tribe and language and people and every nation."

Day expressed hope that the resolution was only a first step, "because words are just words without action that make those words reality," he said.

The resolution was an amended version of a document submitted by Dwight McKissic, pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas, and was approved after two failed attempts June 13 to bring it to the convention floor. After an outcry by some messengers and widespread publicity, the Resolutions Committee gained approval to submit the resolution to the floor June 14.

"The confusion in getting the resolution to a vote caused an uproar in the African American community," Day said. "The decision by the committee not to recommend the resolution in its original form was perceived by many that Southern Baptists did not value this important issue not just for African Americans but for all those who claim to be followers of Christ.

"Nevertheless, it was encouraging to see Southern Baptists demand a vote and pass overwhelmingly this strong statement against racism and those who advocate such ideologies," Day said.

Day's full statement follows below. The full resolution "On The Anti-Gospel Of Alt-Right White Supremacy" can be read here.

National African American Fellowship of the Southern Baptist Convention

Office of the President

NAAF President Commends Southern Baptists for Passage of Resolution #10 on the Anti-Gospel of Alt-Right White Supremacy

Today is a great day for all Southern Baptists. The resolution to denounce racism and white supremacy is in my view the strongest statement to date by the Southern Baptist Convention. Although there have been prior resolutions apologizing for the sins of the past, it was important for the convention to condemn the sins of the present. At a time when our country continues to see racial prejudice and injustice, I believe the body of Christ must lead the way for peace and unity.

The passage of resolution #10 affirms that Southern Baptists are going to continue to move forward on the issue of racial reconciliation and sufficiently denounce any form of racism, particularly those like the alt-right white supremacy movement.

The passage of this resolution also recognizes racism for what it is, a scheme of the devil to divide the church of Jesus Christ. But today Southern Baptists said that they will no longer allow the enemy to divide us and thus hinder the cause of Christ and the furtherance of the Gospel.

The confusion in getting the resolution to a vote caused an uproar in the African American community. The decision by the committee not to recommend the resolution in its original form was perceived by many that Southern Baptists did not value this important issue, not just for African Americans but for all those who claim to be followers of Christ. Nevertheless, it was encouraging to see Southern Baptists demand a vote and pass overwhelmingly this strong statement against racism and those who advocate such ideologies.

Today we celebrate a great victory, but I hope that it is only the beginning. Because words are just words without action that make those words reality.

NAAF stands ready to assist our churches and entities in pursuing the elimination of any remaining forms of intentional or unintentional racism among us. I am confident by the grace of God that the Southern Baptist Convention will be a true picture of the Kingdom of God that consists of every tribe and language and people and every nation.

Byron J. Day, President.

Diana Chandler is Baptist Press' general assignment writer/editor. BP reports on missions, ministry and witness advanced through the Cooperative Program and on news related to Southern Baptists’ concerns nationally and globally.
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