This letter was printed on June 29, 2011 in the Fayetteville Observer in response to the SBC decision to elect a black pastor to the No. 2 position in the convention.
After 165 of history, the Southern Baptist Convention is long past due in its decision to elect a black pastor to its No. 2 leadership position. The No. 1 post should be next. Every Baptist (and Christian), both those in and out of the convention, should rejoice in this step towards full racial integration. It is truly unfortunate that the Body of Christ is so divided over denominational lines. The Biblical truth is that it was never God’s intention that the body of Christ be fragmented in such a way as it is today.
The church was not designed to be segregated into “black churches” and “white churches.” While different languages can sometimes force separate times and places of worship and Bible study, skin color should never be a source of division. Racism is unquestionably a sin, and the goal of every local church should be to reflect the cultural diversity of its city as symbolic of the unity bought by the gospel of Christ.
How is it that the gospel that unifies sinful man with a loving God is preached in largely segregated churches? The same gospel that reconciles man to God and the same gospel that integrated Jews and Gentiles in first century churches after the resurrection of Jesus should undoubtedly unify whites, blacks, and believers of all colors in the church today.
Pastor Sean Harris