I took my troubles down to Madame Ruth
You know that gypsy with the gold-capped tooth
She’s got a pad down on Thirty-Fourth and Vine
Selling little bottles of REZ ZO LOOO TION number nine.
Now I know that there are some dissimilarities between Resolution #9, passed this last year by the Southern Baptist Convention, and Love Potion #9, as trenchantly described for us in that instructive song by the Clovers. But at the same time, I do fear that the same basic outcome is going to come to pass either way, which is to say that our protagonist is going to wind up “kissing everything in sight.” Including commies.
In preparation for that sad day, I thought it would be good if I provided some commentary on the resolution itself. So here goes.
WHEREAS, Concerns have been raised by some evangelicals over the use of frameworks such as critical race theory and intersectionality; and
“Concerns have been raised” is kind of understating it. The Southern Baptist Convention is in an uproar over it is more like it. This is like saying that General Beauregard made a point to raise some concerns that he had at Fort Sumter, and that Major Anderson, commanding the Union forces, replied with some concerns of his own.
WHEREAS, Critical race theory is a set of analytical tools that explain how race has and continues to function in society, and intersectionality is the study of how different personal characteristics overlap and inform one’s experience; and
Just a set of analytical tools here. Kind of like an epistemic screwdriver. It is just lying in the tool box there, exuding neutrality. Critical race theory simply “explains” how race has in the past functioned in society, and how it continues to function in society. It does this in ways that are compelling, self-evident and undeniable, sort of like the formula for force, mass and acceleration: Force (N) = mass (kg) × acceleration (m/s2). The only people who deny this kind of self-evident whiteness is bad thing are science deniers, and people who don’t want to lose their reputations and jobs.
WHEREAS, Critical race theory and intersectionality have been appropriated by individuals with worldviews that are contrary to the Christian faith, resulting in ideologies and methods that contradict Scripture; and
Unfortunately, this thinking goes, the bad guys snuck in, and crept up behind this set of innocent analytic tools, and then stole them, taking them off to use for their own nefarious purposes. In this view, CRT is like the forbidden but good fruit in the garden of Eden, with the serpent enticing them to stray.
But rather CRT was invented by the bad guys, concocted by them, devised by them, engineered by them, and I could keep coming up with different synonymous verbs, but I trust you get the point. The reason this stew tastes the way it does is because it came right out of the devil’s pot.
WHEREAS, Evangelical scholars who affirm the authority and sufficiency of Scripture have employed selective insights from critical race theory and intersectionality to understand multifaceted social dynamics; and
Ah, you know how tricky those multifaceted social dynamics are.
Selective insights? What is the principle of selection? I believe the question has been raised before, but it is pretty evident that it needs to be raised again — by what standard?
WHEREAS, The Baptist Faith and Message states, “[A]ll Scripture is totally true and trustworthy. It reveals the principles by which God judges us, and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried” (Article I); and
Amen. That’s a good one. What’s it doing in here?
WHEREAS, General revelation accounts for truthful insights found in human ideas that do not explicitly emerge from Scripture and reflects what some may term “common grace”; and
Common grace is found in all sorts of places, and we need not have a proof text before we can accept what God has given us through common grace. Through common grace, we understand that objects fall when dropped at 9.8 meters per second squared, that water flows downhill, and that whiteness is a great evil that has blackened the sky and smokes to the sun. We all understand these things by common grace. Except for white people. They don’t get it at all.
WHEREAS, Critical race theory and intersectionality alone are insufficient to diagnose and redress the root causes of the social ills that they identify, which result from sin, yet these analytical tools can aid in evaluating a variety of human experiences; and
What analytic tool shall we use to examine our choices of analytic tools? If CRT and intersectionality are tools that are being offered to us, how shall we determine if they are good tools or lousy ones?
WHEREAS, Scripture contains categories and principles by which to deal with racism, poverty, sexism, injustice, and abuse that are not rooted in secular ideologies; and
Yes, it does. So why are we fooling around with CRT and intersectionality again?
It is one thing to pillage the Egyptians for their gold, and quite another to go dumpster diving in Egypt and to come back with a broken DVD player, an opened package of hot dog buns, and a used grapefruit rind, and then tell the rest of us that common grace is a Kuperian necessity. Yes, it is, but I still don’t want your grapefruit rind.
WHEREAS, Humanity is primarily identified in Scripture as image bearers of God, even as biblical authors address various audiences according to characteristics such as male and female, Jew and Gentile, slave and free; and
Yes, humanity is identified as being God’s image bearers, and so it is truly distressing when they go off and do stuff like this.
WHEREAS, The New Covenant further unites image bearers by creating a new humanity that will one day inhabit the new creation, and that the people of this new humanity, though descended from every nation, tribe, tongue, and people, are all one through the gospel of Jesus Christ (Eph. 2:16; Rev. 21:1–4, 9–14); and
This is the second time I have had to say amen. I am starting to get nervous. I will try to watch it in the future.
WHEREAS, Christian citizenship is not based on our differences but instead on our common salvation in Christ—the source of our truest and ultimate identity; and
Darn it. Amen again.
WHEREAS, The Southern Baptist Convention is committed to racial reconciliation built upon biblical presuppositions and is committed to seeking biblical justice through biblical means; now, therefore, be it
This is what I would call a real losing streak. Can’t object to this either.
RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, June 11–12, 2019, affirm Scripture as the first, last, and sufficient authority with regard to how the Church seeks to redress social ills, and we reject any conduct, creeds, and religious opinions which contradict Scripture; and be it further
Okay, I get it. They are trying to lull me to sleep. They want me to drop my guard. But I will stay on guard because I can hear a couple of porch climbers now, trying to jimmy open the window of our Pauline liberties.
RESOLVED, That critical race theory and intersectionality should only be employed as analytical tools subordinate to Scripture—not as transcendent ideological frameworks; and be it further
Okay, here we go. We have found the poison in the pot, the snake in the grass, the toad in the punch bowl, the cockroach on the spaghetti, the slug in the salad, the . . . um, the difficulty.
Do you realize how many excuses this provides for how many poisonous ideologies? Dialectical materialism should only be employed as an analytical tool subordinate to Scripture, and not as a transcendental ideological framework. So long as the insights of white supremacists (note: actual ones) are not treated as an absolute, and we apply their views selectively, keeping them subordinate to Scripture at all times . . .
Sometimes Nancy has to stop me from going into the kitchen to grab some tea cups so that I can start throwing them against the wall.
RESOLVED, That the gospel of Jesus Christ alone grants the power to change people and society because “he who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:6); and be it further
After CRT has neutrally analyzed you, and discovered that your central difficulty is your whiteness, then we are willing to say that Jesus Christ alone can forgive you of that great sin of whiteness.
But I don’t need Jesus to forgive me for the things He did. I need Him to forgive me for the things that I did.
RESOLVED, That Southern Baptists will carefully analyze how the information gleaned from these tools are employed to address social dynamics; and be it further
Southern Baptists will carefully analyze how this is being used, eh? As a sage once put it, somebody is always up to something, and the rest of them are up to something else. If the past is prologue, let me explain to you how they will analyze it. What are the central ingredients to such analysis? Well, you will need a committee, and you will need a back room, and you will need the committee to pop the results of their review on the convention with about thirty-five minutes available for debate. The review of this careful analysis will be prefaced with “open wide, boys.”
RESOLVED, That Southern Baptist churches and institutions repudiate the misuse of insights gained from critical race theory, intersectionality, and any unbiblical ideologies that can emerge from their use when absolutized as a worldview; and be it further
Like what? Name one. Be specific. Don’t condemn a generic “misuse of insights.” We stand firmly against anything icky that may have come from all of this, but we will be most coy when asked to define “icky.” Now if they had said something like “unbiblical ideologies, such as the published frothings of Dr. James H. Cone . . .” that would be something we could all work with.
But as it appears to be going . . . and Nathan saith unto David, Behold, thou are the man. And David replied that he knew and understood that we live in a broken world, and that he was coming to understand just how much that brokenness had affected him personally, and that he was preparing his heart to take full and complete ownership of that brokenness. He was also prepared to say that it was most likely that mistakes had in fact been made, and that an investigation would be opened at the earliest opportunity to find out who had been principally responsible.
RESOLVED, That we deny any philosophy or theology that fundamentally defines individuals using categories identified as sinful in Scripture rather than the transcendent reality shared by every image bearer and divinely affirmed distinctions; and be it further
I am frankly astonished that Tom Ascol managed to slip a condemnation of Revoice into this thing. He is way tricksier than I thought.
Although I am somewhat puzzled by the definition of “fundamentally defines” as opposed to “defines.” We need to have one of the Guardian Committees sort that out. They can tell us it is all okay when their is five minutes left.
RESOLVED, That while we denounce the misuse of critical race theory and intersectionality, we do not deny that ethnic, gender, and cultural distinctions exist and are a gift from God that will give Him absolute glory when all humanity gathers around His throne in worship because of the redemption accomplished by our resurrected Lord; and be it finally
Except for the whiteness. There will be no whiteness gathered around the throne. Right? Or did I misunderstand something?
RESOLVED, That Southern Baptist churches seek to exhibit this eschatological promise in our churches in the present by focusing on unity in Christ amid image bearers and rightly celebrate our differences as determined by God in the new creation.
And the way we will celebrate our differences is by following the higher path that critical race theory has taught us. For a hypothetical example, say that a Southern Baptist church has a candidate for pastor who is black, not that there is anything wrong with that, and who is also something of a lefty, and of course there is everything wrong with that, and let us say that he falls just shy of the vote margin needed to call him as a pastor. What we have learned from CRT (since everything is a matter of power) is that the white members who voted against him must have been drawing on their whiteness, and not on the priesthood of all believers. This is a wicked, wicked crime, and so those guilty of voting no need to be accused of racism and placed under church discipline. This is all okay, because critical race theory is a set of neutral analytic tools.
And so anyone who actually believes that CRT is a useful and neutral analytic tool — and this currently includes the entire SBC, as they stated it out loud in solemn assembly, without turning vermilion red, I am afraid — is being a chump of the highest order and rank. If chumps had a navy, we are talking about flag rank, we are talking about a bevy of admirals. And if the top admirals don’t do something about this travesty quick, we are going to see the whole fleet on the beach.
Today’s Giveaway Deal
And here is the deal for the day.