Tuesday, June 12, 2018

It boggles the mind

The SBC has disfellowshipped Raleigh White Baptist Church over issues related to their treatment of a predominantly black church in the area.  Now, to be fair, the church is not named for the race of most of its members and attendees, but rather for a former pastor, Raleigh White, but even that raises a whole lot of questions completely unrelated to their treatment of New Seasons Church.

For starters, why name the church after a former pastor at all?  Doesn't Paul say something about the veneration of influential leaders in the opening chapters of First Corinthians?  Isn't it sufficient to name the church library, fellowship hall, or gymnasium after a former leader?

Going further, exactly why didn't somebody at the SBC or the Mallary Baptist Association explain the optics of this before to this church?  "See, folks, we've had a serious race relations problem in this area for about three centuries--you may have heard about some unpleasant events in the 1860s and again in the 1960s, maybe a guy named 'Sherman' and a guy named 'King'--and the optics of having an all white church being named "White Baptist Church" are just horrendous...."

But evidently, hyper-autonomous stubbornness got in the way of the obvious solution to these mistakes: apologies followed by an invitation to a gigantic potluck for both churches and a combined service. 


elspeth said...

Wow. That's an interesting story. Kind of leaves me speechless, although in my heart I'd rather believe that what happened here was more about New Seasons continued increase in numbers as White's declined. Simple jealousy which no doubt dredged up racial stuff buried beneath the surface.

Thing is though, black southerners and church go together like PB&J. It pains me to say it, but the increases aren't necessarily indicative of great theology or true conversion. However, I certainly pray that it is.

Bike Bubba said...

Might be. I was actually dodging the theoretically immediate issue in my incredulity that anyone would allow an SBC affiliate to have "White" as part of their church's name.

Stereotype up here is that all Southerners and church go together like PB&J--I don't know if it's even more so among blacks, but part of me wonders if both congregations are missing a golden chance to overcome the problems they share. But what do I know? I'm "doubly impaired" by being both northern and white. :^)

elspeth said...

My general observation is that white Southerners are more likely (if they don't believe) to just not bother with church anymore. Waste of time to sit through something they are not invested in. They play golf, wash their car, sign their kid up for league baseball on Sundays, or go to brunch on Sunday mornings.

That same tendency is certainly increasing among black people, but in aggregate, black Southerners who aren't sure what they believe are still more likely to attend church at least once or twice a month out of tradition, to shut their mamas and grandmamas up, or for the social dimension.

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