The President of the Southern Baptist Convention Writes a Sympathetic 1619 Tweet and Catches Hell for It

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J.D Greear, the 62nd president of the Southern Baptist Convention, is trying to make the denomination more sensitive to race and the SBC’s long connection to slavery.  It looks like he has his work cut out for him.

On August 19, Greear wrote 3 tweets:

And then all hell broke loose:

 

40 thoughts on “The President of the Southern Baptist Convention Writes a Sympathetic 1619 Tweet and Catches Hell for It

  1. Many in white America never embraced the true Christ. They follow a white washed fake “christianity” that has Christ portrayed as a European robin hood look-a-like who rules over a snow white heaven where all the angels are white and cherubs are little naked babies playing in clouds. This faerie-tale allows them to perpetuate their white supremacist agenda and treat others as less than human. That is why this country now has concentration camps for children, secret SS/ICE police and a despot in the “white house” demonizing refugees from the moment his lying ass started his campaign!!!
    True Christians know that Christ was a tan skinned middle eastern man who was once a refugee in Egypt and taught that we should love one another as ourselves, and gave us the parable of the “good Samaritan” as a guide on how we should treat those who seek refuge from foreign lands. When America decides to lay down it’s racist ways and embrace true Christianity perhaps this nation and the world can be fixed.
    If America actually had Jesus in those places to begin with they would not have tolerated slums in it’s major cities, unequal educating funding for it’s children, a war on the disenfranchised masked as a :war on drugs”:mass lynchings and jim-crowe, followed by mass incarceration, and police brutality to the point of shooting innocent unarmed back people in the streets like the gestapo in WWll. It seems Americans hearts are too inclined to be filled with hate to let Jesus into their hearts,
    And this is unfortunately too bad. We can only do what we can, pray, have faith, and hope our “actions” help lead those we enter act with to see Christ in our hearts, and invite him into theirs.
    God bless America.

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  2. Victims of the sin that you dismiss out of hand were still alive during my father’s life. The children of soldiers who fought to purge this nation of that sin were still receiving pensions based on their fathers’ service during this decade, and statues of the people who killed American soldiers in defense of this sin are still standing in places of honor. Methinks you protest too much!

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  3. Justin,

    Well, I cannot say that the 1619 Project has caused me “emotional discomfort.” It is more an issue of my weariness at seeing society manipulated by a small group of secular elites in Manhattan.

    As far as Pastor Greear, you are making my point. If he does indeed have the academic credentials you mention (and I am not challenging that), then he should be known on social media and other venues for his theological statements.

    James

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  4. Justin,

    You are correct that there is a reference to God’s dealing with national sins within the Pentateuch. It is separate, however, from the specific judicial guidance God gave to Moses about running the “court” system for individual members of the community.
    We can go into specific verses if you wish, Justin.

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  5. It’s pretty hard to earn a PhD in theology without reading a couple of books, even in the SBC. He’s also a productive writer and I hear those guys occasionally read books as well.

    Isn’t it a big red flag for you that any outside opinions that cause you emotional discomfort are now easily dismissed as part of a sinister cultural and/or spiritual conspiracy? (“Discussing the role and legacy of slavery in history is just a veiled liberal attack on Donald Trump, and therefore on white evangelicals like me!”)

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  6. James,

    The Mosaic law has provisions for national chastening written it, lengthy and graphic descriptions of how God will punish the collective for the sins of individuals within it. It’s a core part of the tradition.

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  7. Bob,

    If Pastor Greear is indeed a Christian, he will presumably use the Bible as his primary moral source. . The Bible is ancient—-at least in comparison with The New York Times.

    James

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  8. Your lack of intellectual prowess and reliance on “ancient” wisdom belies your ignorance of both the modern world and systemic racism. Your hypersensitive response to a simple, compassionate tweet is an ugly ugly front for your entire belief system. I pray you find the love and humility of Christ in your readings. Because you could learn from THAT ancient wisdom.

    Good day

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  9. You people are what give Christianity a bad name. Such negativity and venom! You might want to read over The Fruit of The Spirit passage, The Sermon on the Mount, etc. Do you ever sing “We are one in the Spirit…and they’ll know we are “Christians by our LOVE?” I see no love here. I am thankful that I belong to a church no longer associated with SBC -its bigotry and self-righteousness have sown great discord and division.

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  10. Sean,

    Well, I am pleased that you seem to be tacitly agreeing that neither of us are guilty of furthering institutional animus against any racial group——be it Asian, African, or European.
    James

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  11. John,

    Most honest people do acknowledge that the former slaves were not treated justly. This practice continued in parts of the country far beyond the initial generation of liberated slaves. No serious dispute can be made. Yet there were also many efforts by whites to help the former slaves get “a leg up” so to speak. I am thinking about the charitable establishment of schools, hospitals, training centers and that sort of thing. You possibly might even be able to recommend a book on the subject.

    The whole systemic racism discussion is worth having among honest people, but the motives behind many of the loudest spokespeople are less concerned with compassion than with raw political power. Add to that the Establishment’s current frenzied efforts to unseat Trump using a racial narrative and it produces a toxic mix.

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  12. Sean,

    Then I will assume you bear no guilt for the mistreatment of the Chinese immigrants to America. Accordingly, you might want to consider going easy on those of us who had nothing to do with slavery.

    James

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  13. I have heard this argument many times, James. It fails to recognize systemic racism and how you, as a white person (I assume) have benefited from racist policies. I think the 1619 project is saying that what happened on the shores of Virginia in that year has shaped everyone, whether they or their family owned slaves or not.

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  14. Jeff,
    The man being punished is the white American living in 2019. This representative man never owned a slave or traded in slaves. He never supported the institution of slavery. For that matter, the statistical likelihood that his ancestors owned slaves is small. There is also an outside chance that one of his ancestors was killed while serving in the Union Army. Yet liberals want to lay a guilt trip on people who had no connection to slavery or the promotion thereof.

    James

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  15. Dave H.
    Thanks for the clarification in the final paragraph.

    As far as Greear’s tweets, it’s plain to see that they have already caused discord within his denomination. The very fact that he mentioned the subject in the wake of the The Establishment Media and the Democrat barrage against Trump on race is divisive. It shows a lack of wisdom and discretion on Greear’s part. Dr. Fea differed with me earlier but I personally saw the pastor’s remarks as gratuitous and superficial. There are concrete things he could do in his own city for race relations.

    James

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  16. Dad,
    So are you saying that national punishment and individual punishment were the same in the Old Testament? How would you balance Mosaic judicial laws for individuals with national chastening? You are mixing apples and oranges.
    James

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  17. Sherman,

    Greear’s fault was picking a nonexistent sin to condemn. Someone ought to tell him that slavery has been outlawed for a century and a half in this country. One would think the pastor could find two or three sins which are still being widely practiced today.

    James

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  18. Thank you, Sean for putting my thoughts in your own words. I don’t comment much here, but I have seen how James likes to rhetorically bait people – it seems he just can’t help himself. I am glad that you didn’t fall for it and refuse to play his silly game.

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  19. Wow. A minister condemns sin, and a bunch of snowflakes freak out. Only in America. Ah well. If they kick Greear out, he’ll be welcome in a Christian church.

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  20. James, precisely where in Greear’s three brief tweets does he say that? Tweet 1 is simply a statement about a historical event. Tweet 2 is a mathematical calculation. Tweet 3 essentially says we should remember and acknowledge the past and use that knowledge to inform our future actions. Where in there does he call for punishment?

    And, to repeat the point in my comment, what in those three tweets disqualifies someone as a “Bible-believing” Christian?

    Perhaps your question might be pertinent to a different statement or framing of an argument (say, in response to a call for reparations) but I don’t understand its relevance to Greear’s tweets or to my comment.

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  21. So Sean,
    Are you guilty of the mistreatment of the original wave of Chinese immigrants to the U.S.? Do you need to repent of something which you did not do. I further doubt that your ancestors had anything to do with those misdeeds.
    James

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  22. John,

    The NYT is not concerned with the plight of the slaves who lived in 1619. They are concerned with the use of a racial narrative to nail Trump. The Russian hoax has failed them. (Interestingly, they are gearing up for the “recession” narrative to use if their racial innuendos collapse.)

    As far as Exodus 5:1, it is a classic verse on those wanting to escape slavery. Ironically, the media masters would use the power of the corporate-state alliance to effectively enslave Americans of all races and creeds.

    Pastor Greear needs to release a few serious theological statements rather than tepid rehashes originating in the secular woke crowd. Where does he, for example, stand on the increasingly vocal Calvinist faction within The Convention?

    James

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  23. Unicorn,

    I don’t think Dr. Fea would deny that his discussion site has an Evangelical nexus. Accordingly, there is going to be at least an element of scripture proof-texting. It all started with a former Augustinian monk named Martin.

    James

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  24. We need a chapter and verse on that one, John.

    At which point, we get invited into Dueling SCRIPTURES to the tune of Dueling Banjos.

    Which favors the one whose brain is entirely an MP3 library of one-line Proof Texts and Clobber Texts. Like a debating champ steering the debate into Semantics where he has the Home Field Advantage.

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  25. James: You asked for verses: Any passage of scripture that deals with human sin and its implications. I have no idea what you mean with the Exodus 5:1 reference. I do not see Greear’s tweet as gratuitous. I see it is a Christian leader trying to help his people come to grips with a legacy of slavery that has stained the Southern Baptist Convention from its founding. We must turn to the past to understand the president. And what does this have to do with Donald Trump, the “American left” or The New York Times?

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  26. I’ve never understood why certain conservatives assume that any assertion of historical facts about the United States is supposed to “guilt” people in the present.

    Because historical facts HAVE been Weaponized and used against them in the past.

    I’m from California, where White Guilt Manipulation is both an art and a science of those in Power (and wannabes thereof)..

    Think of it as a secularized equivalent of a crooked preacher using Fear of Hell and Guilt Manipulation to control his mutton-on-the-hoof.

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  27. This is the response that particularly has me shaking my head: “The apology tour continues. I’ll be so glad when a Bible-believing conservative succeeds you..”

    So apparently simple recognition/acknowledgement of a past sin/injustice is viewed as somehow incompatible with believing the Bible.

    God save us from the kind of “Bible believing” church or nation or community such commenters want to see. I am a “Bible-believing” Christian, yet I fear the self-righteous contentious Christian culture warriors of today more than I do the “godless secular left.” The latter may oppose the faith, but the former twist and misrepresent it. I’d much rather face those who acknowledge their opposition than the ones who corrupt and corrode from within.

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  28. I’ve never understood why certain conservatives assume that any assertion of historical facts about the United States is supposed to “guilt” people in the present. That’s a ludicrous assumption if you think about it. And as Justin points out, it’s often little more than a starting gun for their talking points based entirely on whataboutism. I wish these people had some understanding of what history really is, instead of assuming it’s always about nationalism. It rarely is, but they don’t seem able to discern the difference.

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  29. Hmmmmmm. We need a chapter and verse on that one, John. I shall be eager to read your parallel analysis between Exodus 5:1 some 1300 to 1500 ago and the United States in 2019. The first instance reflected freedom from centralized statist control, while those pushing the slave story today seem to want virtually complete federal control of our society. Pharaoh would relish it.

    Here is the problem. The gratuitous tweet by Greear is artificially tacked onto his ministry right at the time the secular media has started pushing the narrative of slave history——not out of genuine compassion for the slaves but rather as a vehicle to “get Trump.” Most thinking people realize there is no connection between The Donald and slavery, but the American left is irrationally obsessed with finding a new tool to hammer the president.

    Enter J.D. Greear————Instead of diligently working with black and white Baptist congregations to evangelize the country, he unthinkingly parrots the secular mainstream media (MSM) about events which occurred long before his grandmother was born. Very sad. Is Pastor Greear taking his cue from the editor of The New York Times or from the Apostle Paul? I have never visited Greear’s congregation but am going to guess that it does not proportionally reflect the African American population of his city. Instead of writing meaningless tweets, he might want to consider looking a little closer to home.

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  30. I couldn’t stop giggling by the time I read the original 3 tweets because I knew in my heart what was coming… and sure enough a litany of misdirected what-abouts from self-righteous indignants: what about abortion? what about evil liberal values? what about all the good things you didn’t mention in your tweet? what about comfortable biblical content or cultural issues that make me feel safe? what about native Americans who had slaves? what about my fragile white feelings and the residual guilt that comes with processing difficult historical realities?

    It’s nice to see the SBC has a liberal pastor who reads books, but it seems like those dudes are fishing in the wrong pond. That pearls-before-swine warning from Jesus is good advice. There’s no point in trying to elevate people who are content in the pig pen. On the other hand, if Greear has the emotional fortitude to filter out the multitudes who have settled and hardened into their hatreds, maybe he can connect with those for whom there is still hope of improvement. I hope he meets success.

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  31. Greear comes across as a virtue-signaling ecclesiastical yuppie. It appears that he is taking at least a few of his cues from the hyper secular New York Times and others in the Mainstream Media. If he is going to be an effective leader for the SBC, he would do well to dip into much more ancient sources of wisdom when seeking material for his tweets.

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