J.D. Greear plays Identity Politics with Southern Baptist Convention appointments

JD Greear attacks conservatives in speech to SBC Executive Committee
Pew Research Data

New committee appointments over-represent favored groups considered oppressed by secular society and under-represent whites and males. The SBC is 85% White but only 49% of the new appointments are White. Is this real diversity or Affirmative Action at work?

SBC President J.D. Greear appointed the SBC’s 2021 Committee on Committees (yes, that is a real thing), and it looks nothing like the community it serves. The Committee is composed of 39 women, 29 men and is majority non-white. In other words, the committee over-represents certain preferred groups at the expense of the people who pay the bills and faithfully attend Southern Baptist Convention churches. And, SBC Elites justify this with their new idol—Diversity.

I am grateful for this diverse group and their willingness to be a part of the process, many of them serving for the first time,” Greear said in a statement published by Pravda, err Baptist Press. “They are people who want to unify around the Gospel above all and who believe we must be a convention that reflects the coming Kingdom while we engage the next generation on mission. They truly are Great Commission Baptists.”

The BP story is worthy of a press release from a Woke corporation like Delta or Coke.

Gone is any notion that the SBC system should represent the churches it serves. Instead, diversity is the new idol.

A few years ago, SBC Elites were upset that nominations to SBC entity boards were almost all white. It provoked Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary President Danny Akin to tweet demanding the SBC trustee boards, “must reflect the WHOLE SBC” (emphasis his).

Does this 2021 Committee on Committees reflect the WHOLE SBC?

Of course not. But, let’s take a look at the numbers.

The SBC Committee composition is: 49% white, 13% Hispanic, 21% black and 18% Asian. Compare these numbers to the general numbers for the US—and then remember that the SBC is even less racially diverse than the general US population.

See a problem? It only gets worse when we consider the specific numbers related to the Southern Baptist Convention proper.

The Southern Baptist Convention (according to this study published in 2020) was heavily white. According to this report, “Minority ethnic fellowships comprised 22.3 percent of the 51,538 Southern Baptist congregations included in the report regarding 2018, the most recent year studied, using data from LifeWay Research and the North American Mission Board (NAMB).”

And the sheer numbers of SBC members were heavily tilted toward whites—as whites composed over 80% of the total membership in 2018.

According to the same study, White Southern Baptists were about “13,331,855 members.” In that same year, The SBC reported total membership of 14,813,234, according to the Annual Church Profile. Doing the math, would result in about 89% of the SBC being white as recently as 2018 stats. I’d put the number lower at around 80 percent.

Here is a more reliable though higher estimate via Pew.

Pew Research provided this data in 2019 about the Southern Baptist Convention, “The vast majority of Southern Baptists are white (85%), with few black members (6%) and even fewer Latinos (3%), according to the 2014 Religious Landscape Study. Although the denomination is more racially and ethnically diverse than the largest mainline Methodist or Lutheran churches (both are more than 90% white), it is less diverse than the rest of the evangelical Protestant tradition (73% white, 6% black, 13% Latino) and U.S. Protestants overall (69% white, 18% black, 8% Latino).”

Pew Research reports the SBC is 51% female and 49% male.

In other words, J.D. Greear’s appointments look nothing like the Southern Baptist Convention.

Here is another chart to highlight that.

The SBC Committee Does Not Reflect the Southern Baptist Convention

This year’s committee reflects the secular culture and Woke appeasement more than it reflects the people who comprise the Southern Baptist Convention.

And we shouldn’t be shocked by it. The racial identity politics started several years ago.

One of the most overt instances of racial identity politics came in 2018. That was the year Akin made the above tweet and Leftist bloggers like SBC Voices complained about the lack of minorities on the nomination list.

A member of the Committee on Nominations detailed shouting and confrontations between committee members over the issue of race that year. In an email to the Capstone Report, that committee member said he “was appalled at this blatant racism coming from the chair of an SBC Committee” as the committee attempted to replace white appointments with minorities for no other purpose than getting a sufficient number of minorities to please the Woke mob.

The committee member told CR in 2018, “I am greatly concerned whenever an organization seeks to base leadership decisions on race alone.”

Flash forward to 2021 and we are sitting around counting the number of women vs. men and non-whites vs. whites on the Committee on Nominations.

Is this healthy?

Of course not.

This is the inevitable result of identity politics. Leftists started this process and it came bore its bitter fruit in 2018 as SBC Elites and Leftist bloggers demanded quotas in SBC nominations. Those quotas are now gone—and in the place of quotas we have demands that white Evangelical Christians surrender their place at the table.

Remember, Danny Akin demanded that white evangelicals give up their positions of leadership in a 2018 ERLC video. Surprisingly, or perhaps unsurprisingly, Akin has not surrendered his position of leadership as SEBTS president.

Instead of a colorblind Southern Baptist Convention, the SBC Elite are now fixated on gender and race.

Gone are the days the Church had its identity in Jesus and wanted a colorblind church.

Now is the time that secular buzzwords like Diversity are the focus and identity politics is the order of the day.

Evangelical Elites Hate White American Christians

J.D. Greear marginalized the great masses of Southern Baptist with his racially based diversity agenda. This is par for the course from Greear. It is also the aim of most of the Evangelical Elite even beyond the Southern Baptist Convention.

For example, Ray Ortlund, a former TGC Council member, took to Twitter this week to celebrate the death of the Bible Belt.

Ortlund tweeted, “I rejoice at the decline of Bible Belt Religion. It made bad people worse — in the name of Jesus. Now may we actually believe in Him, so that our churches stand out with both the truth of gospel doctrine and the beauty of gospel culture. To that end, I gladly devote my life.”

Also, he tweeted in 2016 in a similar theme, “We’re losing a Bible Belt religion that held us back anyway. We’ve gained A29, TGC, ERLC, T4G, reformed hip hop and poetry, etc. Great!”

Stephen Wedgeworth responded to this by pointing out the troubling truth within the tweets: Ortlund despises an entire way of life and the people harmed by it.

He said, “This is why I don’t trust the kind and compassionate evangelicalism shtick. It celebrates the decline of real people and real communities.”

https://twitter.com/Wedgetweets/status/1381977315928727552

Of course, this isn’t the first time Ray Ortlund showcased his tone deaf virtue signaling.

Ortlund tweeted, “Last evening a magnificent AA brother called me ‘woke.’ I felt honored, grateful. Might Jesus be making an impact on me? Of course, some won’t like this. But go ahead and @ me all you want. I don’t care. I have decided to follow Jesus; no turning back, no turning back.”

However, let’s get back to this current tweet celebrating the decline of the Bible Belt.

Stephen Wolfe said, “It’s really sick to celebrate the decline of these people groups.  No compassion, understanding, or recognition of the role of religion in securing families and peoples. Ortlund despises these people as much as his secular counterparts do.”

It isn’t shocking that Evangelical Elites reflect the Cultural Elites. This has been the trend for many years.

What is shocking is that the Evangelical Elites no longer hide their disdain for the white conservative evangelical.

Evangelical Elites want white conservatives to sit down, shut up and continue to pay the bills. J.D. Greear’s new committee is the message that the SBC Elites prioritize their idol of diversity over serving the people of the SBC.

It shows that SBC Elites care more about power than healing racial divisions–because you will never end racism with more racism.