PHOENIX (AP) Southern Baptists on Wednesday formally condemned the political movement known as the "alt-right", in a national meeting that was thrown into turmoil after leaders initially refused to take up the issue.
The new text of the resolution noted some of the convention's previous actions on race, including how Southern Baptists voted in 1995 to apologize for the role that slavery played in the convention's creation. His resolution repudiated "retrograde ideologies, xenophobic biases and racial bigotries of the "alt-right" that seek to subvert our government".
Christine Wicker is a religious writer and researcher and told WFAA TV the decision comes as many Southern Baptists deal with an identity crisis.
But the motion was never considered because, according to one leader from the committee that decides which resolutions to consider, the motion contained wording that implicated conservatives, including those who don't support the "alt-right".
Tuesday's rejection quickly triggered heated reactions and ultimately an apology from Mr. Duke when Wednesday's resolution was offered in its place.
While the condemnation of the "alt-right" movement failed, attendees did pass a resolution on moral leadership that praised public officials who "displayed consistent moral character and uncompromising commitment to biblical principle".
The debate underscores ongoing tensions in the group over whether President Donald Trump is morally fit to be President. "Was I discouraged? Yes", she says.
McKissic then took aim at the "curse of Ham" theory, which was taught by the SBC in its early years and sprouted the belief that God, through Noah, ordained the descendants of Africa to be inferior to whites, thus providing religious justification for the institutions of slavery and racial segregation. Messengers adopted a resolution "on the anti-Gospel of alt-right white supremacy".More news: Apple shows off HomePod Siri speaker
The Southern Baptist Convention is a denomination that represents American Christianity to so many people.
Barrett Duke, messenger from Emmanuel Baptist Church in Billings, Mont., and chairman of the resolutions committee, opened the session slated for consideration of Resolution 10 by clarifying the SBC's position on racism and apologizing for the negative impressions caused by the delay in voting. "We're turning the corner", McKissic told reporters.
But there's just one problem: "Southern Baptists do not vote to deplore white nationalism" is neither fair nor accurate.
"I want to encourage you: Let's make sure before we leave Phoenix, everyone knows we have spoken forthrightly that God loves everyone and we love everyone, and the whole world knows that we, in Christ., come against every kind of racism that there is", Gaines said.
"This clearly defines for us - it makes very clear that we are denouncing white extremism, the alt-right", Hedman said.
Billy Levengood, a 32-year-old convention attendee from Oxford, Pennsylvania, said he will vote for the resolution, in part to help the denomination move beyond its origins. The Southern Baptist-affiliated organizations both partner with Southern Baptists to facilitate volunteer missions, chaplaincy and creating new churches.
And it highlighted divisions in the roughly 15 million member denomination that surfaced during last year's election. But the church removed specific mention of the old teaching in the resolution that it passed on racism this week. "There are so many good people in this country, who believe that we need to learn to get along, and so that's what our pastor was really advocating".
As a sign of their intent to reverse this decline, Southern Baptists affirmed a resolution Tuesday "to pray for and invest in evangelism and discipleship efforts with college students and strengthen the relationship between parachurch campus ministries and local churches", according to BP. Under a cloud of external pressure from media reports saying they had failed to condemn racism and a storm of criticism on social media, Gaines chose to push the boundaries of the rules.