My stomach churned with disgust as I read my friend, Johnathan Pritchett's outrage and disgust (read here/link), regarding a Mississippi pastor, who refused to allow the marriage of a black couple in their church (/link). This is more than an outrage; it's incredulous in this day and age. This pastor and a minority of church members barred a couple from joining hearts and hands in marriage under God, simply because of the color of their skin? They deserve a blistering and immediate response from the SBC.
Often racism goes unseen, unreported; it flies under the radar of the public at large. Sometimes it is subtle--a handshake and smiling face, but rarely an invitation to home-cooked dinners. Secret ballot votes for deacons, or the seeking of white pastors in predominately white churches. In these cases, racism fails the kindred spirit examination, the bless-be-the-tie-that-binds trial. It fails miserably.
Friends, this Mississippi church's action will not go unnoticed. There is no way to fly beneath the radar. I am glad some (here, here, and here), in our convention are calling attention to it. Yet, I am deeply saddened that reality of this shameful attitude necessitates exposure. It should not be. Not among Christians.
I do believe God is cleaning house and opening wide the doors of the sin and unholy attitudes of our convention. We need to open our hearts, our minds and remove the blinders over our eyes. Racism is not going to go away with the election of the first black SBC President. This is clearly seen in the action taken by this church and it will be a monumental test upon us as a convention of churches which seek to uplift Christ and bring glory to God.
This action did neither. It spits in the face of our Savior as sure as they were standing at Calvary over 2,000 years ago. It erases any glory God could have received by hearts joining together to reject the racism living in the hearts of members. Sadly, it addresses a weakness of character in the leadership of this church.
May those who were unaware be the force of change. May they have the courage to do what is right and just in the eyes of God over this duplicity in spirit and mindset of their calling as ambassadors for Christ.
Make no mistake, my Southern Baptist brothers and sisters: God is cleaning house.
If we will not repent, then God will expose our hypocrisy in the courts of public opinion. Our sins will not go unnoticed. At the same time this church will face a reckoning, it behooves us to pray for God to use this incident to pierce the heart of that Mississippi church membership and convict them of their sin.
May their cancerous hate be cut out from their midst as they beg forgiveness of this couple. May God be glorified in this church's humble apologies in days to come and their resolve to change what needs to be changed in order to line up with the love of God and reconciling power of His Holy Spirit. May our outrage over this situation not equal the unrighteous attitude of this racist incident. May we admonish with the Spirit of God as our guide. May we act in accordance with His will and Word. selahV