Waiting for my Juneteenth

In June 1995, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) issued a public apology for the role they played in harming African-Americans by promoting slavery.  They harmed African Americans in several ways.  The SBC was formed because the National Baptist Convention did not want slaveholders in the convention.  So the south formed their own group which they called the Southern Baptist Convention.  After the Civil War, they made segregation laws and Jim Crow laws, and continued in their harmful discrimination of the Black man.

Sunday is Juneteenth in Texas.  A day we traditionally recognize as being the day that slaves in Texas learned of their emancipation which happened two years earlier.  It wasn’t to the slaveowners’ interest to tell the slaves they were made free by the government, so they didn’t. 

Finally the government caught up with them and on June 19, 1865, more than 2,000 federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, to take possession of the state and enforce the emancipation of its slaves.  Ever since then, June 19 has been celebrated and called Juneteenth.

I am waiting for my Juneteenth by the Southern Baptist Convention.  A day that they will come to us and tell us what we have always known, that we are free from bondage and that they welcome us as equal citizens of Christ.

 It is a long time coming.  It took two years for the slaves to learn they were freemen.  We have waited longer than two years.  More like 2,000 years.

At the Southern Baptist Convention last week they acknowledged that SBC churches are losing attendance and new converts (as indicated by a reduced number of baptisms).  They don’t know why a once thriving and gospel center denomination is on the decline.

Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research, an SBC entity, said ” I also think that Southern Baptist churches have struggled because they’re not engaging their communities well, and so I think there are some methodological shifts that need to take place so that the gospel can be understood in a new generation among people who live where we are — not where we were.”  

I would like to tell Dr. Stetzer that it is not only a new generation, but the female half of the population that needs to see the SBC methodological shift.

Stetzer goes on to say he is hopeful leaders will recognize the changes that need to be made. “We need to engage ethnic leaders and [the] next generation, and we need to be more focused on what we’re for and less on what we’re against.” 

“I pray that all of us will see the urgency of the moment,” said Thom S. Rainer, president and CEO of LifeWay. “We must make the Great Commission the heart of all we do and say. These latest numbers should be received with a broken spirit and a God-given determination to reach people for Christ.”

What about the women, I would like to ask Dr. Stezer and Dr Rainer.  Are you just concerned with the ethnic leaders and the next generation of young men? Or could you possibly be concerned about the next generation of young women who feel the call into ministry, and who are more than willing to lend a new voice to the Great Commission.

This is important to non-Southern Baptists because at the convention Russell Moore  made this statement  “We are the anchor of the evangelical world”

Whether he is right or wrong about that, Southern Baptists have tremendous influence over other evangelical denominations in how they practice their faith, and what they teach.

Until the SBC gets serious about the decline and looks at all the reasons people are leaving, which includes abuse of women in the homes due to patriarchy, and lack of respect for women as whole persons before God, they cannot begin to grow and prosper and win the world for Christ.

We are waiting for our Juneteenth.

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About bwebaptistwomenforequality

Shirley Taylor writes with humor and common sense, challenging the church body to reclaim equality for Christian women.
This entry was posted in Equality for women in Southern Baptist churches and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Waiting for my Juneteenth

  1. Paula says:

    A very good illustration. But why not just leave “the plantation”? What are they going to do, hunt us down and bring us back in chains? The “club members” pay the “dues” that support these proud men in the manner to which they’ve become accustomed, so if said members walk (nay, run!) away, the money dries up and so does the power. Just leave the plantation and their power will shrivel up and die.

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  2. I think they would have to acknowledge the brainwashing of the ‘roles’, and how they turn some women into ‘enablers’ by their own teachings.

    I think of the Chuck Phelps. He encouraged the enabling of sin with Tina Anderson’s mother, and now the new accusation that came forth of Cheryl.

    They won’t acknowledge anything, until they can come up with a plan on how to save face. People know that and they go elsewhere. Its sad.

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  3. Don Johnson says:

    When I first heard about the SBC apology over slavery, considering that they FORMED over the idea that a slaveholder could be a faithful believer, I prayed for their future apology over gender hierarchy to come soon than over a 100 years later. So I heartily endorse the idea of this post. Thanks.

    Like

  4. J Harris says:

    It’s been 44 years since the Civil Rights Act and more than 150 years since the end of the Civil War, and 170 years since they broke off with other Baptists over slavery and they are just now getting around to apologizing?

    The anchor of the evangelical world? Too many Baptists (and other evangelicals) think standing still in the past is the same as remaining true to the faith (as if the past was a perfect port in which to anchor). But an anchor isn’t such a good thing if you are anchored in the wrong port. Methinks it would be best to pull up anchor and get on course. It seems Dr. Stetzer realizes this to some extent, but not enough.

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    • Who will be the first to send Russell Moore an email telling him that it is time to pull anchor and get on course?

      rmoore@sbts.edu

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      • A. Amos Love says:

        Shirly

        I think Doctor Russel Moore banned me from his site awhile ago. 😉

        I think he was was questioning those who commented as – anonymous.
        All I did was ask a few questions. 😉
        ——

        Russel

        Hmmm? Is it okay to use a fake name?

        What about all the extra’s, not in the Bible, added to names?

        All those initials, added to names, to let folks know what has been accomplished.

        Is the name now “Fake” = not genuine, a pretense, a trick, an illusion?

        When you add to the name, doesn’t that change the name?
        Change the impression you have of the person?
        Make it something different then the original name?
        Is it an attempt to create influence, prestige, recognition, honor?
        Is that ethical?

        Are we, as Christians,
        supposed to be drawing attention to ourselves?
        creating prestige and recognition for ourselves?
        honoring ourselves?

        What about “Titles,” that are not in the Bible,
        added to the name?

        Reverend, Right Reverend, Clergy, Doctor, Senior Pastor, Pope, etc…

        Is that ethical? Spiritually? Aren’t you are all brethren?

        Didn’t Jesus teach “His disciples” to NOT promote themselves?
        Jesus taught “His disciples”…
        I receive not honor from man.
        If I honor myself my honor is nothing.
        I seek not my own glory.

        Do “Titles” come with something a little bit extra?
        Power, profit, prestige, recognition, reputation…?

        If I need “letters” and “Titles” to create honor and prestige
        so people will look up to me?

        Who added “Titles” to their name to cause me
        to idolize and look up to them?

        Why are we not looking up to Jesus?

        Why isn’t Jesus enough?

        Jesus… Our all in all…

        ———

        When he didn’t respond or post this comment on his blog.
        I sent a email directly to Russell asking what was wrong with the comment.

        When he didn’t respond to the personal email… 😦

        I sent an email, with the comment, and the question, what is wrong with the comment, to everyone who had an email address in the deans office, asking them to pass the email along to Russell because I wasn’t getting a response and wasn’t sure if the message was getting thru to him. 🙂

        Yes there are many ways to preach and get the message out to those in bondage. 😉

        Like

      • Way to go! I thought I had courage, but I don’t have that kind. For generations people signed with an X because they couldn’t read and it was legal – it was known as making your mark. In fact, some people’s handwriting signature is nothing but a drawing and bears no resemblance to a real name. Good points you made.

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  5. A. Amos Love says:

    Paula – Amen – Just leave the plantation. 😉

    Shirly – Juneteenth – Thanks for the history lesson.

    You end with…
    “We are waiting for our Juneteenth.”

    Seems to me you already received Junteenth – Jesus already set you free. 😉

    John 10:27.
    My sheep hear “My Voice” and follow me.

    2 Cor 3:17
    Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

    Why do you want to continue to be a slave in the SBC?
    You know it’s history – It was corrupt when it started – It’s corrupt now.

    Jesus is “liberty.” You’re free to leave “The Corrupt Religious System,”
    and become a “Disciple of Christ.” Learning directly from Jesus. 😉

    Jesus – He is the head of the body, (the ekklesia, the called out one’s)
    “The Church.”

    Baptist churches and the SBC are NOT “The Church of God” found in the Bible.
    Most of what they do and claim is NOT found in the Bible.

    They are 501 (c) 3, non-profit, tax $ deductible, Religious $ Corporations.
    They are Corporations run like a business by folks who are addicted to –
    Power – Profit – Prestige – Honor – Glory – Recognition – Reputation, etc…

    Did Jesus shed His Blood for a building, a business, an organization,
    an institution, a denomination, or a corporation?

    No – Jesus shed His Blood to Purchase His Church – you and me. Acts 20:28

    Should we call a corporation – the Church of God? AAARRRGGGHHH!! 😉

    I’m Blest – I’ve returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of my soul…

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    Like

  6. Kristen says:

    So true, Shirley. You keep speaking truth to power. They’re more likely to listen to you if you’re one of them.

    Like

  7. Lydia says:

    ‘Seems to me you already received Junteenth – Jesus already set you free.’

    Absolutely. We need tell people to run away from the ‘institutions” and into the arms of Christ. They need to develop their spiritual gifts from the Holy Spirit instead of allowing men/pastors to act as the Holy Spirit for them.

    No one is stopping us women preaching/ministering in this Free Country. If is a matter of trying to get the men who have made careers out of gender roles to accept women as equal in Christ, that is a losing battle. We need to take a page from our chinese sisters who preach all the time and it is illegal!

    Like

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