Lack Of Racial Diversity Does Not Necessarily Mean Hostility
The Associated Press reported that two-thirds of Evangelicals polled expressed no desire to see their churches become more ethnically diverse in compliance with a decree handed down by the Southern Baptist hierarchy.
Depending upon how the question was formulated, that might not even indicate any discernible resistance on the part of the common pewfiller.
These responses might indicate nothing more than a satisfaction with things the way that they are or that this issue is not seen as that big of a problem when compared to other issues such as a decline in overall morality.
One story regarding the conclusions of this survey observed that most White, Black, and Hispanic Southern Baptists attended churches where the majority of parishioners were of the same racial or ethnic background.
So long as they are not blatantly hostile or cruel to others different from themselves, does this really matter?
Perhaps those surveyed simply did not want to alter their basic order of service to satisfy newcomers.
For example, why should 85 year old WASPS that have enjoyed a solemn liturgy their entire lives have to put up with the more “exuberant” Black way of doing church where it is not unheard of for those gripped by a moment of spiritual ecstasy to run up and down the aisles banging on a tambourine.
As has been observed, often Baptists sleep in the pews while Pentecostals jump over them.
Should an Hispanic church that conducts its affairs in Spanish be required to alienate its congregation by switching to highly articulated English?
If Southern Baptist leaders such as Albert Mohler and Russell Moore are so troubled by this finding among Southern Baptists, do they intend to relinquish their own prestigious and highly paid positions so that these can be filled by minorities?
It has been claimed that attendance at Souther Baptist churches has declined for seven straight years.
That could be in part because of this ongoing effort to wrack the average person in the pew with overwhelming guilt for having done little more wrong that simply having been born White.
Frederick Meekins is an independent theologian and social critic. Frederick holds a BS in Political Science/History, a MA in Apologetics/Christian Philosophy from Trinity Theological Seminary, and a PhD. in Christian Apologetics from Newburgh Theological Seminary.