Dear fellow pastors of the Royal Gorge Baptist Association:
I am writing to call your attention to Resolution 9 passed last June at the SBC annual meeting in Birmingham. Below is a link where you can read Resolution 9: On Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality.
The leaders at Pueblo West Baptist Church are convinced adopting the resolution was extremely unwise. We are bringing it to your attention hoping you will agree and join us in voicing our concern. We believe it’s a Colossians 2:8-9 issue: Christ’s people are to guard themselves from being deceived and taken captive by philosophies and the empty traditions of men since we already have all the treasures of wisdom in Christ.
Below is my attempt to provide a summary of the Resolution, and why we believe it’s dangerous; answers to the ‘so what?’ question, and finally, some recommendations for you and your church as how to respond.
Resolution 9 in a nutshell and why it’s extremely unwise
Nutshell: It makes the argument that the theories of Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality (CRT/I) are ‘analytical tools’ that can be used to help Christians better understand human relationships. CRT/I theories seek to address conflict between social groups (not exclusively but ethnic, male/female, sexual identity groups are the primary groups presently being addressed). The theories start with a foundational perspective of power structures. There’s a group in power and it got there by oppressing other groups. So, whoever is in a real or perceived position of power in a society is, ipso facto, guilty of oppressing someone else.
Intersectionality defines a victim’s state and level of victimhood and why they should be listened to by the rest of society (particularly those in power). The more intersections of oppression that cross through an individual’s life, the more society should listen and learn from them. For example: A female/black/lesbian (all categories of being oppressed) has far more to say to society than a female/white/heterosexual.
Why it’s unwise: The resolution presents these theories as being neutral, or tools that come with common grace, that can be used by Christ’s people to better understand conflict in society. But they are not neutral; they are rooted in ideologies absent of Christ. They can be traced back to godless and materialistic Marxism and have embedded within them ideologies of that worldview.
More significantly, they deny that God has, from the beginning, ordained authorities and hierarchies in His world. While, like everything else in creation, these authority structures are affected by sin and can be abused, God designed them for our good. When used as His Word teaches, we experience His blessing. He has ordained a husband to be head of his wife. God has ordained there to be governments, kings and rulers. The problem isn’t hierarchy; the problem is sin. The answer is not to tear down hierarchy and always be striving to redistribute power. The temporary answer is repentance and the Gospel of Jesus Christ that trains us to live godly lives in the roles He has placed us (Titus 2:11-14, etc.). The permanent answer is the return of Christ and the new heavens and new earth in which righteousness dwells (II Peter 3:13).
So What? Why This Should Matter to You and Your SBC Church
Let me say up front resolutions are non-binding; the SBC police can’t make you tattoo Resolution 9 on your dog’s forehead. But here’s why it matters to us at PWBC and why I believe it should matter to you.
- Because unless we say it doesn’t, it speaks for us. Resolution 9 was passed by 8,000 +/- messengers. Yes, our church is autonomous, but a whole bunch of autonomous churches we willingly associate with agreed with it. We at PWBC are in fundamental disagreement with Resolution 9, believing it to be dangerous and unwise. But unless we voice our disagreement our silence indicates ignorance, indifference, or that it speaks for us.
- For decades PW Baptist has faithfully participated in the Cooperative Fund. CRT/I is presently on the books as an acceptable (and helpful) tool to help our Convention accomplish its God-given mission. CRT/I is being agreed with and promoted in at least two SBC seminaries which we help fund. That entities are coaching churches to engineer diversity is shaped by CRT/I. We want to be good stewards of what our Lord has given us, and funding godless ideologies isn’t good stewardship.
- Future pastors. Our seminaries prepare our future pastors and missionaries and leaders. We are committed as a church to help fund their education. We believe that if left unchallenged, CRT/I will continue to undermine the Convention’s commitment to the authority and sufficiency of Scripture. That is a struggle in every generation. We want to be known as the generation that loved future generations with our own confidence in the authority and sufficiency of the Bible.
I would encourage you to start with the following:
- Watch the documentary ‘By What Standard’ (see link below). We watched it as a church family on two consecutive Sunday evenings with time for discussion.
- If you have questions or desire more information, contact me and I’ll do my best to help. I’ve provided a couple links that have helped me understand the terminology and what’s at stake.
- Pray for wisdom as you consider the implications of Resolution 9. We at PWBC are presently in the process of drafting letters to convention entity heads expressing our concern. A number of SBC churches are being made aware of Resolution 9 and there is a grass roots movement to seek to rescind it at the 2020 convention in Orlando.
Grateful for each of you,
Pastor Tedd Mathis
Pueblo West Baptist Church
Here are links to the resolution and to the documentary:
Here is an essay that explains the dangers of CRT/I: