Southern Baptists Adopt Controversial Resolution on Israel

June 16, 2016

The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) held its annual meeting this week in St. Louis, which garnered lots of attention since the SBC is the largest Protestant denomination in the country. For better or for worse, that size means media outlets often use them to often define U.S. Christianity.


The dominant story out of the meeting is that the SBC messengers passed a resolution criticizing the flying of the Confederate Battle Flag. The resolution sparked some intense disagreement during the floor debate. It's good to see the SBC taking a stand against modern racism (and perhaps become a bit less Southern). But let's not get too carried away in praising them as it is 2016! The Christian satirical website Babylon Bee captured the resolution well: "Southern Baptist Convention Votes to Formally Admit Defeat in Civil War."

Another resolution mostly overlooked shows the SBC has a long way to go on racial and ethnic reconciliation. I covered that resolution in an Ethics Daily article today. The piece, Southern Baptists Adopt Controversial Resolution on Israel, includes comments from the floor debate and other assessments of the resolution. Despite a plea from an Arab Baptist pastor during the debate, messengers approved the biased resolution. In the article, another Arab Baptist leader, Yohanna Katanacho (who I met in South Africa last year), offered a great critique of the resolution. 


I hope the article brings attention to a problematic resolution and, more importantly, brings attention to the work and perspective of Arab Baptists in Israel, Palestine, and elsewhere. We need to support their peacemaking efforts.

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