Today, the SBC Annual Meeting is hearing and voting on a resolution to formally denounce alt-right nationalism and the racism so often found within its views. If I understand the purpose of resolutions correctly (keep in mind, this is my first time at this meeting), essentially it means that, if passed, the resolution will formalize the denomination’s opinion that this position is anti-gospel, and therefore anti-Christian.
One only has to look at the comments creeping into the SBC17 hashtag in response to this news to see why this needs to be addressed. Moving forward with such a resolution should be be a no-brainer for the simple reason that a straightforward understanding of the gospel would demand this of us.
But what do I mean by “demands”? Consider just a few ways from Scripture:
The gospel demands that we renounce evil in all its forms. “…take off your former way of life, the old self that is corrupted by deceitful desires, to be renewed in the spirit of your minds” (Ephesians 4:22–23, CSB).
The gospel challenges us to consider others greater than ourselves. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3–4, CSB).
The gospel refuses to allow us to indulge favoritism. “My brothers and sisters, do not show favoritism as you hold on to the faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ” (James 2:1).
The gospel unites people, regardless of gender, background, nationality. “For those of you who were baptized into Christ have been clothed with Christ. There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male and female; since you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:27–29, CSB).
The gospel purchases people from all nations and brings them all into one kingdom. “…you purchased people for God by your blood from every tribe and language and people and nation.” (Revelation 5:9, CSB).
The gospel brings together what is beautiful and good from every culture and creates a beautiful picture, a preview of the kingdom to come. We aren’t called to preserve a specific national identity—we’re called to show the world something greater. The gospel unites us in Jesus. It expels darkness and brings light. Until the day comes when Jesus finally and fully expunges the darkness, we are going to keep on needing to remember these truths. May this be an opportunity for us to be reminded at this time.