By Lonnie Wilkey
Messengers to the Tennessee Baptist Convention acted on the resolution during the final session on Nov. 20. The resolution defined CRT as “a secular worldview used by some in social sciences to analyze marginalized populations by categorizing differences among peoples, especially race and gender.” The resolution noted that intersectionality “arises from dialogue regarding CRT and focuses on the overlapping categorizations within CRT.”
The resolution presented to TBC messengers was originally written and presented by Shawn Allred, pastor of First Baptist Church, Kenton. The TBC Resolutions Committee rewrote the resolution that was presented for a vote by messengers.
In a letter presented to the Resolutions Committee, along with his original resolution, Allred said he drafted the resolution as a result of attending the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in June in Birmingham, Ala.
Noting that was his first introduction to CRT and intersectionality, he returned home to research the subject more thoroughly after SBC messengers adopted a resolution that stopped short of denouncing the secular worldview. The SBC resolution noted that critical race theory and intersectionality should “only be employed as analytical tools subordinate to Scripture — not as transcendent ideological frameworks.”
In simpler terms, Allred said CRT “is the belief that distinctions of race and sex, among others, have been constructed by oppressor groups in order to maintain power over those who are oppressed” and intersectionality “is defined as the cumulative way in which these distinctions intersect and affect the lives of those in the oppressed groups.”
In his letter, Allred observed that CRT and intersectionality “are incompatible with the Christian faith. CRT operates inside a worldview that is incompatible with a biblical worldview.”
Allred also wrote that Christian followers “should not use any theories based on ungodly worldviews as analytical tools but should focus our attention to God’s Word because it guides us in all truth and wisdom for all matters.”
Prior to the vote by TBC messengers on Tuesday, Allred voiced his support in favor of the proposed resolution.
Dani Bryson, chairman of the Resolutions Committee and member of Pomona Baptist Church, Dickson, told the Baptist and Reflector that the committee “intentionally included the primary rationale in the text of the resolution: ‘Whereas, the messengers of the Tennessee Baptist Convention are deeply troubled that some are injecting CRT and intersectionality into theological context.’ ”
She observed, however, “this issue was not on the radar of most Tennessee Baptists before it was addressed by the Southern Baptist Convention this summer. After examining the issue, we felt that this resolution better expressed our view on CRT and intersectionality.”
The revised resolution also affirmed “Scripture is true and trustworthy and must be the foundation of a Christian’s worldview.”
The resolution acknowledged that “ethnic, gender and cultural differences do exist and are a gift from God that will give Him absolute glory when the entirety of sanctified humanity worships Him in perfect unity founded upon our unity in Jesus Christ.
The resolution also encouraged Tennessee Baptist churches and institutions “to take a stand against all forms of biblically defined injustice” and to do so “in a manner consistent with the biblical worldview rather than unbiblical worldviews.”
In addition, the resolution urged messengers of the TBC to “strongly denounce CRT and intersectionality as inconsistent with a biblical worldview and theology” and to “affirm Scripture as the first and only framework for evaluating the world around us including academia and social sciences.”
In a show of hands vote following the presentation of the resolution, there appeared to be only one dissenting vote and less than six abstentions.
Following the morning session, Allred expressed appreciation to the Resolutions Committee for taking his resolution seriously and for drafting a resolution that remained true to his original intent.
“I am proud of our Tennessee Baptists for overwhelmingly supporting the resolution denouncing Critical Race Theory and intersectionality,” Allred told the Baptist and Reflector.
“The spirit of cooperation that exists within the TBC/TBMB is phenomenal. The Resolutions Committee, along with a number of my fellow pastors and peers, and the majority of messengers to this year’s Summit worked together to say that the Word of God stands above all and speaks truth and wisdom to every challenge we face as followers of Christ in this world.
“My prayer is that this spirit of unity and mutual cooperation would be evident in every state convention and our Southern Baptist Convention for the glory of God and proclamation of HIs gospel,” Allred said.
The text of the full resolution follows.
“Whereas, Critical Race Theory (CRT) is a secular worldview used by some in social sciences to analyze marginalized populations by categorizing differences among peoples, especially race and gender, and
“Whereas, intersectionality arises from dialogue regarding CRT and focuses on the overlapping categorizations within CRT, and
“Whereas, CRT and intersectionality emphasize the priority of social and scientific analyses of humanity while failing to recognize the validity of Biblical truth in understanding the sinful nature of humanity, and
“Whereas, we acknowledge the presence of structural and systemic racism, pride, greed, and lust existing in societies of a fallen world, and
“Whereas, the Messengers of the Tennessee Baptist Convention are deeply troubled that some are injecting CRT and Intersectionality into theological context, and
“Whereas, Scripture is true and trustworthy and must be the foundation of a Christian’s worldview, therefore be it
“Resolved, that ethnic, gender, cultural and racial distinctions do exist and are a gift from God that will give Him absolute glory when the entirety of sanctified humanity worships Him in perfect unity founded upon our unity in Jesus Christ, and be it further
“Resolved, that Tennessee Baptist Churches and institutions are encouraged to take a stand against all forms of biblically defined injustice and are encouraged to do so in a manner consistent with the biblical worldview rather than unbiblical worldviews, and be it further
“Resolved, that the messengers of the Tennessee Baptist Convention strongly denounce CRT and intersectionality as inconsistent with the Biblical worldview and theology, and be it further
“Resolved, that we affirm Scripture as the first and only framework for evaluating the world around us including academia and social sciences.” B&R