Regarding the possibility that Dr. Fred Luter may be the first black president of the Southern Baptist Convention, some good discussion and comments on this post at SBC Voices:
February 10, 2012 at 6:35 pm
It would make a bigger statement if no one mentioned his skin color and simply said, “we voted in the best candidate.” Saddly that won’t happen. We’ll just pat ourselves on the back for being diverse. The goal shouldn’t be”historic” presidencies, but effective presidencies.
February 10, 2012 at 7:26 pm
Steve, maybe in the future we will get there. But a convention that sided for the majority of its history with slavery and racism electing a black president is too momentous to be ignored.
Hopefully, the second time it happens and the third and the fourth, it will become less of a big deal.
February 10, 2012 at 8:03 pm
Fred Luter is a quality step in the right direction after so many missteps over the past decade.
Unfortunately, people will forget that and focus on the fact that this will be the first African-American President of the Southern Baptist Convention.
February 11, 2012 at 9:53 am
The election of an African-American SBC president would be a historic moment in the SBC. I would have a lot of high hopes for the future, including increased involvement in SBC life from many of the dually-aligned, predominantly Black churches in our area. Maybe it would also let us see some of our racist white churches leave the convention.
Some of these comments have somewhat made me think. Do we really want anyone to run unopposed? Would you feel better if his challenger was also African American? What does that say about us? Does it betray a fear that a white candidate would likely beat a black one? Does it mean we care less about one’s specific vision for the SBC than we do for a man’s personal characteristics?
Everything I’ve heard about Pastor Luter has been positive. I recognize his election to the SBC Presidency would be historic and could have a lot of benefit, and I currently have no reservations about voting for him. But I’m also willing to consider any godly man with a vision who would put himself forward for that position. Couldn’t a white president promote unity and diversity? What would the election of a Hispanic president do for the sake of unity and solidarity with that growing minority? How about a Korean, Chinese, or other Asian president?
I’m all for this guy, but I don’t think we should hope that no one would challenge him. It might just be there’s another godly man, black, white, or other, out there with vision who could take the SBC in a God-glorifying direction just as well, if not better, than Pastor Luter.