Why Fred Luter Was Elected Leader of the SBC

Fred Luter

They say … this will say a lot to the kingdom of heaven that here’s a convention that was started as a result of slavery and the past that we have, now an African American pastor is leading them. I just feel that with my personality and my commitment to the Word of God, that I can really bring the different groups across our convention together, so that we can help fulfill the mission that God has given us. – Fred Luter

I would like to think that Fred Luter was elected to the leadership position of the SBC because of his own commitment to the Word of God and his desire to see the fulfillment of the Great Commission. From the quote above, that’s what he wanted.

But the first part of that quote from the Baptist Press article more than hints at the real reason why Fred Luter was elected president of the SBC, and I think it’s a shame. In fact, it only cements what has been said by evangelical leadership for some time now.

Fred Luter has been made a token black man.

Luter asked to be nominated for the position after “a word from the Lord” pointed out by his wife. In coverage of his recent election, it is always mentioned that Luter is “the first African-American” (even though he was not born in Africa) or “the first black”.

Now, listen to what other leaders have said:

On changing the name of the SBC…

dr-mohler1Al Mohler: “This signifies that the name has not only been a source of difficulty for church planters serving in areas outside the American South but also that the name has been a source of some difficulty among African Americans precisely because of its identity with the Confederacy.”

Robert Anderson said “the SBC last year hit a significant home run when messengers passed an ethnic diversity report that encourages the SBC president, when he makes his various appointments, to “give special attention to appointing individuals who represent the diversity within the Convention, and particularly ethnic diversity.” The report cites the “need to be proactive and intentional in the inclusion of individuals from all ethnic and racial identities within Southern Baptist life.”

Someone needs to tell Ken Fentress that where there is Christian love, there is no need for ‘racial reconciliation’ in the SBC, and being Southern is not “an impediment to the spreading of the Gospel”. Such a thought is ludicrous and stupid.

It’s all about promoting blacks – because they are black – as a token of politically correct, un-Christian multiculturalist ideology, and having the audacity to call it an act of repentance. What a shame.

Denny Burk:

Over a century and a half ago, Baptists in the south split from Baptists in the north over the issue of slavery. Southern Baptists wanted to appoint slave owners as missionaries, and the northern Baptists disagreed. And so in 1845, the Southern Baptist Convention was born.

In the mid-90′s, Southern Baptists affirmed a resolution of repentance for being on the wrong side of slavery and Jim Crow. It was too long in coming, but it was good and needed.

Today, however, Southern Baptists had their Acts 26:20 moment. We brought forth deeds in keeping with repentance.

I cannot overstate how deeply significant the election of Fred Luter is.

Neither can I.

Fred Luter, God bless him, has been made a token. I will pray for Fred Luter, that he be a shining example of Christianity in spite of those who have used him.

The SBC should be ashamed of itself because so much emphasis has been made on ethnic favoritism with an unprecedented push to put a man in office as the president of the SBC – not because of his commitment to the Word of God and evidential living in the pursuit of holiness, but for other, political reasons.

There is no shame in identifying oneself with the Confederacy even now. There is no shame in being Southern. There is no shame in being Baptist.

But there is and should be much shame in the SBC.

Not for electing a black man, but for electing a man because he is black, and distorting truth like just so many revisionist educators and politicians.