By Alan Scot Willis
" Southern Baptists had lengthy thought of themselves a missionary humans, but if, after global conflict II, they launched into a dramatic enlargement of missionary efforts, they faced headlong the matter of racism. Believing that racism hindered their evangelical efforts, the Convention's full-time missionaries and undertaking board leaders attacked racism as unchristian, hence discovering themselves at odds with the pervasive racist and segregationist ideologies that ruled the South. This innovative view of race under pressure the biblical solidarity of humanity, encompassing all races and transcending particular ethnic divisions. In All in accordance with God's Plan, Alan Scot Willis explores those ideals and the chasm they created in the conference. He exhibits how, within the post-World battle II period, the main revered individuals of the Southern Baptists conference publicly challenged the main dearly held ideologies of the white South. Alan Scot Willis is assistant professor of background at Northern Michigan college. He lives in Marquette, Michigan.
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Extra resources for All According to God's Plan: Southern Baptist Missions and Race, 1945-1970 (Religion in the South)
But assuming that our purpose is to win all men in America to Christ, then Christ and Southern Culture is not an option. It should be obvious that if we must choose between Christ and culture, that we will choose Christ. 71 Such a conflation of religion and culture led Frank Stagg to fear that pastors were not challenging their congregations. ” After noting the flight of Southern Baptists to the suburbs, he wrote, “Churches are in danger of being captured by the suburbs in which they seem to prosper.
44 Overcoming prejudice was necessary for inviting the spirit of Christ 27 ALL ACCORDING TO GOD’S PLAN into one’s life. ” White Christians had to be able to pray “Our Father” with members of all races. ” According to Maston, anything that creates barriers to fellowship between people and God and among people is sin. ”47 The Baptist leaders insisted that biblical teachings needed to direct all aspects of the lives of Christians and the churches. While they agreed with their constituents that the fundamental mission of the church was “to preach and to teach the principles of original Christianity in their purity,” they disagreed with those Christians who argued that the churches should not become involved in political or social questions.
Lawrence, executive secretary of the Home Mission Board, argued, “Our task, as Baptists, is to make Christ known to men everywhere. . ” Rogers 16 “GO YE” M. ” This idea underlay the board’s efforts to evangelize the world. ” 10 The Baptists’ worldwide mission efforts demanded that race relations at home become more Christian. Here, biblical dedication to racial equality and missions intertwined. Andy Blane, director of the Baptist Student Union at the University of Kentucky, argued that the time had come for winning the world to Christ.