By Will Hall, Message Executive Editor
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (LBM)—Tennessee Baptists have broken with Southern Baptists with regard to two controversial concepts creeping into Southern Baptist seminaries, passing a rival resolution at the recently held state annual meeting that condemns Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality.
The consensus statement said that Tennessee Baptists “are deeply troubled that some are injecting CRT and Intersectionality into theological context” and that the state convention’s members “strongly denounce CRT and Intersectionality as inconsistent with the Biblical worldview and theology.”
The Tennessee declaration stands in stark contrast to a resolution passed in June by Southern Baptist messengers that endorsed Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality as “a set of analytical tools” which provide “selective insights … to understand multifaceted social dynamics.”
Critical Race Theory can be traced to Derrick Bell, formerly of the Harvard Law School, who insisted that all formal structures in our country such as “the law” perpetuate “white privilege.”
Meanwhile, Kimberlé Crenshaw, of the UCLA School of Law, coined the idea of Intersectionality to claim every intersection in life creates “privileging of whiteness or maleness” that result in the oppression of women of color, adding that even black maleness contributes to the subjugation of minority females. Bell and Crenshaw are considered far-left liberals by critics and supporters. Interestingly, just two days after the SBC annual meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, R. Albert Mohler president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, spoke out against the SBC resolution, despite the fact that one of his professors, Curtis Woods, chaired the Committee on Resolutions. Indeed, three members of his faculty actively promote Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality.
During his June 14 podcast, “The Briefing,” he condemned both of the concepts as “Marxist” in origin and as emerging from “worldviews and from thinkers who were directly contrary to the Christian faith.”
He also rejected the contention stated in the resolution that these ideas are just “analytical tools,” saying that “in the common discourse in the United States and especially in public argument and higher education, both Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality are far more than analytical tools.”
“The main consequence of Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality is identity politics, and identity politics can only rightly be described as antithetical to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We have to see identity politics as disastrous for the culture and nothing less than devastating for the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ.”