By Alan Scot Willis
" Southern Baptists had lengthy thought of themselves a missionary humans, but if, after international warfare II, they launched into a dramatic growth of missionary efforts, they faced headlong the matter of racism. Believing that racism hindered their evangelical efforts, the Convention's full-time missionaries and project board leaders attacked racism as unchristian, therefore discovering themselves at odds with the pervasive racist and segregationist ideologies that ruled the South. This revolutionary view of race under pressure the biblical harmony of humanity, encompassing all races and transcending particular ethnic divisions. In All in keeping 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 warfare II period, the main revered participants of the Southern Baptists conference publicly challenged the main dearly held ideologies of the white South. Alan Scot Willis is assistant professor of heritage at Northern Michigan college. He lives in Marquette, Michigan.
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Extra info for All According to God's Plan: Southern Baptist Missions and Race, 1945-1970 (Religion in the South)
Furthermore, progressive Baptists often defined political questions as moral questions. In this way, they had become involved in such causes as the prohibition movement while claiming to be apolitical. Many 28 “GO YE” Baptists, however, believed that becoming involved in social issues strayed from religious purity. T. J. Preston was among those who worried about the churches taking social and political stands. Preston told Baptists that desegregation was a purely political question and, therefore, the Southern Baptist Convention and its state affiliates had no right even to discuss the matter.
Progressive Baptists offered a different interpretation. ” Accordingly, Paul meant his reference to boundaries and limitations to prevent the Athenians, or anyone else, from developing a Messiah complex. Biblically, there was only one race, one “family” with God as the Father. ’”32 Like most progressive Baptists, Leonard A. Duce, assistant dean at Baylor University, believed that communist, or other non-Christian, answers to racial problems were unacceptable. ”33 The idea of Christian “brotherhood” raised certain questions.
Furthermore, Christ had died for all people, and salvation was available on an equal basis. If that were so, as one Presbyterian woman realized during an integrated Sunday School class with Mexican Presbyterians, there should be no signs barring blacks and Mexicans from businesses and public places. ”24 The fear of integration and interracial marriage was tied to stereotyped views of black sexuality. James J. Kilpatrick, author of The Southern Case for School Segregation, cited higher rates of illegitimacy among blacks as proof of their sexual promiscuity.
All According to God's Plan: Southern Baptist Missions and Race, 1945-1970 (Religion in the South) by Alan Scot Willis