The National Cathedral, the Southern Baptist Convention, and the Banning of the Confederate Battle Flag…”Lest Ye Be Judged.”

untitled (75)And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28) – the favorite scripture of General Stonewall Jackson, Confederate Army

Yesterday was the 1-year anniversary of the horrible massacre in the AME Church in South Carolina, which gave Modern American Liberals the opportunity to do something that they had been attempting to do for years: ban the Stars and Bars, one of the flags used by the South in the Civil War, which has been labeled a symbol of hatred and racism by those who wish to rewrite and censor American History for their own purposes.

A little over a week ago, The Washington Post reported the following story, which I wrote an article about

Washington National Cathedral, one of the country’s most visible houses of worship, announced Wednesday that it would remove Confederate battle flags that are part of two large stained-glass windows honoring Confederate generals Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee. Cathedral leaders said they would leave up the rest of the windows — for now — and use them as a centerpiece for a national conversation about racism in the white church.

The announcement comes a year after the cathedral’s then-dean, the Rev. Gary Hall, said the 8-by-4-foot windows have no place in the soaring church as the country faces intense racial tensions and violence, even though they were intended as a healing gesture when they were installed.

The windows were installed in 1953 to “foster reconciliation between parts of the nation that had been divided by the Civil War,” Hall said last year. “While the impetus behind the windows’ installation was a good and noble one at the time, the Cathedral has changed, and so has the America it seeks to represent. There is no place for the Confederate battle flag in the iconography of the nation’s most visible faith community. We cannot in good conscience justify the presence of the Confederate flag in this house of prayer for all people, nor can we honor the systematic oppression of African-Americans for which these two men fought.”

There were differences of opinion in the past year among the cathedral’s leadership about how to move forward.

A task force created to look into the windows discussed various topics, including whether removing something controversial from a historical piece of art was productive. Members also discussed whether it made sense to remove the flag pieces from larger windows that honor the generals. On Friday the cathedral’s governing body, called the Chapter, decided to remove the flag sections.

The cathedral’s leadership is figuring out the timeline and cost for the removal of the flags, the cathedral said in a statement Wednesday. That will be paid for by private donors.

The broader decision was to use the rest of the windows — the flags are only a small part — as the centerpiece for a series of public forums and events on the issues of racism, slavery and racial reconciliation, the cathedral said in a statement.

“Instead of simply taking the windows down and going on with business as usual, the Cathedral recognizes that, for now, they provide an opportunity for us to begin to write a new narrative on race and racial justice at the Cathedral and perhaps for our nation,” said the Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas,  the Cathedral’s canon theologian and a member of the task force.

The program will begin on July 17 with a panel discussion called “What the White Church Must Do,” moderated by Douglas; the Rev. Dr. Delman Coates, senior pastor of Mount Ennon Baptist Church in Clinton, Md.; Episcopal Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde; and other religious leaders.

The task force calls for the Chapter to revisit the question of “how the windows live in the Cathedral no later than two years from the date of this report.”

In the article I wrote on that story, I provided proof that General Robert E. Lee, Commander of the Confederate Army and General Stonewall Jackson, their most brilliant tactician, were both Christians, as were tens of thousands of those men who fought and died on the side of the Confederacy in the “War between the States”.

That being said, the following story troubles me greatly.

This past Tuesday Reuters News reported that

The U.S. Southern Baptist Convention adopted a resolution on Tuesday repudiating the Confederate battle flag as an emblem of slavery, marking the latest bid for racial reconciliation by America’s largest Protestant denomination.

The resolution, passed at the predominantly white convention’s annual meeting in St. Louis, calls for Southern Baptist churches to discontinue displaying the Confederate flag as a “sign of solidarity of the whole Body of Christ.”

The action came four years after the denomination elected its first black president, Fred Luter, a pastor and civic leader from New Orleans.

In 1995, a Southern Baptist committee issued a resolution apologizing to African-Americans for condoning slavery and racism during the early years of the denomination’s 171-year history.

The convention, currently made up of more than 46,000 churches nationwide, was established in 1845 after Southern Baptists split from the First Baptist Church in America in the pre-Civil War era over the issue of slavery.

The denomination now counts a growing number of minorities among its more than 15.8 million members and has sought in recent years to better reflect the diversity of its congregants and America as a whole.

“This denomination was founded by people who wrongly defended the sin of human slavery,” said Russell Moore, head of the convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. “Today the nation’s largest Protestant denomination voted to repudiate the Confederate battle flag, and it’s time and well past time.”

The flag carried by the South’s pro-slavery Confederate forces during the 1861-65 U.S. Civil War re-emerged as a flashpoint in America’s troubled race relations after the massacre of nine blacks by a white gunman at an historic church in Charleston, South Carolina, in June 2015. The assailant was seen afterward in photographs posing with the flag.

The episode stirred a movement to eliminate the Stars and Bars flag – seen by many whites as a sign of Southern heritage, not hate – from South Carolina’s statehouse and many other public displays in the South during the months that followed.

Actually, last Tuesday’s action was a culmination of a call by Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, from one year ago, after the Charleston Massacre.

These attempts at censuring history, in the name of Political Correctness, “racism”, and “hurt feelings” are one of the biggest exercises in self-serving hypocrisy that this ol’ Son of the South has seen in my ever-lengthening lifetime.

I guess that it beats dealing with the reality that man is a fallen creature and the fact that the Civil War was not solely caused by the issue of slavery.

Or, perhaps it assuages guilt over the movement by some churches to leave “less affluent” neighborhoods for those “more affluent”.

(Oops, did I actually say that? Forgive me, Lord. And, be with all of the starving pygmies in New Guinea. Amen.)

On the wall beside my computer desk, hangs my family crest, which I shipped to my Daddy (Southern Colloquialism for male parental unit) in the summer of 1978, from the York Insignia Shoppe in England.This same family crest also hangs in the home of Jefferson Davis, distinguished Graduate of West Point Academy, and the President of the Confederate States of America.

I am a proud Southerner, who through bloodline, is related to General Robert E. Lee.

As a Christian American, I attend church on Sunday mornings (when not working) with my brothers and sisters in Christ, both black and white.

As I related before, American Progressives, both Democrat and Republican, have taken advantage of the horrible church massacre in Charleston, SC, to accomplish something that they have been trying to do for years: minimize the South’s political clout and erase our uniqueness as a region, through the taking away of a symbol of our heritage, and, any traces of the historical aspects of the Confederate Side of the Civil War, as exemplified by the mission began by Former Memphis Mayor AC Wharton and his minions on the City Council to dig up Nathan Bedford Forrest and his wife, and move their bodies and a statue of the general, which all currently “reside” in a downtown park in the Medical Center. (Of course, the real reason is the fact that the University of Tennessee Center for the Health Sciences wants to buy the park, which sits in the middle of the Medical Center, for the purposes of expansion…but, no one talks about that.)

But, I digress…

Recently, there has been a movement within the Southern Baptist Church to also drop the word “Southern” from the denomination’s name, because it is supposedly “stifling the growth of the denomination”.

Shouldn’t we as Christians be more concerned about winning souls to Christ than we are about the prosperity of our individual churches and the denomination and about Political Correctness, a modern construct, which is hardly scriptural?

Which is more important? Being “in lockstep” with popular culture? Or, growing in our walk with Him as Christian Men and Women?

Finally, what makes us any better than those tens of thousands of Christian Men in the Confederate Army, sitting there, singing hymns and listening to their preachers tell them about salvation through Jesus Christ?

God’s Word reminds us

9What then? Are we any better? Not at all. For we have already made the charge that Jews and Greeks alike are all under sin. 10As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; – Romans 3: 9-10

Reconciliation between the races will not be achieved through the revision of history and the banning of flags.

That’s Political Correctness.

It will only happen if Christian Americans of all races follow the example of Christ and meet people where they are, and share the Good News about God’s Amazing Grace and the reality of the promise of Personal Salvation through Him.

Unfortunately, that requires a sacrifice which few seem willing to make.

Until He Comes,

KJ

 

 

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