Last week’s vote (June 2016) to repudiate the Battle Flag by the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) caught me by surprise and left me in shock. I have long considered our denomination to be socially conservative, prudent, and wise to stay out of issues that do not directly impact the mission of our church. I am a deacon but more importantly on this topic, I am a student of history and the Bible.
While I do have ancestors who defended against the invasion of 1861, that does not make me uniquely qualified to make statements based on emotion to defend or excoriate these veterans and their symbols. I understand fully what they fought for and it certainly was not what some in our leadership have shamefully claimed. Truth and hard facts are the best way to approach difficult issues. We must get this right as a church. Lincoln’s War of 1861 cost our country the lives of 625,000 soldiers and the lives of 50,000 Southern civilians (black and white). It changed the federal government forever from one that was limited, to one that controls every aspect of our lives, deeply divided this country upon racial lines, and set slaves free only to re-enslave them to another master.
The topic of the Confederate Battle Flag, history of the SBC, history of the flag itself, race, and the true topics of importance are too complex to tackle with ad hominem arguments, rhetoric and straw men. No, we need truth to tackle such issues and to admit this argument is based in political correctness. The truth and only the truth will heal wounds that keep being picked by those who profit from race and division.
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