Southern Baptist Convention President Attacks Opponents of Critical Race Theory as Closet Racists, Neo-Confederates, and Pharisees

The president of the Southern Baptist Convention, J.D. Greear, has blasted leaders and pastors who’ve made “closet racists” and “neo-Confederates” feel more at home in their churches than people of color.

His criticism came during an address at the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee meeting on Monday.

Let me state this very clearly, as clearly as I can, critical race theory is an important discussion and I am all for, as I hope you would be, robust theological discussion about it,” Greear said. “For something as important as what biblical justice looks like in the world today, we need careful, robust, Bibles open, on our knees discussion. But we should mourn when closet racists and neo-Confederates feel more at home in our churches than do many of our people of color.”

Greear also compared Southern Baptist Convention leaders to the Pharisees in their opposition to Critical Race Theory, stating that although they believe “correct doctrine,” they are closing their hearts to the full Gospel message by attacking CRT.

The Pharisees who resisted Jesus, we know more than any other group in the world had correct doctrine. It was their spirit that Jesus said disqualified them from the Kingdom of God. They weren’t content with what the Bible said. For example, they weren’t content with how exactly the Bible said it, so they created what has come to be known as a hedge about the law, conflating the traditions of men, Jesus said, with the commands of the law,” he said.

Jeff Maples, covering Greear’s address for Reformation Charlotte, says that Greear is referring to “vocal anti-Marxist critics” when he uses the terms “neo-Confederates” and “Pharisees.”

If Greear were after unity, he’d denounce the heresy that is swarming the denomination and call for unity around the truth. Instead, Greear labels those who defend biblical doctrine as ‘pharisees’ and calls on the denomination to repudiate them,” Maples writes, adding that Greear’s comparison of certain SBC leaders to Pharisees is based on an incorrect understanding of how the New Testament presents the Pharisees.

Greear also demonstrated a complete lack of understanding of Jesus’ issue with the Pharisees when said that the Pharisees in the New Testament had correct doctrine, but that their problem was that they opposed Jesus. The Scriptures, however, do not teach that the Pharisees had correct doctrine—Jesus’ problem with them is that they were false teachers, just like those who push Critical Race Theory.”