I fear too many members of SBC churches are giving money, intending to further the Gospel of Christ, and unknowingly funding the teaching of a false Gospel in our seminaries. This is happening through professors and leaders who embrace false teachings and knowingly hide what they are doing.
Walter Strickland is one such professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Like other SBC affiliated seminaries, some of their funding comes through the SBC Cooperative Program which gives about 22 percent of its funds to the seminaries. And?
Strickland’s “favorite theological book of all time” is “Liberation and Reconciliation: A Black Theology,” in his own words1 (Jude Three Project, 2016). In this book, author J. Deotis Roberts writes that Black Theology needs “to be informed not only by the Christian faith but by the explorations into the unconscious by Freud and his associates, as well as the analysis of social, economic, and political ills by Marx and other social philosophers” (Roberts, 2005, p. 54) 2. He also claims that “Whites desire to be ‘as gods’ to blacks” and claims they become angry if blacks respond with Matthew 23:9 (Roberts, 2005, p. 57). He also claims that whites are collectively guilty of racism and should be haunted by the sins of the fathers and mothers (Roberts, 2005, p. 57). Whites appear to be reduced to viewing blacks in one of two ways: they can be overt racist that hate blacks, in which case they can change and be reconciled in love to blacks; or they can be “not aware of any race problem” and therefore be guilty of “preconscious racism” (Roberts, 2005, p 53).
Our Lord and Savior taught in Matthew 12:31 that “every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.” There is one. One. Unforgivable. Sin. What does Strickland’s all-time favorite theological book teach? Roberts writes on page 59 that “Preconsious racism is a type of [emphasis added] ‘unpardonable sin'” (2005) that cannot be forgiven of since it can’t be recognized and repented of. By classifying it as a “type of” unpardonable sin Roberts contradicts a direct teaching of Christ. If whites won’t admit they are racist, they can’t be forgiven of sin.
Strickland also embraces the teachings of James Cone. The New York Times reports that “Reading the black liberation theologian James Cone helped Mr. Strickland, the theology professor, see how white theologians often ignore the structural sources of earthly suffering” 3 (Worthen, 2019). Strickland states in this article that Cone’s ideas “are in play” but he won’t actually use his name when he’s speaking to white congregations. Wonder why?
Perhaps here would be an appropriate place to draw on the efforts of Neil Shenvi, a Christian apologist who has done excellent work in the area of Critical Race Theory. His page of quotes from Cone’s “A Black Theology of Liberation” could shed light on why Mr. Strickland feels the need to sneaks Cones theology “in the back door by walking around the linguistic land mines” when it comes to orthodox Christianity (Worthen, 2019). Go to Shenvi’s page above and you can find quotes about “taking honkies out,” about the Bible not being infallible, how “God was not the author of the Bible,” and discover that, the teaching Strickland brings into churches and the seminary has this as its goal: “The goal of black theology is the destruction of everything white, so that blacks can be liberated from alien gods” (Shenvi, unk)4.
Finally, while I’m not sure what I feel about the site this is hosted on, this video sounds as if he believes THE purpose of the church is to social ills. Otherwise, the gospel is just a white man’s religion (Maples, 2020)5.
Walter Strickland brings perspective that is racist, violates/dismisses God’s Word, and he passes it on to our future pastors and missionaries. He is partly enabled in doing this through the giving of many unsuspecting (I hope) faithful members at SBC churches across the country.
- 1.Jude 3 Project. 6 The Balanced Scholar: The Life and Work of J. Deotis Roberts | Walter Strickland. YouTube. Published October 2016. Accessed January 2021. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxqW-HQ8Fuc
- 2.Roberts JD. Liberation and Reconciliation: A Black Theology. 2nd ed. Westminster John Knox Press; 2005.
- 3.Worthen M. Can Black Evangelicals Save the Whole Movement? New York Times.
- 4.Shenvi N. Quotes from Cone’s Black Theology of Liberation. Shenvi Apologetics. Accessed January 1, 2021. Quotes from Cone’s Black Theology of Liberation
- 5.Maples J. SBC Seminary Professor Says He Had to Embrace Another Gospel to “Keep His Faith.” Reformation Charlotte. Published November 2, 2021. Accessed January 1, 2021. https://reformationcharlotte.org/2020/11/02/sbc-seminary-professor-says-he-had-to-embrace-another-gospel-to-keep-his-faith/