It’s all about a Christ-like view of people’
SAN ANTONIO—Seeing people as Christ sees people is the idea behind the resolution that Jim Goforth, messenger, New Life Baptist Church, Florissant, saw passed June 13 at the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) annual meeting.
The resolution honors the 150th anniversary of the Dred Scott decision, a United States Supreme Court ruling that people of African ancestry were not persons. It took actions by all three branches of government—Emancipation Proclamation, 1863, Brown v. Board of Education, 1954, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964—to undo Dred Scott, and in 1995 the SBC unwaveringly denounced racism as a deplorable sin.
Goforth, whose church staff consists of just as many African-American ministers as Anglo ministers, called the resolution “a no-brainer” in that “we needed to step up.” He longs for the day when actions like the one taken this year will lead to more of a realization that Southern Baptists are known for loving their neighbors as themselves.
“We needed to say, ‘People are people,’” Goforth said. “We say that at New Life Baptist Church. It’s one of the things we say every Sunday at the end of our service: ‘This is New Life Baptist Church, where God is exalted, His Word is believed, His commands are obeyed, and people are people.’”
Resolutions Committee Member Charles Strickland shepherded the resolution through to its final passage. An indication of how hard that may have been comes when one examines the numbers; there were 33 resolutions submitted to the committee, and only eight made it to the floor for a vote. Resolution No. 3 was adopted unanimously as messengers wholly lamented and repudiated the March 6, 1857 decision.