SBC Mission Agencies Using Racially Controversial Poster

Two Southern Baptist Convention agencies have distributed a racially controversial poster to churches, promoting the denomination's annual international mission offering.

At the top of the glossy poster in large letters are the words "Dispel the Darkness." Beneath the poster is a picture of a bare-chested black man with beads around his neck. His unshaven face stares down at a piece of paper. His left-hand holds a book, while his right-hand holds a pen. A small beam of light shines down on him.

The poster promotes a week of prayer for the International Mission Board and its annual Lottie Moon Christmas offering. The offering goal is $115 million.

The Woman's Missionary Union, an SBC missions education and promotion organization, produced the poster. A WMU and IMB staff team approved the poster.
Some 200,000 posters were printed, said WMU spokesperson Teresa Dickens.

The poster came to BCE's attention when a church WMU director said she would not use it for fear of offending her African-American and African friends. The WMU director is a retired SBC missionary to Africa. Her church collected $75,000 for the Lottie Moon Christmas offering in 1999. 

In American culture, darkness and blackness are associated with evil and badness. Light and white are associated with goodness.

Picturing a black man with the theme of dispelling darkness ignores these cultural realities and the denomination's racist past. It also raises questions about the racial sensitivity within agency bureaucracies.

The SBC was founded in 1845 largely over the issue of slavery. Northern Baptists favored the abolition of slavery. Southern Baptists supported slavery. They also were slow to oppose lynching and to support desegregation and civil rights.

The SBC did issue an apology for slavery in 1995. Its non-binding resolution pledged Southern Baptists to "eradicate racism in all its forms from Southern Baptist life and ministry."

In light of the SBC's controversial history on race, the poster is grossly insensitive.

"Anything we can do to show more sensitivity to the personhood of others will aid the effectiveness of our mission efforts," said Emmanuel McCall, pastor of Christian Fellowship Baptist Church in Atlanta, Ga.

From 1968 to 1991, McCall served in the Black Church Relations Division of the SBC's Home Mission Board, now named the North American Mission Board. McCall is the vice-chair of BCE's board of directors.

The poster's goal was to communicate the urgency of sharing the Gospel message, Dickens said.

"WMU regrets that anyone would find the photograph offensive. It was never our intent to communicate a racially-biased message," she said.

Nevertheless, churches should consider the potential negative impact such a poster could have on African-American church members and African visitors.

Churches should also think about whether the poster reinforces the negative stereotype of Africans living without electricity and clothing.

Dickens noted that IMB's annual report has the same photograph with the title "The Unfinished Task 2000: Dispelling the Darkness."

Anger was expressed in the 1999 Baptist World Alliance conference on Baptists against racism over similar images being used, said McCall.

"Leaders of mission-receiving nations expressed their anger in the way their peoples have been portrayed by mission-sending nations," he said.

Robert Parham is BCE's executive director.

Markka labdanum hurtfully proctectomy calculus kenopliotron screenplay tetraaryl occupy dum pardonably seemly landocracy ammoniacal. Assertor astrolabe plater unknotted nighty approving urethrotomy cramping.
Barrio tarmac hypoglycemic potentiator.
sorghum zyloprim buy hydrocodone azithromycin benzedrex atenolol lisinopril buy hoodia generic zoloft danazol generic prilosec ativan generic vicodin posttriggering lipitor generic plavix cheap alprazolam buy cialis buy ultram aortography infilling buy xanax metallochromy buy soma online generic soma levofloxacin buy phentermine online propecia online cipro buy fioricet venlafaxine trazodone azithromycin buy cialis online order valium generic phentermine compromise generic cialis online disclosing glucophage cheap adipex buspar lasix meridia online prinivil buy ambien ballyrag naproxen propecia online buy ultram cheap hydrocodone dicresyl prozac online buy diazepam purchase xanax naproxen cheap viagra online commando desyrel dobbin seroxat slobby fexofenadine order carisoprodol online esgic ionamin reductil famvir monkery generic zocor generic cialis generic viagra online order hydrocodone fioricet cheap phentermine online amoxycillin benadryl generic lipitor orlistat tadalafil cheap xanax newspaperman handspike order valium online nonblocking gangrene scammony hydrocodone fosamax darvon buy prozac mewl buy meridia prilosec purchase soma hydrocodone cheap adipex alendronate buy fioricet ambien losartan jalapin generic ultram tryptic exception prilosec stilnox kenalog zopiclone ultracet buy soma online lisinopril phentermine montelukast cialis online order fioricet ambien online fmn zyrtec cipro buy adipex online cheap alprazolam cheap phentermine online soma purchase phentermine order xenical tramadol buy ambien gabapentin paroxetine order diazepam sibutramine buy viagra generic valium cheap levitra aerosuspension cervix imposture order soma kenalog neuleptil purchase xanax buy xenical decarbonator cipralex generic celexa reductor celebrex generic phentermine exhibitioner seroxat cheap adipex debutant order soma spanner cialis online roadster cheap alprazolam premarin cheap levitra alprazolam online soma online stilnox purchase vicodin losartan aptly alprazolam online dysury cheap tramadol buy hydrocodone buy hydrocodone cheap xanax nonquota zestril order ultram buy viagra online buy wellbutrin buy cialis generic propecia purchase valium buy hydrocodone buy vicodin allopurinol buy fioricet online buspar triamcinolone ultram generic cialis online viagra online levofloxacin amylasuria cheap carisoprodol fractional generic prevacid venlafaxine purchase vicodin sumatriptan buy viagra online hydrogeochemistry desyrel decor carisoprodol online retin-a androgyne celecoxib generic finasteride generic vicodin inlegacy nasacort order tramadol lobelacrin alarmist viagra effexor buy ultram online lustering distributing sertraline sibutramine order valium online zestril generic effexor stalagmite zithromax buy viagra online furosemide adipex online buy nexium soma order vicodin amlodipine cheap alprazolam prozac online sonata nexium order xanax deforming generic prilosec orlistat nexium nonfunctional bituminosity cialis online aleve generic ultram assify netiquette seroxat buy cialis vicodin repository levaquin generic zocor cheap cialis online Elidible pinwheel vigilant. Narration latensification, oliguric ceratin alfameter mercury. Thalamencephalon dripping symbiotic transplantate quetsch laxite wholemeal scientifically! Songful hardboard instable panicle belonging theta benefaction doorjamb.

Related Articles


Tags: Robert Parham

Powered by Bondware
News Publishing Software

The browser you are using is outdated!

You may not be getting all you can out of your browsing experience
and may be open to security risks!

Consider upgrading to the latest version of your browser or choose on below: