I promised I would follow-up, so here it goes: Below is the “official” statement from the National Association of Free Will Baptist, and it is incredibly disappointing. I don’t know what to do. I have stood with my denomination through some difficult issues. I have been personally criticized by my denominational leaders on certain issues but have chosen to remain a FWB. I honestly don’t know if I can continue to do so if this is the best statement they can come up with.
If you have any suggestions, I am open to them. Right now I am heartbroken.
For Immediate Release
December 1, 2011
Free Will Baptist Executive Office Statement Regarding Interracial Couples
Antioch, TN—Recently, the action of a Free Will Baptist church in the state of Kentucky raised questions regarding the position of the National Association of Free Will Baptists on interracial couples. This statement is intended to bring clarity to the subject.
The National Association of Free Will Baptists does not have an official policy regarding interracial couples because it has not been an issue in the denomination. The Free Will Baptist Treatise neither condemns nor disallows marriage between a man and woman of different races.
Free Will Baptists have historically championed the rights and dignity of all people, regardless of race. The denomination’s leadership in the abolition movement is evidence of that fact. Free Will Baptists currently spend millions of dollars each year to take the good news of Jesus Christ to people of every race.
Many interracial couples are members of Free Will Baptist churches. They are loved, accepted, and respected by their congregations. It is unfair and inaccurate to characterize the denomination as racist.
It is our understanding that steps are being taken by the church in question to reverse its decision. We encourage the church to follow through with this action. Leaders from the local conference and state association in Kentucky are working with the church to resolve this matter.
Contact Executive Secretary Keith Burden: firstname.lastname@example.org
Keith Burden, CMP
Executive Secretary National Association of Free Will Baptists, Inc.