Below is a letter from some self-acclaimed “young leaders” of the CBF to Dr. Cecil Sherman.
I’m not sure how I feel about it yet. There are some things I agree with, but I also see arrogance in these (not-so) young leaders. I’ll give my reply later. But for now, here is the letter. I initially read this letter from Aaron Weaver’s blogsite: Big Daddy Weave
Open Letter to Dr. Cecil Sherman
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Dear Dr. Sherman,
For your work and ministry, we are sincerely grateful. You helped harness the energy of those who chose to leave the Southern Baptist Convention when certain leaders were ousted through manipulative and unethical means. You helped to create a new family of faith, a new movement now known as the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. We are grateful for your risk-taking and your leadership.
After receiving recognition for your recently published book last Thursday at the CBF General Assembly in Memphis, Tennessee, you juxtaposed our relatively small amount of pain – where no one was injured or killed – to the six million killed in the Holocaust. In our opinion and the opinions of many others, your analogy was misguided. These words are old rhetoric that we will no longer accept in our midst. The SBC has chosen one path and the CBF another. We no longer have energy to focus on this separation, but rather turn our attention to a suffering world.
Though the wounds of the fundamentalist takeover of the SBC are nothing in comparison to the Holocaust, we recognize those wounds are real. They are also wounds that need healing, and for some the grieving process is not over yet. We respect that and want to allow a place for conversations about our past. Of course remembering what happened will help us avoid repeating mistakes. But we will no longer wish for this conversation to have center stage – nor be the focus of who we are and what we do.
Young Baptist leaders are ready to embrace new opportunities for ministry and discipleship. Remembering the past but not dwelling on it, many Baptist are excited and enthusiastic about ministering with the most neglected people around the world. Some of these most neglected include descendants of those people-groups who were targeted for extermination in the Holocaust.
So with deep respect for your work and sacrifice for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, we invite you to lay down the pain of the past and join us as we focus on a future, bright with possibility.
David Burroughs, President, Passport, Inc.
Rev. R. Scott Ford, Associate Coordinator for Missions, CBF of Georgia
Rev. Nikki Hardeman, Associate Coordinator for Congregational Life, CBF of Georgia
Jeremy Lewis, Together for Hope Manager, CBF
Rev. Brent McDougal, Coordinator of Alabama CBF
Rev. Christina Whitehouse-Suggs, Associate Coordinator for Congregational Life, CBF South Carolina
Mike Young, Associate Coordinator for Missions, Tennessee CBF