A letter to George W. Truett's hometown Paper

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A letter to George W. Truett's hometown Paper

Postby Stephen Fox » Mon Jul 22, 2019 3:51 pm

The Clay County Progress
Hayesville, NC

The Editors:

I was baptized in the Truett Memorial Baptist Church in 1959 when my Father was pastor there. Within the following year one of his professors Stewart A Newman with two other faculty from the seminary in Wake Forest stopped by for a meal on the way to Nashville for some Baptist conversations on the nature of the Bible.

Just four years earlier Newman had followed the famous pastor of the Time W. A Criswell, Truett's successor of FBC of Dallas Texas, to the podium of the South Carolina Baptist pastor's conference. Criswell in 56 HAD Delivered Fiery Race Baiting Speech to the Pastor's Conference and the next day a joint session of the SC legislature.

In an address where Criswell said things like I wouldn't let my daughter within two city blocks of A Big Black Buck; and you wouldn't call a Chigger a Chiggerow, now would ya, Newman's reply when his turn came was: "W.A. Criswell doesn't speak for me. "

There were only two pastors in the church in the 20th Century at FBC Dallas , Truett and Criswell. Historians say Truett, the Baptist born in Hayesville was likely the greatest Baptist of the First Half of the 20th Century.

In Princeton author Robert Wuthnow's Book Rough Country, Wuthnow in the Chapter from Judge Lynch to Jim Crow lays out how Truett leaned forward in his Day on matters of Race.

Now we have folks like the current pastor at FBC Dallas Jeffress and Jerry Falwell Jr, even Franklin Graham in the Trump Train not to mention Mark Meadows. Criswell set the template for them all.

To me Trump and his spin meister Stephen Miller--I saw the Sunday interview on Fox News of Miller by Chris Wallace--are more un American than the Squad. Ask the majority of players for ACC basketball and or SEC Football what the phrase go Back to Where you Came from means to them.

On Tuesday July 17 on Ga NPR program Political Rewind a panel of Three Jews and Two Black people said they have much more to fear, are more threatened by the rhetoric of Trump and his Send her Back Ralleys, than they are by some of the misguided statements of the Squad.

One of the Jews was twice elected Attorney General for the State of Georgia.

Or for that matter ask the faculty of Western Carolina, Mars Hill and Appalachian State, ask David Thompson's High School track team member Ron Rash or his novelist colleague at App State Mark Powell.

Here is a true test for Baptist Christians in Western North Carolina, are they part of the discerning Body of Christ in the legacy of George W. Truett, or are they trapped in the culture of WA Criswell and his lesser understanding of the Gospel for the Public Square and the great vision of the Declaration and its self evident Truths?
"I'm the only sane {person} in here." Doyle Hargraves, Slingblade
"Midget, Broom; Helluva campaign". Political consultant, "Oh, Brother..."

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Stephen Fox
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