FRC ‘Biblical Worldview’ Fellow: Racial Diversity in Congregations Is Not a ‘Moral Good’ 

FRC Senior Fellow for Biblical Worldview and Strategic Engagement Joseph Backholm (Photo from FRC website)

The Family Research Council chose the eve of Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend to publish a blog post arguing that racial diversity in religious congregations is not “a moral good” and that racial diversity is not “inherently virtuous.”

The post was written by FRC senior fellow for biblical worldview and strategic engagement Joseph Backholm, an anti-marriage-equality activist who joined FRC in 2020.  In a post last year, he wrote that critical race theory “is incompatible with Scripture and the way God has called us to live.” FRC launched its Center for Biblical Worldview in 2021.

In his recent blog post, Backholm did not suggest that racial diversity is bad; he wrote that it “can be a sign of something good but is not something good in and of itself.” He recognized that it is appropriate for the church to play a role in seeking racial reconciliation in the face of escalating racial tensions after the killing of George Floyd. But he argued that congregations should not make diversity “an end unto itself” because diversity should not be seen as “a form of love” even though it could be one outcome of Christians loving all people “the way Jesus does.”

In recent years, right-wing elements within the Southern Baptist denomination and evangelicalism more broadly have battled against what they see as “wokeness” in the church. Other centers of Christian nationalism, like the Standing for Freedom Center at Liberty University (formerly known as the Falkirk Center), have sided with right-wing evangelicals who, as Right Wing Watch described it in 2020, “believe that conversations about social justice and racism within the church are dangerous, evil, and enemies of the Gospel.”

Earlier this month, Baptist News noted that evangelical megachurches have in recent years been becoming more diverse, but that the embrace of former President Donald Trump and Trumpism by white evangelicals “could further stir the simmering cauldron of once-unspoken tension in multiracial congregations.”