Skip to comments.Former Presidents Carter & Clinton call for 'A New Baptist Covenantí
Posted on 01/11/2007 8:59:58 AM PST by presidio9
Former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton have proposed the establishment of a broadly inclusive alternative Baptist movement to counter what they called a negative image of Baptists and to address poverty, the environment and global conflicts.
Carter and Clinton kicked off their plans with a news conference Jan. 9 at the Carter Center in Atlanta, flanked by leaders of moderate Baptist groups including the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, a breakaway group of an unverified number of churches that objected to the election of conservative leaders in the Southern Baptist Convention. Carter and Clinton announced a Celebration of a New Baptist Covenant, tentatively set for Jan. 30-Feb. 1, 2008, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, which they hope will attract 20,000 Baptists.
This is a historic event for the Baptists in this country and perhaps for Christianity, Carter said at the news conference.
About 80 leaders of 40 moderate Baptist organizations claiming to represent 20 million Baptists in the United States, Canada and Mexico met at the Carter Center for the announcement. Leaders from the Southern Baptist Convention were not invited to attend.
This is an attempt to bring people together and say, What would our Christian witness require of us in the 21st century? Clinton said, adding that his goal is to be a cheerleader for the group.
Bill Underwood, president of Mercer University in Georgia, said at the news conference that the 2008 meeting is meant to draw attention away from the Baptists who have the microphone, meaning conservative leaders who frequently appear in the media voicing conservative views.
North America desperately needs a true Baptist witness, Underwood said.
Frank Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention and pastor of First Baptist Church in Taylors, S.C., took issue with Underwoods assertion and Carters and Clintons remarks apparently aimed at Southern Baptists.
Instead of engaging in a war of words, lets do a reality check, Page told Baptist Press. Word games are fine, but reality says Southern Baptists are presenting a positive life-changing message, impacting our culture with our ministries and sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Carter and Clinton said they want to counter concerns that Baptists have been negative and exclusionary and promised an inclusive organization willing to debate openly on all issues.
Morris H. Chapman, president of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, said that Carters concerns about negative perceptions of Baptists ring hollow.
He has been one of the most vocal critics of Southern Baptists, using fundamentalist as a pejorative and drawing a caustic comparison between Ayatollah Khomeinis rise to power in Iran and the resurgence of conservative leadership being elected in the SBC, Chapman wrote to Baptist Press.
Chapman also disputed Carters and Clintons notion about a negative perception of Baptists.
Research shows this premise is false, he said. Zogby International conducted a survey for the SBC that showed adults view Southern Baptists favorably, equally to their views about Catholics and United Methodists. Not surprisingly, we fared best in areas where we have a strong presence and the community at large experiences our ministries and is familiar with our beliefs."
Tentative themes for plenary sessions at the 2008 meeting in Atlanta, according to a CBF communications report, are: Celebration of a New Baptist Covenant, Unity in Bringing Good News to the Poor, Unity in Respecting Religious Diversity, Unity in Seeking Peace with Justice and Unity in Welcoming the Stranger and Healing the Broken-Hearted.
Both Page and Chapman addressed Clintons and Carters statements that the gathered group offered something new for Baptists.
Page pointed out that although Southern Baptists are painted as a white denomination, It was not long ago that the Saturday Evening Post described the Southern Baptist Convention as 'the most ethnically diverse of all U.S. Protestant denominations.'
According to SBC data for 2002, 4,742 out of 43,071 churches identified themselves as predominately ethnic, with 2,085 describing themselves as African-American. The SBC does not keep demographic information on individuals, so churches identified as predominately one race may have diversity among their members not reported in the data.
Chapman defended Southern Baptists record of ministering to the poor.
"Southern Baptists address world hunger in many ways, but a good example this past year was their giving $5.8 million, collected by the SBC Executive Committee, with every penny going solely to combat this global tragedy," Chapman said.
According to budget allocations, about 20 percent of funds collected for the SBCs World Hunger Fund are used in the United States and 80 percent overseas.
In the U.S. alone, Southern Baptists provided over 5 million meals, he said. The great difference in our approach from liberals is that in ministering to the body, we do not neglect the needs of the soul, and the Gospel was shared with over 500,000 people with over 32,000 professions of faith resulting.
When we offer a loaf of bread, no strings attached, we also present Jesus as the Living Bread and lives are changed both physically and spiritually, Chapman told BP.
The 2008 confabulation Clinton and Carter propose will coincide with a U.S. presidential election year. Clinton's wife, U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), is a possible candidate and has hired a consultant to advise her on religion. Democrats have made winning over "faith voters" a major election strategy. --30--
LOL!! These two are the reason Baptists have got bad press!
Yeah, it does. Of course, all joking aside, there are strong Biblical allusions to a "One World Church" and those that should know better being deceived by a "person" that says all the right things. And that "person" knowing all the things followers of Christ would expect to hear from a "Holy Man".
I find news stories like this and any involving _________ (fill in the name of any celebrity mega church pastor here, especially Warren's recent dabbling with the sickening donks) disturbing on more than one level. But I also believe that humor, even the gallows sort, will be a much needed commodity over the next 10-11 years.
to counter what they called a negative image of Baptists and to address poverty, the environment and global conflicts.
They are going to bring the UN to a pulpit near you. - tom
I have known three Opus Dei members. Two were obsessed zealots one with psychiatric disorders ( whom Opus Dei recognized and was sent for pastoral assistance). One was as you say a "plain Vanilla Catholic" One was a vulnerable person who needed to belong to something and be special. Opus Dei filled that need.
I rank Opus Dei along with the Liberation theologists. Fringe types. Both OD and LT's are perilously close to cults...
When I say Brownshirts and Che Gueverra in Cassocks. I'm engaging in a bit of illustrative hyperbole of course. The phrases came to me from Franciscan priest at St. Francis University. I enjoy the banter of priests because they can be very creative with language.
I really have no idea what these new baptists are, except that if Jimmuh and Willy are pushing it, it can't be good.
There was (is) a Baptist church directly across the highway from the Lutheran church I grew up in. In my small world, the Baptists were as foreign as those freaks who wanted to hitch a ride on some comet years ago.
The churches are bailing out, which is so sad. Any "church" that would allow the scummy likeness of Bill Clinton to speak for them has to be doomed. The Lutheran church is about as bad. I attended my father's funeral just before Christmas in my childhood church, which is the first time I have been there since the preacher prayed some 6 or 7 years ago for the "equitable distribution of the earth's resources". The congregation prays this crapp with absolutely no understanding of what the words mean. Probably that same thing is going on here, as far as congretation memebers go. If the church/government says it then it must be so.
The Covenant of Oral Sex Isn't Sex
It may be "false, but true". But it's a hoot!
Also curious is why they chose the word "covenant". Adulterers and traitors can now just completely re-write the convenant with God? A covenant is a sacred promise. Covenants are documented throughout the new and old testaments. Now Jimmuh and willy want to rewrite the Bible. Its already been written and I never read in there anywhere that they have editing privileges because they are in direct negotiations with God. Seriously, you should have handed out barf bags when you hit "send" on this post. :-)
Yep, in a nutshell...
I suspect that anyone who is confirmed in their faith can't imagine the notion of schism. As a Catholic I doubt the Church anticipated the sudden emergence of Martin Luther and his 99 Theses. Not even Luther envisioned the changes that occurred. I'd guess that Southern Baptists view themselves as indivisible and schism proof. But a close inspection of SBC politics shows the seeds of schism are already there. Carter and Clinton and cynically exploiting that emerging division for political purposes.
Without the law, lawlessness cannot exist. Yet as Christ said, "because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold" (Mat. 24:12). Christ will throw "those who practice lawlessness... into the furnace of fire" (Mat. 13:41-42).
* "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets... Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great..." Mat. 5:17-19
* And Jesus said to him, "See that you tell no one; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded as a testimony to them." Mat. 8:4
* Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God... Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law. Rom. 3:19, 31
* ...he who is spiritual judges all things... 1 Cor. 2:15
Carter and Clinton put out rotten fruit... and we are to judge a tree by it's fruit. Bad tree puts out bad fruit...Matthew 7
* ...those who rebuke the wicked will have delight, and a good blessing will come upon them. Prov. 24:25
But, but, he chases and screws women religiously, doesn't he???
The False Prophet
I agree we should have a devotional on that passage! Thank you so much for your encouragements, my dear brother in Christ!
The "holy grail" for the Left is homosexuality.
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