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--
In other words, Carter and Clinton are advocating the creation of a New Babtist convention with 'god' created in the image of Carter and Clinton.
=The grand holy doctrine of the control freak.
=The sacred knee pads
=The covenent of the lust in the mind and lustful sacrement of the just-off-the-office-closset-hallway.
=The two minute hate of republicans because republicans equal SATAN!
=discussion group on how to encourage homsoexual behavior in children sponsored by GLSEN and the Southern Poverty Law Insititute.
=Special guest speakers, President of Iran, Barak Husein Obama, David Duke, James Byrd, and the President of Cair.
Carter is theologically confused, but I believe that he is sincere in his devotion. Clinton worships himself. The only time he cares about religion in the slightest is when he thinks it might get him back in the White House.
I guess my sainted grandmother was right all along: hell ain't full yet by any means.
Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves...So then, you will know them by their fruits...And then I will declare to them,"I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness" Matthew 7:15, 20, 23.
The difficulty for the SBC is that the media will advance the sterotype that Carter/Clinton wants advanced.
Blessed are you when men say all manner of evil against you falsely for my name's sake; rejoice and be glad for great is your reward in heaven...for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
And for what it's worth, this is as close as I've seen to the wall between church and state tumbling down. These two men may no longer be in places of political authority, but they have easy access to it. To have them starting their own church should have TJ rolling over...
"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."..............
"Leaders from the Southern Baptist Convention were not invited to attend."
What What WHAAAAT!
Anyone who is as anti-Jew and anti-Israel as Carter in this modern age (when assisted by un-adulterated Bible translations -- I make very limited and qualified exceptions to those in the past) can't possibly know his Bible very well.
You wrote, "The unity they say they are seeking is found in Christ, not in society-defined social justice."
Beautifully and succinctly written. Thank you.
Worse for you guys is that the clergy of this new McReligion are going to call themselves Baptists, and the AP is soon going to reporting all manner of nutty pronouncements attributed to "Baptist ministers."
I've been too busy the last few days to do anything on FR, managed to pop in for a minute and saw this.
What a megalo-maniacal heretics! Both Carter and BeelzeBubba.
While I'm not a baptist, I am a friend of the Baptists.
I agree with you, though. We'll soon be hearing about the Baptist drive to fully include homosexuals.
To call oneself a Christian does not make one a Christian.
Well said. It makes me sick when any politician uses Christianity for political advocacy.
Presumably abortion would not be a sin in this new church as both of its founders are pro choice.
Jimmy and Bubba can be seen as disastrous abominations!
They hate Jews too!!
But I don't think Americans are THAT stupid to ever allow these two boobs to set up a church.
Life long Baptist........ has been visiting a Methodist Church for the past 8 months. And this is part of the reason why..........
The Southern Baptist are the second largest church in America behind Catholics, and that doesn't count the millions of other Baptists.
There are more Southern Baptists in the U.S. than there are Jews in the entire world.
In the media the Southern Baptists almost don't exist, except for an occasional negative story.
When the media needs religious reaction they don't go to the largest Protestant church in this Protestant nation, instead they get a Priest, a Rabbi, maybe some small church leader like a Presbytarian, and now sometimes a Muslim.
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