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-New Baptist Covenant?

by Dr. D ~ January 31st, 2008

Nearly 20,000 Baptists are involved in a three day gathering this week, called the Celebration of a New Baptist Covenant, in Atlanta. The convention is said to have representatives from more than 30 different organizations representing 20 million Baptists. The stated goal is to bring unity among Baptists around a common understanding of the gospel —salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, and common biblical mandates such as helping the poor and ending racial strife.


The attendees hope to find common points of unity to dwell on rather than the many issues which have divided Baptists in the past. Former US President Jimmy Carter was one of the driving forces in this new convention. He made the following statements about the historic meetings:

"For the first time in more than 160 years, we are convening a major gathering of Baptists throughout an entire continent, without any threat to our unity caused by differences of our race or politics or geography or the legalistic interpretation of Scripture."

"…we want to avoid anything other than harmony, cooperation [and] a positive attitude as a group of Christians."

The largest US Baptist denomination, The Southern Baptist Convention, is not officially participating in the convocation though there a many from the SBC in attendance. Former US President Clinton will also make an appearance. Today, former US VP Al Gore gave the key note address during the luncheon. He spoke on "Stewardship of the Earth" and stressed that global warming was not a ‘political’ issue:

"This is not a political issue, It is a moral issue. It is an ethical issue. It is a spiritual issue."

Response: It is always good to see Christians gathering together in unity for a common purpose and goal. It is particularly hopeful to see Baptists who are from substantially Black and those from largely White churches finally getting together in some kind of Christian unity.

It is however, unfortunate that the only ‘political’ figures speaking at the convocation are Democrats like Carter, Clinton, and Gore. More care should have been taken to include conservatives and Republicans of note also. Detractors of the new Covenant have said that it was merely a political ploy for Democratic leaders to reach out and gain greater influence among Evangelicals.

Hopefully this is not really the case and future meetings will prove that they are trying to overcome political divisions also. While Republicans South Carolina Sen. Lindsay Graham and Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley are planning to attend, the convention speakers are nearly all from the left which is the reason cited by Gov. Mike Huckabee when he declined to participate. Maybe in the future we will see pictures of Pres. Jimmy Carter shaking hands with a prominent ‘Republican’ Baptist like Gov. Huckabee? Now that would show real progress!             *Top

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1 Response to -New Baptist Covenant?

  1. Matt

    Such unity is the beginning of the creation of a hierarchy. The same mentality spawned the beginning of the Catholic Church, as it moved into apostasy.

    This is an excellent book, the whole of which is available to read at this sight:

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