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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

2008 Baptist Convocation, Part Two

Yesterday, I blogged about the announcement of the 2008 Convocation of North American Baptists. Today, I'm posting a few good quotes from Baptists regarding this announcement.

“It excites me. I see it as a positive thing that will help the cause of Baptists and of Christ across the nation,” Vernon said. “I think what has happened is that across the nation the ‘voice of Baptists’ has been perceived as the Southern Baptist Convention. The new national alliance will broaden the voice of Baptists and be more inclusive of all strains of Baptists. This alliance is more reflective of who Baptists are.”

-BGCT President Steve Vernon

I know, we Baptists have a bad rep. We don’t like anything. We don’t dance. We don’t drink. We don’t smoke. And we fight all the time.

But that’s not what we’re about. We care about people. We seek to share Christ’s love with others. We provide food to the hungry, clothes to the naked. We provide a voice in government for those who don’t have one. We try to be Christ’s hands and feet here on earth.

And now, we’re coming together in a way that has never happened before. President Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton announced today a meeting designed to bring together all North American Baptists. We’re getting together to talk about ways we can better cooperate and work on issues like poverty, hunger and AIDS. We’re coming together to talk about God’s work. We’re coming together to be who God wants us to be.

And that’s the kind of people I want my daughter growing up around.

-Stories of Grace

"Good-will Baptists held a historic meeting today pregnant with potential for advancing the common good. The 2008 meeting will correct the misperception that the name Baptist is synonymous with fundamentalism, counter the misguided agenda of the Christian right and call for a new era in which Baptists recover a commitment to social justice."

Dr. Robert Parham, Executive Director of Baptist Center For Ethics

At least one Southern Baptist blogger has weighed in on next years Convocation. His perspective is below:

I respect President Carter for his work with Habbitat for Humanity. My opinion is he is a better former President than he was an active President. I believe he has a genuine faith, however I can’t figure out how he can be pro-abortion.

Tell me how President Clinton is going to give Baptists a better image? Has he repented of his public failings? When I think of President Clinton, I don’t think of faith in Christ, I think of a man who is a womanizer. He is pro-choice and pro-homosexual agenda. If he is re-shaping Baptists, then I don’t want to have any part of it.

What does Underwood mean we need a “true” Baptist witness? I don’t agree with everything the SBC does, but at least we have professors and missionaries who believe the Bible is inerrant.

Their idea of “progressive” is different than mine. I consider myself progressive in my methods but I am conservative when it comes to the Bible and faith. I agree that Baptists should be known for feeding the hungry and helping the needy. That is why our church has gotten involved in helping people in New Orleans. I also like the direction that Dr. Frank Page is leading the SBC to be known for what we are for rather than what we are against.

Personally, I don’t think we need to come together unless the Carter and Clinton group will agree to live by the principles of the inerrant Holy Bible.

Kevin Bussey of Confessions of a Recovering Pharisee


Blogger Michael Westmoreland-White said...

My worry is that the Alliance of Baptists continues to be left out of these meetings. I think the CBF considers us "too liberal" and urges the others not to invite us.

6:00 AM

Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...

Back in April I asked why the Alliance and Greg Boyd's denomination, Baptist General Conference? I think, was left out.

Both groups are supporting bodies of the BJC, so I assumed they would get an invite.

Apparently the leaders represented are part of the North American Baptist Fellowship which is one of the six regional bodies of the BWA. Is the Alliance part of the BWA? If they aren't, perhaps this is the reason they were left out? Or were they left out for other reasons?

10:07 AM

Blogger Michael Westmoreland-White said...

No, one has to jump through many hoops to join the BWA. While the CBF was working on this, the Alliance was successfully working to become a member of the National Council of Churches. I think the BWA might block any attempt we have to join because we are fully Welcoming and Affirming of GLBT folks, but I don't know this. The Alliance is small and has only a 2 person national staff. We do almost everything by partnerships.

But I don't think the Seventh Day Baptists are part of the BWA either and they were invited to these meetings.

10:35 AM

Blogger foxofbama said...

Please get Hankins on the record nuancing the authentic faith of Jerry Ford as evident in his funeral and portrayed by Time Magazine this week.
GEt Hankins to weigh in on that and advance the discussion in the context of the sterling query he posed to James Dunn back in the mid 90's in a Baylor conference to the effect will there be anymore James Dunn's even Jerry Ford to flavor our national character if the community of right living, just not the churches they attend but the way a 'christian' world view permeated their communities;
Can pristine consciences like their be shaped in the purely secular society we are now shaping to some degree by the abettance of the church state views Carter and Clinton and you and me advance.
Ask Hankins to come back to that question after 8 years or so and through you let us know what he is now thinking.
Fox in Bama with a Bounty on my Head

1:01 PM

Blogger Dr. Danny Chisholm said...

Let's wait to see how the meeting shapes up. It's encouraging to read the subjects for the breakout sessions. There is a real hunger among some Baptists to be more concerned about societal ills than saying who believes the Bible more. It will good to shape the direction of dialoge among Baptists. Getting criticism from SBC folks shouldn't be a surprise.

10:12 PM

Blogger Michael Westmoreland-White said...

Danny Chisolhm said, "There is a real hunger among some Baptists to be more concerned about societal ills than saying who believes the Bible more. " All the more reason that the Alliance of Baptists should have been invited. We have been, especially for our size, among the boldest for social justice since our founding in 1985.

3:16 AM

Blogger texasinafrica said...

It wouldn't suprise me a bit to learn that the reason the Alliance was left out is their welcoming and affirming stance. It's not just CBF that might consider the Alliance "too liberal"; so would the BGCT and many of the other groups. Divison seems to be written into our DNA as Baptists.

5:27 PM

Blogger Michael Westmoreland-White said...

BTW, where are the women? I keep seeing pictures from the meetings over on Bruce Prescott's blog and there are no women in any of the pictures. This is progressive?

This is a group that wants to promote justice and peace, but failed to invite representatives of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America, the Baptist Joint Committee on Religious Liberty, the Roger Williams Fellowship, Baptist Women in Ministry, the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists (AWAB), etc. Odd, no?

1:10 PM

Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...

Women were invited. Most of the people invited were the Executive Directors of their organization/denomination. The BJC was invited and Brent Walker was the representative.

Women that were invited and attended included:

Gail Gardner
Sarah Hallstrand, Executive Minister, American Baptist Churches of Greater Indianapolis
Ruby Burke, North American Baptist Fellowship
Yvonne Best, Associate Director for Program Development, Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Mission Society
Joyce B. Harris
Patricia Lane, Strategist, Intercultural Affinity Group, Baptist General Convention of Texas
Ashley McNeil, Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Mission Society
Rosemary Wade
Bertha Williams, Vice President, North American Baptist Fellowship

5:13 PM

Blogger Michael Westmoreland-White said...

A good list of women. How come none of them are in the pictures of people making speeches?

7:10 PM


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