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Friday, August 03, 2007

Seventh-Day Baptists Remain Affiliated With BJC

This week Don Byrd of Blog From The Capital reported that the Seventh Day Baptist General Conference voted to remain affiliated with the Baptist Joint Committee.

In response Byrd wrote....
That's fabulous news! Baptists everywhere are reclaiming our heritage of religious liberty for all, a cause best served through a strong commitment to the separation of church and state: that means a robust Establishment Clause and an equally healthy Free Exercise protection. In my view, simply put, there is no more effective religious voice in Washington, D.C. for that principle than Brent Walker, Holly Hollman and the Baptist Joint Committee, a Baptist institution that has been educating and advocating on Capitol Hill for more than 70 years.
Back in May I pieced together a post at BaptistLife.com of pertinent primary source info from Seventh-Dayers that described the controversy.

Jim Skaggs is a popular blogger in conservative evangelical circles (at least Joe Carter of The Evangelical Outpost is fond of him). Skaggs is a Seventh-Day Baptist and was the most vocal proponent for disaffiliation from the BJC. Skaggs reported that the results of Tuesday's vote for disaffiliation stood at 46% (234) vs. 54% (279). Thus, the motion for disaffiliation lost.

Skaggs writes...
The Conference also voted to communicate to the BJC the dissatisfaction of many Seventh Day Baptists with aspects of its behavior. This issue will not go away if the BJC continues as it has in the past.
Just a sneaky suspicion but I doubt this is the last time a Seventh-Day Baptist makes a motion to defund the Baptist Joint Committee.

However, I concur with Don. This is indeed fantastic news!



Anonymous Michael Westmoreland-White said...

I've read your original article and this follow up, Aaron, and I can't figure out why the SDBs were upset with the BJC. The SDBs have always been staunch supporters of the BJC--for good reason since "Sunday blue laws" and the like have often discriminated against Saturday sabbatarians. Why are some of them now upset with the BJC?

2:51 PM

Anonymous Lee said...

That would be my question, since the BJC is strictly a religious liberty organization, and has always been very much in line with the historic Baptist principle of a free church in a free state. The fundamentalist elements in some Baptist groups don't like them because they don't understand that it is a religious liberty organization, and not an all purpose political lobby, and they also don't get that a Baptist organization must represent its constituency, and Baptists are not all conservative Republicans.

It has always seemed to me that the Seventh Day Baptist group has had a much better understanding of religious liberty issues than the majority of the SBC.

4:51 PM

Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...

I don't know all the details - just what I've read from the SDB forums and Jim Skaggs website.

The controversy seemed to be somewhat a honest disagreement about the issues. No heated rhetoric, no Roger Moran tactics....

Skaggs wrote the packet sent out to all the churches advocating disaffiliation. You can read his posts on the BJC.

Don't know how this controversy was created but Skaggs questioned whether SDB's would be better represented by another organization such as Alliance Defense Fund. He questioned whether SDB's agree with the BJC in their opposition to school vouchers and Faith Based Initiatives. And apparently a good many SDB's agreed.

Now, some SDBS (from what I read) felt that no organization should be speaking on their behalf regarding political issues - a liberty of conscience argument.

It's interesting to see how SDBG approached disaffiliation vs. how the SBC did...some Baptists don't play nice obviously.

9:05 PM

Blogger Carla said...

When a vote is that close, it seems like God has not made his will clear in the matter. I would think that winners and losers should agree to fast and pray with open hearts and Bibles for a month before taking another vote, so that they might better discern God's will in the matter. Then, whatever the decision is, when it is more clearly God at work, only then should action be taken one way or the other. If we have faith that God can make His will known, then maybe He will.

11:12 PM


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