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Thursday, October 04, 2007

SBC To Reunite With The Baptist World Alliance???

Check out John Pierce's latest post at Baptists Today Blogs.

Recently, John sat down with Neville Callam, the new General Secretary of the Baptist World Alliance. Read what was said:
Of his many open and interesting responses to my questions, I was intrigued by one in particular. Callum expects the Southern Baptists to return to the century-old fellowship they helped found.

“I entertain the view that in due time members of the Southern Baptist Convention, the leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention, are going to recognize the lack they have brought upon themselves by having withdrawn from the Baptist World Alliance,” Callam told me. “I am convinced that in due time, God’s time, the Southern Baptist Convention is going to want to return to … the Baptist World Alliance.”
Those familiar with the story know that the now-fundamentalist-controlled SBC withdrew from involvement in and support for BWA after the more moderate Cooperative Baptist Fellowship was admitted into the BWA in 2003......

An effort by current Southern Baptist leaders to build international relationships apart from, and possibly in competition with the BWA, is “a transient effort, a fleeting moment that’s going to come and going to pass,” said Callam.
“God must want Baptists of the world to be together, not to be segregated in various entities sometimes giving the impression of being at war or in competition with each other,” Callam added.

Is the new general secretary hopeful? Naïve? Realistic? Patient? Who knows.
I go with naively optimistic. Last I checked the men who pushed for BWA withdrawal are still in power. So my question is for Southern Baptists - how many of you desire a return to the BWA. Better yet, how many believe that a return to the BWA is even a possibility in your lifetime?

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Anonymous Chuck said...

Big Daddy,

If denominations are battling to avoid becoming irrelevant, how much more must world alliances be?

I haven't noticed not being part of BWA, and certainly haven't missed it.

As long as pluralism and any other non-Baptistic beliefs which distort the central message of the gospel are overlooked or allowed under the blanket excuse of "soul competency," I have no desire to be identified with BWA, North American Baptist Fellowship, or any other cooperative Baptist body which legitimizes such perversion.

4:29 PM

Anonymous Jorge said...

the withdrawal of the sbc from the bwa has brought the bwa into the minds of the average Baptist. I confess that as an sbc pastor I was not concerned with the bwa. It was when the sbc decided to withdraw itself from the global baptist witness that I took notice.

Now individuals and churches can become members of the bwa. The bwa has lost some money but it has gained legitimacy.

It is possible that the sbc may once again want to be a part of the greater Baptist world but they will never wield the power and control they want.

7:16 PM

Blogger Les Puryear said...


I agree with both comments from Chuck and Jorge.

I will also add, speaking for myself only, as far as the local church is concerned, the BWA has never been relevant.



7:25 PM

Anonymous Michael Westmoreland-Whie said...

I'm with the Gen. Sec.--but I don't think that reunion is anytime soon. It will take a generation or so before the SBC wants back in--an SBC without the desire to dominate everyone.

I can't wait until membership in the BWA is approved for the Alliance of Baptists. We sought membership in the National Council of Churches first, while the CBF was applying to the BWA. I think we made the right ecumenical move--but I will be glad when we are also members of the BWA.

My congregation already used Baptist World Aid in helping with global emergencies--such as Burmese refugees. And the BWA's work for human rights and religious liberty around the globe is amazing.

Through the BWA, we have created 4 sister churches with congregations in Cuba, Morocco, Liberia, and Bulgaria. These enriching sister church relationships--including mission trips, etc. would have been far more difficult without the BWA's help--especially for a small church like ours.

3:24 AM

Blogger Alexis said...

As another note- Neville Callam will be preaching at FBC Austin October 10th. The worship service will include participation from different churches from both ethnically and theologically diverse backgrounds (though all Baptist). It seems to me that the BWA is an excellent way to connect with Baptists globally, and provides an opportunity for us as Baptists to learn from each other how the Holy Spirit is working in different churches.

9:02 AM

Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...

Thanks Michael sharing that.

It seems BWA is a bit more relevant than Les believes.

9:47 AM

Blogger Mike L. said...

Great blog! I'm not sure how I found your site, but we seem to have a great deal in common as I am also the son of a baptist minister, a progressive rescued from fundamentalism, and a UGA grad.

4:05 AM


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