A Progressive Theo-Political Blog Bringing You The Best and Worst of Baptist Life.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Blogosphere Reactions To New Baptist Covenant

Reaction to the New Baptist Covenant Celebration has been negative in the Southern Baptist blogosphere. Surprise. Surprise. A friend of mine and Southeastern Seminary employee - Nathan Finn - asked on his blog whether any of those in attendance will write anything critical about the Celebration. Nathan expects us New Covenant Baptists to "gush about the whole thing." Well, I will rise to the occasion. The press room went light on the Diet Cokes. Who drinks REAL Coca-Cola's anymore anyways? Oh, and since we were in Georgia, why not replace Grant Teaff with Mark Richt. Coach Richt is a Baptist, brought to Christ by the great Bobby Bowden and has a powerful testimony. I am a Georgia Bulldawg after all. And Teaff's Bears could never have survived 4 quarters between the hedges against Richt's Dawgs!

Ok, that's the end of my criticisms.

So, here are a few reactions from Southern Baptist bloggers who did not attend the Celebration.

One blogger referred to the Celebration as "hogwash." David Worley who pastors a small church in the hills of Tennesse wrote:
"The New Baptist Covenant is a very bad thing that I certainly do not want the Southern Baptist Convention to be a part of. I pray that we will never be involved in an organization such as this, and shame on any Baptists that does get involved in such hogwash."
Another blogger wrote, "The heart of the NBC is not a good thing. Therefore, the NBC cannot be a good thing. Rationale: If the core has worms in it, the fruit will make you sick. Sick is bad."

David Roach, pastor and part-time pretend journalist for Baptist Press wrote, "At the meeting in Atlanta I heard a religion espoused that is different from the religion I practice."

Now, a handful of reactions from those who ACTUALLY made the trek to Atlanta with an open-heart and an open-mind.

Professor Mark Osler of Baylor Law School:
If ever there was a table of brotherhood set before us, it was this week in Georgia. I hoped that, above all else, it would be a moment of racial reconciliation, and that turned out to be right.
Dwight McKissic, Southern Baptist pastor of Cornerstone Baptist in Fort Worth on NBC:
"That was like heaven on Earth to me," said Dwight McKissic, pastor of predominantly black Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington. "I enjoyed the high church music of the Mercer [University] choir as much as I did the black Baptist choir."
"Transplanted Georgia Gal" of A Drafty Place blog:
I could tell you about all of that, and maybe you would be skeptical as I had been, or maybe the skeptic in you would take a break for awhile, like the one in me did, and maybe something like hope would start to rise in you, like it has in me, and like it seemed to do in thousands of other people. And the hope was this – the love of God in Christ, and what that love sets us free to do, together. I was an eyewitness to majesty this week, and that majesty did not look the way we tend to think it does. No purple mountains. No royal robes. No velvet thrones. No angels or archangels. No ecstatic visions of heavenly light. That majesty was regular women and men, black, white, and brown, sitting shoulder-to-shoulder, and sometimes hand-in-hand, seeking transformation and transfiguration towards Christ’s purposes, together.
Wilson of BoilerBabe blog:
The New Baptist Covenant Celebration was truly something special. I'm not sure what I expected, but I found the past three days more inspirational, more affirming, more provocative than I ever imagined.
Baranabas File:
God blessed this time in Atlanta. Let us pray that God will continue this blessing in the coming days.
Young Mike:
When the first hymn began, tears almost began to fall (and if you know me, that is VERY strange). When we held hands later in the service during a prayer, for the first time in my life in a worship service, I did not hold a white hand. When we began to disperse, the African American persons with whom I had just worshiped God, spontaneously hugged me and I hugged them back.

Now the cynic in me is mocking me, screaming, “KUMBAYA! MY LORD!” and trying to get me to erase the paragraphs above. But I’m not going to do that. What happened last night was very real. I wouldn’t want to make it into more than it actually was, and there are some “youth-camp invitation” aspects to it. But for the first time in a very long time, I was actually proud to be a Baptist. For the first time, maybe ever, I was looking forward to reading the papers and seeing what they might write about a group of gathered Baptist Christians. And for the first time in quite a while, I think I actually worshiped. It was a good night.

Joe Phelps, Pastor, Highland Park Baptist, Louisville, Kentucky:
What we are discovering is that there is a profound difference between sectarian partisan politics that seeks power, and politics that selflessly focuses on the common good of all people regardless or religion or practice. The New Baptist Covenant was political but not partisan. It talked about Jesus’ concerns for poverty, child welfare, equality, the environment, and other issues that affect the common good. It never once came close to promoting one candidate or party over the other, but rather held up those concerns that we believe Jesus would champion. This felt faithful to our Baptist heritage and to the people of our communities who need us to be our best.
Peggy Hester:
Finally we decided the only way to save the experience was to share it with as many as we could, to testify to the power of the Love that had held us close as strangers and angels unaware in Atlanta, Georgia for a short time. We were being redeemed and we knew it.

Thanks be to God for all that has been in Baptist history, for Roger Williams and his commitment to religious freedom, for all the Aunt Thelma’s and Lottie Moon’s who found ways to be ministers even when men denied them their call, for our wandering in the wilderness of disintegration and despair as a people, for the new generation that has raised up untouched by the tar brush of anger and loss, for all who showed up for this new Baptist covenant. Our future is held in the loving arms of Jesus and I give thanks. Don’t let my feet touch ground anytime soon, Lord.
Tony Cartledge, Professor, Campbell University Divinity School:
It was, I think, the finest Baptist meeting I've ever attended in America. The spirit of hopefulness, the desire to forge new relationships, and the determination to celebrate an inclusive understanding of "Baptist" were all invigorating, reminiscent in some ways of the first two or three gatherings of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.
And David Lowrie, Southern Baptist blogger and Texas Baptist pastor who did not attend the Celebration had this to say:
As the NBC closed, the question of the day revolved around whether we witness a wonderful “moment” in Baptist history or the beginning of a “movement”. I hope and pray we witnessed the birth of a movement that will inspire us to lay aside our differences and rally together for the sake of the Kingdom of God on earth.
I have more than a few thoughts of my own. I'm going to sit on those for a few days so that I can catch up on all my school work!



Anonymous peter said...


So, BDW, what does "who pastors a small church in the hills of Tennesse" have to do with who David Worley is? (emphasis mine). Could he not simply be a 'Tennessee Pastor'? Also David Roach is a 'pretend journalist." ? Please.

Oh and the "open-minds" and "open-hearts" are Osler, McKissic and Co. Are we surprised? Those who support you are 'open' and those who do not are hillbillies and hyprocrites.

Sometimes you guys bust my britches. You think you're being fair in serving the pie. Instead, the pieces are always a bit small to non-family members.

With that, I am...


3:01 AM

Blogger CB Scott said...

Big Daddy,

Sick really is bad.


7:59 AM

Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...

Peter Peter Peter

HILLS is a reference to David Worley's BLOG. FROM THE HILLS AND HOLLERS. That's his blog.
Peter. Get with the program.

Last time I checked, using the adjective SMALL to describe one's church is not an insult.

You know, saying someone is from the hills of Tennessee isn't a slur. Any Georgian should know that. FROM THE HILLS OF GEORGIA'S NORTHLAND, BEAMS THY NOBLE BROW...

Don't you think if I wanted to throw a punch David Worley's way, I'd just come out and say it? Tryin' to be nice to perhaps the most intolerant, most fundamentalist blogger on the internets with my description!

David Roach is a sorry excuse for a journalist. I'm not the first to say it and I won't be the last. I hope he sticks to his day job.

So send your PLEASES elsewhere.

And, I didn't call anyone a hillbilly nor did I call anyone a hypocrite. Nor did I imply such. Don't put words in my MOUTH.

Enjoy your pie.

8:56 AM

Blogger volfan007 said...


i have always found liberals/moderates to talk a lot about love and unity while they're running down conservatives. :)

btw, i took it the same as you. there are some other liberal/moderates that i read and hear talk from time to time who also are very much into love and togetherness while they breath fire on those who dont agree with their viewpoint.

and, big daddy, if you think that i'm the most intolerant and most fundamentalist out here, you need to get out more. really. did you know that i've actually been called a liberal before? can you believe that? and, i've been told before that i was too progressive minded?

besides, cb is a lot more intolerant than i am. :)

and, the nbc was hogwash.


12:08 PM

Anonymous peter said...


Your lawyer sophistry, Aaron, only works on the uninitiated, street fool. Comparing "who pastors a small church in the hills of Tennessee" with the other descriptions of the 'open' hearted/minded is self-evident, Aaron.

And as for putting words in your mouth, you once again are wrong. Someone from the 'hills of Tennessee' is indigenous, in many respects, in identifying 'hillbillies', who, of course, are considered dumb. You now join our esteemed Wade Burlseson who, perhaps more than any other, seem to have a nasty habit of refering to Southerners as, shall we say, a quart low.

As for 'hyprocrites', you know darn well the root meaning of that word. It would be, how did you put it? A pretender.

I am with the program, my BDW. Fortunately for me, just not on your platform. Grace. With that, I am...


12:52 PM

Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...


After your buttermilk-gate, one would suspect that you'd have learned a lesson or two. Don't put words in people's mouths. Don't read into a statement something that isn't there.

I'm sure you could accuse me of doing the same a few weeks back.

Who knows? Maybe we're both right.

Maybe I was implying something ungracious about the intolerant Volfan from the hills AND HOLLERS of Tennessee. Perhaps I am guilty as charged. And perhaps you were guilty of injecting racist imagery into a conversation between you and an African-American minister? Or perhaps nobody is guilty of any wrongdoing? As to intentionality, I took you at your word then.

But apparently you learned little from that experience. Otherwise, you wouldn't take the time today to put words in my mouth.

Formerly of the Hills of Georgia's Northland,

Big Daddy Weave

3:15 PM

Blogger Les Puryear said...


That's hitting Peter below the belt. You don't have to do that.

David Worley is a liberal. I'm glad that's finally out. He blasted NBC as part of his cover as a fundamentalist. He's really an agent of the CBF.

Finally, you're right...there ain't nothing wrong with being small. However, now we expect every description of pastors in your blog to be followed by "pastor of a small/mid-size/large/mega church".


4:14 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was going to jump on BDW for not quoting Volfan correctly...he put capital letters into the quote!

Michael A. Jordan
Pastor of a small church in the hills of Virginia

6:15 PM

Blogger CB Scott said...


It has been a long day in hospitals and funeral homes and visiting shut-ins.

You gave me the best laugh of the day when you called Vol a spy for the CBF.


6:30 PM

Anonymous peter said...

Dear BDW,

I guess I'm supposed to come back now with a really sorrowful comment?

Again, Aaron, your lawyer sophistry is little more than B___S___ to any one with an ounce of street-smart: WHEN YOU'VE BEEN CORNERED, BE READY TO FLING A FIREQUACKER CAUSING A DIVERSION. IF YOU'RE LUCKY, THE STUPID CHAP WILL LOOK AWAY AND YOU CAN THEN MAKE YOUR MOVE.

Focusing on whether or not I was inappropriate toward Dwight means squat toward whether you were unfair toward David and David. Of course, you've quickly moved on now to another post. And so will I.

With that, I am...


6:53 PM

Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...


Actually, I do use the "megachurch pastor" descriptor on a regular basis. Recently, I've used that tag to describe both Joel Hunter of Orlando and John Connell of Savannah. I suspect I'll keep on being consistent.

Good point from Michael. If I wanted to put down Volfan, I wouldn't have fixed up his quote.

Peter didn't corner me. He put words in my mouth. The comparison fits. If folks deem it below the belt, so be it. We'll have to agree to disagree. Peter, you give good advice to yourself. Start listening. You earned your BS degree many many months ago.

With that I am,


7:21 PM

Blogger shadrach said...

I knwo this is old, but I don't get on that often. Despite my 'negative' comment about the NBC, I think it is GREAT that we are trying to find peace and unity, I just think it is in the wrong place. That we are working together socially is a huge step. After all, no religious conviction amounts to anything without social action to back it up. As Pres. Clinton said, 'thanks for trying.'

4:46 AM

Blogger Bart Barber said...

The New Baptist Covenant didn't make anyone any more liberal than they were before. My utter and complete lack of interest do not prevent me from hoping that you had a good time.

6:55 PM

Anonymous girl from Union said...

You guys are not showing the Christian love and kindness that Christ showed... I'm a college student who read this blog and is kinda sad with what I see older, more mature Christians blogging about.

11:52 AM


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