Thursday, October 26, 2006

BJC intervenes

The Baptist Joint Committee has decided to involve itself in the deliberations of Seventh Day Baptists about affiliation with it. At the SDB website (but not, at least anywhere obvious, on the BJC website), a news release, letter and resolution - "BJC Resolution supports SDB participation":
"At their annual meeting October 2-3, Directors of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty (BJC) spent considerable time discussing their relationship with the Seventh Day Baptist General Conference.

In light of the upcoming vote at Conference 2007 (for SDBs to either withdraw or remain with the BJC), the Directors of the Baptist Joint Committee unanimously approved a “Resolution of Recognition, Encouragement and Hope,” conveying their desire that Seventh Day Baptists maintain their historic relationship with the BJC."

There follows the letter and resolution adopted by the BJC Board of Directors. In the cover letter appears the following:
"In anticipation of this subject being addressed by Seventh Day Baptist churches prior to and during your Annual Conference in 2007, our BJC staff soon will be sending additional educational information to be provided through your churches as well, further amplifying our mission and highlighting our cooperative endeavors on behalf of the cause of religious freedom."
This is an interesting development. The Baptist Joint Committee and its affiliates are, of course, not members of the Seventh Day Baptist General Conference. The Conference is a member of the BJC. Shouldn't the debate be between SDB advocates and SDB opponents of affiliation? I have no problem with Seventh Day Baptist supporters of affiliation soliciting (and using) ammunition from the BJC for their cause - but should the BJC itself intervene in the debate? Should those of us opposed to affiliation invite outside groups to intervene? I won't.


  1. I disagree that the BJC is an outside group. There are three parties involved in this discussion, those SDB's for participation in the BJC, those against, and the BJC itself. As a coalition of Baptist groups with which we are currently affiliated, the BJC has a right to comment for their part about their feelings on the issue, no matter how predictable they might be. (Ostensibly, no coalition like the BJC tries to lose members.)

    For better or worse, the coming vote at Conference will be a vote by SDB's about the relative value of the BJC. It only makes sense that the group being judged (and that is what is happening, for better or worse), that they make some sort of defense for themselves.

    As for outside groups speaking against the BJC, I don't see why if the packet being sent the churches is to include information and informed opinions from all groups who have an opinion, why it wouldn't include anti-BJC information.

  2. Nick,
    The BJC, of course, will decide what it wants to do. I'm merely doubting the political wisdom and appropriateness of their involving themselves directly. If you or another Seventh Day Baptist asked them to provide information which would help you make the case for affiliation, it would, it seems to me, be more appropriate.
    In any event, I look forward to seeing the information with which we will be supplied, and hope it will represent the best arguments from both sides.


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