Monday, January 22, 2007

More on the "New Baptist Covenant"

World Magazine comments on the "New Baptist Covenant" referred to in the post below about President Carter:
Ex-presidents Carter and Clinton are trying to organize "moderate" Baptists into a new coalition to counter the conservative Southern Baptist convention. Seriously. These opponents of Christian political activism, these politicians who invoke the separation of church and state, are trying to start what would be, in effect, a denomination. Read this from the Washington Post. Excerpts from the article:
The new coalition, which is Carter's brainchild, would give moderate Baptists a stronger collective voice and could provide Democrats with greater entree into the Baptist community....

Carter and Clinton were raised as Southern Baptists but have expressed dismay over the SBC's increasingly conservative bent since traditionalists defeated modernists in a struggle for control of the denomination in the 1970s and '80s. The leadership battle, which raged over issues such as biblical inerrancy, temperance, homosexuality, abortion and women's role in the church, culminated in 2000 with revisions to the "Baptist Faith and Message" that barred women from serving as pastors and called for wives to "submit graciously" to the leadership of their husbands.

Carter stopped calling himself a Southern Baptist that year. Clinton attended a Methodist church during his years in the White House.

On Jan. 9 at the Carter Center in Atlanta, the two ex-presidents brought together the heads of 40 Baptist denominations and organizations to launch a year-long organizing effort that they hope will climax with the celebration of a "New Baptist Covenant" in early 2008.

Source: Clinton & Carter as ecclesiastical founders

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