Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Think of a Happy Place

For some time now Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton have been unhappy with Southern Baptists and want to give their fellow Baptists a "smiling alternative".

Exasperated by the persistent conservatism of their own Southern Baptist Convention, former presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton are trying to organize an alternative organization for liberal Baptists.

"This is a historic event for the Baptists in this country and perhaps for Christianity," Carter enthusiastically announced to reporters earlier this month.
A new Reformation? Sounds big.
Instead of traditional Southern Baptist-style biblical teaching, along with opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage, this new kind of Baptist entity will fight poverty, global warming and war.
I wonder, how does one fight against war? I assume they are against the notion of "war" and "poverty", but who in this world is for those things?
The new group will be less "negative and judgmental" than the 16 million member Southern Baptist Convention...
Sounds rather judgemental.
Basically, the former presidents, who staged their press conference at the Carter Center in Atlanta, along with dozens of "moderate" Baptist leaders, want Baptists to sound more like politically correct Episcopalians.
Who are fracturing and shrivelling away as we speak.
In his book of last year, "Our Endangered Values," Carter likens "fundamentalist" domination of the Southern Baptist Convention to the Ayatollah Khomeini’s rise to power in Iran.
Yes, Southern Baptists have the tendancy for violence, kidnapping, terror, uniformed religious police, political assassinations, and funding international terrorism. That is what is known as "hyperbole".
But how noteworthy that the "New Baptist Covenant" seems to define itself not be creeds or theology, as conservative Southern Baptists do, but by generically left of center political and social goals: advocating greater environmental regulation, opposing U.S. military activities, advocating larger welfare state programs.
They talk about impacting society, but it makes you wonder who is really influencing whom.

Here is the final analysis:
Traditional Christians understand their faith through common understandings of God, salvation, and personal ethical behavior. Religionists of the left often see these historic tenets as inconsequential. For many of them, religion is just an instrument for political activism. The "New Baptist Covenant" claims to be only a smiling alternative to the supposedly frowning Southern Baptist conservatism. But it sounds suspiciously like a southern-friend version of left-wing Social Gospel lobbying, of the sort that has emasculated the declining mainline Protestant denominations.
Interesting article, read the whole thing and see what you think.

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