baptists, baptists, baptists!
Here's Rob Jeopardy! Marus's report on yesterday's meeting between several conservative SBC bloggers and Jimmy Carter and Bill Underwood concerning the New Baptist Covenant. Here's a quote from Wade Burleson:
"I told [my wife] that it was my desire to help Southern Baptists see that fellow Baptists are NOT the enemy. We can keep our unique way of doing missions in the SBC; we can keep our distinct structure and autonomy as the SBC; we can keep others out who will not affirm the BFM if we so choose; but we don't have to keep acting as if other Baptist Christians are our competitors or our opponents."
January's NBC celebration is going to be an exciting event in Baptist life. Brian Kaylor has a list of the confirmed speakers, who include Julie Pennington-Russell, Joel Gregory, Bill Moyers, Mike Huckabee, William J. Shaw, Marian Wright Edelman, and many other Baptists from all backgrounds. Ethics Daily has more details on the speakers here.
I still can't believe that Dan Malone convinced Burleson, Duren, and other conservative SBC-ers to meet with Carter and Underwood, but I'm glad to see it. We Baptists of all stripes have been treating each other badly for far too long. It has long been my prayer that conservative and moderate Baptists would find a way, if not to return to what we once were (which no one really wants anymore), than to at least find a way to be reconciled to one another as Christ calls us to do. Maybe these are some tentative first steps in that direction. Maybe those of us who are younger, and who were therefore not directly involved in the battle for control of the SBC, can be the ones who work together, who refuse to demonize one another, and who will remember that the first mark of a Christian is always, always love.
I am planning to do my best to be at the first NBC celebration in January, although the mid-week date makes it extremely difficult for non-retired laity to attend. It's likely that my teaching schedule won't permit me to attend, but that's okay. It will be enough to know that we are finally finding a way to work together, to put aside our pride and differences to work for a common goal. Thanks be to God.