My Wrap (#1)

Does the New Baptist Covenant represent the dawning of a new day of unity in Baptist life? Discuss the ongoing Covenant meetings here.

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My Wrap (#1)

Postby Bruce Gourley » Sat Feb 02, 2008 1:27 pm

A few thoughts regarding the New Baptist Covenant Celebration, the day after:

1) The African-American preachers featured in the plenary sessions are far better preachers - quality and delivery - than the best of our white preachers. I left the meeting thinking that perhaps I should consider joining a African-American Baptist church were I still living in the South. Rubbing shoulders with Baptists of other races and cultures seemed both liberating and natural; the meeting had shades of the Baptist World Alliance 2005 meeting in Birmingham, London, in this regard. We as Baptists desperately need to de-segregate our churches, even if it means making uncomfortable, initially, both blacks and whites (and others). One other note: while white Baptists of the past few decades have trended to "dressing down" in church (a trend I personally appreciate), our African-American brothers and sisters definitely did not get that memo.

2) The overall themes were unity and freedom. Some white Baptists have for some decades now been opposed to biblical freedom while championing legalism (not interested in delving into historical reasons here), but I came away from the weekend realizing more than ever just how well African-American Baptists understand the very essence and dynamics of biblical freedom. They live and breath biblical freedom in a way that white Baptists, with no experience of enslavement in their past, simply cannot fully fathom. And unity is not possible unless we as Baptists, broadly speaking, are willing to allow our own fellow Baptists to exercise the freedom that Christ calls us to. The African-American preachers these past few days forever stamped out any notion that legalism/fundamentalism/rigidity has any biblical basis in Christianity; I can't think of a white Baptist preacher anywhere that can rescue the carcass of legalism that was left rotting on the convention floor this week. African-American Baptists will lead the whole of Baptists in North American into the future in regards to truly living biblical freedom.

3) Al Gore is one of the funniest AND most passionate speakers I have ever heard. And the man knows his Bible when it comes to the stewardship of God's creation. Most Baptists today take seriously the mandate to care for God's earth, which is good. Yet I have a sneaking suspicion that the climate crisis caused by man-made global warming may prove much worse than the scientists are telling us ... and this would be very, very scary. In any case, the stewardship of God's earth will be a future focus of whatever comes out of the Covenant meeting.

4) Politics were left outside the building. Presidents Clinton and Carter were especially conciliatory to, and spoke kind words of, SBC leaders. In terms of Christian attitudes, SBC leaders could learn a thing or two from these two gentlemen.

5) The special interest sessions were focused on the issues we Baptists need to be talking about: caring for the needy, poor, imprisoned, downtrodden; religious liberty and separation of church and state; etc. The era of success being defined as talking someone into saying an early-20th century-originated, contrived, packaged "sinner's prayer" is over (actually, we already knew this from the failures of the SBC in terms of growth and evangelism, as lamented by current SBC leaders). Younger generations see beyond the farce we've turned "salvation' into. We need to return to the biblical concept of salvation as belief-in-action (not one or the other, but both intertwined, as Jesus so frequently noted in his replies to persons who asked him how they could be made right with God).

More later ...
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Re: My Wrap (#1)

Postby Stephen Fox » Sat Feb 02, 2008 3:23 pm

#4: Not entirely, I made a few political comments but no speeches. I did recommend to Senator Grassley he read the Ryan Lizza piece in New Yorker on SC Sen Graham's predicament with immigration in SC Senate Race. His staffer took mental note and I am satisfied will follow up soon with a close read of the piece.
Had a fascinating conversation with both Soaries in his faith and Public policy breakout and Dan Carro and Mercer's Wilson in their breakout. I was not advocating any particular candidate, but I do think it more than fair to ask every one who sees this to read Wills on the Rove Era.

I shook hands with President Carter as well in the Carro breakout.

#5 I still believe it is appointed unto man Once to die, and after that the Judgment.
You and I both may have a little to learn from Glenn Tinder's latest book on Salvation; and neither of us should forget that God has consigned all of us to disobedience so that He May Have Mercy on Us All.
I'm through preaching to you today.
I stand by what I said to you and the Bama Baptist preacher on the Escalator.
:) :lol: :) :brick:

I hate to have be so explicit, but the bottom line is I appreciate you providing this forum to us and with Buddy Shurden and others, speaking on behalf of Stewart Newman who is no longer with us, you are a great credit to Baptist work in your generation and our Lifetime.
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Re: My Wrap (#1)

Postby Haruo » Sat Feb 02, 2008 5:58 pm

Bruce Gourley wrote:the meeting had shades of the Baptist World Alliance 2005 meeting in Birmingham, London*, in this regard....

¿Where? ;-)

Haruo

*¿a suburb or Barcelona, Madrid?
Haruo (呂須•春男) = ᎭᎷᎣ = Leland Bryant Ross
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Re: My Wrap (#1)

Postby Bruce Gourley » Sat Feb 02, 2008 10:37 pm

Haruo wrote:
Bruce Gourley wrote:the meeting had shades of the Baptist World Alliance 2005 meeting in Birmingham, London*, in this regard....

¿Where? ;-)

Haruo

*¿a suburb or Barcelona, Madrid?


Hmmmm ... Birmingham, England it shoulda been .....
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