Significance of the New Baptist Covenant

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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Re: Significance of the New Baptist Covenant

Postby KeithE » Sun Feb 03, 2008 12:59 pm

Timothy Bonney wrote:Having returned home from the New Baptist Covenant meeting in Atlanta, GA I want to reflect on the significance of this meeting for Baptists.

Having heard the passionate preaching about the needs for unity in our diversity, having witnessed the power of Baptists gather together to worship and praise God together as one body, and having listened to the desire in the hearts of so many of the participants for this to be "not just a moment but, a movement" I believe that the NBC meeting this week was the most important meeting of Baptists that I have attended in my life and, possibly, the most important meeting of Baptists in this generation.

Like many, I have grown weary with denominational gatherings that are filled with division. In my 44 years of life as a Baptist, first in the SBC and now in the ABC, I have seen far too many meetings of Baptists become a place to gather, argue about whatever is the latest controversial issue, vote about these issues, divide over these issues, and go away worse off than we were when we started.

But, the NBC meeting of the past several chose to focus our efforts in a different area of Baptist life. During the entire week we did not vote on any issue. Instead, we chose to put "issues" behind us. We chose instead to focus on worshipping the Lord together as a body of believers. We chose to lift up our commonality in Christ and in our Baptist witness. We chose to focus on Jesus and his blood and righteousness over those things that have kept us divided. We chose, at least for these days, not to let race, gender, culture, class, doctrine, or denomination, separate us from our sisters and brothers.

And, because we became for that time one body worshipping our Lord and savior together, we saw a movement of the Holy Spirit among a people called Baptists.

Where do we go from here as the NBC?

I pray that we will move forward to continue to bring Baptists closer together.
I believe must find ways to minister together in the name of Christ and unto the least of these that God has called us to.
I believe that we should plan for future opportunities of worship, collaboration, support, and unity.

And, I believe that individual Baptist denominations need to learn from this experience of oneness in Christ.

It is time for Baptists to put down their swords of doctrinal and divisive warfare and beat them into plowshares. We gain nothing as Baptists (and in the case of my family, as American Baptists) in continuing to fight the wars of division. It is time to quit voting, it is time to quite campaigning, and it is time to quit taking sides that leave our sisters and brother standing on the other side of a chasm of division. It is time to remember that we all see in a glass darkly!

It is time to worship the Lord together, serve Him together, and lift up the name of Jesus Christ above every name, above every creed, and above every opinion. And, may the Lord make it so!


Amen.

If one group wants to save souls, let them do it.

If one group wants to tackle poverty in their corner, let them do it.

If one group wants to tackle poverty through legislation, let them do it.


All unhindered and supported by the whole body.
...
Informed by Data.
Driven by the SPIRIT and JESUS’s Example.
Promoting the Kingdom of GOD on Earth.
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Re: Significance of the New Baptist Covenant

Postby Neil Heath » Mon Feb 04, 2008 10:05 am

Preach On, Bro. Timothy, and add my amen to the chorus.

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I have

Postby Stephen Fox » Mon Feb 04, 2008 7:42 pm

a concrete and specific hope to come out of the Baptist Covenant.
Neil, I hope you will be bring this to the attention of Hispanic Advocate Richard Wilson at Mercer as I intend to email him and Daniel Carro about it as well as the Nunoz Isaac initiative.

There are too many bright Hispanic Christians who have been nurtured by Baptist Churches in the last 15 years.
It would be a travesty to let them slip through the cracks while the Dream ACt is in Suspension and the US Congress gets its act together on further education for them.
I have two people, flesh and blood, know their names, that may be devoured by the Red Tape.
There are many ways to incarnate flesh and blood results from the Covenant; ways not to be awash in the latest round of idealism and rhetoric.
I'm gonna pass a name around to the highest levels of Baptist work and higher education in the Baptist Network.
We'll see if anything comes of it.

I sat in Daniel Carro and Richard Wilson's breakout with President Carter Friday afternoon.
Here is what Carro wrote just last fall.

http://www.ethicsdaily.com/article_detail.cfm?AID=9181
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