A New Baptist Covenant

Former presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton are both tied to the formation of a new umbrella group of Baptist denominations in an article in the Washington Post. I should point out what could easily be missed–Clinton described himself as a cheerleader and refused to be interviewed. Carter is apparently more involved. This is not the formation of a new denomination, but more of an alliance of denominations that want to see a different definition of “Baptist” than is presented by the Southern Baptist convention.

Though I’m Methodist and have no plans to become Baptist, I certainly would welcome such an organization simply because the voice of the large number of members represented by the individual denominations is often not heard. In addition, if successful, the organization will combine the voice of predominantly African-American denominations with that of predominantly white ones.

One of the issues that is bound to catch the eye of the press at least, is the fact that two former Democratic presidents are involved. It certainly caught the attention of the Washington Post writer. These churches should be careful not to get tagged with a political label any more than they must. While having former Democratic presidents involved in any way increases the political visibility, I would certainly not suggest they reject such involvement. I believe in separation of church and state, not church and statesman, and certainly not church and ex-Presidents.

Similar Posts


  1. I would like to point out that what Carter wants in this organization is to be more accepting of abortion and gay marriage. While it is Christain’s job to love the sinner, we should not have to change our morality to fit the times. While we cannot change people, we can love them and let Christ change them. But we MUST stand up for what is scriptural. “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders.” 1 Cor 6:9 NIV. We cannot change the truth of scripture to fit with modern culture. I am not Baptist but I am disgusted with Carter and Clintion for trying to change the truth of the Bible.

  2. Carter is doing excellent Christian work as well as being a good Christian witness, as I recently read here. I don’t agree with his position on gay marriage (and I don’t know his position on abortion). But it is quite clear that promotion of gay marriage and abortion is not a major part of his agenda. In fact, on the contrary, as quoted in the Washington Post article, Carter specifically, but controversially, “spoke of sexual orientation as an “ancillary issue.”

    Christians should work together, including with him, on those matters which we have in common, without compromising our position on the relatively few matters on which we disagree, especially when these are “ancillary issues”. If we don’t do this but only accept and work with those who agree with us on all points, then we will quickly end up very lonely!

    I note also the following from the Washington Post article, which puts a proper perspective on the gay marriage issue:

    Shaw said broadcast evangelists such as the Rev. Jerry Falwell and the Rev. Pat Robertson, along with the Southern Baptist Convention, have “downsized the moral message” of the Bible “so that the dominant question has to do with sexuality.”

    Black Baptist churches, he said, are saying that “sexuality is not the only dimension of morality. The whole business of social justice, of a fair prosecution of offenders, caring for the environment, immigration, even the morality of our foreign policy, are things that really need to be put into the debate.”


  3. Rebecca,

    I think you may be missing the nature of this movement. This is not a new denomination–the component groups will still have the same doctrinal statements they had before, while cooperating on issues on which they agree.

    If you are objecting to cooperpation with people who allow gay marriage or support legalized abortion, then you would not be able to cooperate with some of these groups now, and a convention in Atlanta hardly seems to make any difference to that.

Comments are closed.