Being a Positive ExampleJanuary 30, 2008
In a press conference today before the start of the Celebration of a New Baptist Covenant, former president Jimmy Carter stressed that the gathering was intended to bring unity. Mercer University's president Bill Underwood talked about the racial diversity that the meeting had already helped accomplish. He added, "It is fitting that today, on these red hills of Georgia, Baptist have come together and taken a step forward in the long journey to achieve Dr. King's dream." They stressed that the unity also extended to geography, denominations, and ideologies. The Celebration is clearly the most unique and broadest gathering of Baptist yet.
Carter suggested that the impact of this meeting could be even greater. He stated, "If we can do it, maybe other Christians can do it as well." What a thought! Too often Baptists are known for fighting and arguing. Part of the goal of the Celebration is to overcome that image. Perhaps more than most--if not all---other denominations, Baptists have become known for internal conflicts. So if so many Baptists can joyfully come together for worship, fellowship, and ministry despite differences, then perhaps it will inspire other Christians to do so as well. That would truly be an exciting outgrowth of this gathering. It would be great if Baptists could be a positive example for other denominations. Christians in general--not just Baptists--have allowed themselves to focus too much on fighting instead of sharing the love of Jesus. You can watch the press conference here.