Carter Urges Baptists to Unite Despite Differences

April 06, 2009

Ethics Daily ran my latest article today, which is entitled "Carter Urges Baptists to Unite Despite Differences." It covers the second plenary session at the Baptist Border Crossing, which included evangelist Carolyn Ann Knight and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter. The picture is one I took of Carter during his address. The first piece from the gathering can be read here. If you want to watch the speakers, you can find free archived videos here.

1 comments

  1. President Carter is not a suitably clear spokesperson for Baptists. How should Southern Baptists, or any orthodox Christians, take his admonition you cite for Baptists to unite behind "the gospel's simple message" that "we are saved by the grace of God through our faith in Jesus Christ" in light of his previous statements and their results, as cited below:

    November 20, 1997

    Associated Press reported in its religious briefs for November 20 that Jimmy Carter, in opposition to Southern Baptist leaders, said Mormons should be considered part of the Christian community rather than a cult.

    The Deseret News reported that the former president, speaking in a teleconference with religion writers, said Southern Baptist leaders were wrong to imply The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a non-Christian cult.

    He said they "are trying to act as the Pharisees did, who were condemned by Christ, in trying to define who can and who cannot be considered an acceptable person in the eyes of God.

    "In other words, they're making judgments on behalf of God. I think that's wrong," Carter said.

    Gerald (Gary) Smith, self-described on his website http://www.geocities.com/rameumptom/ as being of "pioneer Mormon stock," comments on Carter's comments: "So, here we have a very prominent member of the organization [SBC] which disagrees with their radical viewpoint. I agree with him, that there are better things for all of us to spend our time doing: testifying of Christ, striving to help those who are lost in life, fight true wickedness (murder, rape, crimes, Satanism, etc.), and perhaps help President Carter build a few houses for the underprivileged along the way (I encourage you to look into Habitat for Humanity-a wonderful and very Christlike organization).

    "I thank President Carter for his stance, which goes along with many Christian organizations' views- that Mormons are indeed Christian. "

    TEN YEARS LATER . . .

    March 21, 2007

    Newsweek's Lisa Miller: "Do you think a Mormon is a Christian?"

    Jimmy Carter: "Yes, I do. I have a cousin who is a Mormon and she married one of the Marriott family. I don’t know anyone who’s more devout in their faith than she and her family. I admire them very much."

    Brian, please cite for me where Carter has explained--if not apologized--for these ambiguous--if not outrageous--statements, or join me in questioning his qualification to be speaking to Baptists, about Baptist unity, or for a new Baptist movement!

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