"Can a Baptist
gathering whose speakers include Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Al Gore
avoid looking like a Democratic Party pep rally?
one challenge for the Celebration of a New Baptist Covenant, an event
organized by Mr. Carter to bring together predominantly white and
predominantly black Baptist groups that have little history of
Mr. Carter said Wednesday that the idea is not to create another
Baptist organization but to have members from more than 30 existing
Baptist groups get to know one another, share ideas and make "permanent
commitments" for collaborating on spreading the Gospel and doing good
Mr. Carter said Wednesday that the Atlanta meeting is aimed at bringing unity among Baptists.
"There will be no political elements or character of this assembly – if
all of us leaders can prevent it," he said.
To their credit, the event organizers did invite a few Republicans to the event…nevertheless, it’s difficult not to view this event–coincidentally placed in the middle election year hoopla–as some sort of political initiative. Otherwise, it seems that there might be more church leaders than politicians on the card.
Here’s the question… assuming that such an event has some sort of political agenda…how should churches handle the upcoming election?