UNITY... AT WHAT COST?
In Atlanta yesterday there began meetings known as the "New Baptist Covenant". Led by former President Jimmy Carter the goal is to bring "Baptists" together to meet discuss, proclaim, and model unity. Carter is quoted as stating;
"What is the prevailing image of Christians today?" Carter said. "It's the image of divisions among brothers and sisters of Christ as we struggle for authority or argue about the interpretation of individual verses in the Holy Scripture."
He called animosity among Christians "a cancer metastasizing in the body of Christ."
As an organizer of the event Carter has called upon Christians to unite. The interesting thing is that those attending are from the groups that either maintain a liberal reading of Scripture and/or are opposed to the Southern Baptist 2000 confession that called for a Scriptural understanding of marriage and a refusal to ordain women as Pastors. While President Carter sounds good in his proclamation of desired unity, the reality is that there are occasions when it does matter how you interpret Scripture. As speakers President Clinton, Al Gore and others call for unity, the Word of God tells us that there is only one gospel and any variation from that one gospel is to be accursed.When you head down the road of unity at all costs you are heading towards a different gospel.
When the Southern Baptist Convention turned back to the literal rendering of the Word of God, there was an outcry from those in the camp of President Carter. When the Southern Baptist's confessed that the Word of God called for a wife to submit to her husband, President and Mrs. Carter renounced their membership. So as this convention is held in Atlanta proclaiming their desire for unity among Christians, the question becomes who decides which Scriptures matter and which do not? The rich history of the Church is full of those who literally gave their lives for the integrity of the Word of God. For President Carter and others to come along and deconstruct the Word of God in the name of social justice is to move away from the truth of the gospel, not fulfill it. Unity at the expense of Gods Word is not Unity, but rather Apostacy!
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