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JUNE 10, 1998
11:18 AM
CONTACT:  The Interfaith Alliance
Amber Kahn 202-639-6370
Southern Baptist Convention Taking Faith Community in Wrong Direction
Baptist Leader Outraged By Recent Adoption Of SBC Faith And Message Statement
WASHINGTON - June 10 - The Interfaith Alliance Executive Director Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy released the following statement regarding the Southern Baptist Convention's (SBC) recent amendment to the Baptist Faith and Message.

As a leader in the historic Baptist tradition I am disappointed and morally outraged by the Southern Baptist Convention's recent adoption on family. Simply put, it is biblically indefensible, morally questionable, theologically heretical, and politically extreme. What you have in this development is adherence to a social agenda elevated above affirmation of basic doctrinal beliefs in determining what it means to be a Baptist and this is unacceptable.

Paige Patterson's recent election and this amendment represent the culmination of the religious and political fundamentalist takeover that began in 1978. Having served in several leadership positions within the SBC including the executive committee during the early 80's, there is no doubt in my mind that the new statement added to the Baptist Faith and Message doctrine is an attempt to give religious justification to a partisan political agenda.

In addition to hosting "Morally Speaking," a weekly commentary on KTVE, the NBC affiliate in Monroe, Louisiana, Dr. Gaddy has made notable contributions in the cause of promoting religious liberty and pluralism and challenging political extremism throughout his career. As a Southern Baptist minister, Dr. Gaddy held several leadership positions within the SBC including serving as a member of the SBC's Executive Committee from 1980-1984 and as the Director of Christian Citizenship Development of the SBC's Christian Life Commission from 1973-1977.

Among his many leadership roles, Dr. Gaddy sits on the Coordinating Council of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, is the current President of the Alliance of Baptists, and is a member of the Commission of Christian Ethics of the Baptist World Alliance. His past leadership roles include serving as Chair of the Pastoral Leadership Commission of the Baptist World Alliance, and serving as Chair of the Resolutions Committee of the Georgia Baptist Convention.

Founded in 1994 to promote a mainstream alternative faith-based voice to religious political extremists TIA is a national grassroots organization with a membership of 80,000 drawn from over 50 faith traditions and denominations with Alliances in 109 communities in 36 states. TIA is dedicated to promoting the positive and healing role of religion in public life.


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