Al Gore talked to the Southern Baptist Convention with a somewhat unheralded talk that, reportedly, went over strongly. From Robert Parham’s editorial at Ethics Daily.COM, Gore Delivers Most Important Baptist Address in 30 years
Former Vice President Al Gore delivered the most energetic, substantive and potentially transformative speech made by a Baptist to a Baptist audience in 30 years.
From my first Southern Baptist Convention in June 1978 in Atlanta to the New Baptist Covenant celebration last week in that same city, I can remember no address that matches the urgency and profundity of Gore’s riveting presentation.
Literally waiting in the aisles was “the most prominent Baptist” and, as Gore finished, Jimmy Carter stood to “give a testimony”.
“We’re going to be considering what to do as a result of this New Baptist Covenant meeting.”
“How many of you think we should join Al Gore in being one of the strongest voices on earth?” Carter asked to ringing applause. “Does anyone disagree? OK, now you see that was a unanimous vote. Thank you very much.”
While Gore spoke to over 2000 Southern Baptists, his speech was not widely promoted beforehand nor, it seems, widely discussed afterwards. Or, at least not yet. Gore’s message seems to strike a chord as “young Baptists are going green.”
The environment is the No. 1 issue in terms of how we are putting hands and feet to the call of Christ–not just saying but doing,” said Bailey Nelson, a 24-year-old seminarian at Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology, who had helped coordinate the gathering.
Parham is a voice ready to echo Gore’s. He has written eloquently of the Green Bible, that “the Bible is God’s green book, staking out the divine imperative for earth care” and emphasizing that “if we really want to be faithful to both the Great Commission and the Great Commandment, we need to protect Planet Earth for our neighbors in time and across time. ”
“We who are Baptists are not going to tolerate heaping contempt on God’s creation,” Gore asserted. “It’s up to us to send that message, as Christians, as Baptists.”
Will Southern Baptists heed Gore’s and Parham’s call?