by Bill Bangham
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Southern Baptist Convention President Frank Page has called on organizers of a planned January 2008 gathering of moderates and liberals to focus less on their plan to "take the microphone away" from conservatives and attend more to spreading the message of the Gospel.
I will not be a part of any smokescreen leftwing liberal agenda that seeks to deny the greatest need in our world, that being that the lost be shown the way to eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
-- Frank Page
Page's response May 25 comes about a week after former U.S. president and former Southern Baptist Jimmy Carter made a pitch to Southern Baptists to attend the New Baptist Covenant he is organizing with Bill Underwood, president of Mercer University. Bill Clinton, also a former U.S. president with Southern Baptist ties, has described himself as a "cheerleader" for the event. Clinton's wife, Hillary, a U.S. senator from New York, is a leading contender for the Democrats' 2008 presidential nomination.
Carter invoked Page's name May 17, saying the SBC leader "has not been negative" in discussions about the gathering. According to one media report, Carter claimed to have spoken twice to Page about the planned conference and that Page did not express any reservations about it.
Page said Southern Baptists "were not invited to be a part of the initial meetings of this group." He also responded strongly to the political overtones surrounding the meeting. Read More