Baptist Committee of Correspondence

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Baptist Committee of Correspondence

Taking a page from Baptist history, and particularly from John Leland in the late Eighteenth Century, I ask Bible-believing independent Baptist preachers (pastors, evangelists, missionaries, etc.) residing in the Indiana 9th Congressional District to join me in prayer and consideration regarding the formation of a Baptist Committee of Correspondence, for the purpose of presenting an effective Baptist witness to our Representative in the United States Congress, as well as to other elected representatives and assemblies within our Congressional District.

I am not proposing any kind of membership organization for preachers, nor am I proposing any kind of new church association or fellowship. I am proposing that willing Bible-believing, independent Baptist preachers in our Congressional District act as a committee . . . .

 . . . . to formulate a Biblicist Baptist position on issues being voted on in Congress, for publication, and for formal presentation to our elected representatives, beginning with our District's Representative in Congress.

I am making this proposal while on a working furlough. My own residence is in Washington County, in the Indiana 9th, and I could not set this idea aside without passing it on to other Baptist servants of God in the District. I am hoping that those receiving this will at least pray and send me their thoughts.

I have no idea how many independent Baptist preachers there are in the District. I am looking over some state-wide lists on the Internet. If you feel so led of the Lord, please forward this on to other independent Baptist preachers.

I herein emphasize independent Baptists. I would not make this appeal to denominational Baptists in general. However, should there be a sufficient number (I would hope for a minimum of twenty-five) of independent Baptist preachers willing to participate, they may also have "fundamentalist" acquaintances among, say, Southern Baptists, Regular Baptists, or other Baptists (invited to participate on an individual basis) who would be willing to add the strength of their witness for the purposes stated above. Remember, nothing is being joined, and no association of ministry is being created.

On important issues being debated in the Congress, the Baptist Committee of Correspondence would draw up a Biblicist Baptist position paper. This document would be circulated to all Baptist preachers who feel led to participate, and if they agree with the substance of the paper, they may affix their signature to it in witness. Each such document would be published for distribution wherever it might be deemed effective, including in local newspapers around the District. An original signed copy would be delivered by a representative number of the signers, directly and in person, to the offices of the 9th Congressional District (that is, our Congressman's offices around the District). On extremely urgent issues, funds permitting, a signed position paper may be delivered in person to our Representative's office in Washington, D.C., or at the least, a copy can be express delivered to the Washington office. It is our understanding that residents of a Congressman's district cannot be considered as "lobbyists" under laws requiring the registration of lobbyists.

When the 9th District Representative is in the District, a delegation of participants in the Baptist Committee of Correspondence should attempt to schedule a meeting with him/her, and/or attend public events where the Representative is present. Let the Representative see the presence of the Baptist Committee of Correspondence.

When the Representative replies in writing to any position paper of the Baptist Committee, those replies will be circulated among all participants for individual response from the preachers, should they so desire, and for follow-up correspondence to the Representative by the Committee as a whole. The Baptist Committee would also respond to letters from other elected representatives, to newspaper editors and other journalists, to newspaper opinion writers ("letters to the editor"), and to private citizens. The Baptist Committee of Correspondence should publish a periodic journal (I would suggest either quarterly or biannual) as well as post its position papers and other correspondence on the Internet, either on one dedicated site, or on a series of other sites willing to make special pages open of the Committee.

As the Virginia Baptists under the leadership of Brother John Leland maintained a united and open witness among the Nation's founders in Philadelphia in the 1780s, I suggest that Bible-believing Baptist preachers in the Indiana 9th Congregational District exert and exercise their witness, and make a stand for Bible Truth in the halls of Congress by making Biblicist positions clear to our Indiana 9th Congressional District Representative.

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Baptist Committee of Correspondence by Robert Edgar Patenaude, Th.D. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
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