Late last month we launched a new website for our wider Canadian Baptist family interested in Gospel renewal and discussion. Many of you will be aware that our relationship with the denomination has been somewhat strained over the last several years. At root the issue is compatibility and alignment. Though we all came from common stock and commitments, over the last 100 years there has been a lot of drift and we haven’t all been drifting in the same direction. Many churches within the denomination are waking up to the fact that we may no longer have sufficient agreement among ourselves to facilitate any form of significant partnership, particularly with respect to mission.
What is the appropriate response to that? Some would say that the only appropriate response is to pull out and associate elsewhere, and while there is a time for that, I can’t help but feel that 135 year old friendships should not be abandoned lightly. With that in mind, a few relationally connected churches began a conversation forum known as the Covenant Life Renewal Association (CLRA for short, pronounced like the lady’s name ‘Clara’). CLRA has as its aim to stir up Gospel conversation that could potentially, by God’s grace, reestablish a basis of theological agreement that could facilitate a more robust missiological partnership within our denomination.
We’d like to invite you into the conversation. We’ve recently launched an on-line discussion platform at www.adfontes.ca and we’d love for you to visit and take a look.
When we met with Tim McCoy, the Executive Minister of CBOQ, to explain our plan and approach, he referred to our efforts as “a very Baptist way of addressing these concerns”. Baptists believe in free will association, which means that none of us are obligated to participate in our denominational activities or mission programs; they are “free will”. However, we also believe that such partnerships can be very useful, provided we agree on what we are trying to do. This requires discussion, dialogue and mutual understanding and the more people that participate, the broader the potential base of agreement going forward. Please join in this conversation in the hopes that our deeper agreement will serve to advance God’s glory among the nations in our generation.
Pastor Paul Carter
Let me add my Amen to all of this!