Monday, November 11, 2013
Global Baptist leader addresses World Council of Churches in unity plenary (VIDEO)
A previous post reported on Baptist World Alliance General Secretary Neville Callam's address to the World Council of Churches in a plenary session on unity during the Tenth Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Busan, South Korea on November 5. Here is a video recording of the unity plenary (unfortunately audio and video are not fully synchronized); Callam begins speaking at 48:40 (click on this hyperlink to watch in a separate window on YouTube at the point that begins Callam's address). Callam's address is a grateful celebration of the progress that has been made toward full visible unity, an honest lament of the churches' failures in seeking this unity and incisive identification of contemporary impediments to the quest for visible Christian unity, and a stirring challenge to the churches to live into Jesus' prayer that his followers might be one in a way that the world can see, that the world might become unified under the Lordship of Christ.
I hope readers of Ecclesial Theology will listen to Callam's address and the other addresses in the unity plenary in their entirety. Below is a transcription of a portion of the "lament" portion of Callam's remarks:
We have reason to lament the painful divisions that still remain. We are the body of Christ, and we should reflect the koinonia inspired by the vision of the perfect unity existing in the Godhead. We are not what we should be. We lament persistence in cherishing our peculiarities and in failing to draw sufficiently from the from the well of divine provision that is able to quench our thirst for unity in the truth. We lament our inclination to seek in other expressions of the church a replica of the church to which we belong. We have not been content to seek in other churches, as much as in our own, signs of the one church of our Lord Jesus, nor have we been sufficiently vigorous in giving expression to the depth of communion in faith that already exists.
[Another previous post reproduces a BWA press release summarizing Callam's address and reporting on participation in the assembly by at least 77 Baptists from 24 countries.]