Following a Conservative Baptist Convention held here in St. Paul, this program focuses on subject of “Baptists”. Includes report segments, music selections, speeches, and interviews with Professor Bruce Shelley of the Conservative Baptist Theological Seminary in Denver; Dr. Russell Shive, national director of the Conservative Baptist Association; and Oregon Senator Mark Hatfield.
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Baptist the second largest religious group in the country exceeded only by Roman Catholics and the largest denomination among black people among noted Baptist Americans were President Warren Harding and Harry Truman. Also, Doctor Martin Luther King Junior Evangelist, Billy Graham and soul singer Aretha Franklin who started singing in the Baptist Church many soul singers music is rooted in the Baptist tradition. The music is very rhythmic as is demonstrated by this instrumental by Soul artist, Billy Preston. The instrumental is called gospel in my soul.Star more prevalent in some parts of the country than another's the South has a large Baptist population while some sections do not over half of all church members in Tech.It's a Baptist which induce someone to tell a story about a northerner went to Texas and noticed that he was surrounded my Baptist Baptist Baptist Baptist. I'm sick of these Baptists. Well, why don't you go to Arizona only 23% Baptist out there. I don't y'all go to Minnesota only 17% Baptists up there after what your proud Texan said. Why don't you just go to hell ain't no Baptist down there. So that last statement cannot be verified. We know that there are more than 25 million Baptist in the country. Probably no denomination has more sub denominations. There are southern baptist there used to be Northern Baptist, but they change their name to American Baptists. There are National Baptist of the USA and they are National Baptist of America.conservative Baptist Primitive Baptist seventh day Baptist Freewill Baptist General Baptist And 13 other sub denominations these combined to make the largest Protestant denomination in the country last week the conservative Baptist met in St. Paul at the Hilton for 4 days. I talked with Bruce Shelly Shelly has taught history at the conservative Baptist seminary in Denver for 16 years. I read something about Civil War history saying that that slavery was a question on which northern and southern Banana Split. Yes. Could you tell me a little bit about the numerically the large Baptist bodies in the United States today the largest by far as the Southern Baptist convention the term itself still reflects, its origin in the social and racial conflicts, which is country experienced in the middle of the 19th century. The counterpart to the Southern Baptist convention in the northern states at one time was called the northern Baptist convention today at the American Baptist Churches this as we indicated then there would be the National Baptist convention and the National Baptist Convention Incorporated, which are predominantly black communities of Christians. These would number together somewhere in the vicinity of nine or ten million. Am I correct on my fingers now perhaps one of them is not quite that large perhaps seven or eight million black Christians who are Baptist. These would be the for large groups Beyond. What's a million members then there is a southern group called the North American Baptist Association, which has somewhere around 400,000. And in the Northern Tier of states are on denomination with about 300,000. These would come into almost a second category there. But the four large ones would be the Southern Baptist convention by Far and Away the largest the American Baptist Churches the National Baptist convention and the National Baptist Convention Incorporated. That Embraces just might figure somewhere around 18 million Christians in those debate and find groups and didn't answer the issue a number of denomination beginning around the 1830s. When the Abolitionist cause became particularly heated in the northern states and the cotton economy. They depended spawn slave slavery for the Southern economy to perpetuate what was often called the southern way of life created tensions in this country. Most people are well aware of these and the denominations are churches Justice today couldn't escape the social tensions, which the country itself was undergoing the church exist in the world. It isn't isolated from tissues in the world consequently many. The blacks who had it were that time in what the black historian by the name of Fraser has called The Hidden institution where black preachers were preaching to slaves are some of them preaching in interracial churches separated. Unfortunately by galleries or up front and in the back something of that sort, but they were together at that time. There was the point is there was no distinct black denomination of group at the time and then the Baptist themselves, they dominated Baptist denominations denomination divided in 1845 and the Southern Baptist convention was created in 1845 in Augusta, Georgia. The Northerners continue to operate in what we call voluntary suicide is until they were United in 19/7 as we were referred while ago then after the Civil War when the blacks were given an opportunity to create their own institutions, they found the path path of freedom and Independence lay in creating their own forming their own denominations, and it's out of these groups that the National Baptist convention came into being I think the year was 1888 something like that. They were firmly members of the Southern Baptist in Northern Baptist are some interesting cases in Virginia and elsewhere where the membership is predominately back and of some lot of people don't realize this is some happy Arrangements when the the blacks and whites worship together and when the blacks became predominant and upon request and granting received the building and whites. I moved elsewhere. You course have other leaders like Bishop Allen who founded the African Methodist Episcopal denomination who interesting little receding I think it was in Philadelphia was the founder of the African Methodist Church. You have a black denominations coming into being as independent organizations in the North during these years also, so you have both the continuation of the two worshipping together either led by a white Pastor are black Pastor or a when blacks had the opportunity to create their own perfectly understandable why they would want their own free institutions as expression of their Liberation and their own freedom in humanity. Okay, and how are they called originally just Baptist and as is often the case by the enemies there were reasons why they it was an advantage for their their opponents to label them Baptist of the term Baptist in the 1600s when Baptist came into being was a denigrating term and in fact the century before it have been a capital crime and what we call the anabaptist movement and some antibiotics that means re-baptized are those who baptized Believers are adults sometimes populi call children are baptized as infants. We call infant baptism. Then those who believe in the baptizing of infants would regard as a rebaptism see and therefore it was a term of a bonus it was it deprecating. It was a put down. To call them Baptist but the term stuck is a because they stood by it and was a novelty it first to will put a person underwater you say as an expression of his death and Resurrection with Jesus Christ. And so they didn't accept the term themselves that it wasn't self-chosen. It was put upon them by this rather novel practice in those days of putting people underwater. I heard something about John the Baptist and you know, some people refer back then did they get that door open from external a there isn't any historic link. There are few Baptists who would like to argue that the grave difficulties in trying to prove any historic links are the only similarity in term he of course did baptize people in the Jordan River as evidence of their repentance and moral renewal Movement. We might go to a fancy exactly there were probably more people who are historians called anabaptist in the 16th and very early seventeenth-century who were put to death for their faith and for their beliefs that were put to death in the early Christian centuries when we think of Roman lions and Gladiators putting to death Chris, This isn't often known but there are volume such as vast volume called Martyrs mirror, which records literally hundreds. We have the names of these people who were put to death by Roman Catholics and buy lutherans and by reformed leaders in the early sixteenth century for their what we're call anabaptist views and they got this from the old Justinian Code, which was Justinian the Roman Emperor had a code and which rebaptism Arana baptism was a capital crime because in the early Christian centuries, that was Mark of a heretic to re baptized and so in order to gain uniformity, they outlawed the rebaptism. This was employed again in the 16th century to put to death all these people. All they impale them. They tore them asunder they drowned and they thought that was very appropriate since they like water do we know is Mennonites today or a Hutterites branch of Mennonites? And the the forerunners of people that are called Baptists. This is their Heritage in the 16th and early 17th century. The thing I used to hear about that time back to says well, we're not Protestants. We're Baptist. Well, you have to use that into sent in in the anabaptist sense in in technical circles. That's true because Protestant originally stood for those denominations are we would call them today are churches which were territorial by that I mean, they were alive or linked with the state and therefore they had the power to persecute people put the screws on the real turn the heat up now and in southern Europe, this would be Roman Catholic in Northern Germany would be Lutheran and in certain pockets all over Europe. It would be reformed your it was very much divided at that time and those territories that was why historians call the magisterial Reformation meaning the Reformation which was linked with the state. And the anabaptist we're not Protestant in that sense because the anabaptist didn't believe in a state Church. They believe in what we did today call a free church that only violent people who voluntarily respond to the gospel org members of these churches. So and that technical sanababish were not Protestants, sometimes people mean however that they never had any connection with the historic roots and Roman Catholicism and that would be difficult to prove. You know, your group of course is the are the conservative Baptist and they branched off from the former Northern Baptist now called American Baptist in now was there this initial split? And when was yes, well the difference in point of view revealed by the term conservative refers to a doctrinal Debate that goes back to the 1920s and this doctor on debate is popular referred to as the modernist fundamentalist controversy. It was not limited to baptist circles touched Methodist the Christian denomination of the Christian Church churches and the other groups, but probably the Baptist felt the end of this debate more than any other denomination organizationally at conservative Baptist. And by the way, the term conservative is not a political term but a doctrinal or theological designation, it carries no political connotations, but is a religious designation or a theological designation rather than than political the organizational Organizational years of conservative Baptist go back to 1943. That was the year of the foreign Mission Society was created or founded in Chicago in December of 43. And that's the oldest of our organization is also the largest in the sense of church churches involved in the ministry of concern about his foreign Mission Society then later in that same decade the whole Mission Society was formed and the association of churches the conservative Association of America. All three of these organizations now have their headquarters in Wheaton, Illinois, but Serve by somewhere around 17 or 18 churches Across America all the way from, Florida to Maine, California to Washington on the West Coast. Largely through the Northern Tier of States. However, not very strong in the south over. Well, the central issue is or was at that time the doctrinal identity. What is the theological platform on which the benevolent or missionary work should be carried on what is the identifying doctrinal position? The American Baptist convention had been what is now called the American Baptist Churches then call the northern Baptist convention was organized in 1970 with no required doctrinal identity. No summary of Christian beliefs to characterize the whole convention. They conservatives wanted the The denomination to adopt a confessional platform confessional stand to identify and be a standard for the work of these so United Baptist churches and the the convention itself felt that this would be a divisive introduction of well, they regarded as a novelty to require a standard of belief you say to characterize the churches. Well at that point without any almost any summation was regarded as unnecessary or divisive including the the let's say the doctrine of the Trinity the teaching Christian teaching on the Trinity are the Christian teacher teaching on the deity of Jesus Christ that the participation of Jesus Christ in the godhead or the necessity of a work of God Spirit call regeneration the new life or New Birth of a person. This was a standard her classical Christian belief almost any doctrine that would have been used. These were among those that the conservatives want to accept it. But almost any Doctrine use would have been regarded as a novelty since the convention was created without any such standard say so one wanted to standard the doctrine of summer summary of beliefs and another did not want it. That's what they were debating. How does one go about picking out the things that are important? Well, it's such a good question. You have to first determine a category is a basic category at the difference between a Christian and non-Christian. Righttime Shall We Begin in many cases of to Christians can disagree but a Christian believes that truth is found in the Bible ultimate truth truth that shapes our lives that gives the meaning that brings what a Christian calls gives to us the gospel, which we believe see non-christians obviously don't believe that they may have some other holy book where the their own beliefs are supposedly found or are not perhaps it's an experience but Christians and says the Christian doctrine and beliefs are found in the Bible now to move within the Christian ranks, then there are differences not on the question of where these are to be found. But which ones are crucial are decisive for constituting a group or making up a group you see and of course the difference of opinion among Christians at that point is not on I found but which ones are basic ones you see should constitute the group in my judgment to explain how an informed Christian views the Bible. I prefer the natural understanding rather than literal know if I may explain the difference. The Bible is the piece of literature literature is written with various forms are figures of speech employed. If you mean by literal the ignoring of failure to accept figures of speech like Jesus said to his disciples you are the salt that's obviously a figure of speech. So we don't mean literal in the sense that you take everything as it appears on the surface, but the natural meaning the normal literary handling of salt as a figure of speech you follow me. For instance. Do you believe in what the Bible says in the sense that there was a Noah there was a flood there was a devil tempting Christ on the mountain. There was such a man named Joe who was you know, right. I thought that's what you meant. I didn't I didn't intend to get into technicalities except no one in a almost absolute sensor thoroughgoing sense believes the Bible is literal in the sense of not being figurative. It points now beyond that. However, I K Conservative Christian or sometimes it's called an Evangelical Christian believes that it is not necessary. In fact quite to the contrary to eliminate. The supernatural elements that's usually the debate whether you approach the Bible in a naturalistic sense attempting to shape the truth, which the Bible contains to the standards or Norms of what we usually called naturalistic thinking the conceptions of men and only as over against being a a volume which God has provided which contains Supernatural elements. That is God's truth. Which goes beyond what man can you thinking cannot discover on his own this Christians called revelation? We believe that God has disclosed his truth through these events so that I have a conservative or an Evangelical Christian is not concerned to eliminate This is the supernatural elements. Now the supernatural actions of God come through events, which can be viewed. As a actually happening and in this sense, I think it's the way dr. Criswell was using the term literal in the sense that something special done by God happened. It really happen and you don't dismiss it as a myth or legend or a religious way of expressing things. It really happen in that sense. Yes, the Conservative Christian or evengelical Christian believes in the literal view of the Bible. They would believe that there was a joke that there was a yes to a literal Mountain golden. We don't have to think in terms of a physical appearance of an ear of the evil one as the Bible often described Z or they actually went to a mountain. It could have been the suggestion because where would a mountain be found that that high and all that would reveal all the kingdoms of the world but the the reality of an evil one, which Christians have identified or call the devil or Satan is real and it is not to be dismissed as a figure of somebody's imagination. That was Bruce Shelley a professor of religious history at conservative Baptist seminary in Denver. Next. I talk to dr. Russell. Shy the national director of the conservative Baptist Association. I recently saw a story which said that church membership was at near an all-time low and hadn't been that low in 20 or 25 years as it is today. What's your reaction to that? Why do you think membership is solo? Well, I think that's probably true overall. And there were two two answers. I suppose I'd like to give to that in the first place. It is not low everywhere in every domination or in every Church. There are some outstanding churches in America tonight doctor griswell spoke to us. He has 18,000 members in the church is annual budget is 5 million dollars a year First Baptist Church of Dallas growing growing growing are there are other churches in the north and some of our big cities or some large churches other churches are dying the mainline denominations over the last several years became very concerned about social issues began to spend their money for political purposes. And it is my own personal conviction that people who come to our church is on a $10 Church's really want to come to hear what the Bible has to say. They want a man who's going to preach to them and meet their needs and they're really not too happy about their churches reaching out into Political Realms. And as a result Church attendance is falling off in those churches that have water down the preaching of the Gospel that have been more involved with the soul. Betterment and that political issues rather than with trying to trying to witness to the basic spiritual needs of man there lostness their problems are difficulties and preacher solid word of God. And basically, I I believe I whiten my Ministries to travel across the country churches that are preaching a strong biblical prophetic message according to the word of God are growing stronger than churches that have decided that we must cut down on this and become more social institution. One other thing that is prevalent today has been growing quite a bit in the past few years and it's known by such names as the Jesus movement. That is young people who have gotten off drugs or female gotten out of prison and things in his turn to Christ yet. They did not adopt the church that we've known. I've heard some of them refer to it as the institutionalized Church such as a Baptist Church or the Lutheran Church or something like that. What's your reaction to Jesus people? My feeling is that I think in the last decade that many of our churches have failed to reach the needs of young people and I think it went as we went through this decade of unrest on campus and social needs when young people were crying out for help for people to listen that probably we as churches did not listen. We didn't know what was going on. And so the the Jesus people began to find their answers in the Bible in the same Bible, but because of their mode of dress because of the length of their hair because because of some of their strange Expressions it is true that many churches didn't know what to do with them. They were uncomfortable with them. They know what the young people know, what in fact in some Churches said, we really don't want you here and so in a sense they were driven to find their own fellowship with kids. They like kids they love they started a new form of music with guitars and the stringed instruments. They were informed. Underdress, I remember attending our church in a group of them came in plenty of seats in the church that came up and sat on the floor in front of the Pope and cross their legs while it's made some of the people uncomfortable. This is why they said everywhere see and you know young people since this and so there was division in our churches and as a result, I think they went outside while we're not comfortable there after all they weren't comfortable with their parents. So why be comfortable in their parents churches now, so they went off and they and they coming out of these very intense extreme drug situations multi sex experiences and so on. I think they felt at home with people that have gone through those experiences. They their lives have changed they become they become saved have been converted they gave up this life, but they they still weren't quite ready to go back into the churches if they felt were institutionalized. Now the danger the danger of the Jesus people, which I think is Is lessening was that they were building all an experience and not much on doctrine that much on the word of God. It was as long as they were happy singing their songs and join their experience. This was great. And this was necessary. I believe that they had real conversion and real experiences of Christ, but I see a trend today of the commute where the communication gaps between the old and the young is lessening. I think the churches are opening their doors better and I think that there is a growing desire on the part of these young people as they get older to want to find out more and more. What are the principles of the word of God by which I have to live and churches are opening their doors and young people are not quite as intense as they were before and I see it coming together and they're coming back in to help us that's interesting because I know for instance here at ksjn a kind of Goldman did a story on the how young people the youth movement more or less have died students were no longer demonstrating in the streets doing things like this. So then I gather from what you said that Just as in everyday life similarly in church life the students and older people are in coming back together again right now. I think that's true. And I think that the people in the church is I think as churches we are less rigid and I think young people I have have that they're not out to shock us anymore. You know, right right. We're meeting in the middle and we're helping them and where they're helping us by their freshness and they're open this and we're being we're being helped together. We really are you think churches are coming closer together various denominations? Yes, I in a sense. And I would say that the thing that divides churches today is not so much the denominational tag as the difference between the conservative position of churches and the liberal position. For example, many of our conservative Baptist churches are affiliated with what we call the National Association of Evan jellicles, which is itself composed of about 40 denominations. I supposed solid biblically oriented conservative Evangelical position and they just finished their annual convention in Boston and many representatives at 10 because most of our church is like our Baptist churches are autonomous independent and free and and do not want any stronger overlordship. They know anybody telling them what to do and because this is true of most of Angelica churches than any inter-church Fellowship that we have is a rather free and loose thing that we're not trying to form any super Church. Baptist believe one thing in the Pentecostals believe another in the nazarenes believe something else in the and the methodists believe someone else. We have our traditions. We have our history and we have things that we really believe that we don't believe we're the only people but we are Baptists because we believe that the Baptist position is the one of which with which were most comfortable but apart from that we can get together with people that believe the basic doctrines of the infallibility of the word of God the salvation of Jesus Christ, we can get together with them on Fellowship basis without building another denomination one final question and What I wonder if you know, of course, the ultimate is heaven, you know, and if that's the case if we have so many denominations here. Have you ever thought about you know, what is going to be like in heaven getting all these people killed in 1st Corinthians 13. We see through a glass Darkly. That is we don't see clearly and we recognize that the Baptist point of view and the Methodist point of view and Episcopalian point of view and and the Pentecostal point of view are all different and we're all looking at ourselves according to our best understanding. Spiritually intellectually, but after all we're imperfect and all we can do is say before God. We humbly hold our position and I believe that when we get to heaven that we will see clearly and the things that divided us down here will not divide us up there because Jesus Christ will be Lord of all and I'm sure all of us will find that there were some areas where we emphasize things down here that the Lord may not emphasize up there. So we believe that as as our bodies are imperfect down here as our thinking is in perfect as is our actions are imperfect. So our relationships are in perfect, but when we get to heaven, they'll be right and I believe that friendships down here have their problems. We have our differences with our friends. We don't understand each other. I believe it when we get to heaven we're going to understand each other perfectly because sin will have gone and sin is what gets in the way. So I'm not too concerned when we get to heaven. I don't know what will be I don't think we'll be anything up there except Christians would just be children of God. I don't think we'll have maybe domination lines at all. That was dr. Russell. Shy the national director of the conservative Baptist Association recently. We have been hearing a lot about Christian politicians. The one most heard about in the news. These days is former Nixon a Charles Colson a couple of years ago. He was saying he would walk over his own grandmother to get President Nixon re-elected today. Colson says praise the Lord Senator Harold heuszel, Iowa will retire from the Senate this year because he says he wants to devote more time to Christianity Congressman Albert Lea Minnesota is a member of the Kohl's in Hughes prayer group in Washington. The politician who address the conservative Baptist last week was Oregon Senator Mark Hatfield who is himself a conservative Baptist had filled his known in Oregon as being a Christian man, but expected Lake some doubt. His sincerity is political opponent in the 1972. Oregon senatorial election was former Senator Wayne Morse. Morse is quoted in the latest issue of New Times magazine is saying this of Hatfield during his campaign. He holds down one fundamentalist Pulpit after another never trust a politician who campaigns with a Bible in one hand without looking for the daggers of hypocrisy in the other. Hatfield is known around Washington as one of those Republicans who votes with the liberal Democrats a lot. He was against confirming Nixon Supreme Court appointees Carswell and hainsworth he's among those who calls for a cut in the defense budget and he is thought to be among the pro impeachment forces of Congress in his speech before the conservative Baptist convention Hatfield spoke on world hunger and excessive defense spending. There is no problem faced by this world more likely to breed instability and conflict and War. And increase the magnitude of mankind suffering in the Years directly ahead of us that no shortage of food. International politics relationships between superpowers and the poor countries the durability of political regimes the political character of Nations. including our own will be shaped by the growing scarcity of food. And the world's basic resources more than by any other single Factor. And especially those factors that I monopolize our attention in these recent years. This my friends is the reality of this day. Before World War II most all the nations of the world at all the gray and they need it and several had a surplus only Western Europe needed to buy Grain from other countries. today many countries throughout the world need more grain than they can produce only North America and Australia have substantial surpluses to export yet two-thirds of the world's population fights for about one-third of the world's total protein. We've had a decline in the United States surpluses. All right, I'll land has been put back into production and our reserves tonight have been depleted yet. The demand is increasing. No longer do we have surpluses capable of providing a cushion against outright famine in the world? I asked the state department just the other day. Why we had to cut back on PL 480 surplus food commodities being distributed in the world. And they came back with the tragic answer. There is a limitation and we had to set the criteria for maternal Aid and children. Because of the shortage and cut off those who are lepers who are sick who are old other words these now have to die. We have also a relationship between the shortage of energy in the shortage of food. Mechanization increases the energy needed in farming. It takes 80 gallons of gasoline to raise one acre of corn. fertilizers require vast amounts of energy to make and of course fertilizers are vital in the Green Revolution. And then my friends we Grumble and groused about having to wait in line for a few minutes for gasoline to fill our cars when an Indian farmer and India had to wait 5 days or line to get enough gasoline to keep his irrigation pumps going on his farm. The World's temperature has dropped to 2.7 degrees since 1945. This cooling trend of the Earth has caused Great desert areas to expand and Advance toward the equator expanding the regions of drought. The Sahara Desert has expanded 30 miles each year during these years of drop taking over land that was terrible before that in the Sahel region alone. The Niger River for the first time in memory can be crossed on foot. At least 250,000 people already starved in the Sahel. and such continuing changes in climate would affect India South Asia China Central America climatic changes can also affect our own country's capacity for food production How many of us can remember that the years of the Dust Bowl? Dry periods come in Cycles, which can be mild or severe and scientist. Tell us a day that the next dry. Or the drop. Is due just about now. And could last from five to six years in this nation. Just a slight reduction in the Harvest of crops would have a devastating effect on a world trying to fight against famine. The seven lean years Joseph predicted to Pharaoh could be coming up on us now in contrast to our. Of abundant Harvest. as Believers in Jesus Christ and instruments of his compassion We must allow these truths to pierce our hearts and our minds. Do you realize that we in this country consume 1 ton of grain per year per capita? the most basic form of protein but only 150 lb of that ton of grain is consumed directly through bread pastry and cereals The remaining eighteen hundred and fifty pounds per capita that grain is consumed in directly through the through the development of protein in meats and poultry. whereas then the rest of the world in the third world of a hungry world, the average person is able to scrounge only 400 lb of cereals grain per year all taken directly in rice sweet so forth because little or none can be spared for conversion into the most costly and efficient means of protein production such as meat Let me illustrate one acre of land. Will raise it planted in soybeans 667 lb of protein. One acre of car will produce 435 lb of protein 1 acre of rice 323 lb of protein wheat 227 lb of protein, but if you take that and feed it to cows and chickens and pigs. One acre of land for raising poultry will only produce 97 lb of protein. One acre of land resources to raise pigs will produce 29 pounds of protein and one acre of land to raise beef will produce only 9 lb of protein. It takes seven times as much grain to put protein on the table in the form of meat. As it does to consume the same amount of protein directly from the same cereal grains. And as a nation's wealth and influence affluence increases, so does its demand for meat? red meat we take for granted what to the world is an utter luxury in the time of extreme extreme wastefulness. America's per capita beef consumption has more than doubled since 1940 and our population in that same. Has increased 57% The demand for meat in Western Europe, and Japan is also increased as wealth has increased and with this trend more and more of the world's grain gets used for more inefficient ways of protein production. And because the way you and I have become accustomed to eating it takes five times more the land resources a water soil fertilizers to support our diet that does support the diet of a Nigerian or a Colombian or an Indian or Chinese. The amount of food and protein consumed by the diets of you and me and all 210 million Americans could feed 1.5 billion Africans and Indians on a stable though vastly different diet. Defeat all the Indians of the American died at a 3000 calories per day would require more energy than India Today is using for all its particular uses. The feed the entire world on the US diet would require 80% of the world's total energy. So what does this mean? We can no longer suppose that are extra abundance. Can feed the hungry of the world? Rather there is a startling fact of life. The pie is no longer expandable. And this is the first time in the history of man that we can say this. The world today will only be fat by sharing of resources, which the rich of the world have assumed to be there on question possession and through the changing of values and patterns of Life which the affluent have ever barely even question. Because of the fertilizer shortage alone Asia could face this year the largest food deficit in recent history and the failure of monsoons and a poor harvest would almost ensure a greater famine. Half of India's population lives below the subsistence level with one meager meal a day. 60% of the 2.5 billion people living in the poor countries of the world are malnourished. And my dear friends malnutrition breeds disease and death for Millions. It has impact upon pregnancies during infancy. And so I say let me reiterate famine is not going to be averted by simply thinking we can increase our production. Most arable land is in use. The Seas have been overfished. The pie is limited. It must be shared more equitably. Gandhi the Great Indian philosopher put it this way the Earth provides for every man's need but not for every man's greed. Our hearts must be made sensitive to the suffering of our fellow man. And the fact that I site cannot be just cold statistics. They must be translated into human realities. We should allow ourselves to feel uncomfortable about our wealth and our lifestyle our diet and all the subtle worship of it fluids characterizes a materialistically oriented Society. We must let God's spirit move Ennis. Even took Invictus a new of Sin Sin of consumption. And a show us the ways of repentance and renewal. Most of all, let us cast aside these rationalizations that would somehow prevent us from understanding and reaching out to those in need. There are some who write today or and seemed to say that perhaps all the worst about famine disaster and War will indeed come true. And at this only indicates the preparation of the second coming of Christ. No, I do not want to get into discussion. About eschatology and all the various doctrines about the last days which have been such a source of division within the Christian Community. But let us be agree about 1 Central biblical truth. We are never told us it and what's the world destroy itself in its inhumanity and sin and consoled ourselves with a prediction that the end of time is just around the corner. To turn our back on the suffering of the world is to turn away from Christ himself. This is exactly what he told us. What did Matthew he says when the son of man comes in his glory and all the angels with him. He will sit in a state on his throne with all the nations gathered before him. He will separate men into two groups as a Shepherd separates the sheep and goats. Then the king will say to those on his right hand. You have my father's blessing come and her and possessed the kingdom that has been ready for you since the world was made. For when I was hungry you gave me food. When thirsty you gave me drink I tell you this anything you did for one of my brothers. However humble you did for me. It is precisely because all history is consummated in him. Because Christ is Lord over all that. We must give our lives in his service to the world's need. And so doing we are proclaiming and giving witness to his love and to his victory. Next Thanksgiving can be a time when Christians throughout this land could join to express their Thanksgiving for are plenty not by a feast but by sacrificial outpouring and sharing of our plenty with the needy just as the pilgrims shared with the Indians. As Christians we can buy our word and our living example call the nation to the task of sharing from his putty with those who are in need. Now these are only suggestions. But the point is that Christ's love. Beckons us to far more than mere charitable acts. He calls us to love and to give in a way that changes the shape of our lives and the lifestyle. That love led him to the cross. And it will lead us if we follow to pour ourselves out for the sake of others. This is how the world can come to know Christ as Lord. We may be led in many different ways. In the course of our individual calling and service, but let us give his love the freedom to direct us in service wherever it will. We must open ourselves to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and then follow and giving forth the sacrificial love to the needs of others. So let us speak and act today to exert an influence on the priorities and commitments of our nation. Or if the world is to be spared of starvation and famine these countries in dog by surpluses or a wealth of resources must commit themselves to share with those in need. Let me say that how we exercise is stewardship at this point in our history will determine in large measure the destiny of all mankind. Now I have to tell you that this year. The Congress has been asked to approve the largest peacetime military budget in our history. 94 billion dollars of your tax money for weapons of war and destruction And our armies including over a half a million American military personnel stationed permanently outside of our borders. Expenditures for military purposes alone total 63% of all the funds that Congress is asked to approve for the coming fiscal year. the spending of money that comes from you and from me as to the by contrast all the funds requested in the budget for forms of intended humanitarian and economic assistance to other nations and hopefully to disadvantaged people totals 1.9 billion dollars. And even much of this money is often use more to gain political influence then to relieve the suffering of people and is often times funnel out through the political bureaucracies of other countries into the black market. Are foreign aid effort has been described as a program that takes money from the poor people of rich countries and gives to the rich people in poor countries. And often it never trickles down to help those truly in need. And why I am working on the Appropriations Committee to funnel these a monies through the voluntary organizations like World Vision, which is on the scene and gets the money and gets the resources to the people in need. Now this is how our nation today is exercising its stewardship. It comes down to this simple fact for every $1 spent an attempt to alleviate suffering $50 of your tax money spent for weapons of war and forces Geared for the destruction of life. And let me ask you tonight. What is the real threat to world peace tonight? It's world hunger. That's the greatest threat to world. Peace. All of our military weaponry could not save us from that. Our true security is not found in our military hardware alone. Because a nation as America was 6% of the world's population today is consuming 40% of the world's resources. There is no security apart from the dedicated sacrificial service of the world's needs. No armies can ultimately provide security for a few who want to cling to their wealth amongst a sea of people who are suffering and facing starvation and death. Hostility hatred mindless violence is bread out of the deprivation and suffering of people desperate people do desperate acts against which there is no real security. No matter how big the bombs are. True security is built through Justice and through the alleviation of human need. This is the responsibility of a call to the nation to a rightful sense of stewardship. We will be judged on how we use. These resources could have been given to us. We are held accountable for our stewardship over all material and natural and human resources and we can use them for life or for death. For our own selfish wasteful consumption or for the benefit of humanity within the past hour or you have heard three men who participated in the conservative Baptist convention, which was held last week and Saint Paul first you heard Professor Bruce Shelley. I'll be conservative Baptist seminary in Denver next. You heard. Dr. Russell. Shy the national director of the conservative Baptist Association, and finally you just heard Oregon Senator Mark Hatfield, this is Sam for