The Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in America, is holding its annual meeting June 12 - 13 in San Antonio, where it last met in 1988. In view of this, Douglas E. Baker, a writer and former Baptist pastor, wrote the "The Wall Is the Castle" for Baptist Press. Baptist Press, which is funded and operated by the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), posted the op-ed on May 30, 2007, but removed it within 24 hours. Baptist Press told CT that the column had been temporarily removed for editorial reasons and that the column's failure to reappear was a separate decision. BP had no further comment. Christianity Today asked Baker to rework his thoughts so that a broader audience might understand his original message to Southern Baptists.

Wars are seldom easy to explain. What once seemed a just cause for engagement can soon become clouded amid scenes of carnage and death. Motives ever so slowly elide to camouflage error. One moment in time (often only one speech) is all that is required to morph a mountain of mistakes into a hill of courage.

This was once accomplished in American history by a President who knew that, after gruesome news of one particular battle reached the public, men might no longer be motivated to lose their lives killing their own countrymen. Masterfully, President Abraham Lincoln did what anyone in his position would want to do: He transcended the politics of the moment and the war's strife to call the destruction he saw that day evil—for that is what it was. Lincoln's Gettysburg Address attacked no one, but touched millions. After his address, hardened cynics mourned not only the death of thousands of men, but also the loss of the unity that caused the conflict in the first place. ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.