CLC gears up to defeat cloners via inserts
JEFFERSON CITY – The Christian Life Commission (CLC) of the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) will be spending a total of $50,000 on five bulletin inserts to be mailed to every Missouri Baptist church starting Aug. 1 in a bid to defeat a constitutional amendment promoting embryonic stem cell research, or cloning, that is being proposed for the Nov. 7 ballot.
A pastor’s information packet on the issue is also being sent out from Jefferson City along with the first wave of bulletin inserts. The idea is to create an environment where churches are utilizing bulletin inserts on cloning once every three weeks from now until the day of the election, said CLC Chairman Rodney Albert, pastor, Hallsville Baptist Church.
A bulletin insert is a concise form of communication that contains useful information that can be shared with citizens outside of church in a non-threatening manner. With limited financial resources on the pro-life side, this type of grassroots strategy is central to the ultimate popular rejection of the proposed amendment, Albert said.
“The biggest key to winning this issue, from our perspective, is the average Missouri Baptist influencing his or her sphere of relationships,” he said. “That means when a Baptist deacon goes to have coffee at the local diner with his friends, we want him to be able, not to speak at an expert level, but to speak from knowledge—to have the confidence that what he’s saying is true. We want that lady to be able to go into the park, when she’s with some other moms and some friends, to be able to speak to this issue. We want our youth, in their schools, to be able to talk to their friends about that. That’s the key.
“It’s not an elite group of Missouri Baptist leaders knowing that this is wrong who are going to help defeat this amendment. It is the entire Missouri Baptist Convention actively engaging our culture to tell, person by person, this amendment is bad news for Missouri.”
The pastor’s information packet is geared toward helping him educate his congregation on the issue, Albert said. Missouri Baptist leaders have been screening various resources to give a pastor some vital tools that he can place in his preaching toolbox for the months to come.
“If we’ve done our job right, we’re going to give him a really good doctrinal, theological stand that kind of summarizes this issue (so) he’s going to feel qualified to speak to this issue,” Albert said. “I think a lot of pastors still are intimidated by the science of it. They’re intimidated by their own lack of education. I’ve been there, and it’s often overwhelming.”
Albert has been working closely with the offices of MBC Executive Director David Clippard and MBC Family Ministries Specialist Joe Ulveling in an unprecedented partnership within the denomination to address a pivotal moral issue. Albert credited Ulveling with helping to facilitate the process of getting the various resources past the talking stage and out into the field.
“He does an incredible job of coordinating with staff inside the Baptist Building,” Albert said.