When it comes to relationships with Jews, Baptists have a history of either being silent at the wrong times or making imprudent judgments. For example, many Baptist leaders refused to speak out against anti-Semitism in the 2004 film “The Passion of the Christ.” Others refused to participate in interfaith worship services following the events of Sept. 11, 2001. Some Baptists have made absurd statements, such as the Southern Baptist Convention president who created a firestorm in 1980 when he proclaimed that “God Almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew.” The Baptist Center for Ethics’ executive director, Robert Parham, said the silence and misstatements represent “more Christian love than any group ought to bear.” Noticeably absent in much of Baptists’ history with the Jewish community is consistent evidence of the four cardinal virtues: wisdom, temperance, courage and justice. Instead we find silence where wise words and thoughtful actions could have fostered good will; harsh rhetoric where silence and restraint would have shown respect.
"Good Will for the Common Good" is an educational DVD designed to challenge Baptists to rethink their relationship with the Jewish community and to equip them with models for constructive engagement. The DVD and its online student and leader guides help goodwill Baptists to reclaim the centrality of Jesus, who taught us to love our neighbors, not as a means toward conversion but because it is the right thing to do.