President Carter told a Baptist church class Sunday he saw "very close parallels" between his own attitude in life and that of a biblical man who refused to give up his wealth for God.
About 70 persons attended the first Sunday School lesson taught by Mr. Carter at the First Baptist Church, which he joined a few weeks ago. A longtime church member said half the class were visitors.
Smiling frequently and talking in low, warm tones, Mr. Carter quoted from the Book of Mark. He told the story of a rich young man who realized with a broken heat he was not willing to give up his wealth when Christ asked him to "take up thy cross and follow me."
Mr. Carter said the young man's failure is common to all human beings who cannot give up something precious for God.
"It doesn't have to be just money, it can be the love or obsession with other things," he said. "I can see some very close parallels between this young man's attitude and my own."
Mr. Carter appeared at east with the class and held its close attention. He asked members to recite from the Bible and then asked for opinions on what the passages meant.
"How many of you have been on your knees in the past 24 hours" he asked. "I have."
He warned that Christians must guard against complacency and against judging others who don't know biblical history or who don't attend beautiful churches.
"If we think we've got it made," he said, "we don't have it."
Carter said God's law doesn't change, no matter if one is in Plains, Ga., Washington, the Soviet Union, China or Pakistan.
He added with a smile, "Congress meets and goes home, God's law doesn't change."