On abpnews.com there's an article concerning the teaming of former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton to develop a new Baptist covenant to promote unity among the nation's Baptist Christians. This covenant will be an "agenda of compassionate ministry to help put aside social and theological differences and promote love & mercy." There will be a gathering set for January 2008.
Our "loving" denomination is really struggling! We seem to be having a huge problem relating to other Christians more than the common lost man. Many Southern Baptist will hold their arms out in compassion and sacrifice to the lost...then we'll turn and cut our brothers and sisters in Christ to shreds. How can that be? When will we learn that mean words don't necessarily make a man!
Some of our folks definitely are not for Carter's & Cliniton's actions for mercy and unity. Yet, we show no problem or hesitation toward disharmony and hatred in our words and often with our actions. It's no wonder that...
Church membership has plauteaued
Baptisms have been on the decline
Cooperative giving has declined from 10% per church to 6% per church
Is it any wonder that we're beginning to be the laughing stock of the denominational world not by 'what we believe,' but by 'how we act!' We've got some SBC people that couldn't get along with a brick wall. And that's just sad.
* It seems that the SBC today --
expects eveyone to be exactly the same in every way! And not just in theology either. According to the Southern Baptist Convention we must sound alike, use the exact same words and terminology, use the same version of the bible, and I guess wear the same brand of neck ties. Some of us might be comfortable with this new cookie-cutter Christianity, but not me. There's no challenge there. I can't stand little pat answers and being spoon fed. That's SLAP boring. And it doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that. Doesn't like people to doing things they didn't think of first! If it wasn't our idea, we want no part, brother. Man, how shallow can you get? If we didn't dream it up we're taking our toys and going home. That's like saying if we don't own the Bus Line, we're not riding the Bus. (Why can't the SBC respectfully & lovingly decline to be involved in something without being the "DONKEYS" of denominational life. Contrary to popular action today, God can help us say something positive without being phoney and without being a part of the program if we don't feel led in that direction). Southern Baptists need to learn from the "Bambi Factor 2007" which says, "If you can't say something nice, then JUST KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT!" Sometimes I think I would rather hang out with the filthiest, vilest, most rude, arroagant, lost man...than with these fundamentalist Southern Baptist that only have the courage to lash out, judge, and tear others down. When will we learn that most folks get to a point where they don't even want to be around the meanest people in town...much less listen to their message. May God help us.