Archive for May, 2007
May 31st, 2007 | 1 Comment | Posted in » Baptist Issues, In the News..., Worth Reading
Three words about Marty’s response…
Nail… Hammer… Head.
May 31st, 2007 | 5 Comments | Posted in » Baptist Issues
I haven’t written much on the issues swirling amongst Baptists recently… primarily because life is just busy, but also because I really haven’t known what to say. I’m immensely frustrated with things both on a national and state level, and I’m not one to just rant and rave on the blog, even when I sometimes need to vent. I guess I tend to buy into the adage that if you don’t have something nice (or maybe more specifically, productive) to say, not to say it at all.
With the frustration I’ve had in mind, I write this post, and ask the question… is there a middle ground?
The background that drives my frustration? In a nutshell… it’s the lack of unity and prevalence of discord.
On the national level, there’s the large-scale debate regarding private prayer language / tongues, and to a lesser extent, baptismal requirements. IMB / NAMB guidelines essentially recommend that if you practice tongues of any sort… you can’t serve. A proposed resolution by Robin Foster, while well intended in its desire to settle the matter by determining the “will of the convention” through its messengers, seems to widen the divide more… if it passes, the convention has essentially provided direction that it doesn’t want SBC employees who practice private prayer language / tongues. Similar issues surround the baptismal requirements issue… with the IMB guidelines, even if your baptism has been accepted by the SBC church in which you’re a member, if it doesn’t meet the “proper” standards and you refuse to be re-baptized… you’re not qualified to serve. I’m sure there are other matters of conflict I haven’t touched upon.
On the state level, at least here in Missouri… we’ve got a mess. There’s the huge blow-up about a community connection ministry of the Journey church in regard to alcohol… there’s the aftermath of the Project 1000 movement… we’ve kicked out churches due to single-alignment… we’ve got a new “Save Our Convention” movement which some see as a threat to fracture the convention irrepairably (note, I’m not sure what to think it at this point, except to say that we’re already pretty messed up)… there’s a flap over the role of our state Baptist newspaper, the Pathway.
You get the picture? In general, there’s just a lot of tension between Baptists with conflicting ideas about our direction.
So here’s what I see happening behind all this. To me, there appears to be two general “sides” involved in these disputes… conservative Baptists who see very few doctrinal matters as tertiary… and conservative Baptists who see several doctrinal matters as tertiary. At root is the question, “what are tertiary doctrinal matters… and can we cooperate on those?” Both sides answer yes to the latter question… but the former is where disagreement begins (and seemingly never ends). The end result? We’ve got both sides desiring doctrinal purity… but strong tension over what matters we can agree to disagree on. Hence, conflict over private prayer language / tongues… conflict over alcohol, moderation vs. abstinence… conflict over baptismal requirements… the list goes on and on.
So I ask… is there a middle ground? Do we have irreconcilable differences?
To make it clear what I’m getting at, I’ll provide an example… prayer language / tongues. In that debate, one side holds to the belief that the modern practice of tongues / prayer language is not Biblical. The other side holds to the viewpoint that there is not enough clear Biblical evidence to support a complete cessationist position. The “cessationist” side (I use the term loosely, because I realize not everyone on that side holds to a complete cessationist position) refuses to endorse those who, in their viewpoint, participate in an unbiblical practice, in positions of leadership or service in the convention. The “continuationalist” side (again, the term is used loosely) are frustrated because the “cessationist” side seems to desire to exclude people for (what “continuationalists” see as) baseless reasons.
How do we overcome this stalemate? Is there middle ground, or will it be necessary for one side (or both) to give a bit? What will it take to see unity?
I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I’m thinking a big part involves Baptists putting to death pride.
May 28th, 2007 | 4 Comments | Posted in » Polls, Site News...
My good friend Micah Fries (a graphic design genius) has put together a new banner for me over the weekend. Do you like it?
This finally gives me a good reason to put up a new poll (and also provides a way for me to plug his site). Vote to the right, and let me know which one you like best, the new one (above), the old one, or even, I suppose, neither.
May 26th, 2007 | 3 Comments | Posted in » Just For Fun...
A strong Baptist family decided to buy a home and make everything in the house Baptist. They were going to make it look and feel Baptist through and through. So when they were finished they went to a pet shop to look for a Baptist dog.
They asked the owner, “Do you have a Baptist dog?”
Surprised, the pet shop owner thought about it for a while and then nodded, saying, “Yes… yes, I think we have a dog that will fit your description.”
So the owner brought out the dog to the family, and the father said, “Let’s see if this is a real Baptist dog.” So the father said to the dog, “Go get a Bible.”
And the dog ran over to a table, grabbed a Bible in its mouth, ran back to the man and plopped the book at his feet.
Impressed, the father continued, “Let’s see if this dog knows its books of the Bible… Turn to Psalm 23″.
The dog then opened the Bible with its snout and pawed through the pages to Psalm 23.
Very pleased, the father bought the dog and brought it home. The next day, the family had visitors. They showed their friends the Baptist dog and the things it could do.
Finally, the friends asked, “Well, can it do any other tricks that normal dogs do?”
The Baptist father wondered and said, “Hmm, I don’t know. I’ve never tried.” He then ordered the dog, “Heel.”
Suddenly the dog leaped onto the father’s lap and placed its paw on the man’s head and started to pray.
“Wait a minute!” exclaimed the Baptist mother, “This dog isn’t Baptist! It’s Pentecostal!”
(For the record, I didn’t make this up… just came across it and thought it was hilarious.)
May 24th, 2007 | 4 Comments | Posted in » Prayer Requests
Just wanted to post a quick update on Nancy’s nephew, and thank everyone for praying for him (please continue to do so!).
God has definitely been looking out for Tim throughout this… just three days ago, he was rushed to the hospital by a complete stranger, after crawling out of his wrecked vehicle… found to have a broken neck (the C-3 vertebra, the same as Christopher Reeves!)… yet today, he’s going home, and is expected to make a full recovery.
God is great!
May 22nd, 2007 | 2 Comments | Posted in » Prayer Requests
Last night, Nancy’s nephew, Tim, was in a serious car accident. It’s unclear as to exactly how the accident happened, but the bottom line is that his vehicle left the road and struck some trees, and that he is now in the hospital with some pretty severe injuries, including a broken neck. As we understand, he has movement in all his extremeties, so that is definitely a blessing. He was alone in the car, which is another blessing, as the damage to the vehicle was severe enough that any passengers would have been severely injured as well.
Please pray for Tim, not only for his healing, but also that God would use this situation to draw Tim to Himself. Please pray for Tim’s family as well, that they would experience God’s love and comfort in this difficult time.
Thanks in advance to all of you wonderfully caring folks who visit this site! I appreciate all of you!
May 18th, 2007 | 3 Comments | Posted in » Just For Fun..., My Life / Family, Pictures
I didn’t have a Friday photo this week… well, I do, sort of. It’s actually a video, and it’s quite funny… video of Allison laughing.
I’m a proud daddy, no doubt… but I thought it was extremely cute, especially since it was the first time I’d seen her doing it!
Anyway, here she is…