Thursday, May 31, 2007

So Try Not Understanding THIS

Wade Burleson put up a post some time back, about something he didn't understand. Well, there's something I don't understand and I think I'll write about it. Doing things I don't understand has gotten me this far, so why not....

The whole soap opera "The Bloggers and the Ex-President" is one of them things I don't understand. We're told to go and make disciples of all nations. Presumably that includes the USA. And, we're told it's not a lot of use to say "Be warm" or "Be well" or "Be fed" or some such, without being willing to do something about the heat or health or diet or whatever, of the listener.

Now, the stated purpose of the NBC is to address issues of poverty, social injustice, and stuff like that. Those seem to fit into what James said we ought to be doing. Oh, I know the naysayers will proudly point to all the things SBC'ers do, and I'm glad SBC'ers do all that. But apparently there's some other stuff that's not being addressed at present. So I can see the rationale of the NBC.

I'm no genius, but it seems to me that the brouhaha being played out on this will not in any way contribute to the population of heaven. If the injustice or poverty within church membership rolls were the problem, local churches should address that. If that's the case, shame on us already. But if the NBC is aimed at society in general, including lost folks, then how can we say the **** with THEM and stand on some purity of doctrine as an excuse not to be involved.

What on earth are we so proud of? I don't think anyone gets a real picture of the SBC unless you've been in another denomination. I've been in plenty of them and I'm aware of what the image is, out there, of Baptists. And I have to wonder what effect on that, involvement in the NBC .. without compromising our message ... would be. I don't think it would be detrimental.

On the other hand, what effect would our refusal to be involved, be? I don't think it would be helpful.

Now don't go getting in a pre-emptive uproar. I'm speaking of the image among the poor and disenfranchised who look at us now and see mostly big red brick buildings with manicured lawns. The ones we're trying to reach.

If we're even trying.

Jesus' first miracle was at a wedding feast. A party. And it was one at which folks were expected to get drunk! Sure they were ... how else do you explain the master of the banquet saying "Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now." (John 2:8-10, NIV)

Jesus also ate with tax collectors. All the legalists of the day pounced on Him about that, and it kind of reminds me of......

I'm no theologian. I'm no pastor. I'm no professor nor scholar. Maybe those folks understand all the uproar.

I don't.

5 Comments:

At 4:25 PM, June 02, 2007, Blogger Mike Ruffin said...

Bob,

I share your sentiments on this.

"They'll know we are Christians by our love," after all. We might as well love each other enough to work together for the sake of those out there who really need to know that God loves them and who will only know that if we make the effort to show them.

I plan to attend the NBC Celebration. I hope that much good comes out of it. The way I see it, time is short, at least for those of us who are walking around breathing, so we might as well make good use of it.

I'd rather spend mine working with other Christians to do good than standing around throwing rocks at folks who don't line up their theological ducks exactly like I do.

 
At 1:33 PM, June 03, 2007, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Thanks, Mike. Apparently that makes two of us, now.

Not much of a Wade-Ben-CB-Marty Fan Club, but ya gotta start somewhere.

 
At 8:07 AM, June 05, 2007, Anonymous marie said...

I'm with you Bob! I've been amazed at all the fuss! Is satan at work, or what?

Why aren't ALL Christians focused on Christ instead of what this or that one believes or whether someone subscribes to the BF&M, or if someone has a PPL or...?

If satan can keep us occupied with non-essentials, what will it look like when the LORD requires more of us than we've been asked of here in the US? Will we be prepared for hard times? Will we be able to stand firm when the "shaking" starts? Will judgement leave us bewildered?

I've been a lifelong SBCer until last year. I am no longer proud to say that...

 
At 2:42 PM, June 15, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

did you really say ..."how can we say the **** with THEM?" Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.

 
At 10:00 PM, June 15, 2007, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Anonymous: I think anybody deserves one shot at someone, and that was yours.

My sentence represents what some SBC'ers are saying by scorning President Carter and what he purportedly is trying to accomplish ... dealing with the effects of poverty and social injustice. I purposely inserted the *'s instead of a word to describe the seeming attitude of those who scorn this effort, to allow folks to insert the word that flows from their hearts.

Is your comment indicative of that in your case? I presume so.

 

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