Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Knowing Admitting What You Need

I ordered a pair of hearing aids today. Not just like the one in the picture over there, but that sort. But silver. And smaller.

I guess I've known for some time that I needed some. I've had to turn my head toward someone, cup my hand over my ear, ask someone to repeat themselves, etc, for long enough that I'd rather risk all the things I used to think about old people with hearing aids, than go on without them. So, I set off last week to remedy the problem.

As of Friday, I'd had 2 tests and came home with instructions to get the wax removed from my ears, so Costco could let me try a pair on for 15 minutes, today. So yesterday I spent at the doctor's office, getting rid of enough wax to shine up my Toyota, and today I went back to Costco, where the very professional lady redid the tests just to be sure. And then fitted me with a pair of loaners and asked me to walk around the store and talk to folks for 15 minutes.

WOW. What a difference. I learned that what she prescribed for me was exactly what I needed. I was amazed at the difference. And also how good their sweet potato French-Fries, and their take-home-and-bake onion rings really are. I passed up the brownies, and several other goodies, to hurry back and see Hearing Aid Lady, where I placed the order.

I've known about it for some time. But it wasn't a matter of knowing about it .. it was a matter of admitting it.

I wonder if the folks in the SBC aren't suffering from the same malady. We went through all the hub-bub of the GCR, a sort of blame-nobody blame game for why our numbers are headed the wrong way. And now we're preparing for some sort of shindig over a new name for the Convention.

I am wondering if, by some chance, the folks who influence the actions of others, in the Southern Baptist Convention, aren't suffering from the same malady I did .. except with lousy numbers instead of hearing. I'd hate to think they are really clueless as to why what's going on is going on. I'd rather think they just don't want to admit it.

Does it seem to you that the SBC .. at some level .. has a need for a "common enemy" ... other than satan? Like they have to have something to unite them other than Jesus?

I've only been active in SBC for 5 or 6 years, didn't care much for the denominational stuff, until making the acquaintance of some other folks, who were themselves involved, struck a chord in me. And made me think I might have something, somewhere, to contribute. Since then, I've seen SBC'ers line up like so many confederate soldiers, and fire at their common enemies, like, say......

  • Tongues...

  • "Errant" (but perfectly legitimate) baptism...

  • Calvinism...

  • Liberals/Moderates...

  • People who point out flaws that are difficult to fix, especially when a group doesn't want to...

I got active in church in about 1963. We'd been reasonably active in the denominations I've been in .. Methodist, Reformed Presbyterian, PCUSA, PCA and now SBC. I do not recall the kind of stuff I see, now, in the SBC, ever, in any of the others. Maybe it's just communication, but maybe it's not.

I just had a long talk with a friend of 30 years, who used to belong to FBC Pelham. My friend left FBC because he'd always felt there was more "meat" .. more to dig into .. than he'd gotten in the SBC.

He's now been a member of Briarwood Presbyterian, an outstanding local PCA church. They are likely the most evangelical church I know of. In fact, EVERY TIME someone has asked me one of those "key questions", leading to witnessing for Jesus, it's been a Briarwood Member.

And their missions budget is a bit over $2 million dollars a year.

If a denomination (SBC's website .. page one .. calls us that) can have an arrogant and proud attitude, I'm afraid the SBC has one. And it seems some in the SBC view anyone who points out the real flaws .. as some have done (spectacularly) and I've tried to do (hollering about denominationally missing the mark on Discipleship) as either an enemy or a non-entity.

Unless I am losing my marbles, doesn't anybody care about those things?

I'm developing the opinion that SBC's collective pride over the itself, especially things like viewing Calvinists as enemies and a threat to the SBC ..lies at the very heart of the matter. Something needs changing, and it's not the name. I think it's the SBC's collective lack of the courage and integrity to admit what's wrong.

Maybe they need hearing aids, too. It was sure time for me to admit it, and maybe it's theirs, too.

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