It's Us or Them, Right?
I mean it. I've never seen such an "Us vs Them" mentality, and "Us vs Them" combat, in all my years in churches, as what's going on in the SBC right now. And I've been a member of six different denominations ... and active in another ... too!
People are criticizing a new Sunday School curriculum strictly on the basis of who wrote it, not on what it says. And they are lying about what those who hold other biblical views believe and say.
Yes, lying. See, I was a Presbyterian for 12 years before my 31 years .. thus far .. as an SBC member began. And, at that, I've been well studied in what both believe. Unless things have changed drastically among my Reformed Brethren, they never do throw rocks at what Baptists believe, but look at what Baptists have been saying about Calvinists!
I must say that the Reformed folks come out 'way ahead in that comparison!
Shame on us, SBC folks! We ought to be more repulsed by our SBC rock-throwers. Vocally so.
Jesus commanded us to have unity among us. To have, and show, love for one another. I doubt He had in mind denomination-by-denomination, congregation-by-congregation, etc. I'm pretty sure he meant among all the brothers in the faith. I think we're failing at that, and I suspect I know why. We've built our own little idols to worship. Mode of baptism. Instruments in worship. Open communion. Free will. Election. Predestination. Regeneration and its timing in the salvation process. But those things seem to fly in the face of something else Jesus said.
He said if we don't come to Him as little children, we don't even get to see the Kingdom. It occurs to me, in light of this, that our unity must stem from something a child can understand. Our sin. His righteousness. Trusting Him for salvation. Things He promised the Holy Spirit would convict the world of, when He came.
That makes a lot of sense. It makes the focal point of our fellowship the Man .. the God-Man .. the real, living Savior. The Person of the One Who died for us, and yet still lives in us. Maybe if we saw a little more of Him in our activities .. you know .. where we Baptists actually get together .. we'd have less of the acrimony that keeps cropping up when "Us" go after "Them".
That seems borne out by experience, too. The real highlights of the Annual Meeting this year were times of fellowship and personal interaction with friends, including ones I'd just met. When it was "Him and Me" as opposed to "Us and Them". PLUS: we'd all do well to remember that "Them" is really just a collection of "Him's".
Maybe we should try saying everything, including what's said in the blogosphere, as though it were said one-on-one, over coffee.