As a Baptist pastor I can no longer avoid the “F” word; if anything, I must lean into it, embracing it for the sake of the Gospel.
Purity codes and other forms of Christian cleanliness have excluded people for centuries, keeping out entire communities who did not follow one way of living, one way of interpreting scripture and one way that works for one group of people – namely, those with all the power.
For many progressive Christians, young and old, righteous anger has become our pièce de résistance. But anger, no matter how righteous, puts our spirit in the wrong position.
Seminaries should be religious science labs that help prepare leaders for the ever evolving work of the Holy Spirit in congregational life.
Today, Christians in America tend to find ourselves in two reactionary camps: those into apologetics and those into apologies. Both sides come from a stance of fear. If we continue reacting from our defensive postures, then we have learned nothing from scripture, tradition, human experience or, God forbid, the Holy Spirit.
The nutritional makeup of these annual gatherings normally consists of 10 percent awkward side hugs, 20 percent irrelevant breakout sessions, 30 percent over-priced, low-value luncheons and 40 percent whitewashed worship services. However, at recent assemblies I’ve noticed a decrease of Baptist baloney and an increase of Baptist babies.
For thousands of years a lie has been promoted by the powerhouse religions of Judaism, Islam and Christianity, often with the wedding and bedding of religion and state. The lie said, “Patriarchy works for everyone – especially men.” But the truth is patriarchy doesn’t work for everyone – even men.
Jesus says “love you enemies,” and I say, “Christ, of course I love my enemies. I love to hate them.” Heroes love to hate monsters, for without a monster to conquer, who would feed our egos?
Will there be a place in CBF life for folks like me? Armed for bear, a skeptical pastor sits down for coffee and conversation with the new leader of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Here’s what she discovered.