I’m not sure Jesus would come to church today. But if he did, there would be plenty of drama.
Churches are often wonderful in terms of mobilizing volunteers after a storm, but Hurricane Florence got me thinking: How can my church be a presence for good in the lead-up to the storm?
We must resist the ungodly and un-Christlike movement of Christian nationalism with all our might. We must decry it in our pulpits. We must soundly reject it with our votes. The future of religious liberty for all depends on it, as does the future of our nation.
As often as we Baptists seek the approval of “kings” and power brokers, we show disdain for our own heritage, including forebears who were locked up, beaten and even killed for daring to dissent.
Many SBC people have encouraged Patterson to retire for the sake of the SBC, which is incredibly tone deaf. He shouldn’t retire. He shouldn’t be moved to president emeritus, be given an indefinite teaching position and salary, housing for life, and be enshrined in an idolatrous stained-glass window. He should be forcefully terminated with cause, without severance pay, and be banned from campus for life for the sake of justice for those abused women he hurt with his misogyny, victim shaming, and silencing.
Sexual assault and harassment are unconscionable in all environments, but there is something especially vile about the culture in religion that often leads to the abuse and silencing of women.
Not unlike King’s assassination, in killing Jesus, many religious leaders of the day believed they were silencing someone who challenged their power and character.
For the BGAV and CBF, perhaps “communion” now means we just share a little instead of share abundantly. Maybe “communion” now means we have only periodic public fellowship with each other instead of intimate friendship as brothers and sisters in Christ. Perhaps “communion” now means rapport and affinity move towards separation and estrangement.
If Sunday and midweek attendance patterns are not going back to the 1950s, then every church should consider creative ways to engage people in the culture as it exists, not the culture in which our grandparents lived.