My spiritual birthplace was in a tiny Southern Baptist church in rural northwest Missouri. In the evangelical ethos of that time and place, spiritual maturity was defined in private terms. Confess Christ, get baptized, join a (cooperating Southern Baptist) church,…
“This year has actually added a poignancy and intensity to Holy Week from all that I’m observing in my own heart and in my congregation.”
“Relationships are more important than trying to win arguments.”
First Baptist was only a few blocks from the tornado’s path but sustained no damage, Sager said. His home wasn’t touched and so far no members of the church have reported damage through the church’s available social media outlets.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer told his seminary students, “Only he who cries out for the Jews may sing Gregorian chants.” As Christian worshipers stand to sing on Sunday, we would do well to remember Bonhoeffer’s confession.
Let’s name these false deities security, convenience and control. These are not three separate gods. They are the same idols, simply described in different ways, each highlighting different connotations and pointing in slightly different trajectories.
When we use our imaginations, our grief and loss have the potential to become the silent, fertile seedbed for redemptive, life-giving deeds.
There is a reason we use language carefully. Words matter. They have the power to exclude others and to create hurtful categories.
We don’t need more court preachers who have sold their souls for a mess of political porridge. We need prophets who will stand above partisan wrangling in order to speak truth to power.