Sunday, February 3, 2008

This Tent's Just Right!

I am opening a third blog to discuss issues related to my denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention. For a couple of years, I have been reading and commenting on other blogs. I realized I was always responding to other people's ideas. I thought it was time for me to start putting out my own ideas.

Comments will be open. I will not moderate, but anonymous postings of a critical nature will be deleted.

Remember Goldilocks? She snuck into the home of the Three Bears. Papa Bear's bed was too hard. Momma Bear's was too soft. Baby Bear's was JUST RIGHT.

That's kind of how I feel about the SBC right now. The big question has been how big our tent should be. In the 70's and 80's, we narrowed the tent dramatically, saying that we wanted people who believed in the inerrancy of scripture and only those as a part of our denomination. In recent years, some started trying to narrow this further - excluding people with a private prayer language, or who were baptized in arminian churches. The question of the influence of Calvinism has been a big one as well as issues like Elder-led churches. We are in the middle of a re-examination of the Baptist Identity. Who are we and who do we want to be?

I believe that many of our most powerful leaders have gone too far. They have narrowed the tent too far. They have excluded people I don't think need to be excluded. Their tent is too small.

Others, who want to reform the SBC, seem to be going too far - wanting to reengage with moderates and folks like those promoting the so-called New Baptist Covenant. I think their tent is too big.

So, I am looking to establish the parameters of Baptist fellowship that are just right - at least by my standards. I will broach subjects for discussion that I hope will help people think through what Baptist Identity really is.

So, here's to finding a tent that is JUST RIGHT

In case anyone ever shows up here, let me establish what I consider to be the rules:

1) This blog is for debate, not attack. It is okay to disagree (dissent?) but deal with ideas, not character.

2) Anonymouse (I like Wade's word) posts will be be deleted, unless there is a good reason. I have no respect for the opinions of people who are unwilling to stand behind what they believe.

3) Try to understand the person you are disagreeing with. As I have observed comment streams, most of the problems come because people do not listen to what the other says, but make assumptions about what they believe, put words into their mouths then assign motives to those words.

4) I will put out an idea, engage in debate, and try to keep people on task.

Of course, that is if anyone every reads what I say and responds. Who knows?

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