Moral Contradictions

Friday, April 14, 2006

Two must reads...

The montly Baptist Studies Bulletin, produced by the Center for Baptist Studies at Mercer University, is a must-read. April's edition includes many great articles, and I'll introduce two that really got me thinking (I need to stop printing it off and reading before bed, I'm wiped!).

Both writers are regular contributors. I greatly respect their wisdom and insight - they put words to the random stuff that floats around in my head and heart.

Charles E. Poole writes:

We still care about the people Jesus cared about: the blind, the deaf, the sick, the sad, the poor. But if you’re going to make an impact in today’s world, you’ve got to do business. So we, the church that is only in the world to follow Jesus, branched out. As a result, we do more. And it shows. It shows in our facilities, programs and budgets. Our church budgets set aside more for landscaping than for work with the blind. We spend more on insurance than on ministries with the deaf. We have bigger line-items for facility maintenance than for aiding the disabled. We invest more in enlarging buildings than in relieving poverty.

Read more for the entire column and its context.

Bruce Gourley, who I think I may somehow be related to (my grandmother was a Gourley), as always delivers a great piece in his monthly "In Response To:". This month he debunks the supposed War on Christians and exposes it as self-serving and demeaning against those Christians who are and were truly under attack.

If there were a real war on Christians by the establishment, it might look something like this: beatings, whippings, jailings, charges of child abuse, having one’s children taken away, refusal to recognize marriages, stonings, bombings, shootings, being dragged from the pulpit, or perhaps even being urinated on while preaching from the pulpit.

No, this is not a recount of crimes against Christians in some communist country, nor is it a listing of events from the U.S.-established Islamic theocracies in present-day Iraq and Afghanistan. Rather, it is a summary of court records of 1760s and 1770s colonial Virginia, describing atrocities committed against Baptists by the theocratic “Christian” government. That’s right; a “Christian” government making war against Christians. Why? Because the radical, liberal Baptists refused to obey the laws of the theocracy, and dared to call for full religious liberty for everyone and complete separation of church and state.

I definitely need to investigate my home-state's Baptist heritage more.


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