Things I Think…

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33 Responses

  1. Dan from Georgia says:

    I have no history or traction with the SBC, but this does indeed affect ALL of us believers. And yes I am not hopeful that, despite the mirror being put in front of us by the Lord that WE are our worst enemy, many will still point at democrats, liberals, Mickey Mouse (I am serious), blah blah blah as the supposed real enemies of the church. Yes these external agents are real, but we are suffering because of OUR own actions (or inactions). And the mirror exposes me to, not just those in the SBC.

  2. Em says:

    #6… you got that right! ! !
    Which fact brings me a ponder….. IF one IS born again spiritually, shouldn’t one have a hunger for spiritual truths? ? ?

  3. Em says:

    We spent 6 Years in Kansas, joined a SBChurch, I never felt any depth of understanding of spiritual truth in their midst
    Hope it was an anomaly….

  4. Michael says:

    Dan,

    External enemies allow us to ignore our own sin…but God sees it anyway.

  5. Kevin H says:

    Here’s an long, interesting, and disturbing Twitter thread detailing how disgraced Paige Patterson was a key player in the formation of the Conservative Baptist Network (CBN) within the SBC after he had been fired for his misconduct of covering up sexual and physical abuse. One of the main aims of the CBN is to fight supposed liberal drift and wokeism within the SBC. One of their initial battles was to fight against taking seriously sexual abuse initiatives and sexual abuse advocates. When they saw they were fighting a losing battle there, they then shifted to a new enemy to battle – what at that time was a little known subject of Critical Race Theory (CRT).

    https://twitter.com/RobDownenChron/status/1529084743727325184

  6. Michael says:

    Em,

    Too many Christians are discipled by political doctrines than biblical ones…

  7. Michael says:

    KevinH,

    This is the real face of where we are these days…

  8. Duane Arnold says:

    One would think that financial liability would get the attention of the SBC, but they consider the autonomous standing of their churches as protection. I wonder how long that can last…

    Meanwhile, as of November 2021, thirty-one Roman Catholic religious organizations have sought bankruptcy protection in chapter 11. Twenty cases have concluded. Eleven cases are pending. (This includes 26 Dioceses and Archdioceses)
    https://elibrary.law.psu.edu/bankruptcy/index.html

  9. Linn says:

    #1 It will probably lead to more people leaving an already struggling institution. In my part of Northern CA, you have to find the fine print on the web site to know that a church is Southern Baptist. They don’t want you to know.

  10. Dread says:

    Linn

    I left the SBC in 2000 at that time I was overseeing some of the church planting efforts in our city. Not one of the 7 churches we were planting put Baptist in their name. They all wanted to run from the identity.

    The SBC has been broken for many years.

    Michael
    What do you mean by #3

    Certainly you know episcopacy didn’t save the Catholics.

  11. BrideofChrist says:

    I just finished reading a book by a historian named Beth Alison Barr who also happens to be a woman who was a member of the Southern Baptist Church for most of her life. She and her husband, a pastor there, were in ministry at her Baptist church for many years before they left their church to attend a non Baptist church. The book is called ‘ The Making of Biblical Womanhood, or How the the Subjugation of Woman Became the Gospel Truth’. As a historian, she paints a very different picture of the role of women in the early church of Christ, with women playing a much more prominent role than we hear of today. Essentialy ,she says that women have been “written out’ of the history of the church. She also believes that the ‘complementarian’ view of gender roles is responsible for much of the abuse in Southern Baptist churches. She spends a few chapters explaining how the complementaruan view of women has been amplified to the point of it being the most important part of Southern Baptist theoligy – more important than the gospel . They even rewrote their statement of faith to give complementarianism more weight than it had earlier been given. It’s an interesting read for sure! I believe former Southern Baptist Beth Moore has recently left the Southern Baptist Church over similar concerns.

  12. Ruth says:

    Most likely nothing will change. Possible the SBC starts cracking down on *criminal sexual abuse* (“you guys are embarrassing us”) while doing nothing about or even stepping up the spiritual abuse that got them there.

  13. Michael says:

    Dread,

    My prophetic thought is that these institutions will continue on until the leadership dies off and real political persecution comes.

    Then they will simply run until the money runs out.

    We are witnessing the end of what we have always considered “church”.

    The younger generations are lost…they will not participate in this .

    The remnant of American Christianity will be found in cloistered communities that will live separated lives in specific groupings…

  14. Dread says:

    Michael

    No argument against it other than the youth have converted to secular religion.

    God will have a church but it will be a remnant.

  15. Dread says:

    I guess that’s what you said.

    🤷🏻‍♂️

  16. Dread says:

    So Michael

    Were they unconverted converts

    Converts to an apostate religion

    Or apostates to the faith?

    Actually curious

  17. Michael says:

    These leaders?

    I have no idea.

    The evangelical system of entrepenurial leadership and “success” breeds non Christian behavior…

  18. Reuben says:

    The Catholic Church survived, Evangelicals will survive and flourish. When I read the post by Christianity Today, I kinda had to laugh from the cheap seats. It’s heart breaking, but there will be nothing good to come if it. As you said, the idolatry will bounce back.

  19. Reuben says:

    Even Al Jazeera ran this story. I don’t pay any attention to domestic news unless it’s the weather. The thing about reading articles by news agencies that have little stock in the IS is you see the glaring eyes of the world, the collective finger wags and shaking heads. What we look like to the rest of the billions that inhabit this planet is destructive arrogant imbeciles. Another school shot up today. Yet nothing will change. It will get worse.

  20. Dread says:

    Al Jazeera may be less propagandistic than all our news organizations.

    While I’m at that… Michael touched it recently…. Seething anger.

    RAGE — and the public atmosphere of rage is a large measure of what fuels the absence of boundaries within a culture that foments these outbursts of mass murder. All of our public ‘news’ outlets bleed this spirit. Social media is training ground.

    We’ve become a people without a moral center without spiritual restraint. All the hedges are down.

    Totalitarianism is the logical and near necessary outcome. A people who lose internal restraint will demand that demons arise and restrain us in the name of public safety.

    We are boiling over and these ready monsters await the moment to ‘save’ us.

    The casting off of belief in a God who calls us into account will mean the rise of gods to fill the void.

    When civil discourse fails violence is near. These mass murders are pimples — the puss is deep. Only deep repentance or war can remove it.

    Our faith steadies us and sometimes lulls us but history teaches us that sin will have many apocalypses before His kingdom fully comes.

    We are undone.

  21. Duane Arnold says:

    Dread

    “When civil discourse fails violence is near.”

    I think violence is already here. The danger is that we have become inured to its presence and accepting of its outcomes. Once again we are stained with blood… and this time it is the blood of children…

  22. Dread says:

    A chilling profile of the shooter — in the realm of “what makes a kid do such things?”

    https://www.theblaze.com/news/frightening-details-emerge-texas-school-shooter

  23. Steve says:

    #3 won’t work because the outside oversight most likely sought after is part of the #4 entrepreneurial authoritarian industrial complex which compromises things further. For #7 I’m curious about 100 % independent churches. Are they worse or better than SBC churches or other denominations? I feel truly independent churches can sometimes be the safest of all places if their bylaws are solid. Not sure house churches will ever be the predominant places to worship in the usa but I feel we are moving in that direction. The change will only come in repenting #10.

  24. LInn says:

    Steve-google Jack Hyles, which is what happens in independent (especially independent fundamental churches) when there is no higher authority to whom they must respond. In my city on the west coast we have had several cases of child sexual abuse in small, nondenominational churches. Most recently, the pastor of a Pentecostal church, along with the parents of the child, were arrested for murder as they killed a three-year old during an exorcism. It took them almost a year to get enough evidence to make an arrest.

  25. Steve says:

    Linn, you have no argument from me especially with the IFB churches but this is why I said if the bylaws were solid. Of course no church system is perfect but if there is a good balance of authority with checks and balances it goes a long way in preventing the abuse you mentioned.

  26. Linn says:

    I agree that checks and balances help, but the leadership need to follow them. Too often they cave or they ignore them.

  27. Steve says:

    Linn, you are correct. I go to a independent church and our bylaws are procedural oriented and most folks find them confusing. I see them positive although a bit clunky. And yes, sometimes the leadership can find loopholes. We recently brought in an outside organization to help our church move forward and they are recommending to move to policy based bylaws and get rid of some of our committees and centralize the authority up at the top. To me it seems more like a strategic business change. This makes me nervous. On one hand we are bringing an outsider in but the expressed purpose is not for accountability but rather to produce church growth. To me it seems like a train wreck but maybe I’m not seeing something correctly.

  28. Linn says:

    Steve,
    The church I currently attend, and which has a good track record on dealing with issues (including some very squirrely ones) “centralized” our leadership a few years back. We had too many committees and people could join them just by asking. It was quite unwieldy. The new setup , with the elders being responsible for major decision-making, but with lots of checks and balances along the way, seems to work well. Ultimately, the congregation has to ratify certain important things (like significant staff changes) that the elders agree upon. The church business is moving along better, and the congregation still feels it has a voice. It’s more or less how my current workplace conducts business. I’m in a private school where I have a lot of autonomy, but certain things are always decided by the board.

  29. Steve says:

    Linn,. We may eventually go to being an elder run church. I’m not opposed to that but I guess it all depends on the quality of the elders. I see so much abuse in church that without qualified, experienced, tested elders I will gladly put up with some chaos. I attended Calvary Chapel for many years and they were super efficient, against committees but it also was completely run by the pastor as a family and friends business. I’ll never go back to that abuse prone model ever again. But I guess it’s finding that sweet spot. Sounds like your church is at that spot now.

  30. Linn says:

    Steve,
    Nothing is perfect, but the church (and it’s why I like it so much) will let a member(s) take an idea and run with it. Obviously, we need to present the idea to leadership, but they’ll let us run with it and see how it goes. This is why I’m planning a summer ESL class that we’ll be doing in a local, mostly Spanish-speaking, apartment complex. if it’s successful, we hope to get those folks over to the church to form a larger group.

  31. Steve says:

    Linn, power under not power over. I like it.

  32. Robert Diamond says:

    Michael May 24, 2022 at 4:38 pm

    We are witnessing the end of what we have always considered “church”.

    The younger generations are lost…they will not participate in this .

    The remnant of American Christianity will be found in cloistered communities that will live separated lives in specific groupings…

    Michael,

    I have not posted on your site in several months. In fact, I haven’t even visited much at all in several months. I tend to stay away from social media, whether it is Christian or secular. I got a facebook page several years ago and probably within a month ( I don’t recall now.) I got off of it and never returned. I was on Twitter and left it with no plan to return. Getting involved in discussions on Christian forums, etc. has left a foul taste in my mouth. Even giving responses to someone in a agreeing way has from time to time been returned negatively to me. Many, many, many times I have read something and wanted to respond but figured it was better not to. So even on this site I read mostly and respond rarely, but lately I have not been around to even read anything here. I am trying to start my own website and I will not use forums at this point. I just want to preach and the gospel and teach and encourage believers to stay on the straight and narrow. (Matthew 7) I see bunches and bunches of preachers even on Youtube and the beliefs are so varied I do not know how any newbie looking for truth can discern what they are hearing is true or not. So if I do teaching or preaching videos or audios for my website I will not put any of them on Youtube and see them get lost in the tangled web that is that website.

    I read your comment and felt compelled to respond. I couldn’t agree more. We are witnessing the end of what we always considered “church.” It is painfully obvious. I don’t know what to say to someone who can’t see it because I don’t want to come across as rude. Lord, we need our eyes opened. We need to take the beam out of our own eye before we take the sliver out of someone else. ( I am talking to myself here.) It is as if the reapers of Matthew 13 have been sent out to do their work, at least in this country. I can’t knowledgably speak for other parts of the globe.

    The remnant of American Christianity will be found in cloistered communities that will live separated lives in specific groupings…

    It seems to me that the pandemic helped spur this on. People were forced out of church and for some they did not return because they had already been struggling with what was happening in the church and have found it better to stay away, at least in their thinking. I don’t see it as a future thing. I see it, for good or bad, happening right now. What can be shaken will be shaken the Bible tells us. We all need to do some real heart searching in these days that we are in. I am 66 years old now and it has been two years since my wife died. I just pray that the Lord will make the last years of my life (How many are left I wouldn’t know.) fruitful and that my faith will endure to the end.

  33. Michael says:

    Robert,

    Thanks for commenting and reading…

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