|Jeff the Baptist, vol. 1, #4 Feedback &
Whose God Is
I was recently invited to participate on a panel at
my church, Seattle First Baptist, to discuss how we may hope to get along with the
fundamentalists of our denomination. This panel comes shortly after we came very close to
being kicked out of the regional association for our beliefs concerning homosexuality.
Being asked is an honor. I also found it incredibly ironic considering my last column.
Speaking of which...
One reader noted that I sounded like a bigot. He thought that I obviously have some kind
of problem with the South and he didn't especially appreciate hearing about it. Oops. I
guess that I had better explain what I meant by the phrase "my Southern
cousins." I was not referring to someone, born south of the Mason-Dixon line, who
goes to a Baptist church. I was referring to several leaders of the Baptist organization
known as the Southern Baptist Convention (of churches). Geography has very little to do
with it. For example, a high school friend of mine started a Southern Baptist church in
our hometown in northern Wisconsin that is doing quite
Other, very thoughtful reactions posed the very difficult question of whether I could, for
all my talk of embracing others, embrace the very people that I have my argument with. As
one reader put it quite well: "If we're not judging, subjugating, dividing, then
shouldn't we be embracing the 'Southern cousins,' as well as others who have different
beliefs, even if we
think they're hurting others by their judgment?"
A very good question. It has kept my back burners working for a while now.
- Jeff the