Has anyone else noticed the difficulty that Southern Baptist’s occasionaly have with making cogent arguments? I’ve been involved in a multi-person discussion right now that is reflective of many of the discussions I’ve had with SBC’ers and it’s frustrating to me how quickly we throw around phrases like “heretic” or “liberal” or “pragmatist” when referring to people that we may not approve of without providing support of any substance for our claims. What’s even more frustrating is when we go on to find that many of those involved in the conversation have never even studied the individual or concept they’re frustrated about. They have heard others, whom they respect, make statements and claims, and they have joined in lockstep behind them.
We have joined the dumbing down of society, in my opinion, all too often. We have become satisfied to hear sound bites and use them as foundational truth. We are often happy to follow the lead of others, withouth searching for evidence on our own. We like to drop “chic” phrases when given the opportunity. It’s so bad that I can walk in to many churches across our denominational land and I can pray the prayers, and preach the sermons with the people. We fail to be authentic, we fail to be students, and we fail, all to often, to be biblical and instead simply settle for being baptist.
It’s time for a new generation of biblical teachers to stand up and not take anyone’s word for gospel truth unless we’ve investigated and can prove it for ourselves. I’ve even asked my people in my church to try and prove me wrong after I’ve preached. I want them to study and know for themselves what God has to say to us. Beyond that, let’s not be satisfied to be angry with others unless we’ve studied the material ourselves and we can prove solid, biblical proof of their fault. We have enough problems in the church today to worry all that much over others within our family of faith, who aren’t walking through life just the way we want them too.
I love and value good discussion. I encourage you to engage me when we have areas of difference. However, don’t be ridiculous and come to me with sound bites, cute phrases, and someone elses ideology. Come prepared with specific issues, biblical proof and a servants heart and I’ll be glad to discuss with you. Who knows, you might even convince me I’m wrong!