I know I said I would disappear for a week, but I couldn’t help but pass along this article!
As we peruse the world of voices that are being lifted up in Southern Baptist life one must certainly feel at times as if they are being bombarded with clanging cymbals. I am often frustrated by the lack of love and unity that seems to be evidenced by one believer towards another. We seem to be so convinced of the need for doctrinal purity (which should be applauded, I might add) that we often only give lip service to unity and love (which should be considered shameful, I might add.) James Emery White, over at SeriousTimes.com, has written a commendable article discussing the need for unity and love in the pursuit of doctrinal purity. Below is a particularly compelling quote.
A recent editorial in Christianity Today discussed how no attribute of civilized life seems more under attack than civility. The author, David Aikman, notes the extent to which Christians have turned themselves into the
“self appointed attack dogs of Christendom. They seem determined to savage not only opponents of Christianity, but also fellow believers of whose doctrinal positions they disapprove. A troll through the Internet reveals websites so drenched in sarcasm and animosity than an agnostic, or a follower of another faith tradition interested in what it means to become a Christian, might be permanently disillusioned.”
Will we repent? I do not know. There are two categories of sin – those of the flesh, and those of the spirit. We have tended to pinpoint the glutton, drunkard, and adulterer far more quickly than we have the prideful, arrogant, and mean-spirited. Even more, we have turned a blind eye to – if not celebrated – caustic, mean-spirited words, actions and attitudes as if they are not reprehensible before heaven.
The irony is staggering: we spew venom in the name of defending our sense of orthodoxy and in so doing destroy the vibrancy of our faith and our witness to the world more than a thousand heresies.
If you would like to read the rest of the article, you can do so by clicking here.
**UPDATE** I also recently came across this article from outstanding writer, Ariel Vanderhorst. I think it would behoove you to read his thoughts about “gospel silliness.”