I’ll start with the hair. Try attending a denominational meeting – you’ll see what I mean. Enough said.
When we confuse politics for faith and faith for a brand of politics. I don’t think Jesus is either a Democrat or Republican. I know He’s not a Libertarian, Green, or Constitution party member – no offense. Jesus didn’t call you to join a party; He called you to follow Him.
What about the secret titles and phrases? I’m not sure why we use words like “brother” or “sister” in our reference to someone in the church. There are even those religious words, spiritual platitudes, and phrases we overuse. It’s our own secret language.
When the Gospel distinctive is overshadowed by Baptist distinctives. Isn’t pursuing Christ more important than holding onto man’s principles?
Jesus wore a suit, right? If you want to wear a suit go for it. If you don’t then that’s okay too. Why look down upon someone who does or doesn’t? I guess it could be worse. We could have to wear interesting hats and red shoes – no offense, please.
Okay, it’s confession time here. I don’t do most denominational meetings well. It’s the smiling veneers. I know people are people and everyone means well, but these sorts of gatherings have the tendency to give me the creeps. Maybe it’s the disingenuous backslapping, comparisons, and boastings. Get around a bunch of ministers (or really religious people) and you have the potential for a less than truthful environment.
When you get the secret handshake. What about those closing choruses when the worship leader has you hold hands, lift them high, and sing? After the song is finished or the last word spoken there’s that gentle holy squeeze. One word here – awkward! NO offense, but I don’t want to hold your hand. I don’t want to try and figure out who is going to grasp the handhold like a man or woman? And of course instead of thinking about what we’re singing, I’m pondering when was the last time you washed your hands.
But, I think there’s hope as long as we remember and demonstrate that it’s not so much about the brand as it is about one’s abiding with Christ. This all said from a Baptist minister.