I became a Baptist 40 years ago this month. I strayed away from the Church of my parents and the Spiritual Truths of that fellowship. That departure spirit led me into a life of self will run riot.
I have always proclaimed my faith as a Baptist and most likely, I always will. However, when I made a decision to turn my life over to Jesus Christ it was geographically impossible for me to be involved with the Baptist Church. This has been true for the past 17 1/2 years.
Last month my family and I moved to Tupelo and we have been looking for a new church to attend. This morning I was watching a TV program with a alleged Baptist Minister trying to sell a set of video tapes. These tapes describe our country’s ills and how to resolve them. It showed some graphic scenes of public officials behaving in ways contrary to this alleged minister’s predilections
My wife & I later attend worship service where we met a very charismatic minister. He began a 40 minute lecture on the tenets of child rearing. Of things I heard noteworthy were: fathers should purchase dowels to bring down the rod on their offsprings, the order of authority in God’s Plan, Jesus Christ over the Church, men over their families, husband and wives over their children, women submissive to their husbands and obedient to elders in the fellowship of the church. In his explanation of God’s plan he came up short of advocating masters over their servants. Another thought brought down singles mothers as handicapped (I wonder how he would class Mary, Mother of Jesus)
As I listened to ministers stereotype groups and generalize the behavior of others. I wonder if there are any Baptists out there who believe in the original Baptist thought that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior and through Him our sins are forgiven, through remission not by the close scrutiny of others.
Are there any out there who believe the only power God has given us is Victory over our sins? The only way to to remain Victorious is to maintain the courage to pass this along to others.
Do not we Baptists know that political activism, squabbles over money and prestige only divert us from our relationship with Jesus Christ? Are there any out there in the hinterlands who can tell a cleric from a political activist? Can anybody out there say they have a relationship with Jesus Christ and will have tomorrow no matter who turns gay or who has an abortion. or no matter who is elected head jerk of Pitsville, USA? Can you still remain faithful if your child is not allowed to hear a prayer at a public school written by the head Baptist cleric.
I have heard much from the lips of ministers upon what it takes to be a Christian, but the best came from my mother upon my first visit after her brothers death. She was grief stricken and express sadness because she had not been present at the moment of his death. I stated to her there was very little aid and comfort she could have given since he died of a heart attack outside shoveling snow, “He must have died before he hit the ground”. How could you have helped?” She replied, “I could have held his hand!”
Sometime after Dubya became President, I started identifying myself as a Christian non affiliated. I no longer call myself a Baptist.