I’m going out on a limb. You may want to rev your chainsaw before you reach the end of the blog post and take care of that limb for me. But I am compelled. Three months of prayer and thought precede this introductory blog post of a series calling on we who march under the flag of the Independent Baptist Battalion in the Lord’s army to shape up our sloppy group. We are a passionate group with a high number soldiers decorated for valor and about as many needing time in the brig. I am as convinced, though, that we are a most valuable battalion that is greatly needed in the battles ahead. When I say battles, I mean some of the most ferocious ever, particularly as we see developments all around us.
Two theories must be dispensed with immediately:
1. God is finished with Independent Baptists.
If you think so, you simply don’t know some of them as I do. Many of them are kind, giving, and passionate for Christ. Their lives are wrapped up in Him. Even though some may carry a few traits that are worthy of reevaluation, they are sincere. Many of them have an undaunting zeal. Some of them would charge Hell with a toothpick and a squirt gun. Though some of it might be zeal without knowledge, I think we would be worse off if it all went away.
2. The Independent Baptist Movement is perfectly fine.
Our excesses are finally catching up with us. Our being convinced that we are the greatest blessing the Lord ever had is blinding us to glaring failures. The bitter poison of pride boils in a cauldron of conceit as many of us are now convinced that we are the only group that actually pleases the Lord, follows His Word, or has His blessing. Many on the outside looking in can easily see what has never occurred to us–we have a superiority complex. We aren’t the first, likely we won’t be the last, but we have got it good. It makes a mockery of the label “independent” as it is classic denominational pride.
I write because I care. I want Independent Baptists to succeed, but I would love to see them address the critical issues demanding attention. Actually, that is the only pathway to success left!
To ignore the issues only deepens the problem. To claim there are no problems is to disconnect with reality. We cringe when a 20/20 or CNN exposé comes out, but besides some skewing there are ugly truths in them. We lambaste the critical or mocking posts on sites like stufffundieslike.com, but we sadly give them material that comedians salivate over.
I write because, perhaps, it would be better to hear it from within. I guess that remains to be seen, but I will make a stab at it.
Why me? No special reason. I am not an “important person” within the Independent Baptist movement, but that might be a plus too. If I were, I likely would be thought to be associated with one clique and so have all my comments interpreted though that filter. No clique in the Independent Baptist world has any power over me. On the other hand, I have been around almost all of them at some point. I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly– I mean the really good, the really bad, and the really ugly!
So I plan to write an article and release it every Tuesday morning for this series. I will not give names as I do not want to be guilty of what I must criticize, but I will come hard at the issues. Even if you disagree with all I say, I pray after it is all over you will consider me a Christian gentleman.
Would you come along on this discussion with me? You can follow this blog via email or I will still share on Facebook and Twitter. In any event, join the discussion and leave comments. I won’t delete them unless you are vulgar or attacking of some individual.
Again, I know the risks. When I wrote a blog on dress standards last December, we went into a nuclear winter of sorts. People who play the game don’t want change. So I sending out an urgent call–a call to an Independent Baptist Truth Revolution!
The Dress Standards article mentioned above
Posts in the series:
2. We Preach the Word of God. Really?
12. Letting Go
21. From The Pew
22. The Worst Crime
28. Grace Killers!
46. Urban Legends
47. Jesus For Sale
50. A Cult?
54. The BJU Probe
62. I’m Out!