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Southern Baptist malaise

They’re fretting.

About 800 to 1,000 Southern Baptist congregations cease to exist annually, largely due to a stagnant vision among the leadership and lack of impact within their communities, says a church planting director. However, church leaders say the closures are often the symptom of a greater problem.

“Churches are closing in large part because they have either become disconnected from culture and, or disconnected from Scripture. When this happens, life leaves the church,” Joshua Hedger, director of Center for Church Planting at Midwestern Seminary, told The Christian Post.

Although the Baptist convention opened 1,300 new churches last year, Hedger says they are not gaining enough new ground and will rely on church planters to create a movement that will hopefully put an end to dying congregations. The church revitalization process usually involves new leadership taking over a declining church, who then implements a strategy on how to grow the congregation again.

“In some churches, a simple change in leadership and culture takes place,” Hedger said. “Some fully shut down and allow a new church to take over their facilities, assets, and people. Others find themselves anywhere between those two extremes.”

Dr. Rodney Harrison, a former revitalization pastor says part of the process is also addressing issues that the former leadership of a church did not deal with, such as “problems caused by members who embodied the works of the flesh.”

“In these restarts, church discipline has always been a part of the revitalization process. The goal of discipline is restoration, however, since the process is painful, most churches in need of revitalization have not addressed the issue of members behaving badly,” Harrison said.

I have an idea or two about how they might possibly improve their fortunes.

You know that old joke about the guy who goes to the doctor, tells him it hurts when he bends his elbow, and his doctor tells him not to bend it?

There is much wisdom in that, actually.

Hey, Southern Baptists: you know whatever you’re doing that isn’t working?

Don’t do those things. :)

Yes, discipline is important.

But it’s not the only thing.

I’m heavily biased, as an ex-evangelical, and as someone who’s Reformed, so bear that in mind.

Even so, here are my thoughts:

(a) Stop the fighting between Calvinists and non-Calvinists. How you chose to do so, is up to you – either, as I’d naturally endorse, embrace Calvinism categorically and silence any dissent against it from pastors and ruling elders (or whatever you call them) and seminarians; or, alternately, reject it categorically and silence any dissent from pastors, elders, seminarians; or, third option, embrace the ‘big tent’ approach decisively, saying you’ll have room for both perspectives, and will officially as an organization be neutral, and agree to have a truce and stop the infighting. I don’t know which is best, though I like the first option naturally, but seriously, anything but the status quo, where there’s much squabbling and infighting, even if below the surface.

(b) Stop doing whatever else it is that you have been doing, and re-embrace your roots. You have an old hymnbook, and old-fashioned liturgy? Return to it. You used to eschew megachurches? Return to small congregations only. And so on. You used to take decidedly conservative stands on virtually all political matters? Go back to doing so exclusively, and stop fretting about outreach to minorities, and work on outreach to your base – white folks. Stop embracing increased immigration, and political amnesty for illegals, to curry favour with such communities. Stop with the apologizing for the fact your denomination used to be pro-slavery. That was a century and a half ago; sheesh! On the other hand, stop being knee-jerk neo-con as regards foreign policy matters – Israelis aren’t going SBC, and Putin is not the anti-Christ. Relax. Ignore foreigners. Work on America.

(c) Stop having pastors and seminarians and other bigwigs in your organization who white-knight, and kiss women’s asses while bashing men; e.g. Russell Moore, Al Mohler, etc. Give men a reason to attend your church; care about matters of importance to them, and don’t let any pastors badmouth men, in general; none of the ‘Mother’s Day, we celebrate mothers / Father’s Day, we focus on fathers’ shortcomings’ crap.

Those are my ideas, free of charge, take them or leave them.

And I’m feeling so magnanimous tonight, I won’t even mention your stupid teetotalitarianism. (Wait; oops! :) )

 

Evangelical leader wants America to be Globo-Cop again

Dr. Richard Land thinks America has a God-ordained role it’s been neglecting, hence Russia’s seizure of Crimea.

In Romans (13:1-7) we are told that God ordained the civil magistrate to punish those that “do that which is evil” and reward those who “do that which is good” and that in doing so, they “beareth not the sword in vain,” referring to the power of the police (domestically) and the military (internationally).

Oh really? We Reformed have only ever understood ‘the sword’ to refer to the domestic power of the State.

After all, on what authority does one nation get to stand in judgment over others?

Other than ‘might makes right’, of course, for which neo-con evangelicals tend to not wish to publicly declare support, not being a very Christian sentiment, after all. (I thought God was the judge of all the Earth; and that Christ was the ruler of the kings of the Earth…)

In other words, in a world wracked by sin in which willful, selfish men seek to exploit, dominate, and enslave the weak and the helpless, there must be cops on the beat to protect the vulnerable and victimized.

And who would those be?

Oh yeah, of course. Team America: World Police.

Since the end of World War II, America has been the reluctant, but necessary, chief of police, making sure there are cops on the beat who prevent bigger countries from brutalizing and conquering weaker ones.

Ah yes; by, in the name of freedom and democracy, supporting various Third World dictatorships, and apartheid, so long as they were anti-Communist. Real ‘good cops’, right?

Unfortunately, the current leader of the free world, President Obama

Ah, it’s 2014. The Cold War is over; there’s no Soviet menace, the world isn’t divided into Commie and ‘free’, any more.

Blah blah blah… Americanism bullshit.

 

Femingelicals of today celebrating mainline churchian feminists of yore

Their intellectual and spiritual forebears, after all…

Blah blah blah… (Hat tip: Darryl Hart):

Later came defenses of women from one of Quakerism’s founders, Margaret Fell Fox (1614–1702); Tory pamphleteer, Mary Astell (1668–1731); abolitionist Hannah More (1745–1833); and the author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Mary Wollstonecraft (1759–1797). Most of these writers acted out of a Christian impulse with the relatively unified objective of elevating women to their rightful place.

In the 18th century, the first Great Awakening brought a return to the earliest centuries’ involvement of lay people. Women’s involvement in missions sometimes included preaching, and on the frontier, Christian women experienced increased levels of autonomy. By the 19th century the pro-woman consciousness had a label: “the woman movement,” now called first-wave feminism. Male and female Bible-believers gathered at the Seneca Falls Convention, where the group drafted a declaration addressing the role of women in society.

In the half-century that followed, many believers joined the push for women’s suffrage, and dozens of foreign mission societies sent out women missionaries. The editor of The Message and Deaconess Advocate, Lucy Rider Meyer defended their role in her 1895 defense, saying, “In deaconess ranks to-day may be found physicians, editors, stenographers, teachers, nurses, book-keepers, superintendents of hospitals and orphanages… A bit of history shows that the ‘new woman’ is not an invention of the last decade but that, in the character of Hilda, Abbess of Whitby.”

This “new woman” is not an invention of second-wave feminism either. Betty Friedan did not start the “woman movement;” Christians did. Motivated by the belief that men and women were made in God’s image to “rule the earth” together, these pro-woman, pro-justice believers sought to right wrongs for those who had less social influence.

Nice of the HerWymyneutics writer to remind us, the ‘woman movement’ started out as a Christian heresy (though Friedan and other Tribe wymynfolk have done much damage from the ’60s onwards. But I digress).

Blah blah blah:

Building the Old Time Religion: Women Evangelists in the Progressive Era takes an in-depth look at the lasting impact that the ministry and achievements of 24 women have made on U.S. Christianity. These women founded educational institutions, organizations and denominations during the Progressive Era and many of their contributions remain pivotal to American society today.

They range in name from Virginia Moss, Elizabeth Baker, Mary Lee Cagle, Emma Whittemore and Martha Lee to Iva Durham Vennard, Aimee Semple McPherson, Helen Sunday, Evangeline Booth and several others. Their denominations include Methodist, Roman Catholic, Salvation Army, Assembly of God, Pentecostal, and others. Among the many institutions and churches these women founded are the Catholic Truth Guild, Apostolic Faith Mission, Door of Hope, Good Will Mission, L.I.F.E. Bible College, Angelus Temple and Beulah Heights Assembly.

According to theologian and author Priscilla Pope-Levison, the 24 women evangelists featured in Building the Old Time religion broke ground and pressed against the tide of the times to follow and fulfill the calls they felt God had placed on their lives. Pope-Levison, professor of Theology at Seattle Pacific University and an ordained United Methodist minister compresses 20 years of research into less than 200 pages and leaves no stone unturned in her effort to reveal the accomplishments, struggles and shortcomings of these “theologically conservative” Christian leaders.

Below is an edited transcript of The Christian Post’s interview with Pope-Levison. Read part one of CP’s interview with the author: ‘Building the Old Time Religion’ Explores Women Evangelists’ Monumental Impact on US Christianity.

CP: Can you name a few ways in which these women have left a lasting impact on Christianity in America? Institutions, of course are obvious. But is there anything they established that remain with us today that Christians might not be aware of?

Pope-Levison: I think they really broke the ground for women’s religious leadership within mainline Christianity in terms of mixed-gender institutions. In other words, they were among the first women in mainline Christianity to have religious authority over women and men. That to me is a legacy that paved the way for those of us today who are ordained, who are serving as pastors, theological teachers.

So, today’s ordained evangelical pastoresses celebrate the ground-breaking path blazed by ‘progressive’, mainline Protestants before them, without whom, after all, there most likely indeed wouldn’t be churches with ordained female pastors within evangelicalism. Makes sense; heresy begets more heresy, usually…

 

Read Matt Forney’s latest

Here. (Esp. if you read this and its links, a few months back.)

 
13 Comments

Posted by on April 14, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Mid-April Sunday Linkfest

Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory; Ontario.

Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory; Ontario.


Free Northerner: Three Truths; The Left: UnTruth, Amorality, & Narcissism

Unmasking Feminism: Feminine Wiles Classified as “fraud in the quality of merchandise”

The Elusive Wapiti: Water-Carriers for Global Feminism

Adventures In Keeping House: Gaelic Psalms

Rev. Karl Hess: The New Elect–The Politically-Correct Class; 46 Percent of Americans Have Not Recanted Gay Marriage Heresy….(yet.)

Dark Brightness: It may be spiritual, but it is a battle; Why OK cupid’s marketing department is weeping; The church belongs to another kingdom. [Pray for our leaders, for their souls are in peril]; Steadfastness is an act of secular subversion; Niceness is idolatry

Gene Veith: Church of Norway says “no” to gay marriage

Thomas F. Bertonneau: Re-Post: Edgar Rice Burroughs and Masculine Narrative; Poem Du Jour: “Roman Wall Blues” by W.H. Auden

The Gods of the Copybook Headings: What To Take In University; Talking With Americans About Canadians; The Craziest and Most Evil Thing You’ll Read This Week

Throne, Altar, Liberty: The Illiberality of Liberalism; Péladeau Saves Canada!; Common Law or Sharia?; Environmentalists, I Want My Money Back!

Brandon Adamson: Little Selfies on Hogwash Mountain

Darryl G. Hart: How A Biblical W-w Conflicts with American Conservatism

Jim Goad: Mass Cisteria

Eddie Pensier: The Flow Chart “They” Don’t Want You To See; Umami Burger, Revisited

Blowhard, Esq.: Lyrics Du Jour; Art Du Jour: Egypt and The Holy Land

The Pittsford Perennialist: Foghorn Stringband Perform “Outshine The Sun”

Tau Zero: Idaho Red Hillside

The Salmon River; Tyendinaga Township; Ontario.

The Salmon River; Tyendinaga Township; Ontario.

 
12 Comments

Posted by on April 13, 2014 in Linklove, nature photography

 

Cheese and masculinity

Originally posted on Will S.' Random Weirdness Blog:

Traditionally, women made cheese (dairying was often a job for the farmer’s wife) and men ate it. To love mouth-burning cheddars and decaying Stiltons was a mark of manliness.

*
It still is!
:)

View original

 
1 Comment

Posted by on April 12, 2014 in Masculinity

 

How can a tranny rape a dyke?

I have no idea, but one has been charged with such… Must still be in possession of a dick, one must conclude.

(BTW, if you still have a dick, doesn’t that just make you a transvestite, not ‘transgendered’, if you wear chicks’ clothes? I know nobody uses the term ‘transvestite’ any more, nor its successor ‘cross-dresser’, since the mainstream media decided we’re to refer to all such by the blanket term ‘transgendered’, but it sure allowed for more clarification as to exactly what exactly someone is; an asterisk after ‘trans’ explains nothing. Confusing.)

 
 
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