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Showing posts from September, 2017

What Do You Value?

Responding to Cultural Bias

Religion is not popular in the media.  Perhaps I should modify that to say “organized” religion is not popular in the media.  I am referring primarily to television (in all its platforms), movies, and much of literature.  Religious people are often represented as hypocritical, bigoted, and malicious.
On one television program that my wife and I watch regularly, I know that when someone is identified as a person of faith, they will turn out to be hiding some secret sin or be identified as the murderer!
I understand that many people have become cynical because of those who call themselves religious but eventually are revealed as embezzlers, adulterers, and megalomaniacs.  Sin exists and continues to manifest itself among even those who call themselves believers.  I can’t argue with the truth.  But there are any numbers of the faithful who are making a positive difference in their communities and are an influence for good because of their faith.
So how do we respond to the cynicism of p…

Culture as Gift

Accepting Reality

The man who came to my office was a retired moderate Baptist pastor who had moved to Tennessee recently.  He came to talk to me about ministry opportunities in the immediate area.  I expressed appreciation for his interest, asked him some questions about himself, told him a little bit about the nature of progressive Baptist life, promised to share his resume as opportunity presented itself, and suggested that he might want to expand his search to some other denominations in middle Tennessee.  He finally said to me, “I come in here asking for your help and all you can tell me is that I might have to seek a place in another denomination?  That’s not very helpful!”
Helpful or not, I had defined reality from my experience.  He had the choice to accept it or not. In this case, he did not.  The late Max DePree wrote, “The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality.  The last is to say thank you.”
When we go to someone asking for insight or information, how will we handle the inf…

Becoming Missional: Get Outside the Walls