I walked into church this morning. Just like I have so many other mornings for the past 40 years. Same parking area. Same building. I can’t say same pew because I’m one of the few Baptist who don’t hold to the Covenant of Assigned Seating. But I walked in with a heaviness that I’d never walked in with before.
I’ve missed services in the past when I knew my spirit wasn’t right. If I’m off-kilter and can’t get right through prayer before service, I would rather stay home to read and/or pray than bring a disruptive spirit into worship.
This day was different though. It was different because it was just being there that was causing this heaviness. My intent was to walk through those doors, worship with my brothers and sisters, and walk out of them for the last time. Ever.
I sat in a pew near the back, giving me a good view of the sanctuary. It was near the door and I only greeted a few people walking in. I looked around and saw no less than two dozen people that had known me for forty years. People who had watched me struggle. People I had let down. People who loved me. Even more, there were people in that building who had known me since preschool. Only a handful but they were there.
Sitting there brought mixed feelings about my intentions. How could I walk away from this group of saints? I loved every one of the familiar faces, not just the ones I’ve known for many decades. These are my people. Yet, at the same time, my intentions were being solidified. As I looked around, I knew so many of these were not just warming a pew. They were giving of their hard-earned money or time, or both. They were investing in the church.
In turn, the church was investing in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC).
It always has as far as I know. I’d always felt a bit of pride (I know I shouldn’t have) going to a Southern Baptist Church. I felt it because in my experience we were looked down on a little bit for being too concerned with what scripture says and being a little too dedicated in our lives. As a teen and a young adult, when someone asked where I went to church, my response was often met with, “Oh.” As if to say any further conversation was unnecessary. That was especially true when Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses wanted to strike up a conversation.
Sadly, it isn’t that way anymore. I’ve been watching the SBC fall prey to worldly ideologies for a few years now. It’s been happening for far longer than that. It is disheartening to watch people I love strive together for Christ not knowing that they are giving to an organization that is working against them.
The latest for me, and possibly the nail in the coffin, is over abortion. The position of the Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission (ERLC is funded by Cooperative Program dollars), the position of Bart Barber (SBC President nominee), and many others is that with Roe v Wade likely being overturned, states need to slow their roll on how they proceed on this issue. They, and many other “pro-lifers” have revealed themselves as who they are in a letter to all state legislatures in this country. For the record, Barber is not a signatory but his position aligns.
Women are victims of abortion and require our compassion and support as well as ready access to counseling and social services in the days, weeks, months, and years following an abortion.https://www.nrlc.org/uploads/communications/051222coalitionlettertostates.pdf
As national and state pro-life organizations, representing tens of millions of pro-life men, women, and children across the country, let us be clear: We state unequivocally that we do not support any measure seeking to criminalize or punish women and we stand firmly opposed to include such penalties in legislation.
They “firmly oppose” any effort to criminalize or punish women who have abortions. Their position would be that the woman who killed her newborn immediately after birth, should be fine (legally) if only she had gone to an abortionist the day before. I doubt any of them would, at least openly, support the woman in this case not being prosecuted. But they oppose any law that would punish her for killing her child the day before. What is the difference? Location, location, location.
When I see people having to use close to 1,100 words, or just over 1,400 words to explain why their position makes sense, I tend to expect Olympic quality verbal gymnastics. The links above didn’t let me down. They could state a clear, consistent, and concise position that allows for the off-cases like Barber’s position points out. It could be <thirty words:
Women voluntarily participating in aborting their child should be prosecuted as any other suspect and should have the same access to consideration of exigent circumstances as any other defendant.Me
I’m not sure how to process this as anything other than deception.
It angers me to know that so many of these people I love are unaware of where their money is going and what it is supporting.
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