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Some Baptists Break My Heart
I am first and foremost a child of God. In other words, I am a Christian. Secondly, I am an Independent Baptist. I choose to be an Independent Baptist for many reasons. I will save the reasons for another hub. I attend an Independent Baptist church. I pastor the same Independent Baptist church. I have a lot riding on the name Baptist.
Although I have failed many times, I try very hard to show the world who and what Jesus is about. I try to exemplify Him in my life. I want the world to fall in love with the One who so selflessly gave His life for them. I am told in Scripture to love my enemies - and so I must, but sometimes my enemies are Baptists.
I can not for the life of me figure out where some people get their theology; take for instance, the Westboro Baptist Church.
It is no wonder many people have given up on the only Hope they have - God. The Westboro Baptist Church is not practicing Baptist doctrine; nor is it by their lifestyle representing Jesus Christ. Their doctrine of hate simply is not biblical. God will certainly judge a rebellious nation in those areas of rebellion. God will certainly warn of coming judgment. Still the Bible says in Matthew 7:20, "Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." The love of God is nowhere to be found in this group. They may use the name Baptist, but I take offense to that. The Westboro Baptist Church is a group of hatemongers, and does not reflect the Jesus I know in any way, shape, or form. Please do not lump me in with this group.
Please do not associate me with Charles Worley's Providence Road Baptist Church in North Carolina. I know what the Bible says about the sin of homosexuality. it does not say that all homosexuals should be herded within an electric fence and left to die. Yes, the Bible is against sexual sin, both heterosexual and homosexual, but yet Jesus spent His very life's blood for them. Why should we not love the sinner as Jesus did? Very true - Jesus did not tolerate sin, but He did love the sinner, including Shirley Phelps Roper and Charles Worley.
Now here is another - Pastor Jim Standridge of Immanuel Baptist Church in Skiatook, Oklahoma.
God clearly outlines in Scripture how problems within the local church should be handled. I can not claim to know the background of the incidences that Standride points out during his miserable message. He may have good reason to deal with some of these issues, but he does not do it in the proper way. Please know I have nothing to do with Jim Standridge nor his philosophy of ministry.
Do you think this kind of preaching honors God?
These kinds of fringe ministries that refer to themselves as Baptist make it tough on true Baptist churches that from a pure heart really want to proclaim the love of Christ. These ministries border on qualifying as cults. Certainly they are not Baptist. Certainly they do not represent true Christianity.
Is it any wonder these groups draw the criticism of the world? Jesus said in John 12;32, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." I can not see how this kind of prideful behavior can draw anyone to Christ. If it repels rather than draws, then the problem is with the speaker, not God. And the message is not of God.
These Baptists break my heart. They are so far from the mark that perhaps they need to stop and re-examine their own hearts before crushing the hearts of their congregations, and mine. Maybe they need to re-examine their own hearts to see if that by chance they have broken the heart of the God who loves them and gave Himself a ransom for their souls. Perhaps it would do us all good to look inside, and see what really makes us tick.