August 17 2009
I'm trying to make sure my blog doesn't become all about politics anymore. Instead, I'm going to try and restrict myself to a weekly politics comment. It'll be either national politics or Baptist politics. Might even be both.
It's not that I have no opinion, but that, since I'm apparently an un-American racist for opposing the President's healthcare plan, there's no reason to dwell on it. It's ok. I've been a racist before, I'll be one for now. It does make me think, though. How do we argue? How do we discuss things? How quickly do we turn a discussion from its merits to buzzwords and generalizations? We do it in Baptist life. Rather than listen, we label someone as “liberal” or “fundamental.” We're doing now with the GCR. If you're opposed to a committee, you're against the Great Commission. Which means you're against the Bible, you're against God. Is that really so? Or is that just a tad exaggerated? When it comes to how things like Southern Baptist Cooperative Program money is divided, let's remember some basic realities: 1.)The IMB is not the only SBC group working on the Great Commission; 2.)The Great Commission is not the only thing we're commanded to do. Orphan care, widow provision are also commands of the New Testament to the church; 3.) While we may spend more per person in America than in the world, it's not just about the money. Even if you could equalize spending per person around the globe without shutting down every entity and ministry, like Children's Homes and Baptist Colleges, would that really accomplish the task? Is throwing money over the ocean what's desperately needed? Or is it really something else? Also, most of the people talking about this are currently in two days or more of meetings about how to spend money better. How much are we spending on two days of meetings? How many people could be evangelized by these passionate servants of the Great Commission if they weren't in meetings? Could we be spending enough in two days to fund indigenous pastors for a year in some countries? 4.)This is really not a good time to come to Southern Baptists with a plan that looks like more control or more centralized decision making. Hello? We are some of the most rebellious minded, independent people you will find. Pry Ed Stetzer from those meetings and have him survey some of the town hall meeting protesters to find out how many are Southern Baptists. I'll bet a lot of them are. So what? These folks are going to be against anything that looks like increased federalism. Even in the SBC. So be careful. Find good ideas to streamline and strengthen how the CP money that already goes to Nashville gets spent. Challenge every church and state convention to strive for an increase in percentage to CP, an increase to the national share. But don't come large with something that looks like a demand. Please. All the other good things will get squished by it.
Another SBC question: Why is it that when Morris Chapman asks for Clark Logan's resignation, we have an outcry that we deserve more information, even though it's a personnel matter, but NAMB forces out the President and 3 top staffers and we're supposed to idly accept it as a personnel matter? Is it because we're out to topple Chapman for his opposition to the GCR and Hammond wasn't all that enthusiastic for it? Since Hammond created his own task force for NAMB instead of letting the GCR Task Force tell NAMB what to do? It just seems odd that we won't allow Morris Chapman to do his job without extreme scrutiny, but we're ok that one of our Mission Boards has just lost its leadership for the 2 nd time in 5 years. On that whole note, perhaps we need to adjust Constitution and By-laws for the SBC and all of our single-member institutions that the President and 2 or 3 other named positions can be dismissed by the board, but the action has to be ratified by SBC action. Guidelines can go in place about suspending with or without pay, depending on the situation. Also that a new 'interim' president can be named, but must be approved by the whole SBC. Maybe I'm getting cynical, but we've had some substantial shake-ups right after everybody reported what they were doing at the SBC, and 10-11 months before they answer questions from the floor again. Seems odd. Perhaps fishy enough to send to firstname.lastname@example.org After all, the government wants to know about all your fishy neighbors. Perhaps they'll give you extra ration cards for being an informer. While you're at, send them a link to my blog. I'm fishily against the President's Healthcare Reform proposal. Oh wait, now it's Health Insurance Reform. I've come to realize that the pundits might be right that many of us aren't against the proposal as much as we're against whatever it is the President puts out there. Why? Because you can't figure out what he's putting out there. One year he's a firm proponent of single-payer government insurance for all. Now he's against it. One time there has to be a public option, now his own Health and Human Services Secretary isn't sure it's necessary. One week it's global warming, then it's global climate change, it just goes on. We're closing Gitmo prisons. We're sending the people there....oh, well, um....So, yes, many of us are reaching the point where we are simply opposed to a President Obama proposal because we don't know what it is, but he wants Congress to pass it anyway. So, yes, I'm against anything generated by the White House unless they can share a genuine, Constitutional reason to do it.
Which is ok, because Chuck Norris is against it too. When it comes down to it, whose side do you want to be on? Politics, maybe you want Barrack Obama and Joseph Biden. Life? I'm thinking Chuck Norris. I dare anybody to email in Chuck Norris to the White House. Speaking of which, why not a Chuck Norris/Ted Nugent ticket in 2012? Not that Chuck needs a Vice-President. You really only need one of those in case your President gets sick or dies or something. You can't even blend Chuck Norris in a Blend-tec Blender. I don't think he'll need a VP.
On the political front, though, let's try and keep Joseph in mind. The Biblical Joseph, from Genesis. Specifically Genesis 45:1-15. Here we see Joseph, mistreated by his brothers, but now in a position of power. He takes the opportunity as Pharaoh's right-hand-man to make sure his brothers know what it is to be sold into slavery, spend time in prison, and be hauled off to a foreign country, right? Oh, that's not right, is it? He provides for them, takes care of them, and demonstrates forgiveness to them. It is my hope that soon we will return true small-government, fiscally conservative, free-market, anti-globalist people to elected office in our states and nation, and that they will follow those principles. When that happens, it is not for us to go about locking up or attacking the people that have gotten us into this mess. We need not seek retribution. Now, I have a feeling that Joseph never went out into a field alone with his brothers again, just in case, and so should we not surrender to destructive forces in the name of being forgiving, but we need to stop the cycle of retribution in our government before it gets ugly. We had some of it 2001 and some again in 2009. It's still going on between pro- and anti- groups. Let's be real careful that we acknowledge majority direction, but Constitution rule of our country. Ok?