Nothing is over more quickly than Christmas. No more carols. No more Christmas sermons. No more trees, poinsettias, and ugly sweaters. The gifts have all been opened and many will be returned today. Kids have already broken some of theirs and are in tears. Leftovers will dominate the culinary offerings for the week. So, although I like Dave Miller’s four-sermon Christmas series (and I’d steal and use it if I didn’t already a a similar series), let’s go back to business as usual here:
I’ve been talked down to by male seminary students and held my tongue when I wanted to say, “Brother, I was getting up before dawn to pray and to pore over the Scriptures when you were still in your pull ups.” Beth Moore. Easily the best quote of 2018.
We believe things need to change – that the mega-metro stranglehold on power must be broken, that diversity is essential, and that other changes must happen. Change is needed in the SBC. (Context here) This from Dave Miller (using the non-royal “we” and referring to the SBC Voices team). I use the quote because he is the latest of many who say the same thing. At some point someone has to understand that the celebrity system has benefited individuals but the denomination as a whole has not.
Manipulating readers by withholding information has no place in a denomination committed to the priesthood of all believers…The trustworthiness of Baptist influence is proven by sharing the difficult story. Retiring Baptist editor Bob Terry. We’ve always seen those in charge attempt, often successfully, to control the flow of information and news to the pews. The mods did it pre-CR. The cons do it post CR. Baptist Press does this. State papers do this. Bloggers do this. Social media dilletantes do this. Denominational employees in high position do this. In some cases alternative news outlets, even some that are worthy of revulsion, will be the only source that will share the difficult information. The best we could say about this is that it isn’t as bad as it used to be.
There are more good quotes. I got lazy in saving them. Feel free to add.
Best new book:
SBC FAQs: A ready reference. By SEBTS’ Amy Whitfield and Keith Harper. You could stop being so ignorant on SBC stuff if you had this book to consult before talking or typing. And the new book is cheaper at LifeWay than Amazon.
Best #SBC18 decisions:
The 95/5 percentage vote against the motion to dismiss SWBTS trustees. Had this passed the damage would have been incalculable.
The SBC Traditionalist organization’s decision to effectively cancel their #SBC18 event and make it into an informal prayer meeting. Along with this, their decision to end the popular Trad blog, SBC Today, in its then current form. Recognizing when to leave the field and regroup is a good thing.
There are others. Thank God we got a few things right in 2018.
The SBC pastor, a nearly ubertraditionalist, who is starting a new church…one without the word Baptist in the name. Go figure. This is not to say that I do not wish and pray for his and the church’s success. It just struck me as odd.
Best new SBC personality:
Easily the anonymous but erudite SBC Explainer who has gathered over 3k followers since April. Nope, I am not the popular ‘splainer. He/she is smarter than I am. Probably better looking and less irascible as well. I’d speculate that there is nothing “new” about whomever this is.
In the running, Baptist-Blogger. I’m always interested in any blogger who writes stuff above a seventh-grade level. B-B turns some nice phrases and employs some notable vocabulary.
Best score of 2018:
Your humble hacker and plodder’s snaring of a room in the Birmingham SBC19 convention hotel. He who is usually a world class procrastinator jumped on it for once, and scored. See you there.
Best Obituary for 2018:
Billy Graham’s, of course. Since he died way back in February of this year, he was shamefully omitted from many notable death lists. In his 99th year, it is a testimony to his Christian stature and service that his obit didn’t include any sordid episodes. He was a faithful follower of Christ. The day of the grand revival meeting has passed. There will never be another like him.
Add your own. No pastor works between Christmas and New Year’s, anyway.