(Editor: I often browse the blogs of people who comment here at SBC Voices. I browsed Tom’s blog – The View from Osprey – yesterday and came to one conclusion – he doesn’t write often enough. He has a brilliant post which I got permission to copy here. Thought you might enjoy it.)
Do you ever feel like you don’t fit in among any of the evangelical groups?
I’m not a Calvinist, but I am uncomfortable at my fellow non-Cals painting Calvinists as the evil spawn of a new fascism with a desire to take over the SBC.
I am not a Calvinist, but Al Mohler’s idea that Reformed theology protects the Gospel makes me wonder what have I been doing for the last 30 years and why won’t he give me any credit for it?
I am not a fundamentalist. I was trained in a wonderfully fundamentalist college (Tennessee Temple University, class of 1981), but I quit using the KJV, go to movies, have a contemporary service, like Rick Warren, pastor an SBC church, have even been known to go mixed swimming and I dance with my wife. But I do hold strongly to the fundamentals of the Bible and think that standards are not legalism and that staying far from sin is a good thing.
I don’t pastor a mega church but our church gives almost 20% to mission work mostly through the SBC, we actively seek to reach Osprey with the Gospel through as many means as we can think of, and go on mission trips to the US and the world, but I am not missional.
I am not cutting edge but I use a variety of media to get the message across and think first about the passage to determine what it means but go quickly to think about who I am preaching it to because if they don’t understand I haven’t preached.
I am not tied to the past but I do preach expositional messages.
I am pre-tribulational and pre-millenial but don’t study the headlines to see the imminent return of Jesus, I decided long ago that Jesus will return when He chooses to, but until then I am going to be do God’s work here on earth.
I don’t drink, but while I don’t see total abstinence as being Biblical, I think that believers who drink are setting a bad example and witness for others and believe that refusing to drink is the much wiser course. I also am embarrassed by the bulging bellies I see at Baptist meetings and think that over eating is the accepted Baptist alcoholism.
I have Baptist on the sign in front of the church, but don’t think that those who are Baptists but don’t have it on their sign are trying to hide anything from anyone.
I am a Baptist by conviction. I believe that the major distinctives of being a Baptist are Biblical. Like the old joke, if I wasn’t a Baptist, I’d be ….. ashamed. So I am going to teach Baptist distinctives. But I bet my Presbyterian friends think their way is Biblical too, so I am going to leave the denominational bashing to someone else.
I wear a suit and tie for our traditional service, but change out of it as soon as I can and if I visit a church member in the hospital while wearing a tie, they think I have been told they are going to die and I have come to bury them before their time.
I don’t wear jeans with my long sleeved shirt tail hanging out unless I’ve dropped some BBQ sauce on my pants and am trying to cover it up.
Now I admit I am being more than a little silly. But maybe you see what I am going through. I sometimes feel just like the Bob Dylan song, “clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am stuck in the middle with you. “
There are lots of other ways I think the world has gone crazy and you and I are the lone sane people.