I am launching a new podcast on my blog entitled When Heaven and Earth Collide, based on concepts that I covered in my 2014 book by the same name about how Jesus enables us to “tell a better story” in a world full of strife, violence, and division. Back at the SBC in June, at the Evangelical Immigration Table (EIT) booth that we hosted, I interviewed around 20 SBC leaders about their thoughts on immigrant ministry/advocacy, what God might be doing in and through global people movements (Diaspora Missions), what the church could do, and what the church had to say to a watching world that was in conflict over these things. I interviewed people like Danny Akin, JD Greear, Ed Stetzer, Richard Land, Matthew Hall, Bruce Ashford, Walter Strickland, David Crosby, Bryant Wright, Bob Pearle, Kevin Smith, Micah Fries, Vance Pittman, K. Marshall Williams, and many more. Every interview was different even though I asked basically the same questions. Over the next couple of months, I’ll be rolling these SBC interviews out as a resource for our work with pastors and church leaders on issues related to engaging in Diaspora Missions, immigrant/refugee ministry and advocacy, and immigration reform from a Biblical perspective. Since this is SBC Voices, I thought it would be good to actually hear the voices of significant pastors and leaders on this important issue.
My first interview is with Dr. Bart Barber, pastor of FBC Farmersville, TX, who also posts here, obviously. Bart has been a good friend and sparring partner on blogs for the past decade, though we now almost always agree (due to his influence, I am sure, and also the seriousness of the times we live in). On this issue, Bart is a supporter of the Evangelical Immigration Table principles as are hundreds and hundreds of other Southern Baptist pastors. Beyond that, Bart is a consistent defender of religious freedom for all, including Muslims, and he has written about that extensively here at SBC Voices. The podcast is only 20 minutes long, but it gives good insight into Bart’s thinking about why churches should minister to immigrants and refugees, work in Biblical ways to solve our immigration problems in America, and why it is very “baptist” to support and defend religious freedom. I only give a 3 minute intro to the concept at the beginning, and then we dive right into the interview with Bart.
There is a really strong section of the interview where Bart talks about the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares and applies it to our current situation. I had never heard it put that way before. And, his account of his experiences advocating for religious liberty in his hometown in the midst of controversy are illuminating, to be sure.
Check out Bart’s thoughts from the interview here at alancrosswrites.com.