I had a wonderful older lady in my church whose habit was to bring rutabagas to the monthly senior luncheon. I don’t like the smell of rutabagas. I don’t like the taste of rutabagas. I don’t like the look of rutabagas. They are virtually inedible just on the basis of the name ‘rutabaga’. Why would anyone put such a thing in their mouth anyway?
Well, every time the lady would say, “Here, preacher, have some rutabagas,” and in a shameful display of spineless pastoral pandering, I’d answer, “Sure” and she would heap on a pile of the foul items on my plate. Under withering scrutiny, I’d eat them.
I think after the first time or two she thought I actually enjoyed them. Needless to say, I was on the hook for being a regular rutabaga ingester until she died peacefully in her sleep two days before I retired. Well, I do hear rutabagas are very nutritious and I’d admit that my health has declined somewhat since retirement.
All of which brings me to an assortment (potluck) of items of interest:
Russell Moore suggests renaming the Alumni Chapel at Southern Seminary after current president Albert Mohler. This was perhaps a moment of appreciative over-exuberance as he was reflecting on Mohler’s quarter century tenure as SBTS president. No question about what was accomplished during that time and I’m grateful for it. But before we get stuck in hagiographic mode, maybe we could rein in the acolytes and express appreciation in more suitable ways. On the SBC epitaph might be written one day, “Died as a result of an excess of self-congratulation while the world went to hell.” Well, maybe there’s some room for stained glass windows in the building.
Megapastor celebrity James Macdonald has been a Southern Baptist all of three years. He’s on the celeb speaking circuit including next years SBC Pastor’s Conference. He’s also hired lawyers to go after some of his critics, as has been widely reported. He has reexamined his theology on lawsuits and has a “biblical rationale” for them. I don’t know the validity of the criticism nor the extent of the harm he is claiming. Don’t have a dog in that secular court fight. But, I’d ask if this is what we want at our Pastor’s Conference. If we want the celebs, we get them and all their baggage. No chance, best I can see, of ever getting the SBC off of the celebrity system. And just how much of a Southern Baptist is Macdonald these days? Give a lot of support to our mission offerings, Cooperative Program? I don’t know. Above my pay grade. I rather liked the celeb-less pastors conference led by Miller et al.
A United Church of Canada minister who is a declared atheist has reached an agreement with the church to avoid a heresy trial with the possibility of being defrocked. She keeps her ministerial credentials and her congregation. Being unable to say, “thank God,” she merely says the agreement is “wonderful.” The head of the church noted the church’s core values of faith in God and inclusiveness. In a statement he noted that “The dance between these core values, how they interact with and inform each other, is one that we continue to explore as followers of Jesus and children of the creator…” Almighty God doing the cha cha with “inclusiveness” isn’t something I am able to visualize. I have a theory that any explanation that talks about dances and how “we continue to explore” is on a southward trajectory. The church is rumored to be preparing an apology to the world for Elijah’s killing of the prophets of Baal.
State conventions have a spate of annual meetings in the next week or two. I’ll be at mine here in Georgia. Perhaps there will be noteworthy or at least blogworthy observations to be made. You know that sixteen men, most of whom you’ve never heard of, control 90% of the Cooperative Program? Happy to inform you.
One more culinary note, the white chocolate Oreos are out. I got a few boxes yesterday and will be carefully dispensing them over the next few weeks. How about a McRib with a white choc Oreo for dessert? Heavenly. But you go ahead and have a rutabaga and brag about it.