Tony Jones is pastor of the First Baptist Church of Rich Hill, MO.
I was watching the State of the Union address tonight. I have not watched one of these speeches in many years, but I am a history buff and State of the Union Speeches, especially final speeches, give presidents an opportunity to be and sound historic. I have no idea how history will judge the President’s speech from last night, but I began thinking about what will appear in the social media news feeds of most politically motivated Southern Baptists. Sadly, I’m not expecting many positive thoughts. The following is my list of what I wish would appear in our news feeds.
First, I wish there was more respect. President Obama is our president whether we like him or not. We have the right to disagree with him, we have the right to speak our minds about his policies, and we have the right to our own political views, but we do not have the right to disrespect a man who has the most difficult and stressful job in the world. I wish there was more respect.
I wish there was more agreement. I was pleased to find during last night’s speech that I agree with President Obama on some things. This would be very hard for us to find. We disagree with him on almost everything, but there are areas of agreement and I wish I saw more.
I wish there was more encouragement. The world is not going to end because President Obama has a different agenda, set of priorities, or viewpoint than the rest of us. There is a lot of good going on in this world. I wish I saw more encouragement.
I wish I saw more originality. There are those of us who simply post the negative musings of others. If we’re going to be negative, the least we can do is give our own opinion and not parrot the negativity of others. I wish I saw more originality.
I wish I saw more fairness. There were a myriad of problems during the Bush administration, but we didn’t hurl near as much vitriol his way as we have thrown at President Obama. That is not fair. If we’re going to blame all the current problems on his administration, then we must blame all future problems on future administrations, be they Democrat or Republican. I wish there was more fairness.
Finally, I wish I saw more gospel. This is my most important wish. We are called to be bearers of the Light, not bearers of a political party’s platform. The world needs more gospel, not more Democrats or Republicans. I desperately wish I saw more gospel.
This is my list. I wish I saw more of these things, and I want to commit myself to showing more of the characteristics both in my thoughts and actions. Is there anything you wish Southern Baptists were known for?