Civil War & “small minds”
We look real stupid in trying to act like the civil war did not happen. I dislike slavery as much as every Christian should, but ignoring it shows how weak our belief system is.
Thanks for your article on the Southern Baptist Convention’s resolution against the Confederate battle flag, but displaying the flag is not endorsing it. The Civil War is a great and vital part of our history and cannot be wiped out by our small minds.
The source of a name
I enjoyed Karen Bullock’s “Journey to Nacogdoches” in the Baptist Standard. It is a history dear to my heart and one that deserves to be told and retold.
I would like to note two points of interest. Bullock writes, “Old North originally was called the Union Church, because settlers from varied Christian denominations comprised the first congregation.” This is an oft-repeated statement that lacks clarity. Settlers of other denominations may well have worshipped there, but the old church records indicate Union Church was organized as and has always been a Baptist church. The church record does not state why they chose the name Union. A. J. Holt seems to be the originator of the current explanation in his Brief History of the Union Church, and his explanation is slightly different from modern versions.
A curiosity seldom mentioned is that, although Union/Old North is the oldest active missionary Baptist Church in Texas it was not organized as a missionary Baptist church. Both Isaac Reed and R.G. Green opposed societal or board-type mission methods.
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Membership declines, and the new Southern Baptist Convention president repeats the mantra: Pray for another spiritual Great Awakening.
And whom must God awaken? Why, “them,” of course. Those evil, unbelieving practitioners of every human vice; those hell-bound Creation-deniers who accept evolution and a 14-billion-year-old universe; those fickle former members who refused to lay their intellect at the feet of slovenly, chorus-chanting rock-star wannabes and give-more-money, do-more-church pulpiteers.
Denominational arrogance is emptying churches. Until theology matures; until the leadership abandons the grab-every-dollar, church-is-your-life rigor of the 1950s; until dignity returns to the sanctuary, and the rock concert blare and glare are replaced by an atmosphere of spiritual comfort; until preachers organize cogent, practical sermons and present them in precise English unencumbered with illustrations of sports and driving; until church becomes a place to which members can go themselves without insult, and to which they can invite others without embarrassment, the downward trend will continue.
A great awakening? Yes, of those who sleep.
John V. Rutledge
Colorado Springs, Colo.