At church, my six-year-old son’s Sunday School teachers talk about the importance of being respectful in the building since church is a holy space. Their lessons go beyond just reciting rules — like be quiet during the service, no running in the hallways, no taking money from the offering plate and no throwing toys across the room. His teachers did a much better job by providing a theological foundation to the idea.
“God lives at church,” my son echoes often as we head to church.
It seems that since people could write, we’ve had stories warning about powerful people using their power to abuse others and to gain or preserve their power, assets or lustful desires. Homer’s “The Iliad.” Plato’s “Apology of Socrates.” And, the Bible.
Each weekday as I drop my son off for school, my last words to him as he grabs his backpack and hurries out of the car are “I love you!” I hope those words can carry him through his day. There are some days I want to also grab him, hug him and say those words over and over.
With the start of a new year, state lawmakers will return to their chambers for a new legislative session. Christians should pay attention to bills under consideration. Although the debates and tweets in Washington, D.C., capture more media attention, laws passed in statehouses often have a more direct and immediate impact on the lives of those in our communities.
A popular myth surrounds the hymn “Amazing Grace.” It illustrates that how we tell a story matters, because the details teach us the moral of the story. The simple version makes it seem like someone just needs to get saved and then magically they will walk away from all bad things like slave trading.
As a journalist, there are stories I love to write. Like the stories from the annual gathering of the Baptist World Alliance last month in Bangkok, Thailand. These types of events inspire me and deepen my faith, so I’m excited to share them with others.
There are other stories I feel a responsibility to write about, even though I wish the issues I must address did not exist.
If Baptists have a guiding word it would likely be “cooperative” — at least in theory. Yet, it seems we no longer believe in the c-word. Many Baptist churches have a denominational connection on paper, but are increasingly independent in practice.