We Need Your Help
Rumor has it that Bryant Wright may be willing to meet with a certain man from Georgia to discuss questions and concerns about the SBC that have been raised by concerned members. Could it be that he may be using this meeting to show all those in the SBC that he is open to all opinions, not just those of a few well-connected individuals?
As readers of The Wartburg Watch know, this blog exists to allow the increasingly disenfranchised priesthood of the believers to exercise their office and express their concerns and wishes in an accepting environment.
For many who post here, the church has come a closed club run by professional pastors who specialize in top- down management. There are many who feel their input is not welcome, especially if the input involves negative concerns.
Many have been called troublemakers, disobedient, gossips, bitter, sinful, prideful, etc. when they have done as commanded in Scripture and confronted issues head on. Such responses have driven the priesthood to seek other means of communication in order to express their concerns. This has resulted in the development of blogs that some would deem as “critical.”
Those who have blogged have been accused of bypassing Matthew 18 in their quest to air grievances of the priesthood. These accusations have been made by pastors and leadership boards, elders, etc. who are perturbed because they feel that that their authority has been bypassed. Sometimes it appears that “authority” trumps "humility" as those who are threatened make sure everyone knows “who’s in charge.”
In the end the church of our Lord loses. In order for a healthy church to survive in an increasingly anti-Christian hostility, the leadership must be willing to first confront the sin and pain in their congregations before they confront the sin of a lost world. If this does not happen, the world will point to a church in upheaval and ask the valid question, “If Jesus can’t mend the church, then how can He help me.”
Due to rapid data transmission, stories of pastors who are sexual predators, who use the church to become rich, and who preen about as holier than thou abound in the media. The church can choose to shut its eyes and mutter on about being “victimized or it can choose to exhibit humility to a watching world demonstrating by word and action that Christian are sinners saved by grace. Instead of celebrations of the church’s “goodness,” there needs to be meaningful testimony of a church in need of a Savior just like the rest of the world.
Does the world see a church marked by a ready willingness to repent and ask for forgiveness or does it see a church that acts like Bernie Madoff, spouting sanctimonious excuses for its reproachable behavior.
Have the churches that are being dogged by negative blogging ever done a self-assessment? Could it be the Lord is allowing blogs by committed evangelicals in order to get the churches attention? Could it be that today’s bloggers fulfill a role that has bee shirked by elders and pastors who no longer listen to those outside of their little cliques?
Could these churches be like the newspaper whose community panel your blog queens served on? When the editors claimed that they did not have a liberal bias, we told them that they thought they had no liberal bias because the only ones they listen to are those who run in their exclusive little circles. So, in their own eyes, they were moderate in their political views. But in the eyes of the community, they bend left. They have, finally, after much prodding, admitted it.
So is the church doing the same thing? Is the church guilty of self-talk? Do they listen only to themselves and their friends and miss the still quiet voice of God? Are they guilty of doing what is right in their own eyes and forgetting to check with those honest enough to tell them the truth?
So, we view The Wartburg Watch as a mechanism by which we stand in the gap, and through persuasive argument and pointed comments, by us and our readers, tell the church that it may becoming deaf. So we turn up the volume a bit.
This blogger left the SBC over a year ago because I had tired of the lack of pastoral engagement in the lives of the congregation. They seemingly ignoring the uncomfortable pain and suffering of those in its midst as they marched best foot forward to implement young earth creationism, young marriages and other secondary issues with little proof of their benefit except that a few of the “big boys” in the Calvinista movement tilt this way. And those are the guys who really count, don’t they? Secondary doctrinal issues now trump living a life of radical grace and service. These issues have triumphed over the need to focus on the let down and lost.
Perhaps Bryant Wright is sending a message to others in the SBC that he is a willing vessel and has ears to hear from those who have been let down by the church. So we are asking our readers to answer the following question. If you could ask one or two questions of Bryant Wright, what would they be? We will make sure these questions are given to a man from Georgia who will make sure they are given to Wright. Who knows, it might make a difference.