Though I am saddened that the Southern Baptist Convention will continue to discriminate against women, preach against the LGBTQ community, and cling to their guns, they have made an enormous step forward in two other areas at their convention this week!
First, participants voted to approve a resolution urging Southern Baptist churches and families to welcome foreign refugees. Second, they called on all Southern Baptists to discontinue the display of the Confederate battle flag as a sign of solidarity with their African-American brothers and sisters.
Too little, too late? Probably. But it was really hard for them to get this far! One pastor from Arkansas stood during the floor discussion and stated that Muslims “threaten our very way of existence as Christians and Americans.” Others wanted to keep the Confederate flag agreeing with overturned Southern Baptist polity that said it was a “memorial to loved ones who died in the Civil War.”
Too little, too late? Probably. I want change in Southern thinking and I want it all at once! Is my impatience appropriate? I think so. But, on the other hand, shouldn’t I be praising any positive change?
Remember Jonah? God told him to speak out against the wrong ways people were living in Nineveh. He didn’t really like the assignment so he fled and was swallowed by a whale. Eventually the whale spit him out and he went to Nineveh like God had told him to do. But then when the people changed — when they started doing the right things — Jonah got mad at God. He didn’t want them to change. He wanted them to be punished for doing too little too late.
I have been thinking a lot about how it is that people change their opinions. Wondering how we can embrace people who do change. I don’t have a lot of answers. It seems to be the work of the Holy Spirit. But let’s not be like Jonah. Let’s welcome positive change, praise it, and take advantage of it to encourage more! Let’s make it easy!
April describes herself as a Red Letter Christian who writes about scripture and spiritual disciplines. She has written two books that are great for an individual read or group Bible studies! You can follow her blog by clicking on the three dots in upper right hand of this page and scrolling down.