A Sad Day
I am sick. And there is no way I can write about my profound grief without it sounding like I am pontificating. So I will keep this brief.
I am sad because this action seems contrary to what I have been told by the leadership of PSW, both publicly and privately. I don’t know if things got out of their control, we weren’t trusted enough to hear the truth, or if we were deliberately deceived. Until proven otherwise, I choose to believe it was the first or second. But I am still sad, because I have friends and colleagues in PSW.
I am sad because some will rejoice, thinking that a major thorn in their side has been removed, and now all will be happiness and joy in ABCUSA and we can get back to business as usual. The habit of identifying two or three regions, one or two organizations, and/or a half dozen individuals as the source of our conflict does not bear up under close scrutiny. This conflict is widespread and goes down into the very roots of our being. The debate is about who we are (our identity), not what we do. The conflict will remain with us.
I am sad because my reading of Baptist history says that we have been diminished every time there has been a departure under such circumstances. We become more homogeneous and, consequently, wear blinders because an important corrective voice is no longer present. Make no mistake; this will significantly impact the identity, programs, and resources of ABCUSA.
I am sad because this has great symbolic significance. And I can’t embrace what it symbolizes. This is but one example of the distorted sense of autonomy that has seized many of us and is being reflected in the institutions/organizations we lead and represent. I do not believe koinonia is optional for Christians. Indeed, I am absolutely persuaded that it has theological priority over autonomy, at least in the way autonomy has come to be expressed among us. If we cannot express the same passion for koinonia that some of us do for autonomy, we will not stay together.