Thursday, September 25, 2008

Under The Counter.

If you go into a Lifeway Christian Bookstore and want to buy the magazine you see here, you will have to ask for it. It will be found under the counter, not out on display. Why? Because Lifeway is owned by the Southern Baptist Convention. They do not believe in women pastors and evidently think that their membership will be contaminated by simply reading an article about them. I want to point out here I am not condemning the SBC for their beliefs. I don't agree with it, but we have freedom of choice when it comes to our beliefs. To me this is more of a censorship issue than anything else. There also is some hypocrisy involved. We won't display the magazine, but we will take your money if you want to buy it. Huh? If it offends you that much, don't sell it. No one is forcing them to carry that magazine.

This is one of the problems that I have with organized religion. I believe in God, but sometimes the churches try to tell you how to think. I am not putting down any preachers. I have several friends who are in the ministry. I have been in churches where the problem was not in the denomination, but in the preacher. My wife and I were driven out of a church once because of that. I will go further with that topic later. I do not believe that God wants you follow blindly. If you listen He will talk to you. I have never heard a voice, but I believe God has spoken to me several times. I used to teach Sunday School and would spend 5-6 hours preparing for an hours lesson. More than once while teaching some good point presented itself. I hadn't seen it before, and I took it as a point God wanted made to someone listening. A couple of times after the class I was told how much that point meant to someone. People should be following God. He is much bigger than a magazine article. There are much more urgent things that the SBC should be worrying about. For another take on this read what my friend Mike Parnell has to say about it. Mike is a Baptist minister, but is not affiliated with the SBC.

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