Suggestion One: Push the Extremists to the Edge

   If we are to  have a life together, we will need to make some changes.

   You pick the moment things began to go desperately wrong. I go back to 1975, for no more reason than to gain minor historical perspective. This is not the date some would expect, so we can talk without threat. In fact, that is the way we must learn to talk all over again.

   We have lost the language.

   Since 1975 we have suffered the intrigues and agitations of the extremists. These persons and their acolytes made a good living off  us. They transformed us into a perpetual minority party within our state. Now we are on the decline everywhere.

   Baptisms are now anabaptisms, or worse, the immersion of near-infants; the ignorant, the uninformed, the willing.  Growth is transfer.

   All the Kingdom weeps.

   There is some small hope just now. A few of the Ultras pass from the scene. If we learn from their being here we can yet benefit from their going.

  • Extremists need conflict. They cannot live without it. An Ultra cries "Peace" only to rearm.
  • Extremists claim they want no position and tell the truth, but only in part. They want power and prestige, not position, only, and will gladly do without a public spot if they can maintain private ambition and so be called selfless men.
  • Extremists offer to leave as soon as their work is done but insist they are the only ones who can decide the end of their purpose.

   Imagine what might have happened in 2008 if the GOP had run a Republican candidate for President. We might have had a debate of enormous magnitude for the Democrats, breaking tradition, ran as much a Centrist as they could find; not apparently a philanderer, nor a man made of wood. If the GOP had found a Republican instead of a (national hero, brave man, straight-spoken) hero who never articulated a meaningful difference between himself and his opponent, we could have had a discussion.

  • Extremists operate well in the sound-bite. Debate, they deride.

   If we are ever to have peace, or even constructive debate, the extremists will have to go back to their corner. Push the Ultras to the edge again.

TOMORROW: TAKE THE POISON FROM THE SYSTEM

  

  

3 thoughts on “Suggestion One: Push the Extremists to the Edge”

  1. excellent summary of both national and denominational issues. how often did i hear that once the conservative/fundamentalists “won” over the liberal/moderates that they would turn on each other. perhaps its even true in reverse in Texas. TBC etc proves the same addage on power in being exclusive. heck, it even comes to play down to the association level. now the GOP is dealing with the far right in the media. now the TBC/BGCT deals with folks like us in the same way. you said more than a mouthful that requires lots of reflection and praying.

  2. I like your insight. However, if we look back to the early 1900’s we see that the Texas Baptist were so exited about reaching their state and saw such need about the state that there was more than enough work for everyone. No one drew circles or squares around their group and there was not time for any reorganization. There was a need for prayer and revival. Churches cared for communities more than themselves like Christ taught. Pastors cared for churches more than themselves like Christ taught.
    Today we have convention officials making salaries and cutting ministries. Churches making sure the power members are happy at all cost. Pastors that come out of institutions without being prepared for the reality that they will need to be bivocational to support their family in the current reality in which we live.
    So while 1975 was a very good year, we had already tread down a pretty slippery slope of hierarchical denominations with the wink and nod of “the powers that be” making decisions for the “better good”. Let’s get back to autonomous churches and priesthood believers being not so politically correct but spiritually focused.
    Give me that old time religon!!!!

  3. He was a maverick — that is what we were told. I can only imagine how tired his running mate got just saying that one word. Someone forgot to inform the brain trust that is the GOP that mavericks often have a hard time actually building a coalition that solidifies a reasonable base of support.
    Lots of lessons from this last election . . . lots of lessons.
    MR

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