If there ever was a week to write the blog I posted on Tuesday, it was this week. For more supporting documents to my argument have hit the news circuit on the Associated Baptist Press this Wednesday, read this post written about Al Molher. Al Molher, a Southern Baptist fundamentalist says that Christians aren't Christians unless they believe in the virgin birth, a point he's stuck by since first posting a blog about this in 2006.
It's not the content of this article that worries me; for Al and I don't exactly run in the same circles or share much in common . . .
But, that Al's latest version of a religious litmus test is even news!
That anyone is listening to a guy like this after all the hateful things he has said over the years about people like me who are simply following the call of God to serve the church is truly disheartening.
I am proud to be the pastor of a congregation that doesn't "out" those who are still working out their faith. I am proud to be a pastor of a congregation that supports those who are still trying to reconcile the virgin birth in their theological foundations. I am proud to be the pastor of congregants who both believe and don't believe in the virgin birth. For, I don't stand at the door of the church on Sunday morning and ask for a confession of belief on certain topics and if acceptable answers are not given, turn people away. Washington Plaza Baptist is a church were all are welcome.
I am not a priest after all. (And, Al Molher is not the Baptist pope). I am a Baptist pastor who believes in the priesthood of all believers (which I'm thinking that Al doesn't seem to care about anymore).
When are we going to stop this madness, especially in the Baptist church were each of us are a part of autonomous local congregations? I can respect if Al wants to tell his church that they aren't Christians if they don't believe in the virgin birth (and of course it is their choice to believe it), but please don't try to speak a word to mine.
We've got bigger problems after all. Children going to bed hungry. Uprisings in the Middle East. Families without jobs. Let's put the religious litmus tests aside and focus on what can truly make a difference in people's lives this Christmas, the love of the child who was born to guide us all, Al and me both.