This past Tuesday a PCC grad hosted “Idea Day” at his church with the mission for pastors to brainstorm ideas for improving the Baptist churches they run. There are videos if you’re so inclined.
From the day’s notes (PDF) we can see such ideas as:
– Lottery ticket style “scratchers” for special day promotion
– During giving campaigns have staff and deacons give their giving commitments to Pastor and then make them public to inspire others to give
– Give $5 Starbucks cards to first-time guests to thank them for coming.
All of which are lovely ideas…and all of which miss the point about why people are fleeing these types of churches. So I thought that perhaps we should have our own Idea Day — not that any of the people from the first day will give it any heed.
So here’s the question: what would these pastors best serve their people by changing?
I’d like to point you today to an article by Josh Teis, a fellow alumni of Pensacola Christian College. I can’t swear that he’s writing about SFL in this post (although some recent interaction makes me suspect that is the case) but the same kind of “criticize-the-critics” mentality that often shows up when fundamentalists talk about SFL is very apparent.
I could do a point-by-point takedown of the article but most of you who have been reading here for a while will very easily see some familiar patterns including those that often show up in fundamentalist scandal spinning.
What’s unfortunate about this is that Josh isn’t some hardened old fundamentalist pastor from some generation gone by. He’s my age. And he’s perpetuating a philosophy of staying silent about problems that will inevitably reap a harvest of future pain.
I’m encouraged that he does seem to be advocating more tolerance of the wider body of Christianity but I’m also forced to wonder if it’s true (as his article claims) that he shows a truly non-critical spirit to others such as Christians who are charismatic, or Calvinist, or lovers of CCM. Perhaps we should compare and contrast what comes out of his pulpit with the tolerance that he claims to show.
Update 1: It has been correctly pointed out that Josh does not appear to still cling to his fundamentalist roots on many of the standards and separation issues that are typical of places like PCC. Frankly, I’m pleased to hear it. My point about calling criticism inherently wrong, however, remains.