What a gift, to hear from a fellow baptist sojourner on what it means to be baptist. On Sunday, Drew Herring, Pastor of Adult Education and Outreach of Broadway Baptist Church, shared his perspective on the question: What does it look like to be baptist in 2018?
“I believe that one of the most destructive tendencies we have as baptists is forgetting that our soul freedom and our bible freedom are connected to church freedom.
“To say this in another way, we forget that our individual interpretation of scripture, that our individual understanding of God is meant to be tested, refined, challenged, and affirmed in community with others.”
There’s beauty in seeing the intricacies of a work of art. There’s even more beauty in taking a step back and seeing the piece of art as a whole.
Drew offered us a vision of the whole. The way baptist identity and polity works is not simply by adding up the individual pieces of soul freedom, bible freedom, religious freedom, and church freedom. There is a greater force at work, over and above the individual pieces.
“It is the Holy Spirit, the presence of the Living Christ that Jesus said would be there when two or three are gathered together that helps us to discern together what God is doing among us.”
God’s Spirit takes our best attempts at being church, in all our brokenness, and makes them into something more than we could ever accomplish.
God’s Spirit binds us together. God’s Spirit leads us through conflict and difficulty. God’s Spirit offers discernment.
God’s Spirit takes our meager offerings and transforms them into something meaningful and good.
“The Holy Spirit is speaking to you through the person you sit beside in the pew. You may not like them. You may not agree with them. They may drive you crazy, but if you didn’t have them in your life, in your community, you would miss the fullness of God.”
God’s Kingdom is not a zero-sum game. Each of our individual contributions to God’s Kingdom aren’t simply a drop in the bucket. One plus one plus one plus one doesn’t equal four in God’s Kingdom.
Because when we come together as a community in Christ’s name under the inspiration of God’s Spirit, something synergistic happens. According to the power at work within us, God is able to accomplish more than we could ask or imagine.
What might it look like for us to work together?
What task or challenge might we tackle together?
Who is God calling us to be together?
May God’s Spirit draw us together and lead us forward.
Peace to you,