“It is the obligation of Westboro Baptist Church to put the cup of God’s fury to America’s lips, and cause America to drink it. And you will drink it!”   —Fred Phelps

 

Based on name alone, Westboro Baptist Church is baptist, just like us. But are they? Are we really one and the same as this church that only ever seems to spew hatred?

A key baptist distinctive is autonomy. This is why a church like Westboro Baptist can call themselves baptist, just like we can. But there are obviously some significant and fundamental differences. In many ways, we are worlds apart.

If that’s the case, if baptist churches all around the world can be so different, what kind of baptist are we?

Well, I’d like for us to have a conversation over the next several weeks on precisely this question. We are going to begin a new preaching series this Sunday called “On Being baptist.” Through this preaching series, we are going to be looking at the so-called, “Four Fragile Freedoms” of baptist identity.

Alongside this preaching series, I’m going to be sharing additional resources on baptist identity through our blog. Specifically, I’m going to be sharing a pamphlet series called “Baptist Myths.” Each of these posts will be confronting a false myth that is believed about baptists. A few examples to whet your appetite:

Baptist Believe in Doctrinal Uniformity
Baptists Don’t Believe in Social Justice
Baptists are Anti-Intellectual
Baptists are Racists

Should be fun, right?

Through this process, my hope is that we will find our distinctive baptist voice and that we will gain confidence in it. May we find ourselves on the other side believing more strongly than ever in our baptist heritage and identity and may we come to see the valuable role in society that being truly baptist can play.

Peace to you,

 

MM

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