O God, We don’t have to tell you that the city of Ferguson, Missouri is coming apart at the seams. Please give the people there peace with justice and justice with peace.
Being a Baptist is also a way of doing church, that is, a way of functioning in a community of faith and living in relationship with other Christians. For Baptists, a congregation is a people gathered voluntarily and willingly.
A man was going from Indianapolis, Indiana, to Louisville, Kentucky, when along the way he had a flat tire. Stranded on the side of the road, he was robbed, his car was stripped, he was shot, and left for dead.
Living with children has turned me into a champion negotiator. They will bargain with me as long as I will let them. It has been assumed from the earliest practices of religion that humans could bargain with the gods to get what they want.
The topic of “church discipline” can be tricky because many readers know of (or have experienced) frivolous, judgmental, and mean-spirited attempts to secure the “purity” of the church. There is no point in pretending that we don’t bring this baggage to our study of this text.
This has been a difficult few weeks in the news. This week, we might read Paul’s words to the Corinthians who face “afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger” (6:4-5) more as a summary of contemporary news than as a list of Christian trials.