As younger leaders engage in the ministry, they bring a set of fresh questions and concerns. Questions are healthy and good—they prove a leader is thinking.
Sometimes, however, I’ve watched older preachers blow off the questions of young men, responding with a spirit of pride, feeling offended that the younger generation would dare question our practices.
I believe, however, that I want to be part of this conversation. When those of us who have pastored for many years are solidly grounded in our position, questions are not a threat; they are a chance to explain the legitimacy of what we believe and practice.
There may be a few younger leaders posing questions who have already chosen a pathway to New Evangelicalism. We must realize, however, that most young leaders are simply doing what we did at their age—trying to determine their ministry philosophy.
Over the years, I’ve often told our church family here at Lancaster Baptist Church, “I’m Baptist born and Baptist bred, and when I die I’ll be Baptist dead.”
At times, this has been a fun, catchy phrase, but in reality I fully mean these words because I believe in my Baptist heritage, and I hold it dear.
I recently read a blog post by my friend Pastor Kevin Folger that highlighted what the name “Baptist” means to him. It reminded me anew of how grateful I am for the Baptist heritage and for the sacrifices others who have gone before me have made for truth and for Christ.
I wonder sometimes, with all the church growth philosophies that bring more and more of the world into the church, and with the prevalence of watered-down preaching in our pulpits today, how many Christians even know what we stand for? And I wonder how many of us would stand for the truth in the face of persecution if it came to that here in America?
For the past twenty-five years, we have included the booklet The Trail of Blood by J.M. Carroll in our new member’s packet. I want our church to know that we come from a real heritage of people who have paid a price with their blood that we might have the Bible and preach its truth today.
In the midst of this “let the good times roll” mentality, we need to treasure the truth and preach doctrine. In this Growth Points video, I share a few thoughts on the heritage we have and the need to identify ourselves with true doctrine in this age of pluralism.
(If you cannot see this video in your RSS reader or email, you can watch it here.)
Our tears are no longer of water; they are of blood; they do not merely obscure our sight, they choke our very hearts.—Waldensians of Italy after what is known today as the Massacre of Piedmont.
In January of 1655, the Duke of Savoy forced a cruel choice upon the Waldensians of the lower valleys in Italy—either attend Catholic Mass, or move out of the valley within three days. In the dead of winter, some two thousand people journeyed across swollen rivers, snow-buried valleys, and ice-covered mountains with traces of blood marking their trail.
Waldensians in the upper valleys welcomed the refugees and shared their meager provisions freely. But the worst was yet to come. (more…)