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Encounter culture, don't condemn it


It was with great joy that I opened my recent Index to find the articles by Joe Westbury on "Stained Glass and Starbucks." Sound the alarm, Joe, while there are still some left to hear it. This is a crucial article in the lives of Georgia Baptists and we had better heed its truth lest we become footnotes in the kingdom of God.

The statement concerning a particular church ("It became the Southern Baptist version of the Amish faith; pure in its orthodoxy, but culturally irrelevant.") should be copied and mounted as a warning over the door of every GBC church and entity.

His examples of a "missional church" are spot on and clearly illustrate the definition of it: partnership in the Missio Dei. Unless we who are pastors of Georgia Baptist churches are effective in teaching the people who sit in Georgia Baptist churches the difference between missions and mission then the population growth of our state will continue to outpace conversions and the margin will only widen.

And, unless our denomination learns to encounter culture up close instead of condemning it from a distance, we will find ourselves more and more marginalized until it is our voice that is no longer able to be heard no matter how loud our sound system or how large our tent.

I also appreciate the full cover original artwork on both this and the "Passing the Baton" articles as it silently speaks to the importance of the writing represented. I trust that the Index will continue to be on the forefront on this crucial issue, leading the drive all the way.