I recently tweeted that I was proud to a Baptist, but I was not proud of the reputation that we have developed over the years. Perhaps some clarification is needed on what I was thinking. I recently had some interaction with some Christian brothers of mine, several of whom are non-Baptists. They shared their thoughts and comments about Baptists they have known over the years. They were all impressions that I had heard before, but it added to my frustration with what people think about Baptists.
Over the years, we Baptists have developed a reputation more for what we are against, than what we are in favor of. We are known as those that think drinking is a sin. We are known as those that boycotted Disney World. We are known as those whose kids are not allowed to read Harry Potter. We are known as those that are staunchly right wing. We are known as those that have deacons smoking in our parking lots. We are known as those who oppress their wives. We have been known as racists.
My hope and prayer is that we will be known for something different in the coming years. My prayer is that when people think of Baptist they will think that they are the ones that take the Bible seriously. I hope we will be known as those that love the world. I yearn to be known as one who is sacrificial with his time, resources, and energy. I pray that all Baptists everywhere will be known as those who are whole-heartendly devoted to King Jesus and to accomplishing His purposes.