Monday, February 12, 2007

I can't help but be discouraged

I am absolutely dumbfounded by all the bickering going on in the SBC. I personally think it should be mandatory for everyone who serves in any kind of public capacity to spend at least 6 months overseas before taking their office/position. This includes seminary presidents, professors, trustees, etc. This way, they would have a 'real world' perspective before calling people idiots or making silly rulings or policies. I think this would clear out the snot and let the SBC breathe a little easier.

I can't help but to be discouraged to be overseas and know that my supporters are at odds with one another over things that mostly likely don't have an eternal significance. The very people who are supposed to be praying, giving, and participating, are instead spending all of their time arguing. Looks like Satan has pulled one over on us and is making us think this "stuff" is more important than seeing a lost world reconciled to God. May God have mercy on us!

11 comments:

David Rogers said...

Nomad,

I agree that being a missionary and working cross-culturally for awhile helps to broaden your horizons and give you a new perspective on things. However, I am sure we have our blind spots as well. I think we all need to do our best to try to see things from the perspective of others before jumping to conclusions.

While each of us, in the weakness of our flesh, battles with the proclivity to resort to bickering, I think that, at the same time, it is healthy to be honest and admit that there are important issues and suppositions about approaches to ministry at stake. I have come to the conclusion that by avoiding these issues, and not talking about them openly, we run the danger of conceding the future of our work, and its eventual effectiveness, to the whims and philosophies of those with whom we don't agree.

Bottom line: let's continue to discuss the issues, but let't try to do it in as mature a way as possible, respecting the perspectives of others, and dignity of the people involved on either side of the questions.

Nomad said...

David,

Thanks for your comment. And I agree. I have no problem discussing issues, but the name calling and un-Christlike attitudes that seem to come across are what bother me most.

And, I KNOW we have our blind spots; I am one of us! :-)

Micah said...

Nomad, I understand where you are coming from. I think Ivory Towers make wonderful "blind spot" incubators. I agree that engagement in cross-cultural ministry would be a tremendous precursor to denominational service.

Alan Knox said...

Nomad,

You said: "I think this would clear out the snot and let the SBC breathe a little easier." This is the best laugh I've had in several days! And, what a great metaphor for our situation! Thank you!

-Alan

Nomad said...

Micah,

I'm glad you agree, especially since you already have it! I personally think it is a great idea. In fact, they should make it a requirement to graduate from seminary! (or maybe BEFORE starting!)

Alan,

In all sincerity, I am glad that you got a laugh. I don't think we laugh enough; in fact, most people take themselves much too seriously. Get out the hanky and "blow"!

A 10-40 Window Missionary said...

Nomad (and David),

While I agree that good healthy dialog strengthens believers...name calling is un-Christian...and then when it is our elected leaders, we are allowing satan in where he should never be.

But, what can be done? It is not like general elections in the USA where I can always vote against the incumbent.

Tim Sweatman said...

Nomad,

A very compelling reminder of the effect that our words and actions are having on our missionaries. I have written a post linking to this one and expounding a bit on this subject.

I agree that anyone who serves as a trustee with our missions boards should have some real hands-on missions experience (not just a week or two observing missionaries at work). Just because someone pastors a large church or has friends on the denominational level does not mean he or she knows anything about the mission field.

I'm not convinced that seminary presidents or professors should be required to serve overseas. I believe that anyone who serves overseas, either long- or short-term, should be called to such service. To require someone who does not have such a calling to serve could do more harm than good. Given what I said about trustees in the previous paragraph, I believe that anyone who serves as a trustee of our missions boards should have some sort of calling to that respective type of missions work.

Nomad said...

10/40,
I really, really don't know what can be done. It has to happen from within.

Tim,
I completely agree that folks shouldn't live overseas who have not been called, however, that was for more of a dramatic emphasis rather than a real solution. We've seen too many "leaders" come over with their own agenda, thinking that because they are hot stuff in the States, they will be a hit overseas, too. Maybe they could just live overseas not as missionaries, but just a believer. Wait a minute! That's what a missionary is, to some degree, isn't it?

Tim Sweatman said...

Nomad,

I agree. I've read too many accounts from missionaries about how volunteers from the States, or even denominational leaders and trustees, have gone overseas and been appalled because the churches being planted aren't like the ones back home. Or they try to put pressure on the missionaries and national workers to do things the way we do them.

Kevin Bussey said...

Nomad,

I agree. It gets sick everyday. PTL for what you are doing!

to-obey-is-better said...

Agreement from here!


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