Blog posts tagged in inclusive
I’m not a Doctor Who geek! However a little while ago there was a particular evil monster who swallowed people. Their faces then appeared on the body of the monster. So when contemplating destroying it, you were confronted with friends and loved ones who now seemed to be a part of this evil manifestation.
Well, it’s a bit strong to liken the present situation we face as Baptist followers of Jesus as seeking to destroy this ‘monster’, …or is it? Why is it that something that holds such a lot of good, with valued friends and much I believe in, can also feel like a massive boil that needs lancing! It sucks up our energy and resources keeping it going. It silences the voices of so many. At its worst, it hurts people and leaves them scarred by its rejection or closed doors. As if some aren’t even good enough for the monster to eat!
It is intriguing that the Baptist Union is facing a financial crisis in the year we are commemorating the planting of the first Baptist church on English soil. Do we focus on lessons from the past or concerns about the future? Can the former help us grapple with the latter? Which parts of our history are helpful or useable? Can we detect any wrong turnings, unfinished business or failures of nerve that have brought us to this point? Can examples from the past inspire or guide us? Do we concentrate on practical suggestions for restructuring and reducing expenditure or debate missional and ecclesial priorities? Previous contributions and comments offer diverse insights and perspectives.
But I’ve looked in vain for any reference to the ‘Five Core Values for a Gospel People’. Searching the Beyond400 website draws a blank. Apparently these values are irrelevant to the discussion. The Futures Group is only slightly more enthusiastic, identifying them as a significant resource but then ignoring them and (in Update 5) proposing new values (which look more like theological convictions and strategic priorities than values). But if the ‘Five Core Values’ really are our core values, shouldn’t they shape our deliberations?
So are they our core values? Without looking them up or reading further, can you name them? Try asking others in your church. If most of us can’t, they aren’t actually our core values. In which case, it’s no wonder they are absent from this conversation.