Update; the 103 year old woman who was forced out of the church her family helped to found is now going back, as the "Holiness" pastor with whom she disagreed has left. Regrettably, he's leaving to found a new church and does not appear to have even seriously discussed the issue of whether holiness methods are appropriate in a Baptist church. My take--as a person who is convinced of Baptist distinctives but who shudders at a lot of the externally imposed rules we like (a trait shared with many holiness churches)--is that while I and my Baptist brethren often could use a shock from the cattle prod to get our hands out of our pockets and our feet un-nailed to the floor, there is yet another way to get there besides the holiness movement.
I've been, and remain, interested in the pietist movement and is founder, Philip Jakob Spener (and even own the Torah and History of the Berlenburger Bibel), but I think that things have gone to a point that neither Spener nor Scripture recommend. And I grieve for the situation this woman finds herself in. All too often, we seem to think that an acrimonious church split is our signal that we have the character and wisdom it takes to found a new church. (Hello? Is anyone in there?)
In other news, a Danish travel agency is offering would-be grandmothers the chance to buy a vacation for their childless children on the idea that if they can only get them on a beach with their loved one, that nature will take its course and grandchildren will result--making grandmothers joyful and Denmark prosperous.
But yes, party-pooper that I am, I have to be reminded that I seem to remember that Scandinavians seem to have had higher birth rates prior to the time they really started infesting Mediterranean beaches en masse, so it does not seem that sun and sand and a bikini (bottom at least, they're European of course) is truly a recipe for making babies. Rather, I'd have to suggest that when we live for our own pleasures--something that is at least compatible with the notion of spending a month on the beach in France or Greece every year--then sharing that pleasure with a demanding infant isn't going to be high on the "to do" list.
Never mind the absurdity of thinking that sand you-know-where, sunburn, and the general tiredness of travel are going to help a couple that's open to God's command to "be fruitful and multiply", if you catch my drift. I like vacations and the beach, but let's be serious here.
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