Tuesday, September 15, 2015

She's got the right idea

Genora Hamm Biggs of Elberton, Georgia, has been expelled from her lifelong church (she became a member at age 11) because she objected to the pastor's use of Holiness Church methods in preaching, which apparently include a fair amount of hootin', hollerin', and something that might be called "holy fainting".  Now no disrespect intended to those who tend to a "Holiness" perspective, but Mrs. Biggs is correct that Baptists do not historically allow Charismatic distinctives in their assemblies, and those that do tend to hold those expressions in what they consider a fairly strict Biblical context--meaning that prophets who say things that aren't true find themselves disciplined, tongues must be interpreted, and the like.

Now I am certain that this is tough for Mrs. Biggs--apparently her family physically moved the original building to its current site and contributed greatly to its upkeep and improvement--but theologically speaking, she's got the right idea.  If you disagree with Baptist distinctives, that's fine, but please have the decency to do so in a church that agrees with your position.

And for that matter, this case shows a very real problem in "fundagelical-pentamatic" circles in general; the tendency to use emotional appeals in lieu of actual discipleship.  These emotional appeals can generate a lot of decisions and temporary numbers, but it does not have the multigenerational staying power of a more reasoned approach--note that Billy Sunday's sons both rejected the faith and became a huge embarrassment to Sunday and his organization. 

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