Sunday, July 25, 2004

TT: Well, tonnerre! Spiritual Baptists reached where we're going!

That's all we need, Sp. Baptists with Roman Church aspirations. Seems to me I see three popes here. Who'd a-thunk it?!!?!

Gimme the simpler days when Baptists weren't so cosquelle.

Prime Minister Patrick Manning called on Spiritual Baptists yesterday to take their rightful place in society.

"It is time for the Baptist faith to come out from underfoot," Manning said in his feature address at the Fourth International Convention of Spiritual Baptists at the Hilton Trinidad, Port-of-Spain.

"It is time to move up; it is time to get your engines rolling; it is time to harness your true potential.

"For any religious institution that can be so long-suffering and can suffer so much and still achieve as much for its followers can achieve a lot more on their behalf," he added.

Manning urged Baptist leaders to take that "quantum leap" that would ensure their economic advancement and empowerment.

The PM warned, however, that there were no easy fixes to achieving their goals.

The convention, which ends tomorrow, is entitled: Spiritual Baptists: Leaders in The Transformation and Development of Society.
The problem with Manning's address is that it is a political message to a spiritual body whose belief and practice embraces the theology of the Cross, rather than the theology of glory which is rampant amongst many Christians today. That "name it and claim it" mantra, that "too blessed to be stressed" idiocy is not part of the the faith's theology, historically. However, who knows what's being preached anymore?

My sole desire is for Sp. Baptists to focus on and articulate a Christian theology that is consistent with the teaching and practice of the Church historical, and that is expressed in word and deed without counting the cost. Papal beanies and wondrous robes of gilded fabric are not part of it. But, different strokes.

Politics is all well and good; however, the Church is of what Martin Luther of blessed memory calls the kingdom of the right, and politics of the kingdom of the left. Neither function according to the same imperatives. So, these Sp. Baptists addressed by Manning have to decide to which kingdom they belong, bearing in mind that we are pilgrim travelers seeking an heavenly city whose builder and maker is God.


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