By Andy Hale
Pastors face a tremendous challenge in our current religious climate. An essential question must be asked, “Do I speak my theological convictions on the growing injustices in America or do I preach a catchy sermon on the safe lectionary text with a few cute illustrations and three simple points?”
The answer to this question has consequences.
If a pastor chooses the former, he or she could find themselves in a hotbed of riled select members, the scapegoat for a mass exodus of members, or faced with the unfortunate task of updating his or her résumé.
If a pastor chooses the latter, he or she could find themselves leading an apathetic, compassionless, or Gospel-irrelevant congregation.
“What began as a quiet rebellion of mourners soon grew into a movement that inspired collective, ‘embodied’ noncompliance with the status quo,” said Robin Meyers, author of Spiritual Defiance and CBF Podcast guest. He added, “Vertical and hierarchical religion was ‘flattened’ by a horizontal and democratic egalitarianism: woman speak and lead, half-breeds finding a place at the table…Tribalism was trumped by joy.”
For the last 32 years, Robin Meyers has pastored Mayflower Congregational Church in Oklahoma City. He has authored seven books, including Saving Jesus From the Church and Spiritual Defiance. He is the Distinguished Professor of Social Justice in the Philosophy Department at Oklahoma City University.
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CBF’s podcast shares stories from across the Fellowship and innovative practices of those working to renew God’s world. The vision is to share ideas, stories, and innovations from ministers, authors, and practitioners.
Andy Hale serves as pastor of University Baptist Church in Baton Rouge, La., and as CBF Podcast Host. Follow on Twitter @haleandy