Brian Ammons’ got his chapter banned from the Baptimergent book & here it is for you and your friends for FREE!! Here’s the story….
Smyth & Helwys, the press whose primary market is the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, published the first book of a hyphenated emergent collection – Baptimergent. It was an excellent book with all types of Baptists collected together including Southern, American, Alliance, Cooperative, Liberal, Conservative, Dudes, Ladies, Black, White, Democrats, Republicans, and even Hauerwasians!!! For some reason Smyth & Helwys thought it would be ok for them to have a chapter calling out most Baptist churches as having an idolatrous love of our country or economic blinders to the message of justice in scripture and other such seemingly controversial issues BUT should an ordained gay baptist minister tell his story without obligating the reader to agree with him it gets cut for being ‘Too Gay.’
That banned chapter was written by Brian Ammons whose Big Tent legend continues to grow! When those of us who also contributed chapters found out his chapter wasn’t going to be published we were very disappointed and considered dropping the project all together. That said I guess we weren’t surprised. Being a very proud Baptist, one of the things that continuously embarrasses me is NOT our fundamentalist cousins in the SBC but the uber-wussy “moderate” Baptists who basically pretend to be radically different than their SBC friends because they ordain women (and hire very few of them). I have long hoped for a Baptist community that is a big enough fellowship to permit every disciple of Jesus to be present, honest, and then encouraged to take the next step in their faith. When issues intimately connected to the heart of faith for us more progressive baptists comes up we are usually told by leaders two things….1)we agree with you! 2)don’t speak so loud… I get how this is pragmatic if you want to keep a bunch of people in your churches, denominational fellowship, giving money, supporting ministries, and such. I just find this pragmatic muzzle burdensome and only an expectation of us more progressive types. I don’t see Jesus using a muzzle to get a bigger audience, John the BAPTIST (lol) didn’t, Clarence Jordan sure didn’t, Walter Rauschenbusch didn’t…..any way.
I hope you download THIS ARTICLE, read it, enjoy it, discuss it, and share it! Of course it would be awesome if you got the Baptimergent book too but I can’t say I wouldn’t be thrilled to think even more people got the banned article and enjoyed it.