I know they're Baptist..I KNEW that they were Baptists, but I kept telling myself, "They're in Marin County. How conservative can they be?"
Well, the answer is basically as conservative as you could expect Bapists to be. I wasn't expecting to hear it, especially considering how laid back these people seem, but the pastor delivered a full-fledged "Fire and Brimestone" sermon today. For those that don't know what that means, the liberal Protestant way of describing these types of sermons are "Turn or Burn" sermons. In other words, he was saying, "If you don't already accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you better convert right now or you might go to hell." Seriously.
This highlights the fundamental difference between Baptist faith and Presbyterian faith. What Baptists teach is that it is each person's individual responsibility to "believe," meaning they essentially have to do the work of saving themselves. Presbyterians teach that God is the one that moves in individuals to allow them to believe. Even as I write this, I am aware of how this contradicts my own beliefs, but that is not the point of this particular blog entry.
To get to the point, I don't like "Turn or Burn" sermons. I don't like it when someone threatens you with an eternal damnation in their effort to convert you. I don't think that is what we are supposed to do... but again, it boils down to a difference in theology. I appreciate that they are doing it out of love because of their very real fear for what could happen to your immortal soul.
And then (just when you thought perhaps it wasn't so bad), he criticized how society accepting homosexuality as a part of life saying, "That's just the way it is," lumping it together with adultery. How are these two things even in the same ballpark?
Saturday should be interesting.