Thursday, February 01, 2007

Break Forth Redux

I know that some of my colleagues get all bent out of shape over Break Forth Christian Conference. Some say that it’s too conservative; that it caters to a certain style of evangelicalism that is too far removed from how we, as Lutherans, understand our faith.

But there was, and usually are some good things for those of us who swing to the left. Tony Campolo challenged us to live the Sermon on the Mount more faithfully, asking out loud how Christians can support the war in Iraq, the death penalty, and not support more global hunger initiatives. He even went so far as to say that Christians shouldn’t drive BMWs while so many in the world can’t even feed themselves. In an affluent crowd, that took some brass.

Bill Easum had some good things to say about church leadership. While I found him basking too glowingly in his grouchy old man routine, he shared some valuable insights from the scriptures that could apply Jesus’ style of leadership to congregational life.

The only clunker of a main speaker, in my opinion, was Kay Arthur. She treaded the line between biblical faithfulness and biblical idolatry, and often slipped over to the latter. She seemed to be saying that we should still be obeying the Old Testament Law because it’s the “Word of God” and the Word of God never changes because God’s mind never changes. She went on from there to say that God’s judgment was coming to America because they have broken God’s Law. She identified the usual suspects: homosexual, pro-choice folks, the fact that there’s no prayer in schools. But she was suspiciously quiet about the rich and the folks who supported and still support the war in Iraq (see Campolo).

All in all, I was glad I went, as I was glad I went last year. As one Lutheran colleague, who I ran into there, said, “You take what’s good and leave the rest.”

I think that’s what I’ll do.

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