Thursday, August 04, 2005

Just-Us Sunday: I'll Wager There Are Many More Mansions In Heaven Than 6,800

Don't have my VIP seat at Just Us Sunday II reserved yet, but I'm playing with the idea of running over to Donelson for the counter-demonstration. Americans United for the Separation of Church and State reports that its Executive Director, Barry Lynn will be in Nashville to attend the counter-demonstration.

I am still stoked by the Tennessean's front-page article on Two Rivers Baptist Church, which is hosting Just-Us Sunday II the weekend after next. While a 6,800-member church may impress the so-called "mainstream" media, it's not necessarily impressive in terms of faith. It seems to me that as a church grows larger, the probability of false reliance on the group rather than on faith increases. The pastoral corollary is: as the pastor grows his church and his public reputation larger, the probability of quantity of memberships replacing quality of faith as a priority increases.

Two Rivers Baptist Church has achieved a great deal of power and influence thanks to its size and its pastor's stature. But what if it gains the whole world but loses its soul? As Pastor Jerry Sutton flexes his political muscle, he would do well to remember the words of the great Oxford Jesuit historian, Frederick Copleston, who wrote:

The man or the nation who is possessed by unbridled lust for self-assertion is driven head-long into reckless self-confidence and so to destruction. Blind passion breeds self-confidence, and overweening self-confidence ends in ruin.
--A History of Philosophy, Volume I: Greece and Rome, p. 19

The rest of us would do well to recall that Copleston made that statement in the context of the arrogant Athenian will that declared through Thucydides, "[W]e both alike know that ... the question of justice only enters where the pressure of necessity is equal, and that the powerful exact what they can and the weak grant what they must."

There will be a lot of powerful people inside the Two Rivers sanctuary doing some mighty strong exacting at Just-Us Sunday II.

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