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Sometimes, people say bad things about CBF, CBF-affiliated churches, and CBF-friendly individuals. Here are some of my responses:

–The false teachers in the Bible are not the people who rely on God’s grace but the fundamentalists, the people who mistakenly believe they are perfectly obedient to God’s law.

–One-issue politics is not good politics, and one-issue theology is not good theology.

–You cannot “win” an argument with someone who begins with the premise that you and your friends are bad people.

–Some people say, “I’m tired of hearing about all that,” referring to religious controversy.  Remember that they don’t hear about whatever you are tired about in Iran or North Korea.

–There is a difference in what fundamentalists believe and what I believe, and I have no desire
to return to the bondage and fearfulness of an immature faith.

–Some people are wrong but they are never in doubt.

–“Jesus told us to love our enemies. He did not say we could avoid having enemies.”–William
Sloan Coffin

–Some denominations and churches that are distressed at the thought of harboring homosexuals
don’t think twice about harboring gossips or bigots.

–Some people draw a line in the sand, and in an effort to accommodate them, other people agree not to step over that line. Then they move 20 feet behind you and draw another line in the sand. In order not to offend them, you will need to back up 20 feet further and get behind the new line. You will never be good enough for such people!

–You can’t teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and frustrates the pig.

–When a person or a group does not satisfy the extreme 5 percent on the left or the extreme 5 percent on the right, maybe they are not in such a bad place after all.

–Why are moderates accused of splitting a church when they state their opinions, but fundamentalists can say any inflammatory thing they want and people will give in to
them? (Could it be because people suspect, based on past experience, that the moderate will be kind, compassionate and Christian in defeat, and the fundamentalist will be hurtful and hostile?)

–Theology by intimidation is bad theology.

–Diversity is biblical. Unity is biblical. Every part of the body of Christ is important. That is biblical.

–Inquisitions have been tried and have always failed—whether they were called witch hunts, heresy trials, or Jihad. Jesus said, “Judge not.”

–Many people react negatively out of fear. What they cannot control, they fear.

–The best thing you can do is to be a loving Christian.

Marion Aldridge is coordinator of CBF of South Carolina. This column appeared originally in the state CBF’s June newsletter and is used here with permission.

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