First, I fully meant to blog on these events each night I was here but have had problems with the internet each evening.
It was sad not to be able to report on what was happening…it was wonderful to be away from email for a couple days.
I wish I could have blogged each night so you could have each day’s unique reactions to what happened. As I sit at 1 AM in Atlanta it is hard to seperate out the days and various experiences.
I could give a play-by-play of each thing but it would be too convoluted and I don’t possess enough adjectives tonight to accurately describe all that has happened.
Overall here is my perception: It has been incredibly encouraging, freeing, and empowering to see such a large number of Baptists of all ages, races, and American geographies discussing how they can unite with one another. Just that was enough to draw me hear.
Forget the politics. Forget the supposed “agendas.” There are large numbers of young baptists here. The first night especially there was a certain “buzz” around this event that I have never felt at a Baptist “event” before.
For the first time in my short experience I have attended a Baptist gathering and have been excited and proud to be a Baptist. Too often I have cringed and/or rolled my eyes at the happenings of Baptist gatherings.
Critics will find the holes in the event. The attendance tonight was noticably down from the previous night. Lindsay Graham backed out at the last minute. A few potshots were taken at the Republican Party and the SBC. But none of these obvious and narrow critiques note anything about the spirit of the event.
Overwhelmingly the themes have been justice, unity, and reconciliation which are not matters of politics but of faith.
It has been uplifting and inspiring in the deepest sense. Those that chose to not to be involved in this event missed out on something special. On a macro-level, those who cannot see the promise this event holds and who choose not to be involved might truly deserve to be left in extremist isolation. I do intend love in that statement. For what it also says is that every single person and organization on a micro and macro-level who can rise above non-essential differences for the sake of the Kingdom are invited to the table.
As I reflect more in the coming days I will try to write more specifically about certain happenings and impressions. If you have questions about the event please ask them.