I'll Carry That Baggage
Some time ago I heard someone make the comment that they liked being a part of a certain non-Christian religious group because it was like the church without all the baggage. I found that phrase interesting and I did not have the opportunity to ask them what they meant by “baggage”. I began thinking about the “baggage” the church carries.
I wonder if that person was referring to the Abolitionist movement in our US history which was driven by churches and denominations. The Friends church was instrumental in that movement as were many others. Abolitionists in the US and England were driven by their Christian faith to abolish the sin of slavery. That drive continues to this day among churches engaged in fighting human trafficking. I’ll carry that baggage!
I also wondered if that person was referring to the establishment of hospitals, orphanages, and educational institutions largely by churches. In our own immediate area the Christ Hospital, Children’s Hospital, Bethesda and Mercy hospitals and a few universities were all established by denominations and churches. I do not have space to list them all because the list is quite long! I’ll carry that baggage!
I wondered if that person was referring to organizations like City Rescue Mission, Matthew 25 Ministries, and many others who help feed the poor, house the homeless and respond to disasters all because of their faith. I’ll carry that baggage!
I have only mentioned a few local ministries. I don’t have time to mention the organizations drilling wells to provide water for villages in Africa or those providing education and job training in developing countries or the significant relief ministries world-wide. There are simply too many to list.
So, I guess I fully agree with that person’s statement. The church does carry a lot of “baggage”. It’s baggage I’m happy to carry! How about you?
- Pastor Tim