Brent Newberry, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Worchester, MA has a deep conversation with Jonathan about being a Southern in a Northern context.
The Deep Conversation
While on the one hand we are one nation, we are one people, on the other there are regional differences that can be found across our country. The difference between Northern (specifically New England) and Southern goes beyond how one drinks one’s tea. There are cultural cues that can be overlooked, expectations and assumptions that can complicate things, and speech patterns and accents. Yet, like a fish not being aware of water, we may not be aware of our cultural assumptions and practices if they are all that we know. Thus having Brent, an outsider of sorts to the New England culture, can be a great opportunity to get a sense of what it is like to be a Christian in New England, or an American Baptist or any other kind of Baptist.
On the deeper and broader level we should ask ourselves if we have a Christian accent and culture. It is very easy to become so comfortable in our context that we can lose our accent, our culture as Christians. It can become very ease to slip into a way of speaking that makes sense to everyone else, but that cannot be understood as a specifically Christian way of speaking and being.
In addition to this, there are different ways of being Christian depending on the church, the context, and many other elements. We need outsiders to give us a good sense of who we are.
Next Episode – Cheryl Harris – we read books, the book of Ruth, and get angry about self-care