As a follow up to the post below about what kind of Baptist I am:
I went on a mission trip to Russia several years ago with a group of Baptists from Washington, DC. We were visiting some of the churches in Moscow to discuss potential partnerships and one of the pastors scored tickets to the Bolshoi theatre for an opera called “The Czar’s Bride.” They were really good tickets. We ended up in box seats just one box away from where the czar himself used to sit.
As we were settling into our seats and taking in the opulence of that majestic theatre I noticed a man wearing the purple shirt and the clerical collar of a bishop. I asked him about it and he said he was a Luthern bishop from Seattle. “What about you? he asked. “We’re all Baptists from Washington, DC,” I answered. “What kind of Baptists?” he asked, and I sighed. I’m sure he meant well but I hear that question so often, and often it is from people who want to pigeonhole in me in some way, who want to make up their minds about me on the basis of some religious stereotype. So I took a quick look around at that impressive place, and all of us sitting there, waiting for the opera to begin. And I said:
“We’re opera-going Baptists.”