America in Crimson Red, The Baptist History of America by James R. Beller, Prairie Fire Press, 2004. This is my second read of this book. It's very good and fast paced. Although full of information it is good reading. It devotes considerable time to great black preachers and to long forgotten heroes of the faith. There is just one problem I have with it. Like all books written by preachers except for Dr. Ruckman's church history series, it focuses on preachers. The backbone of Christianity is the people, the body of Christ on earth, the church. So, what about them? What about people who have victory over sin every day? What about people who gave a significant part of their meager earnings to support a church or missionaries? What about people who stood up for Christ and lost jobs, government positions, military rank because of their stand? What about laymen who led people to Christ? I am seeing Nicolaitanism, something Jesus says He hates, victory over the laity.
I see a dark strain in American fundamentalism. It is a denial of the power of God on anyone's life but a preacher's or a missionary's. Something is wrong. I just listened to or tried to listen to several sermons today by various preachers and not one of them gave their congregation something that they could use to their benefit and to the glory of God every single day. Not one of them stressed for their congregation Bible reading, Bible memorization, and Bible study. No, it was just, come to me to get fed, and don't worry about feeding yourself. Something is terribly wrong. You are to be a Christian 24/7, not just on Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night.
How could a child grow if his or her parents only fed them three times a week? There is something dreadfully wrong with Christianity today.
But, this book is a must read for any Baptist Christian in America.