My family and I are back from rubbing elbows with Baptist messengers and Disney characters in Orlando. The first half of the week was filled with long sessions of heated debates. The second was occupied by short rides and heated buses. I am glad to report Minnie and Mickey are still a couple and Southern Baptists are still united.
We voted, at the convention not at the theme park, to elect a mission minded conservative pastor as our president. We passed the recommendations from the Great Commission Task Force that will eventually get more resources to our missionaries and more missionaries in the field by reducing the amount of money going to administrative overhead.
At the park I was also pleased to observe that God was not omitted from the premises. I have often heard that good Christians should oppose Disney because of that very reason. I found that to be less than accurate. While my son and I were listening to a Bee Gees cover band perform at Epcot, an event occurred that blessed my soul. (They were the "Staying Alive" band and awesome by the way.) A storm hit suddenly and we all dashed for cover like drowning rats. Andy and I found our way into the U.S. exhibit just before the show was to begin. We stayed and got dry. I fully expected Divine providence and any mention of God to be absent from the program. Nothing could be more untrue. Several times during the 30 minute program the animated characters and narrators mentioned the role of God and faith in the formation and prosperity of America. It seems Disney writers had not taken God's hand out of history as many textbook writers do today.
One other thing the church could learn from Disney World. Millions of people come to the parks each year from all over the world. Yet not one bathroom was a mess or out of paper. The dining rooms were clean and well stocked. Each "cast member" wished you a "magical day" when you left and a "welcome home" when you returned. While one may complain about the prices, it is difficult to find fault with the quality. HEY CHURCH! We are not about amusement but we are in the business of eternity and men's souls! Why can't we make the effort to offer the best environment, the most gracious people, and the most compelling story ever told to as many people as possible. Mickey and Minnie may help take your mind off your troubles for a while, but Jesus has offered to carry them for you. And when God calls us home Dumbo can only get you as far as his wings can take you, but those of us who believe will be carried away by His angels. Isn't that something to get excited about?