I grew up Baptist.
I was down with the dc Talk. I went the distance with Geoff Moore. I wore a WWJD bracelet and a fresh-off-the-shelves-of-LifeWay Kerusso t-shirt. I helped Larry find his hairbrush and was a part of the great cartoon revival led by Chris Rice. McGee knew me well, and I'm pretty sure I was the first person in the Bible Belt to beat all 21 levels of that Noah’s Ark-based Nintendo game.
I'm still Baptist.
But my faith has progressed a lot over the years. Life changes, exposure to diversity, late-night caffeinated conversations, and hours in prayer and study have left me deconstructing and reconstructing my faith like a middle-class suburban dad who spends too much time at Home Depot. I've come to hate labels, but it's safe to say I'm now a much more "progressive" Christian.
Some might argue this makes me less Baptist. I would argue it makes more.
Two key values in the Baptist tradition are the priesthood of the believer and the autonomy of the local church. Other words, believers and churches get to independently work out their beliefs. Where other denominations have archdioceses or bishops or presbyteries, Baptists don't. Historically, we've always been a little rebellious. Nobody tells us what we have to believe!
So deciding what I believe on my own without someone telling me what I have to believe? That sounds pretty damn Baptist if you ask me.