When asked how they guard themselves against bitterness, both reflected on their experiences of leaving the SBC.
“Well, I’m just gonna sound corny,” said Beth, “but…the Lord is still faithful, if you’ll stick it out with him.” She went on to emphasize the importance of keeping “your ear to the page and your knees to the ground,” a reference to Scripture reading and prayer.
Russell noted that he has less of a problem with bitterness and more of a problem with idealizing the past. He said, “A big issue is I will feel guilty for leaving where I left.”
“It really is hard not to belong, so I will convince myself that the bad things never happened,” he added.
Beth later said, “One of the things that will be so helpful to many of us is that if we’re going to judge the state of things by social media, I mean, we’re gonna want to jump off of something.”
“But go small,” she continued. “Find a place to maybe volunteer in a shelter or see what people are doing that aren’t on social media at all. They’re just serving people, just helping people…you’ll figure out that there are so many people that just genuinely love Jesus.”
When asked what gives them hope for the future of the church, both Beth and Russell emphasized the power of Jesus to change lives.
“Jesus is faithful, and he is going to build his church, and he is going to purify his church. He’s going to do his job,” Beth said. “Of that I am certain.”
Russell pointed to the continued growth of Christianity throughout the world, saying, “The gospel is continuing to go forward and to move.”