I need not comment because I’ll leave that to you. Enjoy!
I read each and every comment on your post yesterday related to my letter to you. I appreciated the thoughtfulness of each writer. Only at Jesus Creed could this issue be discussed with as much civility as it was. I was deeply impressed by that, and noted how much easier it was to pay attention to opinions different from mine when they were spoken with a kind heart.
For my part, I am ashamed of my own lack of knowledge related to the abortion wars in this country, as well as many issues related to racial discrimination and its tragic consequences. So, I have begun a personal educational process that may last for quite some time.
One note: I did locate a book that is helping me to gain an historical (and pretty balanced) perspective on the legal, ethical, and moral issues related to abortion in America. Cynthia Gorney is a former Washington Post reporter who has written a compelling, 500-page history called Articles of Faith. I encourage anyone who has no knowledge of this issue from an historical perspective to read it. At the very least … an eye-opening, and even compelling read.
I also wanted to update you on what has happened at our church and to really give God glory on this one!
I had a thoughtful, brief conversation with the lead pastor in which I expressed much of what I wrote in my letter to you (see blog posting of January 14).
Our discussion was thoughtful, kind, humble, quiet, prayerful and good, and focused mainly on the unintended, but very clear message a church gives when it chooses to honor “sanctity of life” Sunday, but completely ignores Martin Luther King Day. We also focused on developing a more complete, working definition of “sanctity of life” issues.
Instead of using the video with the unborn baby in the background, a written statement will be read by one of our leaders while a montage of human faces and experiences plays on the screen in the background.
We will not only address the abortion issue, but also the number of folks dying every day across this world from the AIDS virus, the number of children dying daily from hunger-related issues, the number of children dying daily from lack of clean water and basic inmunizations, to name a few.
In the same reading, Martin Luther King Day will be celebrated for the first time. Racism and all its resultant tragedies will be noted and we will repent for neglecting the day for so long. Dr. King’s “I have a dream” speech will be quoted from and we will declare our desire to fully partner with God in our community and beyond as we pray, “Thy will be done …” in all these arenas.
I tell you this story by way of a thank you to you for encouraging me to not be silent, but to speak up with courage and compassion. I also want Jesus Creed readers to hear that churches can work through issues like this in a kind and civil way. We can give this world a glimpse of God’s heart without joining in the politically charged polarization process that appears to do nothing to actually solve the problems. We can speak about abortion and racism in the same 5 minutes, because they both break God’s heart.
But somebody, somehow, somewhere … has to speak up. And somebody else has to find the courage and the grace to listen, even when the topic is volatile. And both sides need to look for common ground, for it is there that we usually find God’s heart.
God can bridge these divides and actually begin to mobilize his people to cease arguing and begin the work that needs to be done, in His name, for His purposes, for the sake of His kingdom.
Thank your readers for me. It is with a joyful, grateful heart that I look forward to teaching and worshipping this Sunday.