A Higher Way: Pastoral Letter from Genl Secy Lee Spitzer

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A Higher Way: Pastoral Letter from Genl Secy Lee Spitzer

Postby Haruo » Thu Feb 01, 2018 1:49 pm

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 2/1/18)—American Baptist Churches USA General Secretary Rev. Dr. Lee B. Spitzer published a pastoral letter today entitled, “A Higher Way: American Baptists and Our Neighbors.” Click to access the full letter
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Re: A Higher Way: Pastoral Letter from Genl Secy Lee Spitzer

Postby KeithE » Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:29 am

Good article Haruo! Some quotes about America today:
What are we witnessing? A lack of civility in both discourse and behavior cuts across all strata of our society, and extends even to the Presidency itself. Prejudice and xenophobia threaten to become policy, in ways that are not only unjust, but destructive of basic American core values. Immigrants are seen as a threat and not a blessing. Racism, rightly considered “America’s original sin,” has reared its ugly head in too many disturbing ways. The January 2018 shut-down of our federal government symbolizes the polarization and dysfunction of our political institutions. Schools suffer violence, and innocent children are murdered. Politicians, celebrities, newscasters, sports stars, doctors, and yes, even clergy, have been guilty of sexual harassment and abuse. Months after hurricanes devastated Puerto Rico, much of the island has no electrical power, while traffic lights, thousands of homes and many church buildings still require repair.


Each one of the issues raised above deserves thoughtful consideration and prophetic response, but in this letter, I wish to address an underlying theme that may provide our leaders and churches with a perspective by which to faithfully address all of them.
In brief, our culture suffers from a form of spiritual amnesia. Having forgotten or ignored the Baptist and biblical core conviction of the infinite worth of every human being because we are all made in God’s image.


What to do?

In regard to our witness concerning racism, I encourage all American Baptists to travel to Washington DC for a potentially historic religious service and demonstration on April 4, 2018, in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the death of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Denominations and organizations from across the theological spectrum are coming together to affirm that we believe in an America that exemplifies racial justice and harmony. I will be there, and I hope American Baptists will support this ecumenical affirmation that all Americans are our neighbors. For more information, see http://rally2endracism.org/.


In response to the status of undocumented immigrants, I would remind us that many are members of American Baptist churches all across the country. They are our sisters and brothers. Seek them out, love them, express solidarity with them, demonstrate compassion and care. Although legitimate differences of opinion exist amongst us regarding immigration policy, I would encourage us to support the continuation of the legal visa status of Haitian, Central American and other temporary legal immigrants. We can encourage Congress and the President to extend a pathway to legal status and eventual citizenship to children who came to the United States with their parents, and who may now face either deportation or separation from their parents. If our neighbors are loved by God, we must embrace them regardless of their legal status, remembering that Abraham’s offspring were immigrants in Egypt, and that Jesus himself was an immigrant whose family had to flee persecution.
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Re: A Higher Way: Pastoral Letter from Genl Secy Lee Spitzer

Postby Jim » Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:40 am

KeithE wrote:
Spitzer: In regard to our witness concerning racism, I encourage all American Baptists to travel to Washington DC for a potentially historic religious service and demonstration on April 4, 2018, in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the death of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


That's all we need, another glorious guilt trip laid upon ourselves by ourselves in the shadow of the three-story-high statue of MLK conceived, sculpted and delivered by a Chinese sculptor known for his majestic statues of Mao, to which the MLK monstrosity (by its bigness) bears a remarkable likeness. By contrast, the "statue" of FDR is merely life-size and if Lincoln were standing instead of sitting he would be about half as tall as MLK. Resurrection Day (Easter) is on April Fools Day, so why not just combine "commemoration" of both Christ (no statue on the Mall) and MLK in a great outpouring of worship of both?
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Re: A Higher Way: Pastoral Letter from Genl Secy Lee Spitzer

Postby KeithE » Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:49 am

Jim wrote:
KeithE wrote:
Spitzer: In regard to our witness concerning racism, I encourage all American Baptists to travel to Washington DC for a potentially historic religious service and demonstration on April 4, 2018, in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the death of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


That's all we need, another glorious guilt trip laid upon ourselves by ourselves in the shadow of the three-story-high statue of MLK conceived, sculpted and delivered by a Chinese sculptor known for his majestic statues of Mao, to which the MLK monstrosity (by its bigness) bears a remarkable likeness. By contrast, the "statue" of FDR is merely life-size and if Lincoln were standing instead of sitting he would be about half as tall as MLK. Resurrection Day (Easter) is on April Fools Day, so why not just combine "commemoration" of both Christ (no statue on the Mall) and MLK in a great outpouring of worship of both?


Racism is still in play.
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Re: A Higher Way: Pastoral Letter from Genl Secy Lee Spitzer

Postby Haruo » Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:24 am

I was very happy to see a decent singing version of the Negro National Anthem is now available in Spanish.

Have a love-drenched chocolatey Ash Wednesday and a penitent St. Valentine's Day!
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Re: A Higher Way: Pastoral Letter from Genl Secy Lee Spitzer

Postby Jim » Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:30 pm

KeithE wrote:
Racism is still in play.

It's very unkind of you to speak of Spitzer in that way, although he has been suckered into yet another display of pandering to a minority. The whole country (at least normal, civil people) is being held hostage constantly by these minorities, who have learned that well-intended whites are so gullible that they'll fall for anything, especially guilt-trips of one kind or another.
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