Category Archives: Southern Baptist Convention

Why Christians Should Vote (from SBC’s ERLC Brochure by Dwayne Hastings)

Christians should vote because
Jesus tells us in the Bible to be a
part of the process, not apart
from it.

Jesus commands His followers to involve
themselves in the culture as “salt”
and “light”—bearing the purifying and
enlightening force of Scripture—to
impact society for good and for God
(Matt. 5:13-16). Informed Christians
base their views, and thus their electoral
preferences, on the wisdom they
gain from study of God’s Word and
prayer. It is a Christian’s obligation to
offer up a Bible-based agenda for the
common good.

Christians should vote because
our liberties were secured by
the blood of our forbearers in
faith early in our nation’s history
and have been preserved by the
vigilance of brave men and women
who time and time again have
defended our freedoms.

When we exercise our right to vote, we
acknowledge our gratefulness for the
sacrifice of those who have gone before
us. When Christ-followers decline to
be involved in the political process,
our voice is weakened and our ability
to bring biblically based views into the
policy arena may be eroded.

John Adams, our nation’s second
president, wrote to his wife Abigail in
1775: “It is Religion and Morality alone
which can establish the principles upon
which freedom can freely stand. A
patriot must be a religious man.”
Christians should vote because
Jesus urged His followers to
give back to Caesar the things
that are Caesar’s (Luke 20:19-26).

Voting is a means by which all citizens,
including Christians, exercise their
civic responsibilities under the rights
guaranteed in a democracy. In doing
so, Christians are acting in obedience
to the Lord’s command. While as
Americans we do not have an emperor
to whom homage is due, we do have a
Constitution within which is made clear
our right to have a participatory republic.

For a Christian to sit on his hands
during an election is an unconscionable
breach of Christ’s command.
Christians should vote because
Scripture compels us to voice
our biblically derived convictions
at the ballot box, as well as
through the mailbox and atop the
soapbox.

“For it is God’s will that you silence the
ignorance of foolish people by doing
good” (1 Pet. 2:15). As Christians, we
should be informed voters, not voting a
“party line” or simply in accordance with
another’s prescribed agenda. Christians
are to look beyond the campaign rhetoric
and artful posturing to uncover the
true policy positions of the candidates.
Christians should vote because
the innocent, the indigent,
and the unborn need a
defender.

“Mankind, He has told you what is
good and what it is the LORD requires
of you: to act justly, to love faithfulness,
and to walk humbly with your God”
(Micah 6:8). We are standing squarely
on Scripture when we support candidates
who advocate public policy that
protects innocent human life, cares
for the oppressed, and provides equal
justice for the accused.

Christians should vote because
as we exercise our civic right
we have the opportunity to
advocate policy positions that
signal our faith in the providential
care of God.

We exhibit our trust in God as we support
candidates whose public policy positions
may not directly benefit us but
offer relief to others in greater need.
“Set your minds on what is above, not
on what is on the earth” (Col. 3:2).
Our positions on the issues may
run counter to the whims of the population
at large as we emphasize policies
that address the needs of others,
placing our own interests subservient
to the public good. Since our neighbors
may well take notice of our selflessness,
we are witnessing to our abiding
faith in God.

Christians should vote because
as we involve ourselves in the
electoral and public policy
process, we pray for our leaders.
Because Jesus has charged us to carry
our faith into the public square, we bear
a necessary obligation to both pray for
our leaders and plead for policy that is
undergirded by scriptural principles.
“First of all, then, I urge that petitions,
prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings
be made for everyone, for kings and all
those who are in authority, so that we
may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all
godliness and dignity” (1 Tim. 2:1-2).

About these ads

My Reply to Baptist 21

I am African-American. I was ordained in a church that was National Baptist (for those who don’t know, National Baptist can include one of four conventions – National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.; National Baptist Convention of America, Inc. International; National Missionary Baptist Convention of America; and Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc.) and SBC. Matter of fact, I went to SBC schools initially, through extension opportunities in my home area.

Having said all of that, you are right on target. I have pastored four congregations – two have been SBC/National Baptist; two – National Baptist only. I have even held positions in the African-American Fellowship in my state and held a Vice President role in a state convention). There was always a “tug” by National and independent baptists for our churches to leave SBC because of the perception that it was not a productive partnership, instead it was sharecropping (their words not mine).

I had an associate minister that was up in age and I put him up to preach during our early morning worship. I had arrived late and was in my Study preparing for the Sunday School and second Worship service. One of my deacons ran to the office and said “Pastor, you better come to the worship and hear this sermon.” I came in and walked into the pulpit and the minister stopped, looked at me, said “Good morning Pastor. And now back to my sermon, ‘Why God Doesn’t Want Our Church in the Southern Baptist Convention…”

It was heart-wrenching and humiliating.

Anglo brothers don’t know the pressure. Our deacons hang out with deacons of all denominational stripe. So do our ministers and church officers. When Richard Land spoke, it was the shot heard around the world, because of the PERCEPTION that when he speaks, he speaks on behalf of the SBC. ERLC has the PERCEPTION of being the mouthpiece of SBC life. SBC is the only convention in the world where the President is overshadowed by an auxiliary in terms of spokesman. Honestly, ERLC is the bigger problem – it should be dissolved.

Honestly, I’ve seen the SBC growth stats. If you take out the non-anglo churches out of the mix, the statistics would be frightening. There are very few persons of color in the SBC administrative side of things across the world. I remember saying once that while groups are off to the side meeting, the real decisions are being made in the session. I had the feeling that we weren’t welcome into discussions concerning SBC life.

If I had a congregation that was SBC at present, I’d be part of the group that would remove from SBC. The PERCEPTION is that we’re not wanted, other than for statistical purposes (my opinion). I admit I was furious when I first heard this. I refuse to label the incident as racist. Boneheaded, yes. Racist, no. But the PERCEPTION from all of our people, who have a social vested interest in the Martin tragedy is that the original words cannot be erased by a written crafted apology. If he said it publicly, he should retract it publicly. That’s why many of us don’t think it’s sincere.

Healing and reconciliation need to take place. SBC or GCB needs to signal a new era with a strong stance against statements like the ones that Dr. Land put forward as a spokesman for SBC. Otherwise, it’s business as usual and you’ll see not only a decline in African-American churches, but Hispanic churches, Asian churches, etc. and SBC/GCB will become insignificant and a stain on the religious fabric of the nation.

THE WIRE

by Pastor Robert Earl Houston

H.B. Charles Jr.

About life, preaching, church, books, and other stuff.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,462 other followers