Texas Baptist Forum

Texas Baptist Forum

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Poverty & values

It is shameful our country is failing to reduce significantly the increasing numbers of people living in poverty. When it comes to working for the common good and fighting poverty, there is no place for gridlock in Congress. Democrats, Republicans and Independents should unite in acknowledging we have a poverty problem and then address it unceasingly.

We, the people, of all religions or no religion, from Main Street to Wall Street are the government. If we are the “trusting in God” people our currency says we are, we will see that no person lives in poverty in the richest nation on earth.

The poor should not have to beg or ask for help. We should see the need and respond to it positively, because it is the right thing, the godly (loving) thing, to do. After all, every one of us, from the poorest to the richest, is on welfare, God’s dole.

Everything we are and have is gift from our most generous Creator who expects us also to be generous—on public and private levels. Yes, Cain and the rich man who daily ignored the beggar Lazarus, we are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers.

A former pastor of mine, the late John Claypool, said it well and simply in one of his books: “The real secret of human joy is sharing what we have with others rather than hoarding everything for ourselves.” Greed, or love of money, is not a kingdom of God value.

Paul L. Whiteley Sr.

Louisville, Ky.

 

God bless Broadway

I am sad Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth has withdrawn from the Baptist General Convention of Texas (Sept. 27). I understand Broadway’s frustration, being ousted by the Southern Baptist Convention. Some SBC zealots want control of your local Baptist church. Local-church autonomy, which is biblical and Baptist, is being wiped away.

I served on the 2008-09 BGCT Credentials Committee, which dealt with seating messengers from Broadway last year. I cannot speak for our committee, nor am I trying to do so. I believe our committee overwhelmingly affirmed Broadway’s autonomy, attempting to respect God’s voice through his messengers, and reaffirm the biblical mandate to love sinners without condoning sinful behavior.

At that time, we received a statement from Broadway’s deacons. It upheld biblical and Baptist views on homosexuality. I don’t believe Broadway crossed a line approving or promoting homosexuality.

I believe members of Southern Baptists of Texas churches pushed this effort, wanting to tear down BGCT ministries and churches. I believe that group has funneled some of your cooperative dollars from the SBC to undercut the BGCT and the autonomy of your local Baptist church.

While that group claims to hold a high view of God’s word, in my opinion, they seem to read and practice only selective parts of Scripture. If you only believe and practice parts of Scripture, do you really believe God’s word? Is that really a high view of Scripture?

My prayer is that God will bless Broadway in the ministries that God leads them.

Daniel Downey

Memphis

 

What do you think? Because we affirm the Baptist principle of the priesthood of all believers, we value hearing from our readers. Send letters to Editor Marv Knox by mail: P.O. Box 660267, Dallas 75266-0267; or by e-mail: marvknox@baptiststandard.com. Due to space considerations, limit letters to 250 words.

 

 

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Care to comment? Send an email to our interim opinion editor, Blake Atwood. Maximum length for publication is 250 words.