Texas Baptist Forum

United we stand’

It was so refreshing to read the article about Stephen Colbert’s testimony before Congress (Oct. 25), especially after so much criticism was directed his way.

So many seemed to have missed Colbert’s reference to Jesus’ concern for “the least among us” and his desire to reach out to them.

Isn’t it a sad commentary on where we are in America now with so much anger and hatred in the air that it is left to two comedians with a rally—to restore sanity and/or fear—to bridge this chasm back to some wisdom and understanding?

Hatred and fear divide, and love, once again, will unite us.

“United se stand; divided we fall” are not just empty words, but full of promise and hope and destiny.

Mary Burleson

El Paso


Texas Baptist ForumDeism & Founders

Contrary to the assertion that “half (the Founding Fathers) were biblical Christians, while the rest were deists or nonorthodox,” if deism is a belief that there is a Creator but he does not intervene in the affairs of men, none of the Founding Fathers fit that description.

Jefferson and Franklin, oft cited as the least-religious of our founders, both claimed to be Christians, regularly attended Christian worship and supported Christian churches and missions. Even Thomas Paine believed in Providence (a God who intervenes in the affairs of men and nations, to whom all will one day give account) and supported Intelligent Design in science class, condemning as foolish teaching the laws of science without teaching about their Creator.

The Northwest Ordinance, the first legislation under the Constitution, required territories applying for statehood to provide schools to “promote religion, morality and knowledge.” Benjamin Rush, father of American education, lobbied for government-funded education, saying Congress could spend billions on police and prisons or teach children to read the Bible.

Faith in and obedience to God was considered a matter of homeland security. It was unconstitutional until the 20th century for government to fund a school or university in which the Bible was not taught.

Brian Burgess



Grape by any other name

In the Old Testament, there was not a name for grape juice other than wine. Grape juice had the name of “new wine.”

“So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine” (Proverbs 3:10).

Presses squeezed grapes that were not fermented. Grape juice was a blessing of God and like manna was good for only a while.

“Woe to him that gives his neighbors drink … making them drunk, in order to look at their nakedness” (Habakkuk 2:15). This is a warning against using wine as a weapon to manipulate someone.

Weapons hurt, mangle, and kill. Wine has the potential of making a person drunk, and binge drinking leads to death. This weapon would be labeled poison.

“Don’t gaze at the wine, seeing how red it is, how it sparkles in the cup, how smoothly it goes down. For in the end it bites like a poisonous snake; it stings like a viper” (Proverbs 23:31-32).

Would Jesus make a “weapon of poison” to “sting” the wedding party, or would he give the “blessings of God” with freshly squeezed grapes?

Rex Ray



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