- October 25, 2012
It's almost the end of October already, and I'm surprised we aren't seeing more letters to the editor and emails complaining about the imaginary "war on Christmas."
I never cease to be amazed at how many Christians see nothing wrong with using religion to gain money or political power.
This morning, I received an email from a Baptist acquaintance and former fellow church member extolling the Catholic faith. Why is he so enamored with Catholics? Some Catholic groups have aligned themselves with the same political goals as my Baptist friend. My mind moved back in time to the election of 1960 when my Baptist pastor told me he didn't like my bumper sticker because the presidential candidate I supported was Catholic.
Within the past year, some individuals and groups were loudly pronouncing their dislike of former Gov. Mitt Romney because he is a Mormon. Now, these same folks seem to think Gov. Romney walks on water. I will not vote for Romney, but it has nothing to do with his religion. The only Republican candidate formerly in the race who was qualified to be president also is a Mormon.
I know it sounds trite, but why can't we who call ourselves Christians ask what would Jesus do if he were in America and voting today?
I think Jesus just might refer us to the Sermon on the Mount and his other teachings for guidance.
Carl L. Hess
Change & evangelism
What was that song we sang when I was a kid and went to Inlow Youth Camp in the mountains of New Mexico? "High, high upon a mountain under God's blue sky."
My attendance at Inlow spread over five years. That was in the early 1950s, when Glorieta Baptist Assembly was just starting.
It is not unbelievable how Baptists don't like change. I, too, love the old hymns. This morning, I woke up with one on my mind that our choir sang last week in Sunday worship. Remember the one that goes, "Great is Thy Faithfulness"?
Didn't Jesus promote change? How many scribes or Pharisees went into the streets and highways and brought people into the temple? Jesus sent people into the temple—sinners washed clean of leprosy. Heaven forbid we re-adopt the attitude of "going out into the streets and highways and compelling people to come and worship." Or sit next to a bum who wandered into our worship service.
In 1985, I had the opportunity to attend First Baptist Church in Farmington, N.M., for several months. Someone in the adult Bible class I attended said, "We do visitation on Tuesday nights." I remember replying, "Isn't that in the Bible somewhere?" Of course, my question got a laugh.
Religion has changed. Life has gotten busy. "Keeper-oners" in our Baptist churches just "keep on keeping on." Unsaved people need Jesus, whether we compel them to come in or meet them on Facebook.
'God & Caesar'
As one who, a couple of years ago, criticized some political coverage by the Baptist Standard …, I just wanted to say I consider the Oct. 15 issue (with the cover package on "God & Caesar") a model for encouraging Christians to engage in the political process in a thoughtful way.
I connected with the material on many levels and found myself wanting to copy whole articles and/or individual paragraphs for further study and sharing with friends.