Texas Baptist Forum

Letters: Lifting up the poor

Government, the common good & God’s will

Jesus said much about lifting up the poor. Jesus didn’t demonize the rich, but after Jesus’ encounter with the rich young ruler, he told his disciples how difficult it was for the wealthy to enter God’s kingdom.

Jesus does not force his followers to do anything, but Jesus desires our minds and hearts be attuned to lifting up the poor. It is the right thing to do and is a manifestation of loving God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and our neighbor as ourselves.

We, the people, are the government. The same people who comprise the government also comprise the church. God is not anti-government. Government was anointed by God; it is necessary for any society to function orderly. Its policies reflect society’s morals, or values, and the policies are only as good as we make them.

Government, along with the church, plays an important role in lifting up the poor. Government makes laws, enforces them, interprets them according to Constitutional guidelines. Government does justice by making just laws and by rooting out systemic injustices.

I am a Christian, but would America’s economic system, government, and Wall Street run better if everyone were a Christian? Would the poor be better served? God would be pleased with an America whose churches, government and economic system work for the common good, and do so because that is the chief desire of people’s minds and hearts.

That could be the fruition of God’s will being done on earth. 

Paul L. Whiteley Sr.

Louisville, Ky.


Please explain hymn changes

I’m a “hymn guy.” I love hymns, even though I can’t sing even the simplest of them. I have said on more than one occasion that if God had wanted us to listen to modern church music, he wouldn’t have given us Fanny Crosby! And please don’t take this wrong—sometimes a hymn can say something important more meaningfully than the Bible itself.

I’ve read a lot recently on why they (“they” being undefined) keep changing the words to our favorites. The words don’t match theologically. The meanings have changed. Whatever!

I know that language changes, and it follows that maybe what we sing has to adjust a little. But I really wish that when “they” change a phrase or a word, they’d put a little note at the bottom ’splaining why they did it.

I love Amazing Grace even if John Newton didn’t write the “there 10,000 years” part, I love In Christ Alone even if I don’t understand at whom God was angry and I can live with “sinners such as I” even though I liked “worm” better.

Thanks. I feel much better now.

Wayne Webb


Prayer, repentance & salvation

Without a heaven-sent revival, America is doomed. The precursor to revival is nationwide repentance of the church. God’s immutable promise is: “If my people (not heathens or people of non-Christian religions) … will humble themselves and pray … and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

If someone could get through to nationally recognized ministers to join together to plead with their followers/listeners/readers for that repentance, God would surely bless.

We cannot depend on conferences, conventions, assemblies, etc. of the organized churches to do so, and for sure, not the National Council of Churches. If, however, nationally known ministers joined together in the plea, and Christians obeyed, God would respond.

If “notables” such as David Jeremiah, Charles Stanley, Max Lucado, James Dobson, Tony Evans et al were all on the same page, for this one theme, I believe God would be glorified, and perhaps America would be “saved” from disaster.

Jasper McClellan

San Angelo

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