Must Read Monday: Denominational Conversations, Andrew Brunson’s Trial and Immigration
Southern Baptists and the lesson of “what comes out the mouth”
Before you say anything, consider that as a Christian, you say what you say as a representative of Jesus Christ. Yes, including your jesting, joking, sarcasm, “you know I didn’t mean that” side comments. If you are in Christ then everything you say bears witness either authentically to or against Him. That’s one take away from the controversy now roiling the Southern Baptist Convention.
Three statements that must be made:
- Abuse is always wrong and always contrary to the character and witness of Christ. All abuse: domestic, spousal and physical abuse, verbal abuse which objectifies another or robs them of their dignity as a fellow image bearer of God, and the abuse of positional power, have no place among God’s household. Church leaders bear an obligation for the people whom God has entrusted to their care and church leaders are legally obligated to report abuse to law enforcement.
- Biblical submission is not of all women to all men, not forced, and grossly misunderstood and misrepresented in the world today.
- This is a critical moment for the ministry and witness of the nation’s largest Protestant denomination and we should all pray for the moment to be one of redemption and not fracture.
Here are the stories you need to read before taking to social media today:
- Letter from Southern Baptist women to the SWBS Trustees
- Statement from the SWBS Trustees
- Coverage in The Baptist Press
- Coverage in The Atlantic
- Coverage in The Washington Post
- Four misconceptions about responding to spousal abuse
Methodists: Are we watching the last mainline denomination bend the knee to the sexual revolutionaries?
Episcopalians: Dropping “husband and wife” from marriage liturgy
And how is the worldwide Anglican communion responding?
#PraytheNews: Andrew Brunson’s Trial resumed today in Turkey
One positive development: The United Nations Working group on Arbitrary Detention has agreed to investigate Andrew’s case. This is a potential boon to his defense as the U.N. takes up very few new cases each year (as a percentage of request, they take fewer cases than the U.S. Supreme Court).
For aggregated information on this story, visit https://reconnectwithcarmen.com/pray-for-pastor-andrew-brunson/
Temporary Protected Status: for whom, for what, and for how long?
The Homeland Security Department is ending the Temporary Protected Status for about 57,000 Hondurans who have been living in the US for nearly two decades. These Honduran citizens were granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) in 1999 after a devastating hurricane in their homeland. It is reasonable to ask who should be granted TPS, for what kinds of reasons and for how long. It is also reasonable to ask if TPS has been extended for nearly twenty years and families have established themselves in the United States, should they be sent back to a nation that is really no longer their home? The TPS conversation also includes 300,000 people from Haiti, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Nepal. In the case of the 57K Hondurans, they have 18 months to either leave the U.S. or get some form of legal immigration status.
Add this to the conversation about refugees, asylum seekers, legal and illegal immigrants, so-called chain migration, Dreamers, and those affected by the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy and there’s a lot to learn in order to speak intelligently on these matters. To help equip us for these conversations, we’re devoting a week to these topics on Connecting Faith, May 21-25.
And, the horse, of course!
Justify won The Kentucky Derby in a photo finish under the worst track conditions in the event’s history. The Triple Crown talk has begun as have the stories about how much money people lost and won betting on the event. Gambling is a worthwhile conversation to have today with your kids. That which the world glorifies, the Bible condemns. You might also talk today about the name of the winning horse: Justify. What does it mean to be justified before the Lord and how is our justification accomplished? (Yes, you’re right, the answer is Jesus.)