“March for Our Lives”
This march wears a personal face for us at First Baptist. Our brother and newest church member, Andrew Blasi, graduated from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School 12 years ago (see his letter here) and grew up in Parkland, FL. The mass shooting on February 14th has left Andrew and an entire community devastated. I’ll be marching as a way of demonstrating love and support. In a much broader sense, while March for Our Lives is not organized as a religious action, advocating for peace and an end to gun violence is a faithful expression of Christian discipleship as well as our own Anabaptist heritage. The way of Jesus, our Prince of Peace, embodies both an unmistakable rejection of violence and the power of love and truth in action for justice, peace and wholeness for all people. (Bill Leonard, this year’s Winter Forum speaker at FBC, wrote a blog this week for Baptist News Global about gun violence in America. Read it here.)
“Rally to End Racism”
This event, initiated by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, and marking the 50th anniversary of the assassination of our Baptist brother, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is overtly grounded in faith, and is the beginning of a focused, intentional effort to eradicate the racism that paralyzes our ability to see every human being as equal and created in God’s image.
The gospel is political but not partisan.
The gospel of Christ, grounded in the witness of the Hebrew prophets, addresses not only individual hearts but also the societal systems of every nation. In this season of Lent it is well for us to remember that it was the threat Jesus posed to both religious and political authorities that led to his crucifixion. The gospel is political…but never partisan. It is a misguided, even arrogant, assumption that the way of Christ is perfectly articulated by any political party. Our congregation includes people with varied political affiliations so our ideas on how best to encourage peace and justice may differ. And yet, beyond all political differences, the gospel of Christ calls us all to advocate for these.
Grace and peace,