“Pentagon Blocks Access to Southern Baptist Website” [Click to Read Article]
That’s the headline that greeted me first thing this morning. Apparently the official website of the Southern Baptist Convention contains ‘hostile content.’ In this age of political correctness, where tolerance is touted as the most highly esteemed virtue — that is, unless Christianity is involved — it is becoming more and more commonplace to see people of faith labeled as intolerant, bigoted, and hate-mongering. I won’t pretend to understand what exactly prompted the Pentagon to label our website content as hostile. There seems to be some confusion over whether this was intentional or accidental. Regardless, the situation is alarming to those of us who count ourselves as watchdogs of religious liberty.
There are many Christian churches and ministries in the United States. Those who belong to such groups are generally not hateful, mean-spirited, or judgmental. They are prayerful, hard-working, generous men, women, and children who advance the Kingdom of God by serving Him and others in their communities and around the world.
In my experience, Southern Baptists are among the most charitable and loving of all Christians in America. Consider these facts:
Southern Baptists show Christ’s love by helping others in times of need.
To my knowledge no other group is so widely recognized for their gracious and generous spirit in times of crisis than the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief teams. Whether it’s a storm-ravaged area or devastation due to earthquakes, these men and women give of themselves, sacrificing their own time with family in order to help those in need. They cut downed trees, serve thousands of meals, and provide other relief as needed. A simple Google search will provide many articles and reports documenting the work of these dedicated people who love as Christ loved.
Southern Baptists show Christ’s love by ministering to children and families.
I have been personally involved in the work of Mississippi Baptist Children’s Village and Arkansas Baptist Children’s Homes. These ministry organizations — and many, many others like them — answer God’s call to help those who are hurting, abandoned, neglected, and in need of physical, emotional, and spiritual support. Through residential housing, counseling ministries, adoption and foster care, and other practical ministries, Southern Baptists are making a real, visible difference in the lives of many people.
Southern Baptists show Christ’s love by ministering to the most unlovable.
Many SBC churches offer support groups and recovery ministries for those who are spiritually and mentally broken, wounded, and addicted to food, sex, gambling, alcohol, and drugs. I wish there were some way to visually demonstrate the number of hours invested by Southern Baptists in such ministry activities each year.
Southern Baptists minister to our military men and women.
Through chaplaincy training programs and the work of individual churches, Southern Baptists provide support to our men and women in uniform — and their families. It seems a bit odd that we would be labeled ‘hostile’ by the higher-ups in our military.
Southern Baptists share the Good News with others.
Southern Baptists are known for their efforts to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with others — at home and abroad. Each year, they provide millions of Bibles, tracts, and other Bible-based literature in a number of languages.
While each Southern Baptist church is autonomous and maintains its own distinct personality, we share a number of core values, including:
Loving God and Loving Others
Serving People in Need
Giving Generously of Time, Talents, and Financial Resources
Sharing the Love and Word of Christ Freely
I realize that there are many in our country who think we’re haters and close-minded people because we preach the Word of God and subscribe to Jesus’ own teaching that He is the only way to experience eternal life in heaven. Quite frankly, I’m not overly bothered by what people may call me. After all, look what happened to Jesus. He was mocked, spat upon, beaten, and crucified. To follow Christ is to live as He lived — and to expect to be treated as He was treated.
Many labels may be forced on us by our present-day society, but ‘hostile’? I don’t see it.
May others know we are Christians by our love and our life of faith.
IT’S YOUR TURN!
What are your thoughts on this topic?