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Word&Way News: June 3
Here’s the weekly roundup from Word&Way. In addition to a review of Dear Son that is free for anyone to read, paid subscribers to A Public Witness received a report on references to “Satan” in political rhetoric today and how it could harm our democracy.
Top 5 at wordandway.org
The Sins of the Collective SBC. Christopher Dixon reflected on the recent Southern Baptist Convention clergy sexual abuse report.
Review: Stepmother. Robert D. Cornwall reviewed Stepmother: Redeeming a Disdained Vocation by Dorothy C. Bass.
Asian American Christians See More Work for the Church To Do To Stop AAPI Hate. Emily McFarlan Miller reported on efforts to push back against anti-Asian bigotry that rose during COVID-19.
Meet the First Minister of Gun Violence Prevention. Rev. Deanna Hollas, a minister in Texas, serves as the coordinator of gun violence prevention ministries for the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship.
Mennonite Church USA Passes Resolution Committing to LGBTQ Inclusion. Kathryn Post reported on a new vote by the largest U.S. Mennonite denomination.
This week: Brian McLaren on Do I Stay Christian?
Other good podcasts this week:
David Farrier joined The Bible for Normal People to talk about “What’s Going on with Megachurches?”
Other News of Note
On the first Sunday after the release of the report on the Southern Baptist Convention covering up clergy sexual abuse, First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, welcomed disgraced former SBC President Paige Patterson to preach. The Dallas Morning News responded with an editorial criticizing Patterson and the church.
Jessica Johnson wrote for NBC about the SBC clergy sexual abuse report: “Without Brave Women, Men in Ministry Would Not have had a Day of reckoning.”
Mark Wingfield reported for Baptist News Global about the new statement of faith for Hardin-Simmons University in Texas that stresses beliefs about human sexuality, including that “God created the human race with two genetic sexes as defined by karyotype.”
Eleanor Klibanoff of the Texas Tribune looked at how the NRA and some politicians increasingly claim a “God-given right” to guns.
Adam Russell Taylor wrote for Sojourners about how “Our Numbness to Gun Violence is a Spiritual Failure.”
On Sunday morning, members of a small Black Baptist church in Mississippi arrived for worship and found a KKK promotional flyer.
As Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison leaves office, Morgan Lee of Christianity Today looked at the unique way he brought religion into politics.
by Brian Kaylor, Word&Way Editor-in-Chief
Last week, we wrote about the rhetoric of the annual “prayer breakfast” held at NRA conventions. A few days later, on Sunday (May 29), a few Christians interrupted this year’s breakfast in Houston, Texas, to pray for the victims of the school shooting a few hours away. The activists were quickly ushered out. Such prayers were not allowed.
Among those escorted from the breakfast was Shane Claiborne, an author quoted in our piece last week. He wrote on Twitter after the incident, “We cannot be silent right now. Too many lives are at stake.”
When prayer is exploited to justify the sacrifice of our children, God’s people cannot remain silent. Just because someone claims to be praying — and Claiborne noted the breakfast was more about patriotism than actually praying — that doesn’t mean God will bless it. As God warned in Isaiah: “When you spread out your hands in prayer, I hide my eyes from you; even when you offer many prayers, I am not listening. Your hands are full of blood!”
Let us offer our sincere prayers for peace and justice in our world. But let us also take actions to answer those prayers. And sometimes that means not joining in prayers that, as Isaiah complained, call good evil and evil good.