As of Friday, June 3, 2016
Paying it forward
To the gentleman who quietly paid for our breakfast last Monday, a heartfelt thanks! You made our day!
Rest assured, we will pay it forward. Thanks again … God bless you and God bless our America!
Rich and Pricilla Slegers
Amos and Sherry Phillips
Love thy neighbor
Having been out of town for most of the discussion on the sign at Belmont Missionary Baptist Church (not to be confused with Faith Bible Church where Pastor Parker pastors), I have been able to take in all comments and think through them instead of reacting to them.
Let me begin by saying that while I do agree with the underlying message of the sign, I do not agree with the method of delivering it. As Christians, we are called by Jesus Christ to love our neighbor, regardless of who our neighbor is. Søren Kierkegaard identifies one’s neighbor as “every man, for on the basis of distinctions he is not your neighbor, nor on the basis of likeness to you as being different from other men. He is your neighbor on the basis of equality with you before God; but this equality absolutely every man has, and he has it absolutely” (Works of Love. New York: Harper Perennial Modern Thought, 2009, 72). Delivering this message from a marquee does not communicate love for neighbor, even if it was intended that way.
To all those who have responded in the negative, many of your reactions against the sign have been a cry for tolerance, but this cry does not come from a heart of equality but of misunderstanding. Claiming that Christians, Muslims, Jews and other religions all worship the same God is not doing those groups a favor; it devalues the beliefs of all religions in the name of religious pluralism. If you want to fight for equality and tolerance among religions, fight for these groups to have their own voice and don’t devalue them by claiming to be a voice for them.
Throwing all religions in a box marked religion is just as intolerant of individual beliefs as the sign is in front of Belmont Missionary Baptist Church.