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Moral Issues and the Church -- Dr. Robert Richardson

In the Spring of 2010, the Adult Education Committee launched what was referred to as the “moral issues series.”  It was four Sunday night sessions that began by discussing the impact of assumptions upon one’s thinking about what is right or wrong, good or bad, moral or immoral. 

The second session dealt with how to interpret the Bible.  It was noted that it is not just what the Bible has to say about what is moral or immoral, it also includes trying to determine what the Bible means.

The third and fourth sessions dealt with two debatable topics, “Capital Punishment,” and “Homosexuality.”  Both sides of these topics were addressed by lay members of the church.

The moral issues series for the Spring of 2011 dealt with the Biblical, theological, medical, and personal aspects of the subject of “The Church and Homosexuality.”

This year the subject is “The Church and Immigration.” Again, the sessions will include what the Bible has to say, the influence of theology upon the subject, what the legal issues are, and a look at the personal impact upon the lives of some in our community.

Now the question is why?  Why deal with topics that are very troublesome in our society?

The answer is two-fold.  Moral and ethical issues are certainly within the parameters of the church’s attention. They are not the exclusive domain of the social and political arenas of our society.

Secondly, controversial subjects are frequently everyday topics in personal and group conversations. And sometimes misinformation abounds.  Daniel P. Moynihan, long time senator of New York, reportedly said that “everyone is entitled to his own opinions, but not his own facts.”

So why not attempt an objective-as-possible perspective within the community of God’s people where love, respect, and trust abounds? How is this done?

Perhaps we can begin by taking the Bible seriously.  That includes not only what the Bible says, but what the Bible means, especially as measured by the life and teachings of Jesus.  Included in this approach is the caution of “cherry picking” verses of Scripture that support a pre-determined point of view.

Secondly, a theological perspective is important. This requires utilizing both faith and reason to carefully examine the larger parameters of this difficult issue.

And thirdly, it is helpful to review the legal and social issues by looking at the real-life impact upon some individuals as well as upon the society at large.

The basic purpose of this series is to heighten the awareness of immigration among the membership, to educate one another as objectively as possible on the various issues, and explore how these factors may influence the ministry of First Baptist to the community.

This important series begins Sunday night at 6:00 in the Great Room.  You are encouraged to attend.

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    Response: longchamp
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