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Published on September 13th, 2013 | by ABCUSA

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ABHMS Calls for Faith-Based Dialogue About Crisis in Syria

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 9/13/13)—As the United States debates intervening in Syria in response to the use of chemical weapons on the Syrian citizenry, allegedly by Bashar al-Assad’s regime, American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) has posted on its website the essay “Six Questions to Consider Concerning a U.S. Strike Against Syria.” Written by Marvin A. McMickle, Ph.D., president and professor of Church Leadership at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, Rochester, N.Y., the piece provides a Christian viewpoint on the controversial issue.

“We cannot view this possibility solely through the eyes of U.S. foreign policy or U.S. national security interests,” McMickle writes. “The Lord of the Church is not an American; Christ is sovereign Lord over all of creation. Christ has as much love for the people of the Middle East as for the people of the American Midwest.”

Thoughtfully addressing both politics and spirituality, McMickle poses six questions for American Baptists to consider as they conduct Bible study and personal devotions. Questions include the following: “What will a limited missile strike accomplish against a regime that has no regard for anything, except remaining in power at all costs?”, “If the United States strikes Syria unilaterally, are we not opening the door for other nations to act unilaterally on matters that we may believe unjustified?” and “When do we, as Christians, actually listen to Jesus as he talks about ‘blessed are the peacemakers’ and ‘living and dying by the sword?’”

 

ABHMS hopes churches will use Dr. McMickle’s essay at www.abhms.org as a starting point for conversations, framed within Christian values, about the crisis in Syria. At the end of the essay, tell us about your conversations: We’re waiting to hear from you.

American Baptist Home Mission Societies—the domestic mission arm of American Baptist Churches USA—ministers as the caring heart and serving hands of Jesus Christ across the United States and Puerto Rico through a multitude of initiatives that focus on discipleship, community and justice.


American Baptist Churches is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with over 5,200 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.


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