The reflection below was written by Scotty Robertson, Pastor of Judson Baptist Church, Winfield, WV. This is part of a new featured series, “Proud to be an American Baptist.” Check the ABCUSA website and other publications in the near future to see more stories! View the archive and learn why others are proud to be American Baptist by clicking here.
I am in my last semester of college at Marshall University in Huntington, WV, and am currently taking a class called World of Islam. After the first day of class I approached the professor, explaining to him that I am religious, but am a Baptist Christian. Immediately I saw a frown come to his face. I asked him, “Are you familiar with the Baptist-Muslim Dialogue?” He was not. This opened the way for me to sit down and have a conversation with him about the work that Rev. Dr. Roy Medley, our General Secretary, does on behalf of all American Baptists within the Islamic community here in the U.S. and around the world. I am also in the process of sharing with him resources like the video produced by Ethics Daily, “Different Books, Common Word.”
This, for me, was and is a moment that makes me proud to be an American Baptist. I am so glad that because of the sense of who we are, not only people who are active in sharing the love of Christ, but also people who are strong enough in our sense of being Evangelical, that we can sit down and enter into relationships and conversations with those who are different than us, no matter their religion.
It is my hope that as American Baptists we continue to sit down with not only Muslims, but Buddhists, Hindus, even Atheists, and anyone else who may be different from us to introduce them to the loving nature of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.