Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you!
VALLEY FORGE, PA (10/3/19)—The ABCUSA Office of the General Secretary invites participation in Golden Rule 2020: A Call for Dignity and Respect in Politics. On Sunday, November 3, 2019⸺exactly one year before the 2020 election⸺American Baptist Churches USA is joining with more than a dozen other denominations and faith-based groups from a broad theological spectrum to be a part of Golden Rule 2020.
Jesus commands us in Matthew 7:12, “So in everything, do to others, what you would have them do to you.” Golden Rule 2020 is about looking at how we may live out this Scripture in all aspects of our lives, while elevating the discourse in our spheres of influence.
“Dr. King eloquently stated, ‘the church is not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society.’ Our society needs relational transformation and I believe American Baptists can lead in helping our nation live together more respectfully,” said Rev. Marsha Scipio, Associate General Secretary for Missional Initiatives and Partnerships.
On November 3 pastors and local congregations are invited to take a few minutes to 1) pray for the healing of divisions in our country and 2) promote the application of the Golden Rule to political discussions. We encourage you to set aside time for prayer, Scripture readings and/or short statements of support during worship. Some churches may want to have Sunday School lessons or sermons about the relevance of the Golden Rule to our nation’s public life. There are many ways to participate. Resources for pastors and servant leaders may be found at www.revivecivility.org.
American Baptist Churches USA has long recognized the need to make space for productive challenging conversations. After November 3 we encourage you to continue the conversations. During the course of the year, we will post Civil Discourse action steps and articles on our website for you to utilize with your congregation. You may also schedule a Civil Discourse workshop, which the Office of the General Secretary does in collaboration with the National Institute of Civil Discourse. Rev. Marsha Scipio will coordinate these training sessions and customize them to meet your needs. Topics range from Civility in Politics to Listening for Understanding to the Biblical and Theological case for Civility. These sessions are great for regional meetings and/or individual church gatherings. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope you will join us and hundreds of congregations on November 3rd to lift up the Golden Rule across this country. It is easy to get involved. See the Statement of Support below, and then click here. We encourage you to sign up on the NICD website to show your support and help us demonstrate that the Golden Rule still matters in 2020 to American Baptists.
American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with approximately 5,000 congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.
Golden Rule 2020: A Call for Dignity and Respect in Politics
Statement of Support
We are Christians with different theological and political views who have come together to express concern about the polarization and incivility that is tearing our country apart. We are also deeply troubled by the prospect of an angry and hateful political campaign season in 2020 that will further divide us as a nation.
We believe that we can find guidance through this national dilemma in the teachings of Jesus. In particular, we believe that Jesus’ command to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” should be taken seriously by Christians who engage in political activity. We also believe that if enough people follow this “Golden Rule” principle, it will help generate the respect and civility we so desperately need in our country.
Churches have an important role to play in helping to heal America, and we hope and pray that local congregations will be active in efforts to increase understanding and bridge divisions in our country between now and the 2020 election. To this end, we encourage Christians of different political views to come together on Sunday, November 3, 2019–exactly one year before the 2020 election–to participate in Golden Rule 2020: A Call for Dignity and Respect in Politics. On that day, we invite congregations and individuals to do two things: 1) pray for the healing of the divisions in our country, and 2) promote the use of the Golden Rule in our own political discussions and election activities in 2020.