Shady Grove Baptist Church pastor shares thoughts
This week Shady Grove pastor Bro. Tom Campbell shares these thoughts with us:
Some years ago my sons had a rather large Confederate flag in their room and loved the “Dukes of Hazzard.” For them and our family, the flag had no political or racial connotations – just the pride of living in the South, with a rural orientation to life.
There was no thought, whatsoever, of feeling or wishing to be superior to anyone.
When we arrived at seminary, we found ourselves in a 40-acre compound with representatives from every nation, especially Africa. Some of our best friends were Nigerian, as well as African–Americans. We often had visitors from those families.
During a visit home in Alabama, I had the occasion to go through my dad’s military footlocker, where he kept a German swastika flag with the names of every member of his company.
Though Dad owned such a flag, he certainly had no goodwill for the Nazis and would have been appalled by the presence of that flag in political rallies in America. It was a keepsake – the bearer of memories gone by, of friends whose names represented the best of what America was.
I was suddenly struck with the thought of what the response would be if we had Jewish friends who visited and saw such an image on our wall. With that realization, I understood that it would be best if we removed our Confederate flag.
This brings me to my point. What value is there in the Confederate flag? What value is there in statues of people who championed causes we consider as pure evil and ideologies we find repulsive?
It would seem to me that the church, of all institutions, would be leading the way against such things.
For some there will be the counter that if we remove these confederate monuments, we must remove the civil rights memorial as well. Let me answer by saying: These civil rights markers document a struggle for equality, fairness and morality. They represent the struggle on our own soil for the things we have shed our blood for in other countries. They represent the best of what we should aspire to be and are a regretful reminder of where we failed.
These relics do nothing to aid reconciliation but everything to foster and fester division. Their presence is an affront to the gospel and an embarrassment to the true church, and they stand in opposition to what Jesus accomplished on the cross: the means of reconciling all nations to His Kingdom, where there is neither Jew nor Gentile, bond nor free.
Jesus said: “If you don’t love your brother, who you have seen, how can you love God, who you have not seen?”
It would seem – no, it is fact – that if something in my life offends my brothers and sisters, Christian love dictates I remove it.
God has raised up His church for times like this. It is past time that the church spoke a loud and clear message that is in concert with the gospel we preach.
I want to thank Bro. Tom for sharing his newsletter with our Hartselle Enquirer Readers.
Area Community News
Kay Farrer of Hartselle expresses her thanks to everyone who helped to make her 85th birthday, July 7, a very special day. She especially thanks all of her friends for the cards, food, flowers, calls and gifts.
Jason and Lacey Cagle are pleased to announce the birth of their daughter, Tobey Ellisyn Cagle. Tobey was born June 19, and she weighed 7 pounds, 9 ounces, and she was 21 inches long. Tobey’s siblings are Macie, Lydia, Dash and Monroe.
Ethan and Christina Morton are also happy to announce the birth of their daughter, Avery Rose Morton. Rose was born June 14, and she weighed 6 pounds, 6 ounces, and she was 20 inches long. Jax Morton is her big brother, and her grandparents are Donald and Mary Anne Morton.
There will be a front pew shower for Haley Brechtel, bride-elect of Jared Callahan, Aug. 2 at Shady Grove Baptist Church. They have selections at Target, Amazon and Jimmy Smith Jewelers.