The Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty and the vision for which it stands have literally been in the background of our Baptist upbringing for as long as we can remember. We are products of Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh, N.C., where a stained glass window featuring Roger Williams constantly proclaims the Baptist roots of our nation’s decision to separate church and state.
Our commitment to this history deepened in the early 1990s while living in Washington, D.C., at the same time that our dear friend Holly Hollman was a BJC intern. Through Holly’s friendship, we came to appreciate and value the essential work of the BJC in new ways. We came to better understand how and why the work continues.
One of our pastors, Ken Sehested, recently offered an idea in one of his sermons that we think speaks to the uniqueness of the BJC. He suggested that faithful living, at least in part, stems from our ability to acknowledge our nation’s virtues and honestly engage our nation’s vices.
We’re sure Ken would agree with us that one of our great virtues is the First Amendment and its critical role in supporting vibrant faith and effective government. The BJC articulates this virtue and protects its wisdom, all out of Christian conviction. This is essential. We must have Christian voices that protect the First Amendment for the sake of faith.
This separation gives us the distance we need as followers of Christ to both celebrate our government when it helps make the way for “beloved community” and to challenge it when it fails to do so. The BJC addresses both sides. It upholds the virtue at its deepest intent and creates the room we need to be clear about our primary allegiance to God’s dream for God’s creation. What important work indeed!
The reason we became monthly donors is quite simple. Our lives do not manage well the regular appeals for support from many worthy causes. Too often, the letter from the BJC remained in “the giving pile.” We want our giving to match what we most value. With that desire, becoming monthly donors means we don’t have to worry if we will remember or not. By regularly and effortlessly supporting the BJC, we know we are supporting the best in our faith and our country.
If you believe in the good work and mission of the BJC, become a monthly donor. Don’t let “the giving pile” weigh you down.
Make a lasting investment in religious liberty by becoming a monthly donor today. Set up your monthly gift online or contact Development Director Taryn Deaton at tdeaton@BJConline.org or 202-544-4226 for assistance.