Community in Action August 25, 2020

Last December our Session committed to being a “Golden Rule 2020” church. This is an interdenominational initiative agreeing to treat others with respect and dignity during all political discussions during the 2020 election year.

    This last Session meeting our Session was given, as its “Faith Challenge,” a request to enact this rule at least three times this week. Of course if someone has more than three political discussions I would hope that all the Session members would still enact this rule.

    I don’t think the political rhetoric will get any calmer or less hostile than what we have already seen and heard. But that doesn’t mean we need to respond in kind. I think now is the time to show the community in which we live we are respectful to all people in all of our conversations.

    It is not always easy when the information we receive is suspect. We easily forget, at least I do, that there are at least two sides to every story. We need to hear what people have to say, of course if their comments are vicious, derogatory, and disrespectful we may need to just walk away.

    Rarely do I find people who are persuaded by rhetoric nor do I see hostile tactics being used in the bible by Jesus. Yes, Jesus had some harsh criticism for religious leaders, but still those words are few in comparison to all his teachings. Also I would say Jesus is a bit more qualified as a judge than are we.

    That being said, I do not want to suggest we don’t call out unjust practices nor feel required to agree with that which goes against our beliefs. I am just saying we need to treat others with respect and dignity. If nothing else we need to remember we don’t know the full story of the person with who we are having our discussion.

    I struggle with those, on which ever side, that start name calling. When people start to use derogatory labels or use racial slurs or even suggest I am too ignorant to understand what they are saying then I find it best to end the conversation.

    So I am asking you to remind me that the best road to take this election season is to enact this "Golden Rule 2020." Below is the commitment I am making and I hope you can make as well:

    ”I commit to do my best to practice the Golden Rule and treat others with respect and dignity in my political discourse and behavior during the 2020 campaign season." 

    Let us be the light and salt which gives a listening ear and a compassionate heart before we begin any discussion. And let’s also help people to know that even in our disagreements we can honor the dignity of each individual and we can give them the respect all creatures of God’s world deserve.

    Embracing the challenge with you,

    Pastor Randy

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