|From the General Secretary |
By Neville Callam
Decades ago, in her influential book on lying, philosopher Sisela Bok asserted that lying has implications for the morality of the choices we make in both private and public life. In the main, Bok advanced strong arguments for the adoption of the principle of veracity. Is this a principle that we honor in our various relationships?
In large organizations where many participants are volunteers, there is temptation to engage in lying as a way of life. Some large organizations have developed a culture of flattery.
Isn't it bewildering to hear people offer praise where, were they honest, they would express disgust? Some people believe they ought to flatter their listeners excessively in order to curry their favor. Sometimes flattery is used as a prelude to expressing dissent on a matter under discussion.
The culture of extravagant flattery poses several dangers. First, it tends to have a corrosive effect on those who are steeped in the practice. Flattery finds its origin and support in a spirit of insincerity. Those who practice it often may eventually lose the capacity to bear accurate witness to what they believe. They become so skilled at disguising their true opinion through deliberate and practiced manipulation of words to serve dubious ends that they become numb to the morality of the means they employ. Abraham Lincoln was not wrong when he characterized flattery and knavery as "blood relations."
Second, flattery has negative effects on those with whom the flatterer has to relate. People come to associate the flatterer with overstatement and they may lose confidence in the reliability of the flatterer's judgment. Over time, whatever the flatterer says is taken with a grain of salt as the untrustworthiness of the person adept at flattery becomes well known. The reason is because, at its base, false praise is a form of deception.
What is surprising is the extent to which persons appear to desire or to enjoy being flattered. They thrive on it even though one supposes they know the aim of the flatterer. It is to win their favor whether using fair means or foul. Could it be they are so desperate to believe the narrative they developed about themselves that, when flattered, they find confirmation of what they already think of themselves? Could it be that the need for affirmation drives some persons to cherish flattery? A well-known public speaker has advised that "man does not live on bread alone: sometimes he needs a little buttering up." One should not heed such advice unless "buttering up" refers to laudatory speech that is truthful.
What is at stake in the culture of flattery is not simply Christians' readiness to follow certain rules or laws. What is at stake is the kind of person the Christian is. Those who have mastered the art of flattery need to ponder what story flattery tells about the character of the flatterer. What kind of person is it that indulges in excessive flattery?
No one has to fall in line with the culture of flattery and, while one may have to pay the price, the rejection of that vain culture says something about one's integrity as a Christian.
Speaking the truth lovingly may prove to be costly. Yet it is worth it. Our faithfulness to Christ is at stake in the words we speak!
|What BWA Member Bodies are Doing|
National Baptist Convention of Mexico
The first baptist church in Mexico was organized in 1864 in Monterrey, Nuevo León state. By 1869 six more churches were organized. A gathering at the First Baptist Church, Mexico City, in 1903, helped lay the groundwork for the establishment of the National Baptist Convention of Mexico (CNBM).
In 1993, the convention gained official recognition through registration with the Office of Religious Affairs of the Mexican government.
The convention currently operates the Mexican Baptist Theological Seminary in Mexico City and the G. H. Lacy Seminary in Oaxaca. It owns six bookstores. La Luz Bautista (The Baptist Light) is the official periodical of the convention.
CNBM is engaged in a number of mission endeavors, including church planting, outreach to indigenous groups, and the operation of at least one "highly specialized Christian hospital."
CNBM declares that "believers should be exemplary citizens" and "meet the requirements of justice, work, order and social interaction in pursuit of the good of society.... However, loyalty to the state is limited, and as Christians, Baptists are willing to remain faithful to the divine decrees expressed in His (God's) word even if it means disobeying the provisions of the state."
First Baptist Church Bozeman
Montana, United States
First Baptist Church (FBC) of Bozeman, Montana, in the United States, was formed in 1883 with eleven members, first meeting in homes and other locations. The current sanctuary was built in 1911.
FBC describes itself as a congregation that "make[s] disciples who love God and love people," who are "dedicated to the mission and message of Jesus Christ," following "Jesus with discerning minds, generous hearts, and servant hands."
Caring for the poor and other mission endeavors have been among the emphases of the congregation, providing food, clothing and housing for those in need. It gives to local food pantries and allows use of its facilities for select nonprofit meetings. In cooperation with the Family Promise of Gallatin Valley in Montana, FBC provides shelter and meals, temporary assistance, hospitality and case management for families with children experiencing homelessness.
FBC Bozeman donates time and services to the community. The church's Rock Youth Center, located across from Bozeman Senior High, offers a safe place for youth to hang out, get a meal, study and have fun. As a shared facility, the Rock provides meeting space for various Christian youth groups such as Young Life.
The Baptist World AllianceŽ Global Impact Church has made a commitment to "go green" through recycling, going paperless where possible, reducing the use of electricity, and encouraging pedal cycling over driving cars.
|In Memoriam: Calvin Robertson|
Calvin Robertson, president of the National Missionary Baptist Convention of America (NMBCA), died on July 7, after a brief illness. He was 86 years old.
Robertson was serving his second four-year term as president of the NMBCA, one of four historically African American Baptist groups in the United States. He was also moderator emeritus of the Fellowship District Association in Dallas, Texas, and president of the Dallas Baptist Ministers Union.
Born in September 1925, he joined the US Army and served as a military police officer during World War II. After the war, he attended Bishop College in Marshall, Texas, and Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia.
He became pastor of Community Baptist Church in West Dallas, where he spent 30 years, from 1957-1987. He later succeeded his father, Rolston Robertson, as pastor of Bexar Street Missionary Baptist Church, also in Dallas, where he served until the time of his death.
Predeceased by wife, Doris, in 1994, he is survived by daughters, Charlotte and Sherry, and son, Calvin, Jr.
A memorial service was held July 13 at Bexar Street Missionary Baptist Church and a funeral service on the 14th at Antioch Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church in Dallas.
|To Beth MacClaren Echols
, former director of the BWA Women's Department
whose husband, Pat Echols, died on July 26.Back to top
|Movements and changes|
James Hill, president of the North American Baptist Fellowship, succeeding, David Goatley
Ross Clifford, elected president of the Asia Pacific Baptist Federation, succeeding Wood Ping ChuBack to top
|Baptist World Aid|
|BWAid grants for the month of September 2012
Grants recorded in United States dollars unless otherwise noted
Social Development 5,000.00
Community Development 26,140.00
PakistanVocational Training 8,028.00
Back to top
Democratic Republic of the Congo
IDP Relief 10,000.00
Chicken Project 5,000.00
Greenhouse Project 12,000.00
Monthly Prayer Guide
Each week, the staff of the Baptist World AllianceŽ prays for conventions and unions throughout the world.
We invite all other Baptist conventions and unions, and individual Baptists everywhere, to join us in these prayers.
For the month of September we will remember the following:
September 30-October 6
Union of Evangelical Christian-Baptists of Uzbekistan
Baptists scattered throughout Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan
October 7-13Bangladesh Baptist Church Fellowship
Bangladesh Baptist Church Sangha
Garo Baptist Convention of Bangladesh
Nepal Baptist Church Council
Baptists scattered throughout Bhutan
IndiaAssam Baptist Convention
Baptist Church of Mizoram
Baptist Union of North India
Bengal Baptist Union
Bengal Orissa Bihar Baptist Churches Association
Evangelical Baptist Convention of India
Conention of Baptist Churches of the Northern Circars
Garo Baptist Convention of India
India Association of General Baptists
India Baptist Convention
Karbi Anglong Baptist Convention
Karnataka Baptist Convention
Lairam Jesus Christ Baptist Church
Lower Assam Baptist Union
Maharashtra Baptist Society
Manipur Baptist Convention
Nagaland Baptist Church Council
North Bank Baptist Christian Association
Orissa Baptist Evangelistic Crusade
Tripura Baptist Christian Union
Sri Lanka Baptist Union
October 21-27Association of Bible Baptist Churches in Madagascar
Baptists scattered throughout Comoros, Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles
October 28-November 3
Free Baptist Churches of Burundi
Union of Baptist Churches Burundi
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Association of Evangelical Baptist Churches in Congo
Baptist Churches in Eastern D.R. Congo/Africa
Baptist Churches Union Community of Congo
Baptist Community In Central Africa
Baptist Community of the Congo River
Baptist Community of Western Congo
Community of Autonomous Baptist Churches
Community of Baptist Churches in North Congo
Community of United Baptist Churches
Association of Baptist Churches in Rwanda
Community of Christian Churches in Africa
Reformed Baptist Convention in Rwanda
Union of Baptist Churches in Rwanda
North American Baptist Women's Union Assembly, Nashville, Tennessee, USA, October 3-6