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July 1, 2007 | bpfna
You have heard that it was said, "You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy." But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax-collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:43-48 NRSV)
As disciples of Jesus we profess that Christ comes to reconcile the world to God, to bring peace in a world of violence and war, to heal the nations as well as individuals, and to break down the barriers that humans erect against each other. We are called to witness and work for the Beloved Community of God, "on earth as it is in heaven." For this end Christ invites us to give our lives.
We publicly confess our sinful complicity and repent of our nation's continued war of aggression in Iraq. We share our dismay at our elected government's turning away from diplomacy and concern for human rights to pursue the path of war. We deplore:
Believing that a new beginning is possible through grace, we commit ourselves to the path of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.
We call upon our sisters and brothers in the faith to:
We challenge congregations to:
We appeal to the American Baptists Churches USA and our sister denominations to:
We invite those who share our concerns to join us.
The Reverend Deborah L. Hughes, Rochester, NY
The Reverend Lawrence Hargrave, Rochester, NY
The Reverend Peter JB Carman, Rochester, NY
The Reverend Dr. Larry Greenfield, Chicago, IL
May 1, 2007
Adopted by the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America Board of Directors on May 3, 2007.