The Pastor’s Pen: July 28, 2019

In one of his most memorable sermons, Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright built his message on a poem by Sterling Brown, and talked about how strong people of faith have always been the building blocks of the Christian church. We are now in the third week of our Covenant Commitment Campaign. The response has been extraordinary! Our pledge amounts are tracking on par with our goal of $150,000.00 by September 30. For those who have pledged, please remember that we are asking that your pledges are paid in full by September 15.

Strong men and women of faith have continued to accept the challenge. We must acknowledge the faith and commitment of one of our former members, Dr. Constance Webster, who relocated to Hampton, Virginia a year ago. Our Senior Choir was in concert last Sunday at First Baptist Church of Hampton (FBCH), where Dr. Webster is now a member.  Prior to the Senior Choir’s trip to Hampton, Dr. Webster became aware of our summer slump and our ask (the Campaign) to meet the challenge.  Without solicitation, Dr. Webster attended the concert with check in hand, a substantial check, to contribute to the Campaign. We thank God for Dr. Webster and her dedication to Shiloh, although an active member of FBCH. We thank God for all members who are making this initiative successful.  Substantive or small, we are grateful for your sacrifice. Indeed, strong men and women of faith, keep on coming. To God be the glory!

There is an old adage trial lawyers use: “When a lawyer has the facts on his or her side, they should pound on the facts. If they do not have the facts, they should pound on the table.” In the Mueller hearings last Tuesday, there was a great deal of pounding on the table. Supporters of the President rarely had facts to back up their arguments; they resorted to a great deal of pounding. The shrill and red-faced attacks were more reminiscent of a Southern Baptist revival service than a Congressional hearing. As has been reported ad infinitum, the entire hearings produced little new information. However, the hardened positions and the lack of factual information on the part of the President’s supporters were shocking. The only thing missing in their diatribes was the chant, “lock her up.”

The poet, James Russell Lowell, penned it best, “Truth pressed to the ground will rise again.” Against a group of hardened right-wingers, the only redress will happen at the polls in November 2020. The argument too often heard during the 2016 election — that voting really didn’t matter because there was no difference between the candidates — has proven to be the lie that birthed the present chaos in our society. Mr. Mueller made it clear that Russians, in a sweeping fashion, interfered with the last election and are prepared to do so again. However, people of faith have always understood that there is a power greater than any government in the world. That power is the justice of God. Psalm 127 states, “Unless the Lord builds the house those who build it labor in vain.” Our strategy will be to get people registered, get them to the polls, and then turn over Russian meddling to God. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.