Many Baptists in colonial America of the 17th and 18th centuries (originally illegal immigrants themselves) endured harsh and often bloody persecution — at the hands of “Christian” colonial governments — for demanding equal freedom of conscience and religious liberty for all, including Muslims, Jews, pagans and atheists. The convictions and determination of these heroic Baptists played a major role in the enactment of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, granting church state separation, and equal religious liberty to all.
Trump’s ban aimed at Muslim immigrants is a flagrant violation of America’s Constitution, our nation’s values and our Baptist faith heritage.
Some who are reading this remember Church Training Union, in which church members learned about Baptist heritage and identity. Those days are, unfortunately, gone.
But it is not too late to educate ourselves about our faith heritage and our responsibilities thereof. My book, A Capsule History of Baptists, is designed for small group study. And I will be speaking at GA and NC Cooperative Baptist Fellowship spring general assemblies on the topic of “What Does Baptist Dissent Look Like, and Why Does it Matter?”
Baptist dissent is as important today as it was in the 17th and 18th centuries.