Hope Plus Five


BCE was started in the late summer of 1991 in hope – hope in the impossible possibility that we could make a moral difference as goodwill Baptists in a collapsing Baptist landscape ..., Parham writes.
Hope is at the heart of EthicsDaily.com and its parent company, the Baptist Center for Ethics (BCE).

BCE was started in the late summer of 1991 in hope – hope in the impossible possibility that we could make a moral difference as goodwill Baptists in a collapsing Baptist landscape, hope that we could frame issues constructively, hope that we would build a supportive constituency.

Hope kept us on track – even through the years the locusts ate.

Hope keeps us moving forward, expecting that the virtue of compromise will win out in the day when compromise is a vice for the mean extremes, trusting that faithful Christians will do what is right for the undocumented, anticipating that Christians and Muslims will recognize their shared common word for the common good.

Hope gives me the comfort level to ask our readers to make a year-end gift to help us move forward.

For me, hope travels with five companions: originality, relevancy, reliability, connectivity and mutuality. Here are five reasons to make a secure online donation or write a check:

First is originality. We're the real thing, not a knockoff.

When we decided a decade ago that in a 24/7 world that Baptists deserved and desired fresh content each weekday to help them address current issues, we upset the old information order.

The old order was stuck providing news to state newspapers that appeared a week or so later and provided dated information. That approach wasn't good enough.

Our initiative created stress in the existing news system. But eventually, others adopted our model.

Ignoring the flattery that duplication represents, we continued to innovate. We moved from fresh content each weekday to fresh content throughout the day with our Twitter hub.

We innovated by posting more video clips – such as Skype and iPhone interviews. And of course, we innovated with the production of a number of unparalleled moral documentaries.

Second is relevancy. We address real issues in real time.

We provide meaningful moral articles that inform and empower people of goodwill.

One example of this is the recent editorial on the threat of capping or cutting tax deductions for charitable giving. Another example includes movie reviews such as the ones on the "Life of Pi" and "Lincoln." A third example is timely news pieces such as the one about preaching from an iPad and conflict between Christians and Muslims in Nigeria.

Certainly, "Gospel Without Borders" was produced in the fullness of time – at the very time that the immigration issue was reaching a boiling point.

Third is reliability. We have a reliable moral rudder.

We know where the center aisle is in the American church. We know folk honor the Bible, seek to be faithful to the life and words of Jesus, and want a pragmatic approach to solving problems and meeting human needs.

So, we don't engage in the deconstruction of the text in order to justify pre-existing ideological or cultural agendas. We don't sit on the edge of the far-left pew, and we know the flaws of sitting at the other extreme.

We do seek to apply the Bible to daily life, to equip church leaders with constructive resources and to offer a moral critique.

We offered a vigorous moral critique of the Bush administration and are offering one of the Obama administration. Neither party can claim moral purity, although supporters of both parties suffer from an illusion of righteousness.

Fourth is connectivity. We are connectors.

Through articles, Skype interviews and documentaries, we connect goodwill global Baptists.

We do so when we post releases, columns and interviews related to the Baptist World Alliance, European Baptist Federation, Baptist Times, BMS World Mission, Arab Baptist Theological Seminary, Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Mission Convention, American Baptist Churches–USA, and Cooperative Baptist Fellowship missionaries in Greece.

We connect goodwill Baptists with other Christians. Among the abundant examples is the documentary on faith and immigration that included Catholic and Methodist bishops, Presbyterian pastors and Methodist ministers.

We even screened it during the Democratic National Convention with Catholic, Lutheran and Methodist bishops.

We connect Baptists with others in the Abrahamic faith tradition. Note the work over the past five years with Islamic leaders.

Fifth is mutuality. We share.

We share our platform with other ministers who want to speak constructively to the currents of our day, who have initiatives or experiences that might benefit other clergy and churches. We give them more "eyeballs" and they give us good content.

When we see innovative initiatives that might capture the imagination and support of churches, we want to help those efforts get out their stories – whether it is Global Women, WaterStep, The Next Door, Baylor Health Care System's Faith in Action Initiatives, Lynne Hybels' Ten for Congo or Christ at the Checkpoint.

Our frequent guideline is that we pursue synergistic mutuality. To quote a line from an Italian grandmother in our documentary on faith and taxes, "Everybody do better when everybody do better."

You can count on our continued originality, relevancy, reliability, connectivity and mutuality!

If you haven't given this year to support EthicsDaily.com, I hope you will. If you've already given, I hope you will consider a second gift.

To make a secure online donation, click here. On this page, you will also find our mailing address if you would prefer to mail a check.

Hope plus five helps us all move forward.

Robert Parham is executive editor of EthicsDaily.com and executive director of its parent organization, the Baptist Center for Ethics. Follow him on Twitter at RobertParham1 and friend him on Facebook.

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