By Will Hawk,
Pastor, Union Baptist Church, Dresden
When the Gospel of liberation from the bondage of spiritual depravity is preached, many are saved. Perhaps one of many perfect descriptors of the biblical text is “emancipating words.” These words communicate an uncompromising theology of deliverance from spiritual captivity calling all to embrace Jesus Christ as Lord. What arouses and compels this draw of embrace in those who believe? To borrow from Jonathan Edwards, “There is such a thing as a spiritual and divine light, immediately imparted to the soul by God, of a different nature from any that is obtained by natural means.” This effortless impartation of light by God that gives life and empowerment of another kind begs the question, “Is humanity imparted with an effortless desire to be free?” If so, then it is apparent that situations of bigotry, dehumanization, disenfranchisement, oppression, persecution, prejudice, systematic racism and the like create the need for a dichotomy of purpose found in the emancipating words of scripture. The Amherstburg Regular Missionary Baptist Association (ARMBA) perceives these ominous factors as soil tampering on what otherwise would be fertile ground. Particularly, when the perpetrating agents involved are Christian.
In recent times, there has been an awakening of sorts which has highlighted the need for real social justice leadership in our ministry. It is undoubtedly true that current events influence what is relevant in ministry. The ebb and flow of ministry, during the course of our 181 year history, has caused our local churches and association to seek God for guidance to affirm afresh our ministry purpose and direction. For us, this is one of those times. God is awakening and reviving the ministry of ARMBA and we are blessed by him to be stewards of his emancipating words and doers of his emancipating works. Our prayer is that Christians will be willing to do more for social justice change using more emancipating words.