Brothers & Sisters
The recent massacre of 15 students and 2 teachers in the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, has raised the conscious and the debate over the issues of second amendment rights and gun control in America. The major difference in this debate is that at the helm of this discussion are teenagers and young adults who are generating enormous energy to move this polarizing discussion from a fruitless dialogue to legislative action.
The following is an article, I believe ‘balanced’ with regards to this discussion. Please feel free to respond with your own thoughts and concerns:
The Gun-Control Debate After Parkland
This time feels different. Will things finally change?
By Margaret Talbot
Is this the moment when the politics of guns shifts? Since the fatal shooting of seventeen students and staff members last month at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Florida, advocates of stricter gun laws have been asking that question, with the wary hopefulness of people who, time and again, have seen such turning points lead nowhere. This moment does feel different, though, largely because the teen-age survivors of the Parkland shooting have commanded the national stage with their raw and righteous indignation.
Last week, they got a real response, though so far it has come more from businesses than from elected representatives. The nationwide sporting-goods chain Dick’s announced that it would no longer carry assault-style rifles or high-capacity magazines and would not sell guns to people under the age of twenty-one, regardless of local laws. The company’s C.E.O., Edward Stack, told the Times, “We love these kids and their rallying cry ‘Enough is enough.’ It got to us.” By the end of the week, Kroger and Walmart had said that their stores, too, would no longer sell guns to customers younger than twenty-one.
Meanwhile, President Trump startled senators and representatives in a meeting at the White House last Wednesday by telling them that he wanted to revive a bill mandating universal background checks for gun buyers, chiding them for being frightened of the N.R.A., and saying that, in some situations, he was in favor of taking people’s guns away first, and asking questions later. This was particularly outlandish, given his ties to the N.R.A. and his enthusiasm for arming schoolteachers, not to mention the fact that, a day later, he was back tweeting “Good (Great) meeting tonight at the Oval Office with the NRA!”
But his remarks matter, anyway. The primitive sensors by which Donald Trump divides the world into winners and losers were telling him that for now, at least, the proponents of unfettered gun rights smell like losers. According to a Politico/Morning Consult poll conducted last week, eighty-eight per cent of Americans now support universal background checks, eighty-one per cent think that a person should be at least twenty-one in order to buy a gun, seventy per cent endorse a ban on high-capacity magazines, and sixty-eight per cent support a ban on assault-style weapons.
Still, gun-control advocates might not want to place too much hope in any single moment, even this one. They will have to play a long game, made up of many moments. That’s what their opponents have done. Matthew Lacombe, a doctoral candidate at Northwestern University, has been analyzing the N.R.A.’s rhetoric over the decades in editorials and letters to the editor that have appeared in its magazine, The American Rifleman. The organization’s leaders and members used a remarkably consistent series of words to describe their identity: “law-abiding,” “peaceable,” “patriotic,” “freedom-loving,” and “average citizens.” Their opponents were “un-American,” “tyrannical,” “Communist,” and “élitist.” Wayne LaPierre, the president of the N.R.A., echoed this language in a speech last week at the Conservative Political Action Committee, invoking a Democratic Party “infested with saboteurs who don’t believe in capitalism, don’t believe in the Constitution, don’t believe in our freedom, and don’t believe in America as we know it.”
The N.R.A. has been honing its message since the nineteen-thirties, when it first became visible on the national scene, fighting federal legislation that mandated an early gun-registration and dealer-licensing system. “By the time the bill emerged from the lawmaking process,” the political scientist Carol Skalnik Leff and the historian Mark Leff write, it had been “gutted—stripped of its handgun clauses and revised in line with the objections of the National Rifle Association.”
The N.R.A.’s advantage isn’t only its ability to donate to candidates or to pay for expensive lobbyists and ads, though that is formidable. It spent four hundred and nineteen million dollars in the 2016 election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which reports that “career NRA support for some members of the 115th Congress now reaches well into the seven-figure range.” It spent more than thirty million dollars supporting Trump’s campaign.
But the organization also benefits from its unequivocal rejection of virtually all gun regulations, and from the way that certainty resonates. Most gun owners are not N.R.A. members, but, according to Gallup, people who want lenient gun laws are significantly more likely to be single-issue voters than those who want stricter laws. Gun owners are also more likely than non-gun owners to have contacted a public official about gun policy.
The Gun Owners of the Parkland Generation
All kinds of people own guns, for all kinds of reasons. Still, some demographic features of gun ownership tend to reinforce a particular political posture. A 2017 Pew Research Center study found that forty-eight per cent of white men own a gun, compared with twenty-five per cent of white women, twenty-five per cent of non-white men, and sixteen per cent of non-white women. Gun owners are far more likely to live in rural areas. Forty-one per cent of whites with a bachelor’s degree are gun owners, versus twenty-six per cent of whites with a more advanced degree. Half of all gun owners say that ownership is essential to their identity.
Fear is a factor: nearly half of male gun owners and almost a third of female owners say that they have a loaded gun “easily accessible to them at all times at home.” According to the Pew study, “There is a significant link between owning a gun for protection and perceptions of whether the world broadly speaking has become more dangerous.” Jennifer Carlson, a sociologist who interviewed male gun owners in Michigan, found that many of them considered firearms crucial to reclaiming a sense of purpose, especially if they were no longer breadwinners.
Security, nostalgia for an era of unchallenged privilege, a sense of beleaguered white masculinity: these are powerful forces. They helped get Donald Trump elected. Advocacy for gun-control laws may never provide the same single-minded identity that politicized gun ownership seems to exert. But this year, again thanks in part to the Parkland students, it’s beginning to take a stronger hold. People who want this moment to mean something should remember that they are the majority, and that they, too, can choose, for however long it takes, to be single-issue voters. ♦
Standing against the Jezebel Spirit.
Jezebel is a spirit, but it finds access through uncrucified flesh. Although the Jezebel spirit is described in the Bible as being a woman, it does not actually have a gender. There is no doubt that it functions just as proficiently through men.
Together, we must stand against this demonic evil overtaking and overwhelming parts of this congregation. The Apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:1 Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart. 2 But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. 5 For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Showing Love for God and the People of God
It is said of the author of the Gospel of John and the Epistles of John was also known as John the Beloved Disciple. The greater portion of His ministry was to spread the good news of Jesus Christ and to promote the Love of God to everyone who would receive. Even in his senior years it is said that John would be carried into worship services and while being carried he would speak loudly to the people. “We need to Love one another as the Lord has loved us!”
I say to you my Brothers and Sisters: “We need to Love one another as the Lord has loved us!”
My Bible tells me that the world will know we are Christians by our love (John 13: 35)
I pen this epistle in Jesus Name,
Rev. Dr. Hoffman F. Brown, 3rd
Restoring or Replacing Our Worship Center
When the Wayland Baptist Church of Baltimore Maryland moved into its new worship center at 3200 Garrison Boulevard in 1966 under the leading of Rev. William W Payne there was a need for an ever-expanding congregation (approximately 3,000 members) to have a facility that would accommodate the size and scope of the ministry the Lord had established.
The move then was controversial but it was good and right as 51 years of use has proven. Had we kept up with all the necessary changes over these past 5 decades and accommodated both technological and practical adjustments I would not have to sound the horn on this matter. We did make some moves (i.e., new elevator, new furnace, updated offices, new audio-visual system and some aesthetic changes); however, the fundamental changes that should have been made like: removal of all asbestos in the building, updated plumbing and electricity, hygienic lavatories for males and females, a committed banquet space, committed sports center, Baptist-friendly sanctuary, an elevator in the educational wing, a better parking lot that will accommodate and increasingly older congregation, to list a few; there would be no need for this pronouncement that there is a desperate need for reclaiming this building or moving to another facility more in keeping with a 21st century world. Although the facility should not be a reason for someone to join Wayland it does factor into the ‘millennial mindset’ when deciding where they will worship. It is not the building by itself, but if we do not make a move ‘real soon’ there may not be a need for any building within the next 10 years!
I therefore ask that we:
Rev. Dr. Hoffman F. Brown, 3rd
The need for better attendance in God-centered study in Wayland Baptist Church!
The greatest weapon of our spiritual warfare is the WORD OF GOD and it is in the explanation and the inspiration of His word that we gain strength and stamina in our day to day operations. We have 6 opportunities for studying God’s word every week. All of the Bible studies have weekly attendance which counts below 20 people on a regular basis. Sunday school is little different — regular attendance on Sunday mornings is less than 40 people. If we are to be built up in our faith and not tossed and turned by every whim and doctrine which arises the members of this congregation must make ‘study’ a priority in our lives
No one has to tell you that the membership of Wayland Baptist Church has fluctuated over the years, but here in the last 3 years there has been a precipitous decline in our numbers. The fault for this phenomenon is both internal and external. Internally we have not made a stellar effort to be oracles and evangelist for the church of Jesus Christ – letting the world know that Jesus saves and He saves to the utmost. Externally the church of the living God is being attacked by secular and demonic forces which have succeeded in slowing or closing anemic congregations. We also need to realize that the Wayland of the 1960’s no longer exists while the Wayland of 2017 needs to move past her well established institutional props to being flexible enough to meet the needs of an ever-changing world. The message does not change, but the method must.
We have no substantive ministry to the hearing or sight impaired, we have no major commitment to the prison bound and to the infirmed. We have some few non’ African-Americans in regular attendance, many of whom have been run off by misaligned members. Wayland will not grow without us actively proselytizing and without us recognizing that the neighborhood around us is different today and we must become flexible enough to change with the change!
Rev. Dr. Hoffman F. Brown, 3rd
Here we are already 6 months through the year 2017 and God has granted us both favor and blessing individually and collectively.
Rev Briscoe, as Church Historian, has shared with us the details of our work and our witness for the past 180 days and appears that we have maximized our potential as a local Christian Assembly…… being faithful in our daily weekly and monthly obligations.
Credit should be laid at the feet of those leaders of our respective ministries and for the leadership of the church, (The Assembly of Servants) who have served faithfully and sacrificially in their offices so that this community of faith might be advantaged and that the name of Jesus would be praised!
During this calendar period, we have used as our Motto: The Friendly Church on the Corner (John 15: 13); our theme: One People of God: Building, Growing, Serving (Acts 2: 42-47); our Annual Emphasis: Rebuilding the Walls and our Key Words: Reform, Renew, Rebuild.
The Lord is allowing us to navigate through the life of this congregation and as with any living organism we are facing challenges as we seek to understand how we can better do the work and ministry to which we have been commissioned; in fact, in this wise, I am meeting currently with 6 committees.
Each committee is evaluating the substance and purpose of our operations, in their respective areas, eventually forwarding to the larger body recommendations for ‘best principles and practices for the church! (I say here parenthetically that anything that is alive and growing is subject to change and we as a congregation should always be prepared for change).
As the Pastor of this great congregation, according to Scripture, it is part of my charge and duty to be a ‘Watchmen for God’s People!
Isaiah 62:6 ESV: On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have set watchmen; all the day and all the night they shall never be silent. You who put the Lord in remembrance, take no rest,
Ezekiel 33:6 ESV: But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any one of them, that person is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.
Amos 3:7 ESV: For the Lord God does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets.
And as the ‘Watchman’ for this fellowship I need for you to hear from me these words and then for you to be prayerful about where and how you believe we should go from here!
Rev. Dr. Hoffman F. Brown, 3rd
You who sit down in the High God’s presence, spend the night in Shaddai’s shadow, Say this: “God, you’re my refuge. I trust in you and I’m safe!” That’s right—he rescues you from hidden traps, shields you from deadly hazards. His huge outstretched arms protect you — under them you’re perfectly safe; his arms fend off all harm. Fear nothing—not wild wolves in the night, not flying arrows in the day, Not disease that prowls through the darkness, not disaster that erupts at high noon. Even though others succumb all around, drop like flies right and left, no harm will even graze you. -Psalm 91 (MSG)
During this holiday season, we take solace in knowing that we are covered by God’s grace. Here are a few tips to keep in mind while out celebrating the Reason for the Season!
Shopping Safety Tips
Home Safety Tips
Our study on the “Survey of the New Testament” will continue in January and I look forward to seeing everyone there. Today, I just want to extend a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family. This has been a wonderful year and I expect 2016 to be an even more extraordinary year. We’ve had strong fellowships, great revivals, a series of extensive Bible studies and exciting Sunday School classes in 2015 and it’s only going to get better.
In 2016, we have a group of select leaders who will shepherd the beginning of our Children’s Ministry. This ministry will provide a solid learning experience for our children, ages 12 and under. Proverbs 22:6 says to “train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” This ministry will prove beneficial to our children and help raise up a generation of young people on fire for the Lord and willing to boldly go and spread the Good News.
Stay tuned for more updates and Bible Study summaries. Our doors are always open for study. Join any of our Bible Studies any day of the week. Visit http://www.waylandbc.org/bible-study/ to learn more about each study.
I look forward to sharing more with you and receiving feedback. I will see you in 2016!
Hoffman F. Brown, 3rd, Pastor & First Servant
Beginning this month, I began a 12-week Bible Study series on the ‘Survey of the New Testament.’ I encourage each of you to stop by on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. to enjoy this important impartation of knowledge about the new testament. Below is a brief synopsis of what we are studying.
Question: What Were the 400 Years of Silence?
The 400 years of silence refers to the time between the Old Testament and the New Testament, during which God did not speak to the Jewish people. The 400 years of silence began with the warning that closed the Old Testament: “Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD. He will rstore the hears of the father to their children and the hears of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.” (Malachi 4:5-6) and ended with the coming of John the Baptist, the Messiah’s forerunner.
At the time of Malachi’s warning, about 430 B.C., the Jews had returned to Palestine from the Babylonian captivity. The Medo-Persian Empire still ruled Palestine and the temple had been rebuilt. Both the Law and the priesthood of Aaron’s line had been restored, and the Jews had given up their worship of idols. Nevertheless, Malachi’s warning was not without cause. The Jewish people were mistreating their wives, marrying pagans and not tithing, and the priests were neglecting the temple and not teaching the people the ways of God. In short, the Jews wer not honoring God.
Does this still relate to us today? Does this sound like the world we live in today? Let me know your thoughts and I hope to see you on Wednesday at 7 p.m. for a continuation of this study.
Pastor and First Servant
Welcome to the website of the Wayland Baptist Church of Baltimore, Maryland, USA. This magnificent medium has been designed to forward information to you about the wonderful work of this committed Christian congregation while also providing a glimpse of our ever increasing witness!
We are a God fearing, Bible believing, Spirit filled fellowship, exalting the name of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. We subscribe to the Apostle Peter’s declaration of the church being a…
CHOSEN RACE, A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR GOD’S POSSESSION (I PETER 2:9).
Enjoy the worship experience and maybe one day real soon you will be able to join us in person!
Reverend Dr. Hoffman F. Brown, III
Pastor and First Servant