Rob James and Karl Merritt Appear on a Podcast
Rob James, pastor of First Baptist Church on Anderson Street in Fayetteville, and Karl Merritt recently appeared on an episode of Stories from the Center podcast. This time of discussion was hosted by David Blackman, pastor of Hay Street United Methodist Church in Fayetteville, Lisa Craver, and Justin Berrier. David Blackman explains the aim of the ongoing podcasts as follows:
“We believe a podcast can facilitate helpful and holy conversation concerning justice, freedom and peace. These are real concerns for the Fayetteville community, especially as our city continues to navigate our history, our present realities, and our future possibilities. Participants will reflect on what justice means, the connection freedom has within our community as we are uniquely positioned with our neighbors at Fort Bragg, and the desire to live together in peace. Through seeking the stories of our people, we will find and celebrate the places where justice, freedom, and peace intersect, and inspire listeners to practice the same.”
One note of correction; early in the podcast, when talking about an experience in my hometown of Camilla, Georgia, I (Karl) said that there were no white police officers in Camilla at the time of that incident. I intended to say that there were no black police officers.
To gain access to the podcast, please click this link: https://anchor.fm/stories-from-the-center. On the screen that shows up, scroll down to the listing of podcasts and click on Episode 3. After listening, you may return to this blog post and make comments.
Karl: I enjoyed listening to the discussion on the podcast. Lots of words of wisdom in there from you and the other participants. I actually believe many Americans believe this way. One thing I have started doing since the election is to watch a lot less news on TV, and I have calmed down a lot! Too much innuendo and lies are being thrown at us. Keep up the good work!
Karl, Just finished listening to the podcast you had with Rob James and all. Very good. I noted the mention of the Fayettevelle community garden and was heartened to know that you are still involved with it. I also enjoyed from the discussion, the mention of something from my recent Bible study:
The supernatural capacity to receive the three divine powers of faith, hope, and charity from Jesus’ fullness of grace are called theological virtues. God Bless. Keep doing what you are doing. Keep the faith!
Karl, I enjoyed listening to your podcast and share with you the sentiment that in the end there is the greater hope for our country although you don’t see it right now in these times or the immediate future.
There is no guarantee a democracy will last forever. When we look at the stages of the Tytler Cycle of democracy we can assess where our country currently is. It has taken a few decades to get to this point and we have not yet bottomed out. As we watch the downward trend concerned people who have the greater parts of their lives behind them mourn the decline and loss of the country they knew during their life
times. Our life spans are our reference points. People with less decades to look back on don’t mourn the loss of what they never had and focus on building their future starting at their reference points. In that sense every generation lives through the times of their own making. Fluid and temporary.
The solution for the problems in our nation can only be a spiritual one and that on a national level. What comes to my mind is 2 Chronicles 7:14 (…. if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and forgive their sin and will heal their land). We are a secular ( not covenant) nation with many people not professing the Christian faith. To those 2 Chronicles 7:14 does not mean anything. I therefore don’t see any collective, united, national repentance and return to obedience in the future. Our country was blessed because of its Christian foundation and future blessings can only come as long as we let these principles be our road map. Since this is not the case I think we are driving on Tytler’s road map. That’s why and where my hope for the nation is dashed just like yours. Nevertheless, Christians have that greater hope as they are given the assurance that God will take care of them and bless them at the individual level. That promise to His saints is not contingent on the state of a nation, man-made conditions or cycles in history. I take comfort knowing that even when a nation turns away from God He will still not forsake the individual who abides in Him.