Archive for February, 2013

A Certain Sound of the Trumpet

February 28, 2013

One of the most inspiring things that I experienced while at the PNBC Midwinter board meeting in Nassau, Bahamas was the native “Junkanoo” celebration that PNBC members were privileged to participate in as a part of the host committee’s activities. To those unfamiliar with Junknoo, to take part in the celebration is like taking part in an African Village Dance, a church Holy Dance, and a Black College Band marching band all wrapped-up into one! At our meeting, the Junkanno band played the Negro spiritual “I’ll Fly Away,” on the trumpet as others beat drums and dancers proceeded to march around in circles. All who witnessed the phenomenon were caught up in the Spirit and when I reflected upon the experience, it reminded me of what PNBC is all about.

What caught me in particular was that the horns blew the melody with a “certain sound.” It reminded of what Samuel DeWitt Proctor talks about in his book “The Certain Sound of the Trumpet” in talking about African American preaching. It’s a prophetic sound, a distinct sound. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had this sound, Dr. Gardner Taylor has this sound, Dr. Charles Adams has this sound and our current President Dr. Carol A. Baltimore Sr. has this sound too. It’s the sound of a voice crying in the wilderness, a sound calling for an end to poverty, the passage of gun control legislation, the passage of a fair federal budget and for peace in the Middle East.

What also struck me was that while some were blowing trumpets, others were beating drums to keep the horn players in rhythm, and what I realize is that it’s my new job as PNBC’s Interim General Secretary to beat the drum so that our convention stays in step administratively. But it’s not just my job, I need your help in beating the drum too! I need your help in supporting our convention financially and attending our meetings and committing to blowing your prophetic horn until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream!

Peace and Blessings,
Pastor Kip Banks, Sr.

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“Jesus and Sequestration”

February 28, 2013

Here it is March 1, and the Congress and the President still have not agreed to a plan to avert “Sequestration,” a self-imposed across the board collection of spending cuts that will begin to take effect today in order to help reduce the federal budget deficit. These spending cuts greatly threaten the economic well-being of our local and national economy, and according to news reports, it appears that a major sticking point to getting a deal is disagreement over getting the wealthy to pay more in taxes and the size of cuts to be made to social service programs. In thinking about his whole drama, my question is, what would Jesus say about Sequestration?

This is an interesting question to ponder and especially during the time of Lent as we review the life of Jesus and seek to walk more closely with him. First of all, it is worth noting that Jesus’ mother and father, Mary and Joseph, found themselves in Bethlehem when Jesus was born because Caesar of Augustus had issued a decree that all of the world should be taxed (Luke 2:1). In other words, this issue with taxes is nothing new. We also note that Jesus wants us to pay our taxes because he said to the Pharisees upon being questioned by them about taxes to Caesar “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s” (Mark 12:19).

I also believe that Jesus would want the rich to pay their fair share of taxes and this is because when he was asked by the rich ruler what he needed to do to inherit eternal life, Jesus told the man that although he kept the great commandments that there was one more thing that he lacked and that was that he needed to share all that he had with the poor to build his treasure in heaven (Luke 18:17-23).

Finally, I think that Jesus would encourage the Congress to avoid making cuts to programs that protect the poor. I say this because He said in his “End Times” discourse in the 25th Chapter of Matthew that our treatment of the poor – the hungry, the sick, and the imprisoned – is a proxy for how we treat Him. In other words, Jesus is represented by the least of our brothers and sisters. Therefore, let us as Progressive Baptists do all that we can do to help the least of our brothers and sisters and encourage the Congress and the President to do the same. Please call, tweet, facebook, fax, your federal lawmakers today and tell them to back-off of the sequester!

Peace and Blessings,
Pastor Kip Banks, Sr.