Charlottesville: What I said from the pulpit yesterday

(RNS) — Readers: I continue my service as pastor of First Baptist Church of Decatur, a predominantly white Baptist congregation outside Atlanta. When I took the pulpit yesterday, this is the statement that I offered about what happened in Charlottesville this weekend and what it means. I am happy to report that the congregational response was overwhelmingly positive. That says much about the kind of congregation that it is my privilege to serve.

The statement:

Genesis 1 says that all people are made in the image of God (Gen. 1:26-28), the pinnacle of creation.

Genesis 4 teaches that we are our brothers’ keepers, and when human blood is shed it cries out from the ground to God.

Genesis 9 says that there must be an accounting whenever human beings harm or kill each other.

Psalm 8 says that human beings are just a little lower than the angels, cherished by

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