On September 7, 2016, CRCDS President Dr. Marvin A. McMickle published a "Unite Rochester" blog in the Rochester, NY Democrat and Chronicle entitled, "Using the Good Book for Bad Thoughts." Read the full text of Dr. McMickle's blog here:
As the LGBTQ community in this country continues to seek and oft times receive full acceptance in all areas of our society, I am shocked and ashamed of the fact that many people within the Christian church remain closed-minded and unwelcoming of our LGBTQ brothers and sisters.
What is especially troubling to me as a long-time pastor and now as a theological educator is how some people attempt to use the Bible to justify their bigotry on this topic. I repeatedly hear such persons quoting from Leviticus 18:22 that refers to same-gender sexual contact as an abomination.
There are two things about this approach that trouble me. First, there is the simple fact that Leviticus is a 10th century BCE document that reflects a culture and a communal life that has largely disappeared in the modern world; even in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv! More importantly, there is so much more in Leviticus that these Bible quoters seem free to ignore. In Leviticus 19 it says we should not place tattoos on our bodies. I have heard no preacher condemn tattoos. It says that men should not cut the hair at the side of their heads or trim their beards, but I hear no preaching against going to the barber shop.
That same chapter also forbids wearing clothing made of two different types of fabric; hence silk and wool, or polyester clothing should be condemned. Leviticus 19 states that we should be kind to any foreigners living among us (immigrants and refugees). Yet, the anti-immigrant rhetoric in our society is harsh and visceral. Leviticus 19 also urges us not to hold grudges against one another. Why are the people who are so quick to quote Leviticus 18:22 and the evils of homosexuality so mute about what is found in the very next chapter, let alone the rest of the entire book?
Some Christians want to be able to embrace one favorite verse while ignoring all the rest. It does not and it cannot work that way. If there is one verse that all Christians should embrace perhaps it should be Leviticus 19: 18 that says, "love your neighbor as yourself." I would encourage every preacher to make this one verse the center of their theology.
CRCDS President Dr. Marvin A. McMickle says, in a recent Unite Rochester blog published in yesterday’s Rochester Democrat and Chronicle (NY), "In describing the things that endangered society at the turn of the 20th century, Walter Rauschenbusch (RTS, 1886) identified six social sins; bigotry, the arrogance of power, the corruption of justice for personal ends, the madness of the mob, militarism, and class contempt. Even a cursory look at contemporary trends in the United States reveals that all six of these societal ills remain with us 100 years later."
To read Dr. McMickle's complete article, click here:
CRCDS President Dr. Marvin A. McMickle was interviewed recently by Hélène Biandudi Hofer, host and producer of WXXI's "Need To Know" (Rochester, NY) in conjunction with the third anniversary of the founding of the "Black Lives Matter" movement.
"Similarities & Differences: Black Lives Matter & The Civil Rights Movement" aired on Thursday, August 4, 2016 and incorporated many of the questions and challenges that Dr. McMickle addresses as an integral member of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle’s Unite Rochester board.
To view the broadcast, click here: http://wxxinews.org/post/watch-similarities-differences-black-lives-matter-civil-rights-movement
Dr. David Yoon-Jung Kim, Arthur J. Gosnell Associate Professor of Christian Social Ethics at CRCDS, has been selected to participate on the planning committee for an international conference recognizing the centenary of Walter Rauschenbusch's death.
"The Legacy of Walter Rauschenbusch” will take place April 9-11, 2018, at Mercer University in Atlanta, GA. Rev. Rauschenbusch, a Baptist pastor and Christian theologian, graduated from Rochester Theolgical Seminary (now CRCDS) in 1886 and is commonly known as "The Father of the Social Gospel."
Conference partners include Mercer University’s Center for Theology and Public Life and McAfee School of Theology, Acadia Centre for Baptist and Anabaptist Studies (ACBAS) and the American Baptist Historical Society (ABHS).
Dr. William H. Brackney, a former Associate Professor in Church History at Colgate Rochester Divinity School and the Millard R. Cherry Distinguished Professor of Christian Theology and Ethics at Acadia Divinity College in Nova Scotia, visited CRCDS in June to conduct research related to the conference.
CRCDS President Dr. Marvin A. McMickle shared his thoughts about the recent tragic events in Dallas, TX (and elsewhere in the nation) in a guest column, published in the Rochester, NY Democrat and Chronicle on July 9, 2016. Read the full text here: