(cross-posted at Daily Kos)
Our church, and our pastor, are serious about two things: inviting people into the love and acceptance of God, and confronting injustice as the opportunity presents itself.
So when Dr. Joseph Phelps of Highland Baptist in Louisville was contacted by the WakeUpWalmart folks and asked to do a short commercial, he stepped out of his comfort zone and stepped up to the plate.
Our church has a long history of caring for the less fortunate as part of our mission. Recently the work of social justice has begun to become a part of that mission: part of the ministry is caring for the individual, and part is trying to change the systems that help create the problems.
Still, anyone familiar with the church would realize that doing an ad for WakeUpWalmart was outside what we had been doing. Not that it is completely out of character — far from it — it’s just a little more “out there” than our normal modus operandi.
Joe Phelps has a pastor’s heart, a tremendous one. Occasionally, he also puts on the prophet’s mantle. He’s not egotistical about it, like some; neither is he aggressive about it, like others. But when he feels called to speak out, he does so. And in 30 seconds, he cuts to the heart of the issue for those of us who call ourselves Christians.
Here’s the money quote:
As we celebrate Christmas, search your heart — If these are Walmart’s values, would Jesus shop at Walmart? Should you?
You can view the video here: Video at WUWM.
Here’s the church website: Highland Baptist.
Update: Pastor Shares Statement on Why
I just discovered that Joe also put a statment up on the church web site, explaining why he decided to accept the invitation to do the ad. You can read it here.