Friday, September 08, 2006

A Couple of Recent Articles

In recent weeks, two groups have kindly published a couple of articles that I had the privilege to write. Yesterday, Boundless Webzine included an article that describes some of what it was like growing up without my dad. And, no, that's not me in the picture :-)

Last week, Reformation 21 included an article on Lemuel Haynes and his work. Okay... that is me in the picture. I know... a face for radio ;-)

I pray these are of some interest and benefit.


Anonymous said...

Both very good articles. I recently found your blog and have appreciated your insight. The boundless article describes a very real problem, not limited to, but especially prevalent in the African American community. How can the church continue to addresses this problem? While many churches have good programs that minister to these communities, it still seems that there is a large gap. While this question involves cultural, historical, economic, and other issues, what do you see as good starting points? Also, if you would permit a tangential question (one which I am sure you have gotten before). Why Have you kept you name, taken for the Muslim faith, rather than returning to your given Christian name, especially as it pertains to a past spiritual identity?

FellowElder said...

Thanks for your kind feedback and good questions. Some quick thoughts....

How can the church address father absence in the African-American community?
It seems to me that the Lord has given us several tools for addressing this among Christians. There is the preaching of the Word, where preachers must not fail to declare the whole counsel of God, including on issues such as sexual immorality, marriage, divorce, parenting etc. I believe the Word rightly preach will and does have a shaping effect in the hands of God's Spirit. We need preachers who believe this and act accordingly. Second, the Lord has given us brothers and sisters in Christ. As brothers and sisters, we must be involved in one another's lives for good--stirring each other up in love and good deeds. So, we must take our church covenants seriously and "exercise a watchful and affecitonate care" over each other. That's going to mean getting involved for the long haul in the lives of kids without a father in their lives, discipling young parents, encourage folks to marry rather than sin in cohabitation, etc. Third, there is corrective church discipline. We need churches who take the loving action of discipline when necessary... for both the persons in sin and those watching to know what it means to follow Christ in things like taking parenting responsibility and abstaining from sexual immorality. Those are three quick answers/suggestions for those within our care in the churches. Outside the church, we've got to push for responsible public policies, evangelism, and resources for those who can responsibly use them. Quick thoughts....

As for my name change, it's a bit of an Abram to Abraham story. Thabiti, loosely translated, means "a true man." Anyabwile means "God has set me free." I chose the name not because of its connection with Islam but because of its identification with Africa and that heritage, my heritage. While a Muslim, these things were not true of me. In Christ, by His grace, they are and are increasingly. I'm reminded each time someone calls my name that before the foundation of the world God chose me, predestined me for adoption as His son, and set me free from the bondage of sin in Christ Jesus His Son, my Lord!

Thanks again for the great questions and comments. Keep 'em coming! Grace and peace,

William E. Turner Jr. said...

Thank you so much for writing the article for Boundless. I too remain haunted by the absence of my father. Your article is spot on in so many ways.

Adult children of divorce live in the dark shadows of their fathers who left them. While I am haunted by his absence and the negative affects which having no father have brought I am also haunted by the presence of my father's personality and own sins which I so sadly see evident in my own life. Thus what you say about your fear of turning into your father and the constant battle of trusting ourselves to be godly men.

Thank you for taking the time to write this. It is my prayer that many (ACOD - Adult Children of Divorce) will see the hope of Christ through your writing.

By the way, I kind of figured out the shaving bit, but I cannot tie a tie to save my life... :)

Thank you

Will Turner

FellowElder said...

Thanks for the encouragement and the link to the article on your site. I'm joining you in prayer for those who've spent some part of their lives without their fathers... and in learning to tie a tie!! :-)
Grace and peace,