Anniversary celebrations are more than festivals of achievement. They are opportunities to build up houses of faith.
One of the ways we are observing our 25th anniversary is with the release of two much needed moral education resources.
We’ve followed a cardinal rule for 25 years: organizations build a constituency with content – practical, helpful content. We’ve been determined to produce resources that equip churches and encourage clergy.
We did that early on with the release of two moral study guides. The first was titled “Turn Right;” the second was “Walk Right.”
“Turn Right” was intended to equip Christians with the resources for better moral decision making.
“Walk Right” was designed to help Christians with proactive discipleship. Both were widely used in churches. Both were print pieces.
When we shifted away from print to digital resources, both study guides went out of print, although we did occasionally receive requests for them.
We are now releasing both as digital moral education resources for churches. We’ve revised and expanded them. We’ve given them new titles. We have new leader’s guides for teachers.
“Standing at the Crossroads: A Study of Christian Moral Decision-Making” has four sessions. These sessions are as needed and relevant as when Ray Higgins first wrote them. Good decision-making is essential for churches and critical for Christians who engage our complex culture.
Here’s what a few Baptist leaders are saying about “Standing at the Crossroads”:
“‘Standing at the Crossroads’ is a whisper in our ears to remind us not to assume our small, medium and large decisions are always marked by Christ-like values,” writes long-term ethics professor Bill Tillman, who now serves on the staff of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. “Simple, not simplistic, advice comes off these pages reminding us we should be in a continual, persistent quest refining our moral decision-making.”
A Missouri pastor expresses his gratitude for the new release. “I’m grateful for this new … revision of ‘Standing at the Crossroads.’ This resource is not intended to provide easy answers to issues, but rather to unpack our decision making process,” says Danny Chisholm, who serves University Baptist Church in Springfield and is a frequent EthicsDaily.com contributor.
“Grounded in Scripture and seasoned with contextual illustrations, these four sessions aim to help believers ‘ask the right questions’ and ‘build a framework’ for making good moral decisions,” writes Barry Howard, pastor of First Baptist Church of Pensacola, Florida.
Preston Clegg, pastor of Second Baptist Church of Little Rock, Arkansas, where Higgins once served as pastor, shares, “When someone is standing at the crossroads, this work will help them walk the way of the cross.”
“This resource steers us toward ethical life decisions grounded in rightly handling the fullness of the Scriptures, being empowered by the spirit of Christ and informed by the experience of the church and community,” says Fred Andrea, pastor of First Baptist Church, Aiken, South Carolina. “It is a wonderfully crafted gift.”
Lee Spitzer, executive minister for American Baptist Churches of New Jersey, writes, “I highly recommend it for both individual and group study.”
“Walking in the Good Way: A Christian Discipleship Study Guide” also has four sessions. It begins with a contemporary illustration from the movie “The Book of Eli” and ends with one of the most pressing issues of the day – civility in the public square.
Since I wrote this piece, I’m especially grateful for the endorsements from a variety of leaders.
Soozi Ford, executive minister for American Baptist Churches of Indiana, says it “provides a positive pathway for believers enmeshed in the confusing rhetoric of 21st century voices.”
“Church groups especially will find this study helpful in nurturing a community of positive and compassionate witness to their faith,” offers Colin Harris, professor emeritus of religious studies at Mercer University.
Wade Smith, pastor of First Baptist Church of Norman, Oklahoma, writes, “This four-week study course offers churches and discipleship groups a new pair of walking shoes, leading Christians to become proactive disciples as they confront the ethical challenges of our day.”
Juan Aragon, Hispanic ministries’ strategist for the West Virginia Baptist Convention of the American Baptist Churches, calls the piece “timely, insightful and practical.”
The study guide challenges us “to take seriously that our talking about living rightly is matched by our walking in life rightly,” Bill Tillman says.
Greg Mamula, associate executive minister of American Baptist Churches of Nebraska, writes, “I recommend this Bible study for anyone interested in learning more about Christian ethics or those who just desire a good study on how to put their faith into action.”
“The session on ‘wearing new shoes’ might be the most hopeful approach to Christian ethics I’ve ever read,” shares Barrett Owen, pastor of First Baptist Church in Waynesboro, Virginia. “It’s critical eye for the lens in which we view the world is something every adult, young and old, should read.”
Judge the quality and content of these two revised and expanded study guides. We think you will agree with these endorsements.
We hope “Walking in the Good Way” and “Standing at the Crossroads” will equip your churches and strengthen your witness.
Robert Parham is executive editor of EthicsDaily.com and executive director of its parent organization, the Baptist Center for Ethics. Follow him on Twitter at RobertParham1 and friend him on Facebook.
Editor’s note: The student guide for “Standing at the Crossroads” is available here, and the leader’s guide is available here. The student guide for “Walking in the Good Way” is available here, and the leader’s guide is available here.
Robert M. Parham (1953 – 2017) was the founder and executive director of Baptist Center for Ethics from 1991 to 2017. He served as executive editor of EthicsDaily.com, BCE’s website, from its launch in 2002 until 2017.