Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Example of Christians out of touch with their faith

Posted By on Tue, Aug 25, 2009 at 11:44 AM

Isn't Jesus' legacy all about love and forgiveness? Acceptance and faith?

So, what gives Harbor Baptist Church? In your version of religious reality does Jesus dislike people who've paid for their crimes, people who are trying to turn their lives around?

Yeah. Your actions — hiding behind the image of innocent children while behaving like judgmental hypocrites— aren't coming across as very Christian-y.

The (very successful) Center for Women, a halfway house for women, is moving into your 'hood -- like it or not. So, why don't you play like your savior and open your arms wide for a huge embrace.

A proposed halfway house for women transitioning from prison to the community has run into an unexpected opponent: the northeast Charlotte church next door.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine it would be a church that would oppose this,” said Myra Clark of the Center for Community Transitions, which is behind the project.

“I would think that reaching out to people who have lost their way is a core value for most churches. And I had hoped the women would be able to worship at that church.”

click to enlarge Farrington
  • Farrington

On that point, the church agrees. Harbor Baptist Pastor J.R. Farrington said he'd be thrilled to host the women at his church, which has up to 700 in its pews on Sundays.

But he views the proximity of the center as a potential threat to the hundreds of children who participate in the church's outreach ministry. Farrington said 500 kids from low-income neighborhoods attend Sunday services.

“This is not about us being exclusive, or thinking we're better than folks, or not wanting folks to have a second chance,” Farrington said. “I'm worried about the lack of supervision, and the fact that all these children are next door. … I'd be asking the same questions if this was located next to a public school.”

Only those who are within three years of finishing their sentences are eligible, and they must submit to regular drug testing, she added. Their crimes range from simple assault to theft, property crimes and drugs, she said; no sex offenders are allowed.

“I've offered to sit with (Farrington) and explain all this, so he will feel the children are safe, and he's yet to sit with me,” Clark said.

Read the entire article at Charlotte.com.

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