Join the Birmingham Civil Righteousness Initiative
WHO WE ARE
The Birmingham Civil Righteousness Initiative is an extension of CivilRighteousness.org formed in Ferguson, MO on the Rev Martin Luther King Day of 2016. We are a collective of multiethnic followers of Jesus, regardless of political affiliation, seeking to be a bold, yet humble voice of grace and truth to our city and generation. We purpose in all things to "seek first the Kingdom of God and its righteousness" as defined by Jesus, particularly in His Sermon on the Mount.
OUR SPIRITUAL LEGACY
The Civil RIghts Movement of the 1950's and 60's was birthed out of the Church of Jesus Christ in the Southern United States. The Southern Black Church was uniquely positioned as a social institution to bring the most amount of social justice with the least amount of bloodshed.
Many Civil RIghts leaders were ministers of the Gospel committed to social change that was...
1) guided by inspired Biblical preaching and sound doctrine,
2) fueled by ecstatic worship and prayer to Jesus Christ, and
3) constrained to principles and methods of nonviolence taught by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount and modeled by His journey to the Cross.
The result was a courage in the face of persecution that spilled over into every public sphere, shifting the national conscienceness toward social justice.
OUR DESIRE TO HONOR BIRMINGHAM"S GREAT HEROS OF FAITH IN JESUS
As followers of Jesus in Birmingham, we honor the Gospel inheritance of our greatest forefathers and foremothers in the Church. Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth was the great hero of Birmingham in the Civil Rights Movement. His statue stands before the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute today. Fred never left preaching in the church to become a professional activist. He, like all of the original pastors in the Movement, was also was pro-life and pro-traditional marriage throughout his life.
Many years before, a white Presbyterian Pastor who became known as Brother Bryan, lived and served the rich and poor of every race across the city. He was committed to social justice and racial reconciliation through unceasing prayer and acts of kindness until his death in 1941. His statue is at the Five Points South intersection.
Other local heros of Christian faith and action also include Catholic priest, Fr James E Coyle, martyr for the Christian faith in 1921, Rev. Bob Hughes, Executive Director of the Alabama Council on Human Relations who was kicked out of the Methodist Church in 1960 for preaching racial brotherhood, and many more. We seek to walk in the same love for Jesus and our fellow man that they did.
OUR BASIS FOR SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT
The Sermon on the Mount in Matthew Chapters 5, 6, and 7 is the Kingdom value system that Jesus preached for all generations of His followers. It's message was the spiritual capital that kept America from a social abyss in the 1960's. It is needed today for a new spiritual awakening. Consider what America would look like today if another foundation were the ideology for social change. If the Civil Rights Movement had been primarily led by the Nation of Islam, or by secular pragmatists, or by liberation theologians who mixed the New Testament with militant socialism, it is questionable if our society would have remained intact.
OUR SOCIAL CONTEXT
Secular movements in the 60's like the sexual revolution, anti-life feminism, and the recreational drug culture have ascended in the last 50 years. What was sown to the wind is now the whirlwind. Our hedonistic culture feels desperate to throw off all moral restraints. What we need is for the social pendulum to swing back toward the beauty of social justice WITH righteousness. But what faith or ideology will a secularized society turn to now?
We seek to engage our culture with the message of a Jesus they thought they knew, but they have never met, so they will fall in love with Him and His leadership.
OUR VIEW OF HUMANITY AND SEXUALITY
We affirm the God given dignity of all human beings as Image Bearers of God our Father, who created us. We are open to civil dialog with the evolving secular Human Rights movement. We can agree on some ideals and disagree on others. We ask only to be respected for the time honored teachings of the Judeo-Christian Scriptures which we hold sacred. We call our society, beginning with ourselves,, to sexual holiness. Respectfully upholding faithful, heterosexual marriage as God's design for all who choose to marry, is not hate speech or bigotry, but the most responsible and loving message we can offer our culture. For those who do not marry, Godly singleness is a high calling.
While our activites are those listed on the CivilRighteousness.org site, locally, we focus on two areas.
1) Public presentations and forums on various topics of critical cultural significance based on a Judeo/Christian worldview. These events mostly target college and university campuses. Topics may include, "The Harms of Pornography - Fighting the New Drug", "The God of the Bible and the God of the Koran - Are They the Same?" "What is the Biblical View of Ethnic Identity"
2) Demonstrating the righteousness of God's Kingdom through prayer driven neighborhood outreach initiatives across Birmingham and the Region. We will model Night and Day works of Justice with Night and Day worship of Jesus.