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Biblical Worldview Pertinent to D.C. March

By Diana Chandler                                                                                                                   ©2013 Baptist Press

Ministry leader Chris McNairy's biblical worldview drew him to Washington today (Aug. 28) to participate in the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, expected to draw tens of thousands.

For pastor James Dixon, the anniversary stirred reflection on the past and energy for blacks to continue in their God-given purpose.

McNairy and Dixon, both Southern Baptists, attended several conferences and seminars during a week of commemorative activities and they planned to walk the last leg of the 1.6-mile march that began at 8:15 a.m. today (Aug. 28). McNairy is the founding director of the Urban Fusion Network in Lawrenceville, Ga. Dixon is pastor of El-Bethel Baptist Church in Fort Washington, Md.

During the 1963 March on Washington that pumped national energy into the Civil Rights Movement and drew 250,000 to the Lincoln Memorial, McNairy was just a toddler, growing up in a southern family too poor to travel to D.C. to hear Martin Luther King Jr. set forth his dream of economic and social equality for the nation.

"My rationale for participating," McNairy told Baptist Press, "really comes out of what I perceive as a strong biblical worldview. I grew up in the South and that had a big impact on my social perspectives on some things --out of some things that I've heard and I've lived -- and then [I reconciled] that with a biblical worldview.

"I've seen so many parallels between ... a biblical worldview and what Dr. King and the whole movement of the '60s was about. It was so much more than a civil rights movement," McNairy said. "It was actually a spiritual movement in this country that showed love."

Dixon voiced a perspective stated by many.

"We've come a long way, but we've still got a long way to go in terms of dealing with that whole dynamic [of race relations]. [The 2013 march] alone is going to create a moment for me to really reflect on that whole dynamic and, as a black people, to look at how far we've come," Dixon told Baptist Press.

“This moment should create an environment for conversation that will bring us as black people together as well. We need this right now to give us the energy to go forward, to work together but also be that bridge by which God can use to bring His folks together," Dixon said.

Nearly 50 years after King's assassination, Sunday worship is still the most segregated hour in America, Dixon said.

"I don't think we've made a lot of progress in that area," Dixon said. "But I'm a firm believer that if change is going to take place in the Southern Baptist Convention or in the body of Christ, period, it's going to take place among the multiethnic community.

“I believe that black people are going to have to take the lead in that whole effort to bring this to reality. When we compare the conversation about the lead in the struggles with the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King and the march on Washington, the message is the same -- pick up the banner and keep marching," Dixon said. "The work that remains will require all Christians to work together to fulfill God’s mission. The Great Commandment leads us to a great community and the great community leads us to a great commonality; which opens the door to carry out the Great commission. I believe that God wants to use us as a people to lead the whole multiethnic community, including white people, to a better understanding of who He is and a better relationship with each other.”

While racism still exists, Christian unity is possible by living out the Great Commandment Jesus gave in Matthew 22:37-39, Dixon and McNairy agreed.

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