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UMC Bishop Sprague Calls Mass Evangelism Effort "Non-Jesus-Like Arrogance"–Linked To Hate Crimes

From: Roberson, Eric & Kristina
Sent: Tuesday, November 30, 1999 12:29 AM
Subject: Bishop Sprague Calls Mass Evangelism Effort "Non-Jesus-Like Arrogance"

Dear UCM Page Readers:

F.Y.I. -- Northern Illinois Conference Bishop C. Joseph Sprague is quoted by the Dallas Morning News in an Associated Press Chicago-byline article as having signed a letter asking the Southern Baptist Convention President to cancel a scheduled summer mass evangelism effort. The letter, written by leaders of the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago, cites several recent religious attacks in Chicago and asserts that the Baptist Evangelism effort could lead to religious violence.

The letter is quoted as stating, "While we are confident that your volunteers would come with entirely peaceful intentions, a campaign of the nature and scope of you envision could contribute to a climate conducive to hate crimes."

Additionally, Bishop Sprague is quoted as stating the Baptist evangelism plan "smacks of a kind of non-Jesus-like arrogance."

Source: "Religious Leaders Discourage Baptist Mission to Chicago," Dallas Morning News, November 29, 1999, page 4A.

Eric Roberson
Member -- St. Andrew U.M.C.
Plano, Texas

From: Roberson, Eric & Kristina
Sent: Tuesday, November 30, 1999 12:06 AM
Subject: Bishop Spraque Calls Mass Evangelism Effort "Non-Jesus-like Arrogance."

Dear UCM Readers:

I thought you might like to know that Bishop C. Joseph Sprague of the Northern Illinois Conference is quoted today (November 29, 1999) in an Associated Press story printed on page 4 of the Dallas Morning News as regarding an effort by Southern Baptists to send thousands of summer missionaries to evangelize the Chicagoland area. The Bishop states the mass evangelism effort "smacks of a kind of non-Jesus-like Arrogance."   This statement was made in an article reporting that Bishop Sprague along with the other members of an interdenominational coalition sent a letter to Paige Patterson, President of the Southern Baptist Convention, asking him to call off the evangelism effort. The letter to Patterson reportedly stated that the evangelism effort would create a potential for religious violence and "could contribute to a climate conducive to hate crimes."

As a candidate for ministry, I will not comment on the Bishop's remarks, except to say that I am glad I am in a Conference and District where old-fashioned great commission style Gospel evangelism is still strongly supported by the Bishop and DS.

Eric Roberson,
North Texas Conference,
Dallas Northeast District

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