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I Confess – I Did It!

Diana G.

 I confess that it was my idea for our Board to review the admission processes for NACSW. That review resulted in the Board’s unanimous recommendation that we revise our membership application to ask applicants simply to affirm the statement: “As a Christian, I affirm and support the mission of NACSW, which is to equip its members to integrate Christian faith and professional social work practice.” If we take this step, it means that we will drop requiring NACSW applicants to affirm the statement, “I accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior,” as well as the current Statement of Faith and Practice.

Friends who know me are probably wondering why I am so strongly in favor of this change. I personally affirm enthusiastically that Jesus is my Lord and Savior, and I really appreciate the Statement of Faith and Practice and have used is as an example for my students of a Christian world view for social work practice.

I support this change because I want NACSW to be a place where ALL Christian social workers can feel welcome and find a professional home with people who care about the things that matter to Christian social workers. Yet some Christian social work friends of mine – they happen to be Catholics and Presbyterians and Episcopalians – tell me that our language signals “only evangelicals welcome here.” Their feeling of exclusion deeply bothers me. I want to learn from them.

I also come from a denominational tradition that eschews creedal statements; I was taught “no creed but the Bible.” As a consequence, I have been an uneasy member of NACSW because our Statement of Faith and Practice is really a creedal criterion as it is for membership. I know what it feels like to be painted out of fellowship by a creedal statement. One of the most painful experiences of my adult life was watching my denomination adopt a creed that women should not be allowed to lead. Denominational employees were then required to sign it. A lot of good leaders were lost, and I had to leave my denominational home.

I believe it is wrong to make agreement on a creedal statement a criterion for Christian fellowship.

I don’t believe that those who wrote the NACSW Statement of Faith and Practice meant it to become a fence with a sign on it that says, “Only evangelicals who are comfortable with creeds welcome here.” Those comfortably inside the circle have a hard time realizing that some Christians, like me, are bothered by a creedal statement, however well it is written, when it leaves brothers and sisters out. I have spent more than 35 years of my professional career as a member of NACSW. I really would love these last years before retirement to be ones in which I feel truly welcome and part of the NACSW community!

Diana is currently a professor at Baylor University’s School of Social Work and has been a member of NACSW since the 1980s.

To view the entire article about the Board’s proposed changes in NACSW’s quarterly newsletter, Catalyst, please click on this link: http://www.nacsw.org/RC/49984541.pdf

 

60 thoughts on “I Confess – I Did It!

  1. No offense to anyone, but I'm saddened by this news, in the interest of being "inclusive". Maybe we should also change the name of the organization also, taking the "C" out of NACSW? What is "Christian" without a belief in Christ? I'm not asking for an answer (it's already done), nor do I wish to start a debate. I'm just stating my sadness.

  2. Thank you, Diana, for your wisdom and intentionality in meeting people "where they are," as Jesus did daily in his earthly work and walk.

  3. I appreciate all the postings already – this is a new experience for this old dog! JSP, I am saddened by the misunderstanding. If the proposed change passes, new members will still be expected to confirm "AS A CHRISTIAN, I affirm the mission of NACSW." Does that help your concern? Diana

    1. As in, "i'm Christian but I don't accept Christ as my Lord and Savior?" Don't Catholics, Presbyterians and Episcopalians believe Christ is Lord and Savior? If they do, then what exactly do they find offensive, or rather, exclusionary about that affirmation? I'm just confused.

    2. I'm just very uneasy about all of this. Again, no offense to you, Diana. But why be so concerned about the lack of self-comfort an individual feels or doesn't feel? Certainly you have been "accepted" and "included" if you have been a part of NACSW these many years, and you are well-respected in the field, and you are an "old dog", as you say, in this thing, and many people uplift you. But what about Jesus and His Name? What about His Name being uplifted? Shouldn't we be more "accepting" of Him and His Name than man? If Jesus is not first in one's life, how can one even consider themselves to be a CHRISTian? Some things are deal-breakers, and not accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior is one of them.

  4. I'm not sure I understand the change. If you are affirming you are Christian, then you should be affirming that you take Jesus as your Lord and Savior. So, why the change? Is it to make it "less Christian" sounding? I'm reminded of the Christian song…"Slow Fade."

  5. I think the change is reasonable for many reasons but I can also see why someone would ask, “why wouldn’t a Christian profess Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior on the application?” Byt I think it would be wise to suggest that we should keep an eye out for other future change suggestions. One change has the potential to cause more changes and I would never want NACSW to be a “watered down” organization as many Christian organizations seem to be becoming.

  6. As a member since 1998 and comfortable with the former statement of faith, I wholeheartedly agree with this change. I too, come from a tradition that eschews creeds and man made denominational barriers. Excellent blog post.

  7. Just a quick point of clarification in response to the concern here that what Diana refers to in her post is "already done." Actually, the Board’s recommendation that Diana refers to in her post will be put to a vote of the entire NACSW membership in the Fall, and would only become effective if 2/3 of the membership votes in favor of it. Specifically, NACSW's by-laws stipulate that: "The affirmative vote of two-thirds of members casting ballots within the thirty-day period to be specified on the ballot shall be required for ratification."

  8. Dr. Garland, Could you clarify the statement that, "If we take this step, it means that we will drop requiring NACSW applicants to affirm the statement, “I accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior,” as well as the current Statement of Faith and Practice." Is it being suggested the the Statement of Faith and practice as found in the NACSW Bylaws: Article II, Section 2 will also be dropped?

  9. Hey Diana, thank you for addressing this issue. I too grew up in a denominational setting and never realized how much that impacted the way I interacted with others. Great post!

    1. I must confess that I posted my comment in haste before seeking His perspective on this issue! Graciously, He led me through the following passages to address the NACSW's future:

      Whatever we do – in our profession and personal lives – it is to be done in the name of Jesus Christ (Colossians 3:17). As a follower of Christ, we are to walk in Him (Colossians 2:6). Our foundation is not anything else, for it is the Rock (Psalm 62:6) that we build our earthly lives and eternal salvation upon (Colossians 2:7).

      Equally, we are to ensure that no one takes a believer captive through philosophy, empty pride, or human traditions (Colossians 2:8). Should the presence of Jesus Christ be denied, we are all guilty of denying Him the praise and glory for being the full deity and Head of all rule and authority (Colossians 2:9). In this specific circumstance, "we all" is in reference to the leadership team and NACSW body who will be held accountable for not advocating for the name of Jesus Christ (Matthew 10:32-33).

      As we all stand before God, it is the sacrificial blood of Jesus Christ which has brought us life (Colossians 2:13-14). WIthout the forgiveness of sins through Christ's redeeming ministry, we will not be delivered from the domain of darkness that destroys this world (Colossians 1:13-14).

      Lastly, should we question His qualifications to be called Jesus Christ, Son of God, please see Colossians 1:15-20 and John 1:1-5, 9-18. Let us look to Paul's admonishment in 2 Timothy 2:8-13 to always remember Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

      For truly, to Him be all glory, honor, and praise!

      He alone is capable of leading us to the knowledge of truth (2 Timothy 2:25b-26).

  10. Hello Diana, do you think that maybe a change of wording may help. Some Christians to not believe in confessing their faith as a new convert would such as "I accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior." Maybe one may affirm their faith in the Lord Jesus based on the NACSW's statement of faith. Yolanda

  11. I am not a member but have been followig NACSW for some time. When I learned that NACSW wants to drop "I accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior" , I was shocked and disappointed. That is the foundation for every Christian. Whom does the organisation want to attract?
    Now I smell politics trying to take root and they might not go well with Christian believes. NACSW at one point might just as well join with NASW. I am sure many of you know how political NASW has become.
    I had plans to join the conference in St. Louis and wanted to join afterwards. I was looking for a home as a social worker with an organisation because they are Christian and because they do "accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior".
    No, I do not agree with you Diana G.

    1. Hi, Brigitte. Thanks for your entry. As I understand the proposal NACSW's Board of Directors is recommending, their intent is not to suggest that "belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior" is anything less than a beautiful and faithful expression of the foundation of the Christian faith. Instead, their proposal attempts to recognize that Christians from different denominational backgrounds have since the 1st century articulated foundational Christian beliefs and commitments using a variety of different expressions – expressions that they have grown accustomed to using and hearing, and so tend to be most comfortable for them.

      For example, some Christians use the following language each week in worship to summarize the foundational beliefs of the Christian faith (you will recognize this as the Apostle's Creed, which was developed in its current form over 1,500 years ago): <To be continued>

    2. <Continued from last comment>

      I believe in God, the Father almighty,
      creator of heaven and earth.

      I believe in Jesus Christ, God's only Son, our Lord,
      who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
      born of the Virgin Mary,
      suffered under Pontius Pilate,
      was crucified, died, and was buried;
      he descended to the dead.
      On the third day he rose again;
      he ascended into heaven,
      he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
      and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.

      I believe in the Holy Spirit,
      the holy catholic church,
      the communion of saints,
      the forgiveness of sins,
      the resurrection of the body,
      and the life everlasting. <To be continued>

    3. <Continued from last comment>
      Although the Apostle's Creed doesn't include the specific phrase "I believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior," I don't think many of us would suggest that the Apostle's Creed is less of a faithful expression of the foundation of the Christian faith than "I believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior" – but it is a different expression using different language, which some Christians feel more comfortable using because that is what they know and what they have been exposed to in their faith communities.

      And then, as Diana mentioned, some denominational traditions are very uncomfortable with using any specific "human" formulations of expressing the foundations of the Christian faith – though not implying in any way that they do not believe in their hearts that Jesus Christ is their Lord and Savior. <To be continued>

    4. <Continued from last comment>
      Taking all of this into account, the intent of the Board of Directors, as I understand it, was not in any way to water sown what NACSW means when it self-identifies as a Christian organization, but rather to welcome to its membership all Christians, regardless of the language or expressions they use to express foundational Christian beliefs (some of us most comfortable with "Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior," others of us most comfortable with "I believe in God, the Father almighty . . .", and so forth). <To be continued>

    5. <Last section, I promise!>

      As such, if the Board's recommendation is approved by the membership, NACSW would not and could not join with or become a part of NASW, since this proposal requires that members affirm: "As a Christian, I affirm the mission of NACSW (which is to equip its members to integrate Christian faith and social work practice)." This required affirmation for membership, as well as NACSW's continued transparent self-identification as a Christian organization (see the link to the article in Catalyst in Diana's post for more details in this regard) has in the past and would continue to differentiate NACSW from other associations within the social work profession.

    6. BTW, Bridgitte. We hope you still come to the convention in St. Louis and join NACSW. I think you will find many colleagues of deep faith and passionate social work commitment. We would be stronger with you among us!

  12. Good May 2 morning to all! On a personal note, I came grandmother for a second time yesterday, to Azalea Faith Garland, little sister to Aurora Grace. Life is so fun!

    I appreciate all the conversation and the questions. I will try to answer and perhaps some of the other board members will join the conversation, too. We are not dropping anything, the way I see it, but rather focusing our membership to people who identify themselves as "Christian." As a Christian, I affirm and support the mission of NACSW, which is to equip its members to integrate Christian faith and professional social work practice.” That's the proposed membership requirement and so clearly a Christian confession. We want to communicate that there are many ways to confess our faith and we don't want to embrace one that inadvertently defines us as for "this kind" of Christian and not for "that kind." My tradition does not believe in creedal statements but free confession. I really want to feel less marginalized in NACSW and a fully acceptable member of the family! Diana

    1. I cannot get past the sentence " I really want to feel less marginalized in NACSW". Is that about you Diana? You are voted to be on the Board of Directors and you do not feel being a fully acceptable member of the family!

  13. I too was caught off guard by this proposed change. I agree that creedal statements can never replace authentic relationship with Christ, but I am confused as to how "accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior" is a creed. That is the foundation of who we are. We are called to be set apart. Many individuals refer to themselves as Christians but miss the big picture–that without Christ we are nothing. There are not different types of Christians–there is one type. And that is those who declare Christ is Lord. I greatly desire for NACSW to equip its members to integrate Christian faith and professional social work practice, but we must not forget that without Christ, we have no purpose.

  14. After reading the comments, I think the potential change can definitely be a gateway for allowing all different types of people to be part of NA"C"SW. And when I say that, I personally do not like the thought of that. I also do not see how professing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior could possibly be a creed, either. Nowadays there are many Christians who profess to be "Christians" but don't necessarily accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. I say that because I personally know many of them. That is also the case in today's society. I don't want NACSW to be watered down like that. I would love to be part of an organization that 110% shamelessly professes that Jesus Christ is their Lord and Savior.

  15. Also, I don't really see how "I accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior" could make certain Christians feel left out. If NASW said that I needed to affirm to the statement "I believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God," I would be okay with that too. I think maybe we're giving word choice too much attention. But I do not think "As a Christian…" equals being a believer of Christ. Because as I have mentioned, I know many people who call themselves Christians but do not believe in Jesus Christ to be their Lord and Savior. I, myself, was like that in the past.

  16. Here are two, maybe not so brilliant and educated responses to ponder– 'politically correct' and 'watering Down'! Exactly why are we calling our selves CHRISTIANS IF WE ARE NOT ALLOWED TO CLAIM HIM AS our Lord and savior? so that someone may feel more comfortable? If a person calls them self a Christian, should they have a problem claiming that they are just that?

  17. I apologize for reposting here a comment I made yesterday. I noticed that I inadvertently posted my comment as a reply to one individual's entry, but I meant for it to be a general comment applicable to several entries over the past few days. I guess it is obvious I am a new to blogging! Here is my (now slightly abbreviated) comment:

    As I understand the proposal NACSW's Board of Directors is recommending, their intent is not to suggest that "belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior" is anything other than a clear and faithful expression of the foundation of the Christian faith. Instead, their proposal attempts to recognize that Christians from different denominational backgrounds have since the 1st century articulated foundational Christian beliefs and commitments using a variety of different expressions including this one, but also others. And for most of us, it is the particular expressions of our foundational beliefs that we have been exposed to in worship and study in our different denominations that tend to resonate most for us.

  18. Taking this into account, the intent of the Board of Directors, as I understand it, is to welcome to NACSW membership all Christians, who they recognized use different language or expressions to express their understanding of and commitment to foundational Christian beliefs (for many of us, "I belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior" resonates most clearly, and for others, expressions like "I believe in God, the Father almighty . . ." from the Apostle’s Creed resonates most clearly, and so forth).

    It is my understanding that the Board is not at all desirous of watering down NACSW’s distinctly Christian identity, which it still clings to more than 60 years after its founding (see the link to the article in Catalyst in Diana's original post for more about this) – an identity which has in the past and would continue to differentiate NACSW from other associations within the social work profession.

  19. I have been a member of NACSW since the 1970s and a part of board discussions about membership requirements since the 1980s as a board member, president of NACSW, and ex officio as editor of Social Work & Christianity. I think it is fair to say that that the board has never wavered in its clear commitment to maintaining NACSW’s distinctive identity as a Christian organization. It is also fair to say that over the years the language of our materials has, very intentionally, moved from using a good bit of “insider” language associated with certain parts of the Christian church to more inclusive language. Inclusive in this sense means inclusive of the whole Body of Christ, the whole Christian church—no more and no less.

    This proposal is a reaffirmation of the board’s long-time commitment to respect the self-affirmation and self-identity of potential members as Christians. The proposed revision is no change in this policy. The revision makes our Christian identity and mission quite clear and leaves it to the conscience and integrity of prospective members as to whether or not they can in good faith affirm it. The board has always been committed to the principle that NACSW should be a place where Christians with very different understandings of the implications of the good news of Christ can come together to learn from one another and to grow more faithful and competent. With all our fallen and finite limitations we will never agree completely on the practical implementation of God’s call for love and justice, but with God’s grace we may be able to help one another understand that call better.

    NACSW has been an important part of my professional and personal identity for almost 40 years. Some of my dearest and longest friendships are found in NACSW. I am glad to have been a part of NACSW’s unique mission and to help it grow as a respected resource. I would never have made or kept this relationship if there were any compromise of our core mission. I look forward to NACSW’s continued service to equip its members to integrate Christian faith and professional social work practice—no matter what the results of this membership statement proposal referendum may be.

  20. I’m a Roman Catholic and when I joined NACSW I struggled for a while with some of the language: I felt a bit of an outsider and wasn’t sure of my welcome. Thankfully, I joined and have found NACSW a welcoming community.

    Paradoxically, as a Board member, I found myself troubled initially by the proposal to make changes to the admission process. I wanted to respect the tradition of NACSW. At the same time, I also wanted to make our great community of faith a place of welcome for all Christians.

    The Board meetings that debated this issue were painful at times when I found myself disagreeing with people I esteem and care for. At the same time, I felt our discussions were marked by real Christian love and respect. In the end we came to a language that we could all support.

    So, I warmly endorse the proposed change while respecting the feelings of those who are troubled by it. Jesus prayed that we should be one, and I pray that we can come through this process united in His name.

    1. It is written that he also said,

      “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law, and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household."

      Peace, one-ness and comfort are significant, but hierarchically these must bow the knee to the pursuit of Truth.

      Interestingly enough, no one seems to mention what seemed to be a fairly recent (<3 years) branching off of NACSW, specifically for those of a different denomination or "creed": http://www.cswna.org/Membership.aspx

  21. Thanks Diana, and the entire leadership team of NACSW for your great work with this issue. I am a new board member, so I did not have a hand in this recommendation, but I can see the wisdom in it and support this wholeheartedly. I know the road that has lead you here has been a long one, undertaken with prayers for guidance along the way. Let’s get behind this idea and make it happen!

  22. I agree with JSP and am saddened by the proposed "inclusive" language. I will not vote to approve it in the fall.

  23. As a relatively new board member, I was not part of the original discussion about this proposal. However, I am in full support of it. I am from a faith tradition that shuns creeds. This statement is creedal. I am a Christian and I believe that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. It is not necessary that I state that I believe this to be so to be a member of NACSW. When I became a Christian, it was important that I understood and confessed that Jesus the Christ is my Lord and Savior. Not only did I confess that , but I have committed to living a lifestyle that reflects what it means to be Christ-like. I pray that my living reflects Jesus, even more so than my mouth. When I became a member of NACSW a few years ago, I was a bit uncomfortable with signing a statement that required me to restate what is essentially my confession statement that was part of my conversion experience. It was if I was becoming a member of an organized religious institution. NACSW is an organization of social workers who are Christians. It is an opportunity for professional social workers who are Christians to fellowship with like-minded people. It is not intended to be a church or organized religious institution. It is not intended to be anti any other professional social work organization. Furthermore, it is not the only home for professional social workers who are Christian. My faith tradition is one of exclusivity. There are many in my faith tradition who believe that we are the only Christians. We state that we are non-denominational and that denominations are against God's will. I have been freed from this type of man-made bondage and am particularly sensitive to any attempts to be exclusive. I have no desire to be a part of a religiously exclusive organization. I would ask that we really examine this matter with a prayerful spirit. There are several thoughts that we should answer:

    –How does signing that statement ensure that the signer is a Christian?
    –Who decides who is a Christian? What litmus test will we use to determine this?
    — What part of the Social Work Code of Ethics do we accept? Which part do we ignore?

    I pray that we are able to seek God's wisdom which is truly swaddled in His grace and mercy. I pray that we can show a measure of that grace and mercy with each other as we seek work through this important issue.

  24. I have been following the debate for the last days. I still try to understand why the change was discussed at all. It has not been addressed specifically in any of the comments. All I am reading from the boad members is standard company line.
    What is the NACSW definition for a Christian? If "as a Christian I affirm…" will be the new requirement, who is a Christian in the eyes of the organization?
    If the purpose is to expand the membership to include everyone and being a Christian "who belief in Jesus Christ" is not a requirement, why have the organization at all?

    1. The NACSW definition of a Christian is anyone who professes to be a Christian. Signing a statement does not make one a Christian. It is a lifestyle. There is no indication from anything that has been written about from the board that NACSW is removing the requirement that members profess to be Christians. This is evident in the revised statement that begins with the phrase "As a Christian I affirm". I would encourage you to review Diana Garland's statements, both at this site and in the Catalyst, for an explanation for why this change was originally discussed.

      1. Ah, but wait!
        "..those will cry out Lord, Lord, did we not prophecy in your name…do miracles in your name, cast out demons in your name?"
        Anyone who professes to be a Christian is the definition of a Christian. Gee, I sure hope we can read God's Word better than to merely define a follower of Jesus (hopefully you are okay with this wording…) as one who says they follow Him.
        And He will say, "…I never knew you."

        1. "Anyone who professes to be a Christian is the definition of a Christian." should read:
          Anyone who professes to be a Christian is the definition of a Christian?

          1. Would you suggest that I am not a Christian unless I profess that statement? In addition, who will determine my Christianity? I signed the statement, yet I believe what I believe to be true. Should NACSW set up a committee to vet current and incoming members to ensure that we not let people like me in? Maybe face to face interviews, reference checks? Will there be a check on whether members have prophesied, done miracles, cast out demons, or have spoken in tongues? Clearly, signing that statement did not work…

          2. I am not suggesting anything. I do not know you and I believe it is not about you.
            The question is "do you belief in Jesus Christ". Because the belief in Jesus Christ is the foundation of the NACSW.

  25. These are difficult issues to discuss. Christians have struggled with them throughout the history of our church, and will continue to do so in the future. My prayer is that in doing so, we learn from each other, and find ways to show our love for one another as we seek God's wisdom and guidance together.

    A few thoughts in response to questions raised in recent entries:

    1. If this proposal is adopted by the membership, what would be the difference between NACSW and NASW? Why have NACSW exist at all? NACSW and NASW are committed to two completely different missions or purposes. "NASW works to enhance the professional growth and development of its members, to create and maintain professional standards, and to advance sound social policies" (from their website). NACSW's mission is to "equip its members to integrate Christian faith and professional social work practice." <to be continued>

  26. 3. If this proposal is adopted by the membership, what would NACSW mean when it calls itself a Christian organization? The Board's proposal includes the following: “The members of NACSW represent a rich diversity of Christian denominations and traditions. The mission of NACSW is to equip its members to integrate Christian faith and professional social work practice. By Christian faith we mean historic Christian faith as expressed, for example, in statements such as the following: 1. The Apostle’s Creed; 2. The Nicene Creed; 3. NACSW’s current Statement of Faith and Practice (which you can view by going to: http://www.nacsw.org/2008/2008_about.htm#Statemen….

  27. 2. Why has the Board developed this proposal? NACSW desires to invite all Christians to support each other and to learn from each other how our Christian faith makes a difference in the work that we do as social workers. Unfortunately, some Christians deeply committed to following Jesus have come to NACSW through the years and communicated that they do not feel fully welcome within NACSW, that the way we currently express our membership requirements does not resonate with them and with their denominational traditions. In these conversations, it has been clear that the issue is not disagreement about the content of the Christian faith (what we believe), but rather about how it is expressed. As a result, not all members of Christ's body feel included in NACSW's invitation to be a part of NACSW. NACSW seeks to have all members of Christ's body feel welcome to be part of our membership. The call to unity within Christ's body is a strong theme within the New Testament.

    1. Unfortunately, Jesus wasn't all about making people comfortable (e.g., He didn't bother with people in his hometown due to their lack of belief; He didn't say, "wait a minute, boys…give me another shot…let me perform another miracle for y'all and then maybe you'll be more comfortable about my claims and eventually accept Me."
      Sometimes I wonder what Jesus would say to a board proposing such an idea…or more accurately, what the board would say to Him with such a proposition!: "See, Lord, we figure if we just make it a little more comfortable for folks, we let them define what it means to follow You…" or "Lord, we're all unanimous on this…we've come up with this great new way to better establish our ranks…" Seriously?! Do you all on the Board not know that He does have knowledge of every word and thought that is expressed/ not expressed? Has He not given us all we need to say what is and what is not in adherence with His Word? Are we that embarrassed by His standard of Holiness (e.g., "But you don't understand Lord, we'd get sued!"…Do you not know that if we don't confess Jesus in front of others, He promises to do the same in front of His Father?

      PS-A chart of the old and new/proposed membership affirmation statement/statement of faith and practice seems like a much better way of presenting this. Putting it in an article/blog w/ seemingly such an emphasis on changing "Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior" to "As a Christian" undoubtedly has confused many passionate members on this blog.

  28. I agree with the statement as it promotes the inclusiveness of NACSW – that we are not promoting a creed (of which there are numerous) but opportunities for our membership to integrate their faith with practice through conferences, workshops, reading materials, sharing with each other, etc. This, in my view, is the core value of NACSW: to help us with our corporate struggle to integrate our faith and social work practice.

  29. I love Jesus. He is my Lord and Savior. And I do not need a NACSW statement to that effect or any other for that to be true. I trust that Christ and each person are able to work out their relationship without my saying what language is required to do that. I am in favor of the proposed change.
    Diana Garland is my dean; that has kept me from entering this public conversation, as I have been concerned that others cvould judge my response as self serving rather than authentic. It strikes me that it is that very issue of judgment that drives my position. I am comfortable letting God judge the nature of His relationship with others. Helen Harris

  30. Dearly Beloved Leaders and Members of NACSW__I have been prayerfully contemplating my response to the current debate in NACSW. After series of discussions with some current and past board members, I will want to use the scripture in 1 Timothy 5 vs 1 as the center-piece of my comment. __For ease of reference the passage reads : " Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father

  31. Finally, as we move close to taking a vote or making a decision on this debate, Lets ask OURSELVES these questions.
    1.How will other believers all over the world who read our blog and hear what we are debating on at this time and age think of us?
    2.Do we think NACSW's debate will be a "comfort" to the families, friends, and relatives of the aforementioned Christians?
    3.Or we are indirectly telling the grieving families in Nigeria, Kenya, Iran, Mali, and other parts of the World that it is their fate to be in the part of the world they've found themselves?
    4.How do we explain the current NACSW debate to hundreds of Christian social work students in the USA who have endured the identity of being Christians?
    5.Are we looking forward to the same heaven as these martyrs? If yes, how are going to explain on the Judgment day the decision we took, or the vote we will make to these martyrs and more importantly to God? May the Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on US all.

  32. As an immigrant member of NACSW , I know that if other Christians in other parts of the world read about the current debate in NACSW they will either say "it can only happen in America" or they will just hiss as usual and say "they are not surprised" at the American brand of Christianity. May the Good Lord Jesus Christ help US all as we take this seismic decision.
    We are all ONE in Jesus Christ at NACSW and the strands of LOVE that has kept us all together for over 61 years should not at this time and season questioned or investigated. Please let US commit to praying at least for 5 minutes daily for NACSW and our leaders.
    I am fervently praying the Lord will have mercy on all of us, and especially our leaders in NACSW!!!
    Please let us PRAY, AND PRAY, AND PRAY for our beloved NACSW as we have never done before.
    I love you all with the Love of Jesus Christ the Lord.
    Grace and Peace
    Christson Adedoyin

  33. Thank you, Christson, for saying these things so clearly. One of the things that has been concerning me about this entire conversation is that we don't recognize the privilege that we have in just being able to freely debate this in the first place. Outside of our circle (within NACSW), this entire debate, if known, would serve primarily to reinforce stereotypes about ingroup-outgroup biases by Christians than it would serve as a witness to the broader social work community. The tone, passion, and concern here and on the educators' listserv is so far removed from what I wrestle with on a daily basis in relationship to my faith, practice, and scholarship that I do genuinely wonder what we think we're accomplishing…

  34. Exactly, Claudette! Why is the board spending so much time and effort

    to remove Jesus Christ from the affirmation statement in the first place?

    Why choose the first blog post on this subject? This is not what I paid my membership for, participate for, or voted for when voting for board members.

    The board needs to withdraw the proposal immediately and move on to the improving the mission of NACSW.

  35. I was told to repost my comments because some of the major content and links did not appear in my earlier post.
    Dearly Beloved Leaders and Members of NACSW

    I have been prayerfully contemplating my response to the current debate in NACSW. After series of discussions with some current and past board members, I will want to use the scripture in 1 Timothy 5 vs 1 as the center-piece of my comment.

    For ease of reference the passage reads : " Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren" (I Timothy 5 :1, King James Version). With this passage I am respectfully entreating the "elders" (NACSW Board and other senior colleagues) to PLEASE prayerfully consider the proposed changes in view of the following.

  36. As an immigrant and believer in the uncontroversial Lordship of Jesus Christ, it is so sad that the same confession of "Jesus Christ is Lord" that people are being beheaded, burnt, stoned, and viciously killed for in various parts of the world is what WE the very "comfortable" members of the NACSW are debating!

    I have some links I would like US all to consider as we take this decision at NACSW.

    1. In Nigeria, Pastors and other Christians were beheaded for their refusal to deny Jesus Christ at the point of death See link:
    http://www.codewit.com/home/religion/2463-nigeria….

    Please note that the Pastors and believers who were killed by Islamic extremist were from the following denominations: Catholic, Baptist, Church of Christ, Evangelical, Protestant and Episcopal to mention a few. Is OUR brand of Christianity or confession superior or more advanced than these brethren?
    Please let us respect these martyrs as we prayerfully deliberate at NACSW. We need more prayers than ever at NACSW.

  37. 2. A boy was killed in Kenya for being observed overtime and noted as a Christian. He didn't even disturb or proselyte . He's silent belief in Jesus Christ led to his death.
    See link: http://fieryspiritedzionist.blogspot.com/2011/10/

    Please let us respect the silent faith and lifestyle of this 17 year Old boy as we prayerfully deliberate at NACSW. We need more prayers than ever at NACSW.

    3. Just 2 weeks ago some of our Nigerian colleagues in academia ( including 2 Christian Professors and several Christian Students) were killed on Easter Sunday in Nigeria for being Catholics, Presbyterians, Episcopal, and Evangelicals to mention a few. When bombs and volley of gun shots were directed at them, the killers did not ask for their denominational affiliation. One thing united them. They were all Christians.
    See link http://www.punchng.com/news/buk-attacks-two-profe
    Please let us respect and be mindful the death of our professional colleagues as we prayerfully deliberate at NACSW. We need more prayers than ever at NACSW.

  38. 4. One pastor is awaiting death for his faith and was told his death sentence will be revoked if he reconverts to Islam, and by implication renouncing the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
    See this link for more details http://www.persecution.net/ir-2012-01-19.htm
    Please let us respect the courage of this Pastor and pray for him and his family as we prayerfully deliberate at NACSW. We need more prayers than ever at NACSW.

    5. I beg you to please take a little of your time to browse through this link: http://incontext.webs.com/martyrs.htm.
    This is a more comprehensive and daily update on what OUR fellow believers irrespective of denominational affiliations are experiencing in various part of the World. Please let's honor their persecution and uncompromising faith even in the face of death as we prayerfully deliberate at NACSW. We need more prayers than ever at NACSW.

  39. Finally, as we move close to taking a vote or making a decision on this debate, Lets ask OURSELVES these questions.

    1. How will other believers all over the world who read our blog and hear what we are debating on at this time and age think of us?
    2. Do we think NACSW's debate will be a "comfort" to the families, friends, and relatives of the aforementioned Christians?
    3. Or we are indirectly telling the grieving families in Nigeria, Kenya, Iran, Mali, and other parts of the World that it is their fate to be in the part of the world they've found themselves?
    4. How do we explain the current NACSW debate to hundreds of Christian social work students in the USA who have endured the identity of being Christians?
    5. Are we looking forward to the same heaven as these martyrs? If yes, how are going to explain on the Judgment day the decision we took, or the vote we will make to these martyrs and more importantly to God? May the Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on US all.

  40. As an immigrant , I know that if other Christians in other parts of the world read about the current debate in NACSW they will either say "it can only happen in America" or they will just hiss as usual and say "they are not surprised" at the American brand of Christianity. May the Good Lord Jesus Christ help US all as we take this seismic decision.
    We are all ONE in Jesus Christ at NACSW and the strands of LOVE that has kept us all together for over 61 years should not at this time and season questioned or investigated. Please let US commit to praying at least for 5 minutes daily for NACSW and our leaders.
    I am fervently praying the Lord will have mercy on all of us, and especially our leaders in NACSW!!!
    Please let us PRAY AND PRAY AND PRAY for our beloved NACSW.
    I love you all with the Love of Jesus Christ the Lord.
    Grace and Peace

    Christson Adedoyin

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