AME Motto : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

Our AME Motto is "God Our Brother, Christ Our Redeemer, Man Our Brother." What does this mean to you? Whom do we consider our Brother?

-- Anonymous, July 15, 2002


It's God, Our Father. :)

Everyone is my brother. Everyone is my neighbor.

-- Anonymous, July 15, 2002

Thank you so much for the correction Rev. Harper. I meant to write "God our Father, Christ Our Redeemer and Man our Brother."

-- Anonymous, July 15, 2002

If my memory is correct wasn't the motto revised to incorporate gender-neutral language, e.g. "mankind or humanity our brother"? I would personally like to see the Holy Spirit included in the motto in order to be consistent with our Trinitarian principles. QED

-- Anonymous, July 15, 2002


While I believe this was the proposal, I also think it was rejected on the grounds that we have, in fact, gone too far with our attempt to accommodate the limited, and sometime carnal thinking of modern society. This even extended itself to the elimination of verses in hymns as well as complete hymns which were favorites of the church.

An example of this is the hymn taken from the Song of Solomon, "O, Thou in Whose Presence My Soul Takes Delight." Our present Hymnal eliminated the verse from this hymn which read:

"Ye daughters of Zion declare have you seen the Star that on Israel shone? Say if in your tents my beloved has been; And where with His flock he has gone."

You wall also note that the past three Books of Discipline have rejected the new Order of Worship and only the traditional one now appears as official.

So, it is now our thinking that any intelligent person would understand that what Daniel Alexander Payne meant when he wrote our motto and used the term "Man" was all Mankind. Thus, no change is therefore necessary.

-- Anonymous, July 15, 2002

To be quite honest, when I posed the question I was not thinking in gender terms, but on a wider level as to our church and the world around us. From the very beginning, the AME Church sought to spread the gospel of Christ throughout the US, Africa, the Caribbean and Europe. The word of God was given not only to those of African descent, but to all whom had ears to hear. Our denomination looked to everyone as our brother and sister with no exclusions. Even while many of our people were enslaved (and labeled chattel by the US government) our leadership maintained a Godly perspective of brotherhood. To date, and to the glory of God, many of our churches on Sunday morning are no longer segregated. We are blessed to enjoy a rich worship experience with persons of Indian, Spanish, European, Middle Eastern or Asian descent and praising God simply as one people.

What brought my question on are current events. Recently, the President of the US referred to certain countries as being members of the “evil axis.” I understand that evil exists in the world, but it bothers me when an entire group is labeled anything, particularly “evil” by a government. (Not to mention by a government that endorses separation of church and state.) President Reagan, before the fall of the USSR, designated Russia as the “evil empire.” Now Russia is our ally (no longer considered evil by our government) fighting the other so-called “evil” and receiving generous American aid. What events occurred that caused our government to rescind their “evil” designation? Does our government believe that the fall of communism imparted salvation to Russia? I live in the city of Philadelphia and work and live among many different people with various backgrounds and religions and it is very easy to get caught up in the media spin. I know several Islamic Arabs and I cannot think of them as evil. In fact, they are very kind and thoughtful people. On the same note, I have Jewish friends who are also kind and thoughtful and I love them as well. I consider them all my brothers (and sisters). I was thinking to myself the other day, I do not want to hate anyone and regard anyone as evil. I pray that God will teach me to love big without limitation as He does and see His creation in the people of the earth. If, according to the government, they are evil (Islamic people of certain countries) and our cause is righteous (Christians), how do we reconcile Jesus' words found in Matthew 5:11 "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." Even more, in Matthew 5 vs. 43-48 Jesus expounds on the love of enemies.

If they are wrong and we are right, is war justified? Is the changing of government heads justified by one government to another? Do you think we can ever have sincere dialogue to get at the root of the issue? Daniel Pearl, the journalist killed in Pakistan, said he wanted to know why they hate us. My question is can we learn to love one another as Christ taught us? Jesus said, "Blessed are the peacemakers, because they will be called sons of God." How can or should the Allenites play a part?

Please share your opinions with me as to whom you consider your brother (or sister as you would have it). To whom do you think Payne was referring when he wrote our motto? Thanks.

Peace. God's blessing to you all.

-- Anonymous, July 18, 2002

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