Has it Been Two Years?

fred luterFred Luther’s two-year term as SBC president will end at the convention meeting in Baltimore. As his term in office comes to an end, the first African-American president of the SBC sits down and talks with Baptist Message, the newsjournal of the Louisiana Baptist Convention. With Father’s Day quickly approaching, he concludes with a rather timely statement about fathers and their role in the family and church.

Read the full interview here, via Baptist Press and courtesy of the Baptist Message.

Speculation: who will be the next SBC president? Do you know who the front runners are?

Should “Love Your Neighbor” Be Subject to Interpretation?

God, hell, sign Take at look at this church sign. This was posted in front of a small church in Norfolk (England, not Virginia). Would you be offended? Even if you were not a believer, would you consider taking action against the church? A passerby was offended but then it gets really weird. Robert Gladwin, age 20, called the police to complain:

“It is my basic understanding that Christianity is inclusive and loving in nature. The message being displayed outside of the church could not be further from the often uttered phrase ‘love thy neighbour’.” Continue reading

National Day of Prayer, a History Lesson

reaganFrom General Washington’s struggle at Valley Forge to the present, this Nation has fervently sought and received divine guidance as it pursued the course of history. This occasion provides our Nation with an opportunity to further recognize the source of our blessings, and to seek His help for the challenges we face today and in the future. -Ronald Reagan 

The Second Continental Congress (as in the guys that signed the Declaration of Independence) first asked colonists to pray in 1775, recommending “a day of public humiliation, prayer and fasting.” Only in 1952 did President Harry Truman sign a bill stating that each successive president must designate a national day of prayer each year on a date of his choosing. A National Prayer Committee was formed in 1982 to establish a fixed day annually. Since 1988 the National Day of Prayer has been the first Thursday of May. George W. Bush is the only president in recent history to host an annual event in the nation’s capital in observance of the Day of Prayer (Reagan and H.W. Bush each had one). Continue reading

National Day of Prayer 2014

Screenshot 2014-04-25 at 11.24.23 PMNext Thursday, May 1 2014, is the 63rd National Day of Prayer. Now we all know I’m not going to recite the Lord’s Prayer while humming the National Anthem, but let’s be honest. Christians from all denominations across the country are making a concerted effort to pray together – this is a good thing.

Today’s Verse of the Day is Hebrews 7:25 which reminds us we draw near to God through Jesus Christ and no other way. We pray in Jesus’ name because as our great High Priest is our advocate with the Father and ever lives to make intercession. Continue reading

The Church at Work in Ukraine

Ukraine American news has been dominated by severe weather stories, and multiple channels of Olympic coverage plus round the clock internet streams provide more hours of winter games than one could possibly watch. Hopefully, however, you are at least aware of the violent instability and loss of life in the Ukraine.

Protests of that nation’s government have been going on for three months or so, and the government has recently responded with greater force. Local churches and IMB missionaries are not taking sides, but are in Kiev handing out scripture and offering prayer support. Tent ministries have been set up near the front lines, and as locals pray for peace in their country church workers pray for God’s peace in people’s hearts.

“Thousands of Scripture portions have been distributed and the prayer tent on Independence Square is very active,” said International Mission Board worker Tim Johnson (names have been changed). Johnson said all IMB personnel in Ukraine are safe and in contact with local believers to support their efforts to share Christ in the midst of the violence.

Read this story in full at Baptist Press News. 

Southern Baptists Travel to Sochi, Russia

Screenshot 2014-02-13 at 12.16.32 PM

 

SOCHI, Russia (BP) — Amid tight security, the 2014 Winter Olympics commenced with impressive opening ceremonies, while Baptist volunteers from across the United States arrived to be part of the international festivities.

Among those present is a select group partnering under the name Engage Sochi. Their purpose is simple: to make a difference for Christ before, during and after the 2014 Winter Olympics. The Southern Baptist volunteers journeyed thousands of miles despite persistent media attention to fears of terrorist threats.

-Evelyn Adamson, Feb 7 2014

Read the full article at Baptist Press. Image and text above are the property of the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention. 

Best Dressed Man of the Year

Francis First, Pope Francis was selected as Time’s Man of the Year. That was a very classy choice. Now he has been honored with a title that I imagine he is less thrilled about: Esquire Magazine’s Best Dressed Man of the Year. This pope is known for his acts of humility, such as packing his own luggage and moving into a small papal apartment. But it may be that sense of modest style that earned him the recognition. Check out this headline from the Daily Mail:

Screenshot 2013-12-30 at 6.50.26 AMHe was selected ahead of Joseph Gordon Levitt and other Hollywood types for his “unadorned style” and “humble clothes.” I think Martin Luther would approve.

 

 

Phil Robertson, A&E, and the Beliefs of True Christians

phil A&E has suspended Phil Robertson from the reality series Duck Dynasty, and the Internet is blowing up. It has nothing to do with anything said or done on the show, but remarks he made in an interview with GQ magazine. Here is part of what Phil said:

“Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”

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The SBC Resolution on the Boy Scouts of America

boy scouts The SBC passed a resolution today regarding the BSA and its policy change toward openly gay members. I came down pretty hard earlier this week on the SBC leadership for what I expected the resolution to say, and am pleased to admit that I like the actual resolution that was passed. Perhaps it was much ado about nothing; or perhaps there are many others that feel the same way I do.

Continue reading