April 2011

A POWERFUL MESSAGE: Amite's Easter drama a sellout

By Karen L. Willoughby, Managing Editor

DENHAM SPRINGS – That more people from further distances attend what has grown to eight performances of the annual Easter drama at Amite Baptist Church attests to the success of the event, which marked its 25th year of production in early April.

[img_assist|nid=7233|title=Amite Easter Drama|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=67]So too do the 400 or more spiritual decisions made each year.

Virtually every one of the 1,000 or more people who regularly participate in Sunday morning worship at Amite Baptist is involved in one way or another in the Easter drama, said Terry Booth, pastor since 1985. This includes those who pray, those who give, and those who tell people they know about it, in addition to those involved in one of eight teams of 31 crews.


Recession forces personnel cuts at NOBTS

Staff, Baptist Press

NEW ORLEANS (BP) – New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary has announced that in light of the economic recession and a reduction in Cooperative Program funding, the seminary will lay off three professors, ask four professors to shift to part-time status, and eliminate six ministry-based faculty positions, effective Aug. 1.

New Orleans Seminary President Chuck Kelley made the public announcement in a statement to Baptist Press April 1, after telling seminary staff and faculty. Earlier, he met personally with the individuals affected by the cuts. The changes will be presented to the seminary trustees at their April 12-13 meeting as a part of the proposed budget for next year.

Following is Kelley’s full statement:


Moore named National Collegiate Ministry leader at LifeWay

By Staff, Baptist Message

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – John Moore has been named the national collegiate ministry leader at the SBC’s LifeWay Christian Resources.

[img_assist|nid=7237|title=John Moore|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=67|height=100]Moore, a graduate of Louisiana Tech University and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, worked in the collegiate ministry area of the Louisiana Baptist Convention for nearly 30 years before moving to LifeWay in 2006.

In his new position Moore will work with Baptist collegiate ministers throughout the United States determine strategic priorities for ministering to college and university students.


Letter to the Editor: Take a stand against Bell's 'Love Wins'

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor,

As a youth pastor and former BCM student, I am quite familiar with Rob Bell.

I was first introduced to Bell at a BCM where our leader occasionally used his videos as lessons for our meetings. Many of us were instantly hooked.

The charisma Bell has in the Nooma videos quickly and easily attracts young people. However, with Bell’s most recent book being released, we as Christians must take a stand.


Justification by faith makes a difference

By Kevin McFadden, Professor of Christian Studies at Louisiana College

[img_assist|nid=7242|title=Kevin McFadden|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=78|height=100]Many Christians know that Jesus Christ died for their sins but have difficulty seeing how this has any direct bearing upon their daily lives. The goal of this and next issue’s essay is to explain how Paul understood Christ’s death for our justification to make a remarkable difference in the believer’s life. I will be reflecting on Romans 5-8 where Paul explains the results of justification by faith. These chapters are meant to give Christians, who live in a world plagued by sin and death, the hope that God through Christ has secured our freedom from this sin and death.

I must begin by explaining what exactly justification by faith is. Perhaps the easiest way to define this doctrine is by contrasting it with its opposites.

First, justification is the opposite of condemnation. Both are declarations of a courtroom – condemnation is the declaration that a person is evil and guilty; justification is the declaration that a person is righteous and innocent.


Questions We've Pondered: Bill Warren

By Bill Warren, Professor of New Testament and Greek at NOBTS

Question: What is Palm Sunday all about?

Bill Warren responds: Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter, marks the beginning of what has traditionally been called “holy week,” the last week in the ministry of Jesus when he was crucified and then resurrected on Easter Sunday morning.

The term “Palm Sunday” comes from the use of palm branches as Jesus makes his triumphal entry into Jerusalem after the walk from Jericho up to Jerusalem.


Franklin Avenue's family conference tackles area's problems

By Diana Chandler, Regional Reporter

NEW ORLEANS, La. – New Orleans’ primary crime problem is homicide, with rates 10 times the national average and five times that of comparably-sized cities, according to a newly-released U.S. Department of  Justice report focusing on crime trends here.

As New Orleans civic leaders move to reduce crime in the area, Franklin Avenue Baptist Church Pastor Fred Luter is already tackling the problem by strengthening families in faith.

That was the purpose behind Franklin Avenue’s recent family conference, the first of a planned annual event.


Ross: Building close relationships with one's children is essential

By Brian Blackwell, Special to the Message

ALEXANDRIA – Many Christian parents have forgotten that a close relationship with their teenager is the pipeline that carries spiritual impact from them to their child, Richard Ross said during a recent parenting conference at Calvary Baptist Church in Alexandria.

The problem, Ross said, is those parents believe managing their child’s life leads to a positive outcome. Not so! Teens begin to turn their heart back toward their mom and dad when the parents devote quality time to building or repairing a relationship damaged by the angst of being a teenager.

“Our churches are spiritually alive when our homes are spiritually alive,” said Ross, who led the Be Conference the last weekend in March. “At the end of the day the battle is won or lost by what goes on at home.”