June 2012

Wright previews SBC annual meeting in video

[img_assist|nid=8151|title=2012 SBC Annual Meeting|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=567|height=640]By Staff, Baptist Press

MARIETTA, Ga. (BP) – In his final monthly video as president of the Southern Baptist Convention, Bryant Wright offers a preview at www.Pray4SBC.com of the annual meeting in New Orleans, noting that unengaged, unreached people groups and church planting will be the main focuses.

“As we prepare for our convention, I want you to know that I’m very excited about coming together with so many of you in New Orleans this year. It obviously will be a historic convention,” Wright said, referring to the anticipated election of the SBC’s first African American president, Fred Luter.

The June 19-20 convention also will have a clear theme of Jesus: to the Neighborhood and the Nations, Wright said.


Parent summit conference offers encouragement

By Marilyn Stewart, Regional Reporter

[img_assist|nid=8153|title=Being Involved|desc=Anna and Adam Horsely swing their young foster son. A recent conference at First Baptist Kenner described how churches can equip parents to be the spiritual leaders in their children’s lives.|link=none|align=right|width=455|height=640]KENNER – One reason children abandon their faith as adults is that parents have relegated spiritual instruction to the church, said Donna Peavey, keynote speaker to Building a Spiritual Foundation for Your Child, the first in a planned series of summits equipping parents to be the spiritual leaders in the home.

The recent conference at First Baptist Church of Kenner was co-hosted with First Belle Chasse and sponsored by the Louisiana Baptist Convention. Peavey is associate professor of Christian education at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

“Parents want to be spiritual leaders, but some don’t know how,” said Karla L. McGehee, summit co-founder and co-director. McGehee said the church should play a supplemental and supporting role to parents as they lead their children to faith.


Debunking several misconceptions on gay marriage

By Kelly Boggs, Baptist Message Editor

President Barack Obama announced on May 9 that he favors the government recognition of same-sex marriage. One day earlier, North Carolina voters passed a constitutional amendment stating that only marriage between one man and one woman would be recognized in the state.

With the juxtaposition of these events, one of the most divisive sociopolitical issues of modern times has been forced center-stage in American discourse. Along with the renewed discussion has come several misconceptions.

One misconception is that North Carolina, along with 31 other states, has banned gay marriage.


Same-sex marriage and the prophetic role of the church

By James B. Law, Senior Pastor First Gonzales

I was putting my final thoughts together on this column when Pastor Charles L. Worley’s rant against gays and lesbians went viral on the Internet.  Collective outrage and censure rightly followed his merciless rhetoric. 

Worley’s words have aggravated a conversation that was already shrill between gay activists and those who oppose them. Pastor Worley’s comments have not been helpful in lifting the hate-filled stereotypes leveled against evangelicals by gay activism.

The gay agenda in America has been an incredible success story if gauged by advances in acceptability and influence. Gay activists Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen reveal the simplicity of their strategy when they wrote  in their book After The Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the 90s,  “Almost any behavior begins to look normal if you are exposed to enough of it.”


Gay Marriage and the Golden Rule

By Reggie Bridges, Pastor First Baptist Zachary

One of the most recognized principles in Christianity is commonly called the Golden Rule. 

The term refers to Jesus’ words: “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12 NIV). 

Within this “rule,” Christ encapsulated the basic ethic of treating people with respect and compassion. A wonderful guide for our relationships, framed in a memorable way!


Obama’s views on gay marriage and the black church vote

By Eric C. Redmond, Senior Pastor Reformation Alive Baptist Church

The question of the black church’s response to President’s Obama’s revelation of  his views on same-sex unions should have a simple and direct answer. Congregations of the faithful might consider sending a letter to the president of this sentiment:

Dear Mr. President,

Your recent expression of your understanding of ‘marriage’ is troubling to us. There are no tenets that can be identified as Christian that allow for anyone to view homosexuality as acceptable.


LBCH Trustees expand ministries to Children at Home, internationally

By Staff, LBCH Communications

MONROE – At their spring meeting, Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home and Family Ministries trustees took steps to further extend the reach of ministry to children in need, both at home and internationally.

Trustees voted to expand the current network of foster care ministries to include two new specialized areas of service.

The first will provide care for girls who are victims of human trafficking. Recently, the Baton Rouge/New Orleans corridor was identified as one of the top 10 human trafficking areas in the United States.


Holy Scripture is God-breathed

By Kevin McFadden, Louisiana College

The conservative resurgence in the Southern Baptist Convention resulted from a battle primarily over the nature of the Bible.

Unlike every other denomination, the SBC returned to its historic position about the inspiration of Scripture.

However, Southern Baptists may “win the battle but lose the war” if we affirm a conservative doctrine of Scripture on paper, but fail to teach its meaning to our people. With this in my mind, my goal here is to explain the meaning of inspiration by reflecting on the doctrine’s classic text, 2 Timothy 3:16: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (NIV).


Questions We've Pondered

By Bill Warren, NOBTS

Question: A friend said that Jesus’ ministry may have only been a year long, but I’ve always heard that it was three years long. How long did the ministry of Jesus last?

Bill Warren responds: Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, the New Testament doesn’t have any explicit statements about how long Jesus’ ministry lasted. So the length is determined by looking at the various references to events in Jesus’ ministry, with special attention being given to Jesus’ trips to Jerusalem. Based on this information, the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) only mention one trip to Jerusalem by Jesus during his ministry after his baptism and temptations. This is the basis that some use for talking of only a one-year ministry by Jesus.

But John mentions several trips to Jerusalem by Jesus. John 2:13 mentions Jesus going up to Jerusalem before the Passover, with the cleansing of the temple following. Then in John 6:4, the Passover is noted as being near, so that makes two Passover references. The third reference in John 11:55 highlights the crowds going to the Passover and hoping to see Jesus there. This is the final Passover that culminates in Jesus being arrested and crucified (and then gloriously raised from the dead!). These three clear references to different Passovers form the basis for seeing a three-year public ministry by Jesus.