September 2012

Planting churches to reap a harvest of souls

Iglesia Buenas Nuevas: Displays at block parties and community events is one way Iglesia Buenas Nuevas spreads the word about the Hispanic congregation in Slidell, where Marvin Mercado is pastor. The Georgia Barnette Offering helped the church be planted.

By Holly Jo Linzay, Special to the Message

SLIDELL/SHREVEPORT – Two church plants illustrate the value of the Georgia Barnette Offering for Louisiana Missions to the state’s ethnic population.

Years ago, LBC Missions Strategist James Jenkins said, to effectively reach all the different people groups, the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board would have sent out missionaries to the various countries.

“But now God is bringing all the nations and tribes here to our nation,” Jenkins said, adding that by starting ethnic church plants, Southern Baptists are helping to make “disciples of all nations.”

 

Frank Page names advisory team on Calvinism

By Michael Foust, Baptist Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) – Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee President Frank Page has announced the members of an advisory team who will help him craft a strategic plan to bring together various groups within the convention who hold different opinions on the issue of Calvinism.

The 16-member group is conducting its first meeting Aug. 29-30 in Nashville, Tenn.

“My goal is to develop a strategy whereby people of various theological persuasions can purposely work together in missions and evangelism,” Page told Baptist Press. The list was announced Aug. 15.

 

Pastors, churches and political involvement

The Pulpit & Politics

By Kelly Boggs, Baptist Message Editor

On Sunday, October 7, pastors across the United States have indicated they will participate in Pulpit Freedom Sunday, when they plan to endorse or oppose political candidates from their pulpits during worship services.

The aforementioned coordinated effort was started in 2008 by Alliance Defending Freedom (formerly the Alliance Defense Fund) and is designed to call attention to and also violate an IRS statute that forbids pastors from stumping for candidates from their pulpits.

Alliance Defending Freedom is described on the organization’s web site as: “… a servant ministry building an alliance to keep the door open for the spread of the Gospel by transforming the legal system and advocating for religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family.”

 

Voter Registration Drives are something churches are allowed to conduct

By Kelly Boggs, Baptist Message Editor

It is commonly held that elections in America are decided by a majority of the people. This is not true. Elections in the United States are decided by a majority of those who participate.

Unfortunately, too many evangelicals ignore the responsibility to be active and educated in our political process, so America suffers from moral decay. How can we as Christian citizens expect God to restore righteous leadership through us if we are unwilling to get involved? Citizenship in a free country is a blessing from God!

Voter registration drives are something churches are allowed to conduct. Given the dismal record of evangelical participation in recent elections, it is something that many churches should seriously consider conducting.

 

Why this election is more important than most

By Richard Land, President of the ERLC

This election year, 2012, more Americans than usual feel that the country is at a crossroads and that it is in the midst of making an election decision as important to the future direction of the country as has been made in any election since 1860.

I can imagine no better way to be prepared to exercise our God-given freedom to vote for the person God would have serve as our congressman, senator, governor or president than to follow the 40/40 prayer guide.

The guide begins with seven days of prayer for “personal” revival, followed by six days of prayer for “church” revival and five days for revival among the church’s “leadership.”

 

Why this election is more important than most

By Richard Land, President of the ERLC

This election year, 2012, more Americans than usual feel that the country is at a crossroads and that it is in the midst of making an election decision as important to the future direction of the country as has been made in any election since 1860.

I can imagine no better way to be prepared to exercise our God-given freedom to vote for the person God would have serve as our congressman, senator, governor or president than to follow the 40/40 prayer guide.

The guide begins with seven days of prayer for “personal” revival, followed by six days of prayer for “church” revival and five days for revival among the church’s “leadership.”

 

We must keep praying for an Awakening

By Keith Manuel, LBC Evangelism Strategist

The theme of Awaken is resonating in the hearts of Louisiana Baptists and the Gospel is piercing the hearts of the unsaved.

For almost a year, we’ve been praying, pleading and preparing – asking God to do a mighty work in us. Sometimes we are seeing the evidence of that work in individual lives. At other times, God is moving in churches and communities.

I recently saw the miracle of awakening in Buddy Calhoun’s life.

 

Letters to the Editor

To the Editor

I read with interest the article “Thousands Show Support” (Baptist Message, August 16). It reminded me of a conversation I had a few years ago.

My wife and I were visiting my cousin in Maryland. On Sunday morning he and his wife picked us up at our motel and he took us to dinner.

On the way we passed a Chick-fil-A. My cousin said “I really admire the owner of that store because he doesn’t open on Sunday. He sticks to his religious beliefs.” I replied, “What about us, Bob”? He wanted to know what I meant.

 

Amazing Grace: “Through many dangers, toils, and snares”

By Charles L. Quarles, Dean of the Caskey School of Divinity at Louisiana College

John Newton wrote the hymn Amazing Grace in 1779.

His hymn was more than a theological reflection on the grace that he found described in Scripture; it was a profound expression of thanksgiving for the grace that he had personally experienced.

Newton knew that his salvation was entirely a tribute to God’s astonishing grace. Newton expressed this conviction in the title of his autobiography, An Authentic Narrative of Some Remarkable Particulars in the Life of *******.

 

Questions we've pondered

By Bill Warren, NOBTS

Question: Why were people in the area north of Samaria not hated like the Samaritans in the New Testament period?

NOBTS Professor Bill Warren responds: The division between the Jews and Samaritans is rooted in the time when Solomon’s son Rehoboam heavily taxed the northern Israelite tribes and treated them disrespectfully, resulting in them seceding with Jereboam as their king and thereby creating the divided kingdoms of Israel and Judah.

As told in 2 Kings 17, when Israel was conquered in 721 B.C., the Assyrians sent people to the Samaria region (the area of the two tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim, mainly) who intermarried with the Israelites, thereby creating a people later considered “half-Jews” by those of Judah. The resulting group came to be called Samaritans, with their name deriving either from the city of Samaria or a word that means “observer of the law,” as Samaritans defined it.

 

Pages