October 2012

Test Story 1

Hispanic Mission: Louisiana Baptist Builders and Kingdom Builders have joined forces in helping to build a church for Hispanic Baptists under the operating authority of First Baptist Church of Bernice. Bill and Joyce Temple are the the onsite coordinators for the Louisiana Baptist Builders.

HAMMOND – Jerusalem Baptist Church in Hammond will soon be getting a check from the Louisiana Department of Revenue for $3,500, and it is all because they filled out some important paperwork and provided the right documentation.

Can it really be that easy?

Well, it may not be all that easy, but, yes, churches throughout Louisiana can get money back from the state.


ERLC joins battle against abortion mandate

Obamacare Abortion Mandate: President Barack Obama and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, at a Feb. 10 news conference, set forth modified HHS regulations on “Preventive Health Services and Religious Institutions,” which have since failed to alleviate First Amendment religious freedom concerns – and lawsuits. C-SPAN photo.

By Tom Strode, Baptist Press

WASHINGTON (BP) – The Southern Baptist Convention’s religious freedom entity has joined the legal battle against the Obama administration’s abortion/contraception mandate in the first case to reach a federal appeals court.

The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) signed on to a friend-of-the-court brief filed Oct. 12 that asked a federal appeals court to reverse the dismissal of two lawsuits against the controversial requirement under the 2010 health care law. The brief supports challenges by Wheaton College, an evangelical Christian school in suburban Chicago, and Belmont Abbey College, a Roman Catholic institution in North Carolina, to the mandate that employers provide workers with health insurance that covers contraceptives and abortion-causing drugs.

The ERLC -- and 10 other evangelical organizations -- joined by invitation in a brief filed by Christian Legal Society (CLS) in support of the colleges’ appeal on religious liberty grounds to the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals. More than 35 suits have been brought against the mandate, but the D.C. Circuit is the first appeals court to consider such a challenge. Oral arguments will not be held until after the final briefs are filed in mid-November.


Louisiana mens’ events use hunting to target men for evangelistic outreach

Targeting men: Gibbie McMillan, Louisiana Baptist Convention director of men’s ministry and volunteer strategist, served as the master of ceremonies for Blessing of the Hunt.

By Brian Blackwell, Marketing Director

COVINGTON – Matthew Smith understands the importance many men place on hunting in Louisiana.

So when his pastor, Clark Stewart, and others at New Zion Baptist Church learned in late 2011 that a church in Mississippi used the sport to reach men with an evangelistic event, they felt bringing the same to South Louisiana would be an excellent inroad to reaching them for Christ.

The result was 1,300 people – many of whom were men and young males – gathering for an evening of hunting tips, a free meal and door prizes. Not to mention 138 who received Christ as their personal Lord and Savior by the end of the evening.


Weekend conference helps ‘Ignite’ college students’ faith

By Beth Masters, Special to the Message

LAFAYETTE – In the car and on the way home from a conference, a college senior told her BCM director that she wanted to serve as a missionary after graduation, and from the back seat of the car came the voice of a sophomore saying “Me too, well – at least for the summer!”

As the BCM director asked questions about where they wanted to serve and why they wanted to go, many of the answers pointed back to God’s work in their lives, and to Ignite.

Ignite is a conference for college students that took place in September. It is designed to get students ignited for Jesus as they start a new school year and to stir a passion in their hearts for missions.


29 churches reached ‘Manchuria’ level of LMCO giving

By Staff, Baptist Message

STATEWIDE – Southern Baptist Missionary Lottie Moon died of malnutrition Dec. 24, 1912, on a ship named the Manchuria.

She had given everything, including her own food, to her beloved Chinese people. The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions is named in her honor.

The “Manchuria” level of giving to the offering is the highest of four given for per-capita giving, based on average Sunday morning worship attendance.


Bullying and sexual politics: the two don’t go hand in hand

By Kelly Boggs, Baptist Message Editor

The word bully, according to the Concise Oxford English Dictionary, is defined as a person or persons who “intimidate or persecute [someone weaker].” Though the practice has likely been around since the beginning of mankind’s existence, the advent of the Internet and proliferation of social media has given bullies new and innovative ways to torment their victims.

Situations have occurred where the bullying has been so relentless and intense that victims were driven to commit suicide, a practice that is now referred to as “bullycide.”

Bully, a documentary by Lee Hirsch that calls attention to the harsh reality of bullying, is currently showing in select theaters in the United States. The film focuses on students victimized by bullies and the families of children who committed suicide in response to being bullied.


Supporters of traditional marriage are being silenced

By Kelly Boggs, Baptist Message Editor

“Don’t ask, don’t tell” was a policy employed by the U.S. armed forces. Military officials were instructed not to inquire concerning a serviceperson’s sexual preference and, in turn, the serviceperson was expected to keep his or her sexuality private. In other words, everyone was expected to keep their mouths shut when it came to homosexuality.

Homosexual activists, and some liberals, decried the practice of “don’t ask, don’t tell” as un-American, and President Obama signed a repeal of it in 2010. However, a variation of the practice seems to be reemerging in a different form, and it is liberals who are now employing what they once deemed “un-American.”

Angela McCaskill, longtime chief diversity officer at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., has been placed on administrative leave because she signed a petition calling for voters to have a say on Maryland’s new law recognizing homosexual marriage.


How should Christian voters decide whom to support?

By Timothy George, Founding Dean of Beeson Divinity School of Samford University

Earlier this year I was asked to address a group of Southern Baptist pastors on the question of Christian faith and political engagement.

Though no one knew for sure who the candidates would be at that time, the first question I was asked was, “How should an evangelical Christian decide who to support in this election?”

That was a legitimate question, and has prompted me to think of some wider implications.