July 2013

In milestone, gay marriage prevails at Supreme Court

Hundreds of same-sex marriage supporters await June 26 Supreme Court decisions at a rally in front of the federal court building, which is undergoing repair.

By Tom Strode, Baptist Press

WASHINGTON (BP) – The U.S. Supreme Court has delivered a historic ruling in favor of same-sex marriage, but it stopped short of redefining marriage nationwide.

In one of two rulings regarding gay marriage, the high court struck down on June 26 a federal law defining marriage as only between a man and a woman.


Farmer’s Market becomes outreach tool in Keithville

Community Roots is a Farmer’s Market at Redeemer Community Church in Keithville. Church members Kate and Sarah sell handmade headbands.

By Robert Lemoine, Regional Reporter

KEITHVILLE – The building housing Redeemer Community Church might have become so much a part of the landscape that townspeople don’t even notice it anymore, but church members have come up with a way to change that.

They’ve started a Farmers Market!


New iPad app makes Message available in digital format

By Brian Blackwell, Marketing Director

STATEWIDE – Users of the iPad now have a new way to navigate the pages of the Baptist Message.

Launched in mid-June, the Baptist Message app allows users to scroll through pages of current and some recent past issues of the Baptist Message.

The app – internet application – is available by visiting the iTunes store or the Newstand app on the iPad. Just type “Baptist Message” into the search features to gain access to the new app.


Behavior is now a basis for civil rights in United States

By Kelly Boggs, Message Editor

Until recent years the discussion over civil rights in the United States has been focused primarily on inherent, immutable characteristics like sex or race. Both are set realities at birth and, unless there is some invasive interference, they do not change.

Courts and legislatures have tinkered with the understanding of civil rights for a few years now by introducing the concept of behavior and self-perception to the discussion.


Was the Founding Fathers’ brave pledge in vain?

By James Draper Jr., Former President LifeWay Christian Resources

The excitement of independence boiled in the streets of Philadelphia as John Adams rose early on July 2, 1776. He sat at a small desk in his rented room and quickly wrote a note to his wife, Abigail.

“The second day of July 1776 will be the most memorable epochal in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival.


Killing rats and the Kingdom of God – Setting priorities

By Jim Law, Pastor of First Baptist Gonzales

Charles Spurgeon in his autobiography tells a story from his youth years that speaks to the priorities in a believer’s life. 

On one occasion his grandmother promised him a penny for every hymn of Isaac Watts that he could perfectly repeat to her. Possessing a photographic memory, he began to quickly learn the hymns at such a pace that she reduced the price to a half-penny. 

Spurgeon recalled that even with the reduction in price there was still risk “that she might be ruined by the calls on her purse.” 


Launching a ‘hardcore battle plan’ to combat porn

By Jay Dennis, Pastor First Baptist Church in the Mall, Lakeland, Fla.

Exhilarating yet very challenging – that was my experience of the Join One Million Men launch at the Southern Baptist Convention in Houston.

The reception to this initiative to combat pornography exceeded expectations. This could not have happened without the enthusiastic endorsement of Richard Land of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and Wanda Lee of WMU. They are heroes.


Chu Hon M.D. and Nurse Kei Yi: Honoring lives given in the Lord’s service

By Philip A. Pinckard, NOBTS

Jesus made it clear that the cost of discipleship would be high: Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life must lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it – Matthew 16:24-25, NASB.

When my wife and I attended orientation for new Southern Baptist international missionaries, little did we realize we would meet a couple who would lose their lives in taking the gospel to the nations.