February 2014

History made as GBO receives record offering

By Philip Timothy, Managing Editor

In an enormous outpouring of financial support for the Georgia Barnette State Offering, Louisiana Baptists have helped to make history.

When the final tally was in, the GBO had not only surpassed the $1.85 million goal set for the coming year by $133,000 but was just $17,000 shy of topping the $2 million mark. The $1.98 million – $1,983,000 to be exact – is the most ever received, and eclipses the previous high mark of $1.72 million set in 2011 by an impressive $262,000.


Evangelism Conference shortened but still significant

Tony Nolan, founder of TNT Ministries in Canton, Ga., shared his testimony and message at the 2014 Evangelism Conference in Baton Rouge.

By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer

BATON ROUGE – Tony Nolan knows first-hand how the power of Christ can overcome a dysfunctional early life.

Born to a homeless, mentally ill prostitute who was placed in a mental institution in Jacksonville, Fla., and then immediately placed in foster care where he suffered abuse, Nolan was eventually adopted by a poor and dysfunctional family for $200.


Free food led to eternal salvation for Chinese student at LSU BCM

Thomas, a civil engineering graduate of LSU, gives his testimony at the 2014 Evangelism Conference how the investment of Christians on campus and in the Baton Rouge area helped lead him to give his life to the Lord.

By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer

BATON ROUGE – The Chinese student first visited a LSU Baptist Collegiate Ministry function for the free food but eventually found the bread of life.

Thomas, who was studying civil engineering, arrived at LSU in the fall of 2010 unsatisfied with what he learned as a half-materialist, half-Buddhist. He learned in the months and years ahead the difference Christ can make in a person’s life, thanks to the investment of Christians on campus and in the Baton Rouge area.


1st Louisiana Life March North proves big success

Dr. Richard Land, President of Southern Evangelical Seminary and former head of the SBC’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission and Northwest Louisiana Baptist Association Director of Missions Lane Moore lead a large crowd of participants over the Texas Street Bridge in Shreveport during in the Louisiana Life March North Saturday, Jan. 25. An estimated crowd of 5,280 people attended the inaugural event.

By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer

SHREVEPORT/BOSSIER CITY – Scanning across the crowd of around 5,280 marching in unity for life across the Texas Street Bridge, Mike Johnson couldn’t help but think he was experiencing a glimpse of heaven.

Men and women, young and old, from various denominations and races joined together on a sunny late January Saturday morning to make the 1.2 mile-journey from Bossier City to Shreveport in the inaugural Louisiana Life March North.


Suggestions for safeguarding against homosexual weddings, what a shame

By Kelly Boggs, Message Editor

The Defense of Marriage Act passed by Congress in 1996 allowed states to refuse to recognize homosexual marriages that were granted by the laws of other states.

However, when the U.S. Supreme Court declared Section 3 of DOMA to be unconstitutional it opened the door for homosexual couples to insist their marriages performed in one state to be recognized in a state where homosexual marriage was not sanctioned by law.

Section 3, which the Court found violated the Constitution reads as follows: 


Abortion rates in U.S. decline, it’s a positive step

By Jeff Iorg, President of Golden Gate Theological Seminary

According to the Guttmacher Institute, the abortion rate in the U.S. declined in 2011 to its lowest rate since 1973 and the number of abortions fell by 13 percent between 2008 and 2011.

While there were still about 1.06 million abortions in 2011 (and that’s still a national disgrace), the declining numbers are encouraging.

The report postulated several reasons for the decline – ranging from the economic downturn making people more cautious about pregnancy to improved access to and use of contraceptives.


Staff members are fragile, terminate with prayer & care

By Joe McKeever, Author, Cartoonist in New Orleans

Nothing is more difficult, more unpleasant, and with a greater possibility for collateral damage than terminating a minister on the church staff. 

Few churches get this right.  Many end up doing far more damage to the kingdom of God than if they had left that staff member where he was and done nothing.

To be sure, there are occasions when terminating a minister on the spot with no advance notice is necessary.


Sadly, cohabitation has found its way into the church

By Evan Lenow, Professor of Ethics at SWBTS

Many of us would like to think that the church is immune to the growing trend of cohabitation prior to, or instead of, marriage.

Unfortunately, this cultural trend has crept into the pews as fewer church members recognize cohabitation as a violation of biblical sexual ethics.

Scripture is clear in its condemnation of fornication (a KJV-style word for a pre-marital sexual relationship).


Important lessons to be learned from the work bench

By Randall Williams, SBC's Executive Director of Seminary Extension

As a young man, I worked in a small, family-owned meat market. Our primary business was to cut and wrap meat from livestock local farmers raised, slaughtered and brought to us.

We would start work early in the morning, take a quarter of beef or half a hog from the cooler, and within a matter of an hour or so, we would have it cut, wrapped and boxed for the owner to take home.


Learning the basics of a dynamic faith

By David Jeremiah, Pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church

None of us set out to live a mediocre spiritual life. But in the midst of our busy schedules, many of us have forgotten something very important. We have forgotten to practice the basics that shape us as Christians.

Getting back to the basics

Worship. What is worship? Worship is seeing the things on earth in perspective to the things in heaven.

When you understand what the Bible says about God in His majesty and power, you will be able to praise Him, no matter what your present circumstance.