Baptist Press Archive

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

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  • 2018 relief efforts still need volunteers

    by Brandon Elrod, posted Tuesday, January 08, 2019 (10 days ago)

    NAMB Photo
    ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP) -- The calendar has turned to a New Year, but hundreds of people in the Southeast continue picking up the pieces following the massive storms that hit the region in 2018.

    "It's January, and there are still areas that look like a tornado hit yesterday," said Delton Beall, the state disaster relief director for the Florida Baptist Convention.

    Churches and college students still have numerous opportunities to serve those in need. Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (SBDR) teams in Florida and North Carolina and the North American Mission Board (NAMB) continue offering help, hope and healing to those who endured Hurricanes Florence and Michael. Read More

  • After Calif. wildfire, 'God just keeps' providing

    by David Roach, posted Tuesday, January 08, 2019 (10 days ago)

    Photo from Facebook
    MAGALIA, Calif. (BP) -- His town devastated by the deadliest wildfire in California history, Pastor Doug Crowder was leading Magalia (Calif.) Pines Baptist Church to serve 300-500 meals per day to the community. The problem was he had no bread to make the French toast his cook had planned for the next day's breakfast.

    That's when a man from a local food bank walked up and said, "Hi, I'm Chuck.... Our warehouse burned down, and we need to get rid of some stuff. Do you need any bread?"

    Such unexpected provision, Crowder told Baptist Press, repeatedly has sustained community ministry by Magalia Pines even though the congregation launched its effort weeks ago with no money and no food. Through their ministry, the church also has seen a spiritual harvest in Magalia, which was approximately half destroyed by November's Camp Fire. Read More

  • Churches ramp up background checks to ensure safety

    by Aaron Earls, posted Tuesday, January 08, 2019 (10 days ago)

    NASHVILLE (BP) -- As churches become aware of potential safety issues, more are signing up for background check services through LifeWay Christian Resources' OneSource program.

    "The numbers have increased dramatically since we began our relationship with," said LifeWay's Jennie Morris. "On average, we add 160 customers a month."

    Since January 2009, more than 16,000 customers have conducted more than 320,000 screenings with through the LifeWay OneSource program. In 2018, more than 1,800 new churches signed up for the program. Read More

  • Ashford: 'Be our better selves' in the public sphere

    by Lauren Pratt, posted Tuesday, January 08, 2019 (10 days ago)

    WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP) -- As an observer of Christianity and public life, Bruce Ashford sees the good, the bad and the ugly of American political engagement. In a new book, "Letters to an American Christian," he is seeking to change it for the better.

    In a whimsical yet informative series of letters between Ashford, provost at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a fictional character named Christian, the book seeks to address hot-button issues and ideologies in today's American culture and how believers can speak thoughtfully and persuasively into them.

    "I'm trying to show Christian conservatives how we can be our better selves, and I'm trying to appeal to progressives to show them why more conservative principles would be better for our nation," Ashford said.

    The recipient of the letters, Christian, is a university student among professors who are secular progressives and from a family of secular conservatives. In this context, Ashford seeks to help Christian consider how to address such topics as transgenderism, Black Lives Matter, nationalism and the relationship between church and state. Read More

  • Court limits Jack Phillips' religious bias lawsuit

    by Diana Chandler, posted Tuesday, January 08, 2019 (10 days ago)

    Alliance Defending Freedom photo
    DENVER (BP) -- Christian cake artist Jack Phillips can proceed with his latest lawsuit alleging Colorado harassed him based on his religious beliefs, but he may no longer seek damages from nine of the 10 defendants targeted.

    Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, has legal standing to challenge Colorado's discrimination law, the U.S. District Court for Colorado ruled Jan. 4 regarding a motion to dismiss the 2018 case. But most defendants successfully blocked Phillips' pursuit of compensatory, punitive and nominal damages against them as government officials and individual citizens.

    Only Colorado Atty. Gen. Cynthia H. Coffman remains an individual defendant in the case, having lost her appeal to block Phillips from pursuing equitable relief against her in her official governmental capacity. Read More

  • FIRST-PERSON: Let's sing anyway

    by Chuck Lawless, posted Tuesday, January 08, 2019 (10 days ago)

    If you're not familiar with a song at church -- or not enamored with it -- Chuck Lawless suggests why you might join in singing it anyway. Read More