SINGLE ADULT NUMBERS ARE SOARING. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR CONGREGATIONS?

By Jeff Brumley
Baptist News Global

Research shows that the number of single Americans is increasing, while marriages remain flat. Experts say churches should respond with more ministries geared to young singles. (Photo/Tammy McGary/Creative Commons)

Research shows that the number of single Americans is increasing, while marriages remain flat. Experts say churches should respond with more ministries geared to young singles. (Photo/Tammy McGary/Creative Commons)

Churches may want to take a hard look at what they’re offering young, single adults — and then boost it.

“Many churches are built around a family model,” Roxanne Stone, editor and chief of the Barna Group, said in remarks published with a survey about romance and relationships.

“They are most comfortable ministering to families and have developed an infrastructure to support couples and children,” she said. [Read more…]

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DISNEY’S ‘GAY MOMENT’ SOURS MANY CHRISTIANS

By Diana Chandler
Baptist Press

170315disneyNASHVILLE (BP) — A gay plot twist in Disney’s upcoming live-action “Beauty and the Beast” continues to stir discontent among Christians, with an online poll at Faith Driven Consumer (FDC) among the latest to voice displeasure.

The poll reports 95 percent of 6,700 consumers said they are less likely to see the film because of an intimate attraction the bumbling LeFou character expresses toward the villainous Gaston. And 94 percent of those polled said they will likely spend less money on all Disney offerings as a whole, the online forum of 41 million Americans reported March 14. [Read more…]

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MARCH MILDNESS?: AMERICANS SHARE VIEWS ON SPORTS

By Aaron Earls
LifeWay Christian Resources

NASHVILLE (BP) — Thanks to wild buzzer beaters and unbelievable upsets, the NCAA men’s basketball tournament has become known as March Madness. For most Americans, however, their attitude toward sports is more mild than mad.

170315sports1A study released from LifeWay Research today (March 14) found 52 percent of Americans describe their philosophy of sports by saying, “It’s not whether you win or lose — it’s how you play the game.”

“Most Americans want players to play the game ‘the right way’ and not potentially endanger others simply for the sake of winning,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research. “For example, with growing worries about concussions in football, safety concerns have caused many to reconsider their attitude toward sports.” [Read more…]

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THE SHAKINESS OF ‘THE SHACK’

By Todd Brady
Vice President for University Ministries, Union University

Todd Brady

Todd Brady

Based on the wildly popular best-selling book, The Shack, the movie by the same title hits theaters March 3.  While all that glitters is not gold, The Shack proves that all that is spiritual is not trustworthy.

Pastor Eugene Peterson outrageously claimed that the book “has the potential to do for our generation what John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress did for his.”  Wynonna Judd said that the “story has blown the door wide open to my soul.” [Read more…]

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AMERICAN PASTORS ARE OLDER, AND GETTING OLDER, THAN EVER

By Jeff Brumley
Baptist News Global

170310aging-pastors3If you’re noticing a lot of gray in the pulpit at your church these days, you’re not alone. Pastors are getting older.

“The aging of pastors represents a substantial crisis for Protestant churches,” David Kinnaman, president of the Barna Group, said in remarks included with a report titled “The Aging of America’s Pastors,” released Wednesday. [Read more…]

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‘THE SHACK’ FILM STIRS DEBATE AS DID PRECEDING BOOK

By Diana Chandler
Baptist Press

170228the-shackNASHVILLE (BP) — A fictional and emotionally destroyed Mack Phillips answers a mysterious invitation to a remote, isolated cabin. There he finds a trinity of fatherly love in a woman named “Papa” whose cohorts teach Phillips forgiveness and the faith to run on water — literally.

It’s the synopsis of the movie “The Shack,” based on William Paul Young’s New York Times bestseller and award-winning book by the same title, that some described as a biblically sound parable. And as with the 2007 controversial book that sold more than 20 million copies, others are criticizing the movie as a farce that serves to deeply distort rather than affirm biblical truths. [Read more…]

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IS FACEBOOK FROM THE PIT OF HELL?

By Chris Turner
Director of Communications, TBMB

FacebookThumbsI was recently talking with a pastor and the conversation migrated to social media. It didn’t take long to understand his perspective. 

“Facebook is straight from the pit of hell,” he said. “All it does is cause problems.”

He’s not the only person who feels that way, and it isn’t a new conversation. I remember years ago being told the same thing about television. My argument then is the same as it is with social media. The medium itself is neither good nor evil. It is the created content that determines if either has any redeeming value.  [Read more…]

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AVOIDING THE PROLIFERATION OF FAKE NEWS

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

crumpled-newspapersFake news is a big deal today, but it is not “new.”

Fake news has been around forever. Those of us who have been in Baptist journalism for decades can remember the countless news stories we have had to produce assuring Baptists that the Madalyn Murray O’Hair and Proctor & Gamble rumors from the 1980s and 1990s were just that — rumors and hoaxes.

As a teenager I can still remember staring at the headlines of the newspaper tabloids while standing in line to buy food in the local grocery stores. A headline like “Alien Lands in North Dakota” sounds interesting and will make you pick up the publication, but that doesn’t make the story true. [Read more…]

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WHITE CHRISTIAN AMERICA DECLINING, BUT STILL PACKS PUNCH

By Jeff Brumley
Baptist News Global

bible-american-flagConservative evangelicals have lost their cultural and political clout as their numbers and vitality wane, author Robert Jones argues in his book The End of White Christian America.

The book was published in the summer of 2016 — just a few months before Donald Trump rode the support of fearful Caucasian Christians all the way to the White House.

As a result, Jones said he received a slew of post-election social media messages, many of them tongue-in-cheek suggestions that he re-title his book. [Read more…]

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ARE WE REALLY SURPRISED?

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Before it Hits the PressThe Boy Scouts of America announced Jan. 30 that the organization would begin accepting transgender members. In other words, what’s on the birth certificate doesn’t matter anymore.

The BSA stated: “Starting today, we will accept and register youth in the Cub and Boy Scout programs based on the gender identity indicated on the application.”

While sad to hear, is anyone really surprised? [Read more…]

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