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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FAKE NEWS HARD TO AVOID, EVEN HARDER TO ERADICATE

By Jeff Brumley
Baptist News Global

crumpled-newspapersFake news is big news these days, and many want to know how not to be duped by it.

On one level, the solutions are a matter of common sense.

“First, you look for verification,” said James Black, assistant director of the Center for Collaborative Journalism and professor of writing in the media at Mercer University.

Christianity Today published more tips, including not posting items whose authenticity is disproven or that cannot be verified. [Read more…]

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MOST CHURCHES HOLD SUNDAY SERVICES, SUPER BOWL OR NOT

Baptist Press

170126football1NASHVILLE, Tenn.— For churches that have Sunday night activities, most pastors say it’s still “game on” despite the big game next weekend.

According to a new study from Nashville-based LifeWay Research, 68 percent of Protestant pastors say their church typically has some activity on Sunday night. And among those pastors, almost 6 in 10 (59 percent) say they will continue as normal on the night of the Super Bowl.

“It is easy to think everyone is watching the game,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research, “but even during the Super Bowl, millions of Americans are doing other things that are important to them. For many, that includes attending church.” [Read more…]

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PORN ‘HEALTH HAZARD’ RESOLUTIONS CONSIDERED IN TENN., VA.

By Diana Chandler
Baptist Press

Searching PornoNASHVILLE (BP) — Tennessee and Virginia would become the latest states in the U.S. to declare pornography a public health hazard under resolutions introduced in the states’ legislatures.

Tennessee Senate Joint Resolution 35, which was filed in the state Senate Tuesday (Jan. 24), urges the state to “recognize pornography as a public health hazard leading to a broad spectrum of individual and public health impacts and societal harms.” The resolution acknowledges the need for “education, prevention, research, and policy change at the community and societal level in order to address the epidemic” harming the state and nation.

Republican Sen. Mae Beavers from Mt. Juliet reintroduced the bill after it passed the Senate in April 2016, but was not voted on in the House. [Read more…]

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REPORT: ABORTION RATE HITS ALL-TIME LOW

By Tom Strode
Baptist Press

pregnant-woman-holding-sonogramWASHINGTON (BP) — The abortion rate in the United States declined to an all-time low, while the number of lethal procedures dropped below a million for the first time since 1975, according to a new report.

The Guttmacher Institute reported Tuesday (Jan. 17) the rate fell to 14.6 abortions per 1,000 women 15 to 44 years old in 2014, which is a decline of 14 percent since its most recent survey in 2011. In its census of all known abortion providers in the country, Guttmacher found abortions totaled 958,700 in 2013 and 926,190 in 2014. [Read more…]

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WHO DO AMERICANS LOOK TO?

Baptist Press

170110conversationNASHVILLE — America has its problems and needs to talk. But according to a new study, few Americans agree on who can best lead a conversation about the nation’s woes.

Less than a quarter (23 percent) would turn to the office of the U.S. president. About one in 10 would turn to the nation’s preachers (11 percent) or to college professors (10 percent), a survey by LifeWay Research shows.

“Almost no one would ask a musician or pro athlete,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research, “even though they often try to start public conversations. [Read more…]

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STUDY: MOST AMERICANS SAY ASSISTED SUICIDE MORALLY OK

By Bob Smietana
Facts & Trends, LifeWay

Female doctor showing a glass of water and a blue pillNASHVILLE (BP) — The American Medical Association has described physician-assisted suicide as a serious risk to society and “fundamentally incompatible with a physician’s role as healer.” But Millions of Americans disagree, according to a new study released Tuesday (Dec. 6) by LifeWay Research.

Two-thirds say it is morally acceptable for terminally ill patients to ask their doctors for help in ending their lives, according to a new survey from Nashville-based LifeWay Research. A similar number says doctors should be able to help terminally ill patients die.

Americans want more say over how they die, noted Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research. That’s especially true if facing a painful, terminal illness, he said. [Read more…]

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