THE PUBLIC SQUARE — LAID BARE BY INTOLERANCE

By Kevin Shrum
Pastor, Inglewood Baptist Church, Nashville

We live in interesting days, do we not? With hostile adversaries overseas and serious divisions at home, most of us are looking for a more reasonable and peaceful civility that seems to have escaped us. Cultural unity eludes us. The public square is now naked, laid bare by intolerance. [Read more…]

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STATE LEGISLATORS OK POST-VIABLE ABORTION BAN

By Tom Strode
Baptist Press

NASHVILLE — The Tennessee legislature has overwhelmingly approved a ban on post-viability abortions, drawing praise from the president of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board and the head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s ethics entity.

The House of Representatives voted 69-18 in favor of the Tennessee Infants Protection Act May 3, two days after the Senate passed the legislation in a 27-3 vote. Gov. Bill Haslam, who is considered pro-life, signed the bill into law on May 12. [Read more…]

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PORN DEEMED HEALTH HAZARD IN TENNESSEE

Baptist Press      

NASHVILLE — At least five states have officially declared pornography a public health crisis or harmful to the public, and at least one other is considering a similar measure, according to bill updates filed on state legislature websites.

A resolution passed by the Tennessee Legislature declaring pornography a public health hazard was awaiting Gov. Bill Haslam’s signature April 21. Days earlier, Tennessee became the fourth state to adopt such a resolution, joining Utah, South Dakota, and Arkansas. [Read more…]

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AMERICANS LIKE BIBLE BUT DON’T READ IT

By Bob Smietana
Lifeway Research

NASHVILLE — Americans have a positive view of the Bible. And many say the Christian Scriptures are filled with moral lessons for today.

However, more than half of Americans have read little or none of the Bible.

Less than a quarter of those who have ever read a Bible have a systematic plan for reading the Christian Scriptures each day. And a third of Americans never pick it up on their own, according to a new study from Nashville-based LifeWay Research. [Read more…]

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BALANCING SPORTS AND FAITH

Baptist and Reflector

kids-baseball-teamBRENTWOOD — Mark Moore, executive pastor at Third Baptist Church, Murfreesboro, has coached travel teams in baseball and knows firsthand the challenges of playing sports while maintaining a commitment to God and church.

He offers five tips on maintaining a healthy balance. [Read more…]

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BALANCE NEEDED BETWEEN SPORTS, CHURCH

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

teammates-baseballBRENTWOOD — Little Johnny has a travel baseball game on Sunday morning, sister Becky has a soccer game in the early afternoon, and older brother Ben has an AAU basketball game at the same time.

And, by the way, church starts at 9 and is over at noon. What’s a family to do?

For Derek Westmoreland, pastor of Hopewell Baptist Church in Savannah, the answer is simple. Go to church.

“Your kids have to know that God is most important and that He comes first,” said Westmoreland, who has coached his sons’ baseball teams over the years, but is no longer their coach. [Read more…]

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KEEP YOUTH SPORTS IN PROPER PERSPECTIVE

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

baseball-and-gloveA few years ago I was umpiring a high school baseball game in Nashville. The home team’s catcher was really good — strong arm, could hit with power. He had the tools to play college baseball and perhaps even professionally.

Between innings we engaged in a brief conversation and I asked where he was going to play college ball. His answer stunned me. He said he was done with baseball after high school. Even though he had God-given talent and ability, he basically was burned out on the game. [Read more…]

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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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