WHY PLATT’S APOLOGY IS IMPORTANT

By Chris Turner
Director of Communications, TBMB

“I’m sorry.”

Two words that carry profound meaning and trigger acts of reconciliation. They admit a wrong, communicate humility, express a desire for forgiveness and move people toward a unified future.

David Platt

David Platt

And that’s precisely why David Platt, president of the International Mission Board, needed to say he was sorry to Southern Baptists for the amicus brief the IMB offered last summer in support of the building of a New Jersey mosque.

Platt’s apology was delivered to state convention executives, state paper editors and a number of other denominational leaders recently gathered in California for meetings. The reaction to a story written by Baptist and Reflector Editor Lonnie Wilkey titled, “Platt Apologizes to Southern Baptists,” has been interesting. One friend of mine categorically stated, “Platt has nothing for which he needs to apologize.” [Read more…]

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GAINES Q&A: FROM TRUMP TO PRAYER FOR REVIVAL

Baptist Press

Steve Gaines, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, fields questions about topics of interest to Southern Baptists, from President Trump to the need for revival, during the annual meeting of state Baptist paper editors. -Photo by Lonnie Wilkey

Steve Gaines, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, fields questions about topics of interest to Southern Baptists, from President Trump to the need for revival, during the annual meeting of state Baptist paper editors.
-Photo by Lonnie Wilkey

ONTARIO, Calif. (BP) — Southern Baptist Convention President Steve Gaines discussed a range of topics of interest to Baptists in a question-and-answer session with state Baptist paper editors during their Feb. 14-16 annual meeting in Ontario, Calif.

The discussion covered President Donald Trump’s first 25 days in office including the refugee crisis; controversial comments by Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission president Russell Moore during the election; churches tithing 10 percent to the Cooperative Program and state conventions splitting their CP receipts 50/50 with national entities; Millennials and the future of the convention; and the future of the nation. [Read more…]

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A PLEA FOR UNITY AND COOPERATION

By Randy C. Davis
TBMB Executive Director

There is a fog of divisiveness settling across the Southern Baptist Convention and it is spreading like a poisonous gas, and we must address it rather than allow it to linger and destroy our Great Commission calling.

There is a litany of issues causing the increasing tension that seemingly permeates every conversation taking place across our denomination and we no longer have the luxury of pretending there isn’t a problem. There is tension between national entities and state conventions, between Calvinists and non-Calvinists, between entity leaders and Southern Baptists, and the list goes on. It seems there is division almost anywhere two or more are gathered with differing opinions. If you doubt the veracity of my comments, check the news. Southern Baptists are making more headlines these days for our in fighting than for being known as a people of grace and peace sharing the gospel with a dying world. [Read more…]

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OVERCOMING OBSTACLES TO LEARN GOD’S WORD

No building and a bathroom practice site doesn’t deter Bible drillers

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

It’s not the perfect practice site for a Bible drill, but this bathroom at Camp Smoky is the only place these Bible drillers from Roaring Fork Baptist Church, Gatlinburg, have to practice after their church was destroyed by fire last November. From left are Kylie Brower, Chloe Devine, Sierra Devine, James Cooper, Jordan Deaver, Keegan Ward, Morgan Wallace, Brantley Cooper, Cinnamon Grey, Barret Crawley, and Alex Willis.

It’s not the perfect practice site for a Bible drill, but this bathroom at Camp Smoky is the only place these Bible drillers from Roaring Fork Baptist Church, Gatlinburg, have to practice after their church was destroyed by fire last November. From left are Kylie Brower, Chloe Devine, Sierra Devine, James Cooper, Jordan Deaver, Keegan Ward, Morgan Wallace, Brantley Cooper, Cinnamon Grey, Barret Crawley, and Alex Willis.

GATLINBURG — The youth of Roaring Fork Baptist Church here are not unlike countless other teenagers across Tennessee who are participating in Youth Bible Drill, preparing for associational and state competitions later this spring.

What sets the Roaring Fork youth apart from other groups is where they practice — a bathroom at Camp Smoky, owned and operated by the Sevier County Association of Baptists.

Roaring Fork Baptist Church was destroyed in November by the fires that swept through Gatlinburg and Sevier County. The church has been meeting since the fire at Camp Smoky where space is limited. [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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CARING FOR PEOPLE INVOLVES THE GOSPEL

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Editor’s Note: You can listen to Joe Sorah discuss compassion ministry during Episode 2 of Radio B&R, the official news podcast of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board.

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Children from rural Hawkins County receive free lunches in the summer at The Lunch Box thanks to a compassion ministry based in Rogersville.

BRENTWOOD — Compassion ministries involve much more than just caring about people, says Joe Sorah, compassion ministries specialist for the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board.

“All kinds of secular organizations care about people,” Sorah observed. What differentiates secular organizations from churches is the “ministry” component, he said.

“Ministry means that I want to introduce them to Jesus Christ. I want to help them grow in their faith, helping them to reach the place in their life where they can introduce others to Jesus Christ.” [Read more…]

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MUSLIMS DO BECOME CHRISTIANS, SAYS ARAB PASTOR

By Connie Davis Bushey
News Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Editor’s note: You can hear William Burton discuss ethnic ministries during Episode 4 of Radio B&R,the  official news podcast of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board.

Arabic and ethnic Baptist leaders in Tennessee pause during a leadership conference for Arabic Baptist churches in Middle Tennessee on Jan. 21 in Murfreesboro. From left are Maged Boles, pastor, Arabic Baptist Church, Murfreesboro; Anderow Shafik, member, Arabic Baptist Church of Tusculum Hills Baptist, Nashville; William Burton, ethnic evangelism/church planting specialist, Tennessee Baptist Mission Board; and Nathan Awad, pastor, Arabic Baptist Church of Tusculum Hills Baptist.

Arabic and ethnic Baptist leaders in Tennessee pause during a leadership conference for Arabic Baptist churches in Middle Tennessee on Jan. 21 in Murfreesboro. From left are Maged Boles, pastor, Arabic Baptist Church, Murfreesboro; Anderow Shafik, member, Arabic Baptist Church of Tusculum Hills Baptist, Nashville; William Burton, ethnic evangelism/church planting specialist, Tennessee Baptist Mission Board; and Nathan Awad, pastor, Arabic Baptist Church of Tusculum Hills Baptist.

MURFREESBORO — Muslims do become Christians, said Maged Boles, pastor of the Arabic Baptist Church here. He should know. He lived in Egypt all of his life until four years ago when he immigrated to the United States. Egypt has a majority of Muslim residents. Boles was a Christian missionary there.

William Burton, ethnic evangelism/church planting specialist for the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board, agreed, noting this is occurring in Tennessee mainly because of Arab Baptists.

“These guys are very, very evangelistic,” said Burton. [Read more…]

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ETHNIC CHURCHES DOUBLE IN TENNESSEE

Learn about, consider fervent evangelism of ethnics: William Burton

By Connie Davis Bushey
News Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Editor’s note: You can hear William Burton discuss ethnic ministries during Episode 4 of Radio B&R, the  official news podcast of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board.

 

Jana Guy of the Arabic Baptist Church, Murfreesboro, participates in an activity of a children’s Sunday School training conference on Jan. 21 in Murfreesboro. The conference was led by Vicki Hulsey, right, of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board staff. Looking on is Amira Abdul-Sayed of the Arabic Baptist Church of Tusculum Hills Baptist, Nashville.

BRENTWOOD — Ethnic Baptist churches associated with the Tennessee Baptist Convention have nearly doubled in number — to about 200 — in the last 18 months.

One of the most important groups being reached by the new churches are Arabic speakers, said William Burton, ethnic evangelism/church planting specialist for the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board. Currently there are five Arabic Baptist churches in Tennessee.

“For me, that’s one of the most exciting things that we’re doing because that’s a group that’s obviously in the news. There’s a lot of fear, concern.” [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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