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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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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SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE: A YEAR-ROUND CONCERN

Southern Baptist churches will observe Sanctity of Human Life Sunday Jan. 22

By Connie Davis Bushey
News Editor, Baptist and Reflector

pregnant-woman-holding-sonogramBRENTWOOD — Baptists and Christians are still uncomfortable talking about sex, sexual issues, and abortion but that should change to protect unborn babies and to be involved in ministry and missions in today’s world, said three Tennessee Baptist women who are directors of pregnancy crisis centers.

For instance, many of their clients are also active church members. The center directors wish the girls and women who come to them as well as their families would have received more education and more help from their churches. Guilt and shame over a pregnancy if unmarried is proper up to a point, they pointed out.

Sexual issues and abortions are real concerns for people, the long-time directors said. This is confirmed by statistics though abortions are down some the past several years.  [Read more…]

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A NOTE TO FATHERS CONSIDERING ABORTION

By Bradford Smith
Missions Pastor, The Way, Clarksville

Bradford Smith

Bradford Smith

This is a letter to prospective fathers of an unwanted child.

Twenty years ago I was willing to pay my girlfriend to murder our unborn daughter. This haunts me. I’ve been there. I’ve been in your shoes. I still remember the phone call, how my heart climbed up out of my throat when I heard her tears, how time screeched to a halt as she quietly uttered those two mortifying words, “I’m pregnant.”

You’re scared. I understand and in all reality, you should be. Having a child is a game-changer. I was terrified. This kind of thing certainly never happened in my family. What would my parents say?

You’re trapped. This wasn’t planned. Again, I’m with you. I was young and single, a newly-minted Army officer with my entire life ahead of me. The last thing I wanted was fatherhood. My freedom was at stake, the very essence of me.

Maybe you’re angry. This wasn’t supposed to happen. You don’t need this. Maybe you blame her. Believe me, I’ve been there. I understand but let me assure you of some truth I’ve since come to know. [Read more…]

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FOR ONCE, CHRISTIANS SHOULD COMPLAIN

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Lonnie-WilkeyLifeWay Research released an interesting study last week (see story). The headline of the story sums it up well: “Christians Face Intolerance; Complain.”

Maybe, for once, Christians have a right to complain.

For years we have accepted the lie that Christians are intolerant. Some individual Christians are. I won’t dispute that, but for the most part, Christians have been too tolerant and that is why our world is in the mess it is in today.

If Christians were as intolerant as those on the liberal left maintain, we wouldn’t be debating today which restrooms boys and girls use in public schools.

In Tennessee, there is a possibility that biological boys can go to the girls’ restroom if he claims that he identifies himself as a girl. The bill was still in committee as of press day on Monday and there was a possibility it might not get out of that committee to go to the House and Senate for a full vote. On top of that, even if it passes both legislative bodies, there is a possibility Gov. Bill Haslam will veto the bill. [Read more…]

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CLAIMING EXEMPTION PROTECTS COLLEGES

Tennessee universities among those that have asserted right to Title IX exemption

By Lonnie Wilkey and Chris Turner
Baptist & Reflector

151215title9BRENTWOOD — In a world and culture where sexual orientation and long-held traditions such as marriage are constantly being redefined, Christian colleges are taking steps to protect their institutions. Approximately 30 religiously affiliated colleges and universities nationwide (including Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City and Union University in Jackson) have asked for and received recognition of their exemption from certain sex nondiscrimination regulations of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Title IX generally prohibits institutions of higher education that receive federal funding directly or indirectly from discriminating on the basis of sex. However, when it was enacted, Congress made provision for an exemption to accommodate religious beliefs, and the Department of Education acknowledges the exemption to those colleges and universities that follow the United States Department of Education’s process and assert their rights to the exemption. Carson-Newman and Union both asserted their rights in letters to the Department of Education earlier this year. [Read more…]

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WOMEN DISTRUST CHURCH ON ABORTION ISSUE

LifeWay news office

151202abortionNASHVILLE — Many women with unplanned pregnancies go silently from the church pew to the abortion clinic, convinced the church would gossip rather than help, a new study by LifeWay Research shows.

More than four in 10 women who have had an abortion were churchgoers when they ended a pregnancy, researchers found in a survey sponsored by Care Net, a nonprofit organization supporting more than 1,100 pregnancy centers across North America.
“That’s a huge opportunity for the church to have an impact on those decisions,” said Scott McConnell, vice president of LifeWay Research.

But only 7 percent of women discussed their abortion decision with anyone at church. Three-fourths (76 percent) say the church had no influence on their decision to terminate a pregnancy. [Read more…]

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Tennessee Voters Pass Amendment 1

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

BRENTWOOD – Despite an aggressive push by those opposing Amendment 1, Tennessee voters adopted the amendment, which will allow for regulation of abortions in the state, by a margin of 728,751 (53 percent) to 656,427 (47 percent).

The number of “yes” votes cast far exceeded the number required (approximately 675,000) for passage. For an amendment to the State Constitution to pass, it needs a simple majority plus 1 in the number of ballots cast in the governor’s race. [Read more…]

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Look Who’s Calling Us Hypocrites

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Lonnie Wilkey

Lonnie Wilkey

We have all heard the accusation. Christians are just a bunch of hypocrites. They preach one thing, but live the exact opposite.

Sadly, there are Christians who do just that. But there are also Christians who try the best they can to match their words with their actions.

Christians, however, do not have the market on hypocrisy.

For those who read the Baptist and Reflector regularly, you are well aware that the paper and the Tennessee Baptist Convention, led by our executive director, Randy C. Davis, has taken up the banner for Yes on 1 (see stories on page 1 of this issue). [Read more…]

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Tennesseans Face ‘Monumental’ Vote, Says Davis

Baptist and Reflector

Jayme Hull, center, women’s ministry director at Judson Baptist Church, Nashville, speaks at a press conference in support of Amendment 1 held Oct. 14 at Cathedral of the Incarnation in Nashville. Middle Tennessee ministers gathered in support of Amendment 1, including Frank Lewis, far right, pastor of First Baptist Church, Nashville. Lewis spoke briefly at the press conference in support of Yes on 1.

Jayme Hull, center, women’s ministry director at Judson Baptist Church, Nashville, speaks at a press conference in support of Amendment 1 held Oct. 14 at Cathedral of the Incarnation in Nashville. Middle Tennessee ministers gathered in support of Amendment 1, including Frank Lewis, far right, pastor of First Baptist Church, Nashville. Lewis spoke briefly at the press conference in support of Yes on 1.

BRENTWOOD — Tennesseans are facing “the most monumental vote” in the state’s 218-year-old history, says Randy C. Davis, executive director of the Tennessee Baptist Convention.

Referring to Amendment 1 which is on the state ballot, Davis said, “It will be an indictment on Christians if Amendment 1 does not pass.”

Davis made his observations in a column posted at www.tnbaptist.org on Oct. 17. It also has been published in daily newspapers across the state. [Read more…]

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