PRESTONWOOD TO RESUME CP GIVING ‘WITHOUT DESIGNATION’

By David Roach
Baptist Press

Jack Graham

PLANO, Texas (BP) — Prestonwood Baptist Church has announced it will resume giving through the Cooperative Program after two months of evaluating its support of Southern Baptist missions and ministries.

“After a time of prayerful evaluation, Prestonwood is renewing our commitment to Southern Baptist missions by giving to the Cooperative Program without designation,” Prestonwood executive pastor Mike Buster told Baptist Press in a statement. [Read more…]

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N.C.’S REPEAL OF RESTROOM BILL CALLED ‘A LOSS’

By David Roach
Baptist Press

170331nc-state-houseRALEIGH, N.C. (BP) — North Carolina legislators have repealed a controversial law that required individuals in state buildings to use restrooms corresponding to the gender indicated on their birth certificates.

The repeal of House Bill 2 today (March 30) marked a compromise between Democrats and Republicans and culminated more than a year of contentious debate since the bill’s passage in April 2016.

North Carolina’s senate passed the repeal 32-16 following brief discussion. The house’s 70-48 vote to repeal HB 2 followed more than two hours of debate and came some 90 minutes after a noon deadline set by the NCAA for the Tar Heel State to overturn its restroom bill or lose the opportunity to host championship events in 2018-22. [Read more…]

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ERLC ‘UNITY’ STATEMENT PRAISED BY GAINES, GRAHAM

By David Roach
Baptist Press

ERLC President Russell Moore (right) -- pictured here at a 2015 press conference with then-SBC Resolutions Committee chairman Steve Gaines -- was commended by Gaines following release of a March 20 extended statement, "Seeking Unity in the Southern Baptist Convention."  -BP file photo by Bill Bangham

ERLC President Russell Moore (right) — pictured here at a 2015 press conference with then-SBC Resolutions Committee chairman Steve Gaines — was commended by Gaines following release of a March 20 extended statement, “Seeking Unity in the Southern Baptist Convention.”
-BP file photo by Bill Bangham

NASHVILLE (BP) — An extended statement by Russell Moore and the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission executive committee, “Seeking Unity in the Southern Baptist Convention,” has drawn praise from SBC President Steve Gaines and former SBC President Jack Graham among others.

Meanwhile, Christian worldview analyst John Stonestreet said in a radio interview that controversy surrounding Moore, the ERLC’s president, gives Southern Baptists an opportunity to “model what it looks like to have deeply held differences … on political issues” yet “keep the main things the main things and move forward in a way that improves the reputation of the Gospel.” [Read more…]

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MOORE, ERLC TRUSTEES ISSUE ‘SEEKING UNITY’ STATEMENT

By Art Toalston
Baptist Press

Russell Moore -BP file photo.

Russell Moore
-BP file photo.

NASHVILLE (BP) — An extended statement, “Seeking Unity in the Southern Baptist Convention,” has been issued by Russell Moore and the executive committee of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

Moore, in a 1,691-word portion of the March 20 statement, clarified criticism he had leveled at Christians who supported Donald Trump for president in the November 2016 election.

The ERLC executive committee, in a 536-word portion of the statement, affirmed Moore’s ongoing leadership as president of the SBC entity. [Read more…]

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PAGE & MOORE: ‘WE FULLY SUPPORT ONE ANOTHER’

By David Roach
Baptist Press

Frank S. Page, Russell Moore

Frank S. Page, Russell Moore

NASHVILLE (BP) — Despite a Washington Post article suggesting Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee President Frank S. Page could ask Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission President Russell Moore to resign amid ongoing controversy, the two SBC entity leaders reported a collegial meeting today (March 13) and said they “fully support one another.”

Earlier in the day, amid a social media flurry following the Post’s report, Page told Baptist Press he planned on “bridge-building” with Moore with no anticipation of requesting a resignation. [Read more…]

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INTENTIONAL ACTS OF COURAGE

By Randy C. Davis
TBMB Executive Director

bridge-wooden-dangerousYou’ve probably never heard of Thomas Hart Benton.

Benton was a U.S. senator from Missouri who served with distinction for 30 years, but whose political career crashed to an inglorious end in 1851 because of his opposition to the westward expansion of slavery. Benton, a Democrat and representative of a slave state, stood in staunch opposition to his party, the majority of the constituents in his state, and the powerful John C. Calhoun, a South Carolina senator whose influence and political views eventually led to South Carolina’s secession from the Union.  [Read more…]

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PRESTONWOOD ESCROWS CP FUNDS, CITES ERLC ACTIONS

By David Roach
Baptist Press

170222prestonwood1PLANO, Texas (BP) — A Dallas-area megachurch has decided to escrow Cooperative Program funds temporarily in order to evaluate future support of Southern Baptist Convention causes.

At issue are what the congregation calls “various significant positions taken by the leadership of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission that do not reflect the beliefs and values of many in the Southern Baptist Convention,” according to a statement the church released to Louisiana’s Baptist Message newsjournal.

Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, will escrow what would amount to $1 million annually, the Message reported Feb. 16. [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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TN BAPTIST JOINS ERLC

Baptist Press

Brent Leatherwood

Brent Leatherwood

NASHVILLE — Former Tennessee GOP Executive Director Brent Leatherwood has been appointed as the new director of strategic partnerships for the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

In this role, Leatherwood will work to further the organization’s reach in the public square through coalition building and mobilizing, and by serving as an advisor on both state-level and national policy goals. [Read more…]

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MOSQUE CASE PROMPTS IMB POLICY TWEAK

Baptist Press

mosque-dome-towerNASHVILLE — Ongoing discussion of a federal court case concerning religious liberty for Muslims has prompted the resignation of an International Mission Board trustee and a revision of the IMB’s process for submitting friend of the court briefs.

Dean Haun, pastor of First Baptist Church in Morristown, resigned from the IMB trustee board in November based on his conviction the IMB should not have joined a friend of the court brief last May supporting the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge, N.J., (ISBR) in its religious discrimination lawsuit against a local planning board. The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission also joined the brief. [Read more…]

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