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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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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PLATT APOLOGIZES TO SOUTHERN BAPTISTS

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

David Platt

David Platt

ONTARIO, Calif. – David Platt, president of the Southern Baptist International Mission Board issued an apology to Southern Baptists Feb. 15 for the IMB’s involvement in an amicus brief last summer.

Platt apologized during a meeting of the Association of State Baptist Publications held in Ontario, Calif. He also apologized to Baptist state convention executive directors during their session on the same day.

In May of 2016 the IMB, along with the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, signed an amicus brief in support of a mosque to be built in New Jersey. [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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TENNESSEE PASTOR RESIGNS AS IMB TRUSTEE

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

160114imb-officeMORRISTOWN — A Tennessee Baptist pastor has resigned as a trustee of the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board in response to an action taken by IMB leadership last summer. He had another year to serve on his present term.

Dean Haun, pastor of First Baptist Church, Morristown, told the Baptist and Reflector his resignation was in response to the IMB’s May 2016 decision to sign an amicus brief in support of a mosque to be built in New Jersey.  [Read more…]

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HELP CAN HURT

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Lonnie Wilkey

Lonnie Wilkey

I recently came across an article on the International Mission Board website (www.imb.org) by former president Jerry Rankin. The title immediately caught my attention: “Help that Hurts: Considering the Long-Term Cost of Missions Subsidy.”

Rankin observed: “We have made many mistakes over the years of missions work around the world. One of the errors has been trying to accelerate growth by an infusion of financial aid to build churches and support pastors. The result almost invariably was a welfare mentality among the recipients of the support.”

Jerry Rankin understands missions. In addition to serving as president of the IMB for 17 years, he and his wife were missionaries for 23 years prior to that. [Read more…]

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NAME CHANGE, FIRES TOP STORIES IN 2016

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

View from back of Roaring Fork Baptist Church in Gatlinburg. The church and vehicle were destroyed by wildfires which swept through Sevier County on Nov. 28.

View from back of Roaring Fork Baptist Church in Gatlinburg. The church and vehicle were destroyed by wildfires which swept through Sevier County on Nov. 28.

BRENTWOOD — There was no shortage of news in the Tennessee Baptist Convention in 2016.

The story that garnered the most national attention occurred Nov. 28 when fires swept across Sevier County, primarily in Gatlinburg, leaving 14 people dead, injuring at least 160 others, and damaging or destroying 2,400 structures including three Tennessee Baptist churches in Gatlinburg — Roaring Fork Baptist Church, Banner Baptist Church, and First Baptist Church.

After the fires, hundreds of Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief (TBDR) volunteers provided assistance. Volunteers have done everything from providing hot meals and sack lunches to clearing charred trees off property and some demolition to sifting through ashes and debris in hopes of finding a family heirloom or simply an item with only sentimental value. [Read more…]

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LOTTIE MOON — THE REBEL I WANT TO BE

By Lori McDaniel
Church Initiative Leader, International Mission Board, Richmond, Va.

Lori McDaniel

Lori McDaniel

Lottie Moon. I want to be like her, but I didn’t realize how much until I dove into her life story.

You could draw a line in the sand, mention the name Lottie Moon, and people who revere her will move to one side of the line while people whispering, “Who’s that?” will migrate to the other. I had one foot in each camp.

My current church is in the “who’s that?” category. Most people at my church, planted 15 years ago, did not grow up thoroughbred Southern Baptists. While they participate in and give to global missions, they’re not familiar with Lottie. But I grew up in a church that revered her, and I raised money for missions in my rice-bowl-shaped piggy bank to give to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. [Read more…]

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EVANGELISM NOT A GIFT: IT’S OBEDIENCE

 Editor’s Note: In September, the International Mission Board hosted Baptist state paper editors in London to introduce its new media network and to explore its Global Cities Initiative, a part of IMB President David Platt’s desire to introduce a “limitless” missionary force of Southern Baptists. In December, Southern Baptists are observing a Week of Prayer for International Missions and are collecting the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering which supports missionaries around the world.

According to missionary Ben Armacost, right, there are only two types of people in London — those who are saved and those who are lost. He shares the gospel with James, a man he met recently in the West Norwood section of London.

According to missionary Ben Armacost, right, there are only two types of people in London — those who are saved and those who are lost. He shares the gospel with James, a man he met recently in the West Norwood section of London.

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector  

LONDON — The statistics on London, the self-proclaimed “Capital of the World,” are staggering.

London is home to about 270 nationalities with 300 spoken languages. The city is home to 66 unreached people groups (second highest in the world). In a city with an estimated population of 6.83 million (12 million in the greater London area), only 1 percent of the city is considered to be “reached” with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

What’s more, statistics reveal that there is a 97 percent likelihood that a young person in their 20s in the United Kingdom has never met a follower of Jesus Christ. [Read more…]

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OFFERING IS ALL ABOUT THE MISSIONARIES

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Lonnie Wilkey

Lonnie Wilkey

Tennessee Baptist Convention churches are observing the Week for Prayer for International Missions this week and are in the process of collecting the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.

If past years are any indicator, Tennessee Baptists will be generous when it comes to supporting our international missionaries who serve all over the world. I hope this response continues this year as well.

In September I had the opportunity to participate in a vision trip for Baptist state paper editors hosted by the International Mission Board in London. [Read more…]

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