NEWS FLASH: CHILI IS HOT

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Before it Hits the PressI am always amused when I read stories about people who get upset over the consequences of something they caused.

Most people probably have heard about the lawsuit McDonald’s faced years ago when a customer spilled coffee on herself. If I remember correctly, she won the case.

Just recently, a woman in Charlotte, N.C. claimed she suffered second degree burns after she spilled chili from Wendy’s on herself. [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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WELCOME, UTILIZE THE OLDER GENERATION

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector singing-together-family

Johnnie Godwin has been writing a column for the Baptist and Reflector since 2003. I knew of  Johnnie long before he sent that first column to me for consideration but did not really know him. Over the course of time Johnnie has become a dear friend and mentor.

As I read through his column this week, he mentioned that he recently turned 80 years old. That triggered something in my mind and I realized that, besides Johnnie, there are at least three other people who have played a major role in my life who either have turned 80 this year or will in the next couple of months. There could be a few more that I’m not even aware of. [Read more…]

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MONEY, NOT MORALITY, RULES

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Before it Hits the PressIf there was any doubt what’s most important to Americans, legislators in North Carolina cleared it up.

On March 30 North Carolina legislators repealed House Bill 2, a law that required individuals in state buildings to use restrooms corresponding to the gender indicated on their birth certificates. See article.

Last year at this time people were praising the legislators for their courage in standing up for morality and Christian values. What a difference a year makes.

Legislators bowed to the pressure of the NCAA which had mandated the state overturn its restroom bill or lose the opportunity to host championship events in 2018-22. [Read more…]

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ONE OF GOD’S HUMBLE SERVANTS STEPS DOWN

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Phyllis Bates, who has served as executive assistant to four executive directors of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board, retired Feb. 28 after 43-and-a-half years on the staff of the TBMB. She stands outside the Phyllis S. Bates Executive Leadership Suite which was named in her honor on her 40th anniversary with the staff. — Photo by Corinne Williams

Phyllis Bates, who has served as executive assistant to four executive directors of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board, retired Feb. 28 after 43-and-a-half years on the staff of the TBMB. She stands outside the Phyllis S. Bates Executive Leadership Suite which was named in her honor on her 40th anniversary with the staff.
— Photo by Corinne Williams

Talk about the best-laid plans of mice and men going awry (to paraphrase poet Robert Burns).

Phyllis Bates, a 43-plus year member of the staff of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board (formerly Executive Board) retired on Feb. 28. My plan was to write an extensive feature story and a column.

My feature story idea disappeared quickly after a short interview with Phyllis. It would be easier pulling a tooth from a grizzly bear than it is getting Phyllis to talk about herself.  [Read more…]

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REMEMBER THIS: IT’S NEVER WRONG TO PRAY

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

PrayHands-portraitChalk up another victory for political correctness.

A school system in Tennessee has to go to the time and expense of providing training to employees on the constitutional law concerning “the application of the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses in public schools” (see story here).

All of this is happening because a Tennessee Baptist youth pastor dared to do what’s right — pray for an injured high school football player. [Read more…]

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AVOIDING THE PROLIFERATION OF FAKE NEWS

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

crumpled-newspapersFake news is a big deal today, but it is not “new.”

Fake news has been around forever. Those of us who have been in Baptist journalism for decades can remember the countless news stories we have had to produce assuring Baptists that the Madalyn Murray O’Hair and Proctor & Gamble rumors from the 1980s and 1990s were just that — rumors and hoaxes.

As a teenager I can still remember staring at the headlines of the newspaper tabloids while standing in line to buy food in the local grocery stores. A headline like “Alien Lands in North Dakota” sounds interesting and will make you pick up the publication, but that doesn’t make the story true. [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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CHURCHES EXEMPLIFY RACE RELATIONS

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Lonnie Wilkey

Lonnie Wilkey

They stood together at the pulpit of Rialto Baptist Church in Covington on Sunday, Jan. 15 — Thomas Bester, a 63-year-old African-American pastor, and Carl Funderburk, an almost 80-year-old Anglo pastor.

As I watched them I could only imagine the stories they could tell from having witnessed first hand the racial strife of the civil rights movement in the 1960s-70s. On this occasion, however, these two pastors were united under the spirit of the God that both have faithfully served for decades. [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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