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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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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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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INAUGURATION DAY: THE CHRISTIAN RESPONSE

By Steve Gaines
SBC President & Pastor, Bellevue Baptist Church, Cordova

Steve Gaines

Steve Gaines

Today (Jan. 20)  Donald J. Trump became the 45th President of the United States. As you know, Mr. Trump won a highly volatile election last November. Some see him as a candidate of much-needed change, readily resonating with his Reaganish slogan, “Make America Great Again!” Others see Mr. Trump as a less than desirable candidate for the highest office in the land.

What are Southern Baptists to do?

Trump won the election. In doing so, he earned the right to serve for the next four years as President of the United States. Consequently, it is incumbent upon every Bible-believing Christian to pray that the Lord will bless and guide him and his family in the coming days and years. [Read more…]

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PAST ELECTIONS: ‘DIRE’ CHRISTIAN PREDICTIONS NOT NEW

By David Roach
Baptist Press

161027past-electionsNASHVILLE (BP) — During the presidential campaign of 1800, Christian opponents of candidate Thomas Jefferson warned he “abhors the Christian system” and if elected, might send troops to seize Christians’ Bibles.

In 1860, Abraham Lincoln’s election was thought by some Southern Baptist leaders to threaten fundamental American liberties. A century later, the presidential campaign elicited the Chicago Sun-Times headline “Southern Baptists Tell Why They Are Attacking Kennedy.” [Read more…]

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NEIGHBOR LOVE AND THE UPCOMING ELECTION

By Nathan A. Finn
Dean, School Of Theology & Missions, Union University

Nathan Finn

Nathan Finn

This year’s presidential election is unique in that both major party candidates are remarkably unpopular as individuals. It really is remarkable that so many Republicans and Democrats have spent so much time more or less apologizing for their support of their respective candidates. No doubt political scientists and historians will be studying this phenomenon for many years to come.

Like America in general, evangelicals are divided. Barring something unforeseen — which is always possible in this particular election — most white evangelicals will likely vote for Mr. Trump, while many African-American and Hispanic evangelicals will likely vote for Mrs. Clinton. [Read more…]

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2016 ELECTION: IS NOT VOTING AN OPTION?

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

dont-vote-buttons-symbolBRENTWOOD — Former Tennessee Baptist pastor Kenyn Cureton has heard numerous concerns expressed about not having a viable option to vote for in the upcoming presidential election on Nov. 8.

In his current role as vice president for church ministries with the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C., Cureton has been asked his opinion of the upcoming presidential election multiple times. Often, he is asked if Christians should consider not voting in the 2016 election because of a dissatisfaction with the two primary candidates — Hillary Clinton (Democrat) and Donald Trump (Republican). [Read more…]

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WHAT ARE YOU TALKING TO OTHERS ABOUT?

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Lonnie-WilkeyPeople love to talk, whether it is at home, work, or church. But what are we talking about?

According to a survey recently conducted by LifeWay Research, six in 10 Americans prefer to talk about politics instead of God. The numbers do improve for evangelical Christians. Research shows that Christians prefer talking about God over politics by a 2-to-1 margin.

Scott McConnell, a member of Hermitage Hills Baptist Church, Hermitage, and the head of LifeWay Research, observes that “people tend to discuss the things that matter most to them. For evangelicals, that is their faith,” he suggested.

But do we (Christians) really talk about our faith as much as we should?

Other than at church and occasionally with friends, my best guess is we don’t talk about our faith nearly as much as we should. [Read more…]

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AMERICANS PREFER TO TALK ABOUT POLITICS RATHER THAN GOD

By Bob Smietana
LifeWay Research

160803religion-politics1NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Politics trumps God for most Americans when it comes to conversations with their friends.

Six in 10 Americans are more comfortable talking about politics than their spiritual beliefs. And most say they aren’t interested in having more spiritual conversations.

By contrast, evangelical Christians prefer talking about God over politics by a 2-to-1 margin.

Those are among the findings of an online survey of 1,004 Americans about their views on spirituality and politics from Nashville-based LifeWay Research.

Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research, said Americans like to talk about both politics and religion, which are sometimes considered off limits in polite conversation. But they often prefer one to the other.

“People tend to discuss the things that matter most to them,” he said. “For evangelicals, that is their faith.” [Read more…]

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BELLEVUE’S STEVE GAINES ELECTED TO LEAD SBC

Tennessee Baptists second in number of Southern Baptist Convention messengers with 824

By David Roach
Baptist Press

Editor’s Note: Due to the publication schedule of the Baptist and Reflector, this issue contains a condensed wrap-up of the SBC annual meeting held June 14-15 in St. Louis. Extensive stories were posted on the B&R web site last week.

 

Outgoing Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd, left, together with presidential nominee J.D. Greear, center, congratulate Steve Gaines, pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova after he is elected president of the SBC. Greear withdrew from the race and moved that the convention elect Gaines by acclamation during the SBC’s annual meeting at America’s Center in St. Louis on June 15. — Photo by Bill Bangham

Outgoing Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd, left, together with presidential nominee J.D. Greear, center, congratulate Steve Gaines, pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova after he is elected president of the SBC. Greear withdrew from the race and moved that the convention elect Gaines by acclamation during the SBC’s annual meeting at America’s Center in St. Louis on June 15. — Photo by Bill Bangham

ST. LOUIS — The election of Tennessee pastor Steve Gaines as president on the third ballot and a historic repudiation of the Confederate battle flag were among the highlights of the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting June 14-15 in St. Louis.

The convention’s resolution on the Confederate battle flag capped an emphasis on racial reconciliation throughout the meeting that included the election of a 2017 Committee on Nominations with 25 percent of its members drawn from ethnic minority groups and a panel discussion on “racial unity in America” featuring Jerry Young, president of the historically African American National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.

The unofficial total of 7,321 registered messengers — up from 5,407 last year — also devoted an entire session to praying for awakening in America, listened to a panel discussion on “pastors and the church in American politics today,” and addressed on multiple occasions whether Baptists should support Muslims’ right to build mosques in the United States.

When registered guests, exhibitors, and others are included, the count of those at the annual meeting was tallied, as of June 15, at 11,581. Tennessee ranked second in number of messengers to the annual meeting with 824, trailing only host state Missouri’s 877 messengers. [Read more…]

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