CONFESSIONS OF A WHITE BOY ON MLK JR. DAY

By Chris Turner
Director of Communications, TBMB

martin-luther-kingConfession One: I struggle with racial prejudice against blacks.

There, I said it. God has consistently convicted me of that and increasingly helped me let a lot of that go over the past 20 years. It occasionally rises up, but He reminds me that racial prejudice is rooted in pride, one race believing it is superior to other races, and that in His eyes, all men are truly created equal since He created all men. [Read more…]

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ROY MOORE TO STAND TRIAL FOR GAY MARRIAGE ORDER

By David Roach
Baptist Press

A yard sign near Prattville, Ala., reflects what an attorney for the Alabama Citizens Action Program characterized as broad support for Chief Justice Roy Moore’s views on same-sex marriage. -Photo by Mary Pope

A yard sign near Prattville, Ala., reflects what an attorney for the Alabama Citizens Action Program characterized as broad support for Chief Justice Roy Moore’s views on same-sex marriage.
-Photo by Mary Pope

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (BP) — With Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore set to stand trial next month on charges he defied federal court rulings on same-sex marriage, a legal adviser to Alabama Baptists’ public policy auxiliary has called the allegations against him unmerited.

At issue in Moore’s case is a Jan. 6 administrative order in which he stated Alabama’s 68 probate judges had “a ministerial duty not to issue any marriage licenses contrary to” the state’s ban on same-sex marriage until the Alabama Supreme Court clarified the relationship between state law and the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision legalizing same-sex marriage.

The Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission (JIC) alleges in a 293-page complaint that Moore “failed to respect and comply with the law,” citing the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 Obergefell ruling among other cases.

The JIC seeks to have Moore, a Southern Baptist, removed from office. [Read more…]

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RACIAL RECONCILIATION BEGINS IN HEART

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Lonnie-WilkeyAnother annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention has come and gone. By all accounts it was historic and for the most part Southern Baptists left with a good feeling. Tennessee Baptists should be extremely proud as one of our own — Steve Gaines of Bellevue Baptist Church, Cordova, was elected president in an unusual and historic election (see also column by Chris Turner).

There was an emphasis on prayer, soul winning, racial reconciliation, and revival/spiritual awakening. Those are desperately needed in our world today. It’s not a matter of Southern Baptists not knowing what to do. It’s a matter of getting the job done.

Southern Baptists dealt with a number of resolutions ranging from gratitude to supporting the nation of Israel to freedom of the press. Perhaps the resolution that drew the most interest and debate from the floor dealt with the Confederate flag.

The original resolution called on believers “to consider prayerfully whether to limit, or even more so, discontinue its display,” while noting that for some people the Confederate battle flag is not “a symbol of hatred, bigotry, and racism.” [Read more…]

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11 STATES SUE OBAMA ADMIN. OVER TRANSGENDER DIRECTIVE

By Bonnie Pritchett
Baptist Press

public restroom signs male female gender bathroom toiletAUSTIN, Texas (BP) — Eleven states and two school districts filed a lawsuit May 25 challenging President Barack Obama’s directive demanding all federally funded schools apply a controversial interpretation of Title IX requiring schools to define a student’s sexual identity based not on biological traits, but on feelings.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit include Texas, Alabama, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Utah, and Georgia; Governor of Maine Paul Lepage; the Arizona Department of Education; Harrold Independent School District (HISD) in Texas and Heber-Overgaard Unified School District in Arizona. [Read more…]

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INCLUSIVITY V. IMPROPRIETY

By Todd Brady
Vice President for University Ministries, Union University

Todd Brady

Todd Brady

Inclusivity is one thing.  Impropriety is another. And decisions fueled by feelings are often unstable.

After North Carolina passed a law recently stopping transgender people from using bathrooms for the gender they identify with, the Target corporation announced on a blog entitled, “Continuing to Stand for Inclusivity,” that they “welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity.” Target concludes its announcement by saying, “Everyone deserves to feel like they belong.  And you’ll always be accepted, respected, and welcomed at Target.” [Read more…]

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FIRST SHOW UP, THEN PARTICIPATE

By Randy C. Davis
TBC Executive Director/Treasurer

Randy C. Davis

Randy C. Davis

There is an old expression that states that about 80 percent of life is just showing up. That may be true, but it begs the question: So what do you do once you get there? That’s easy. Participate.

That would be my advice to any minister or messenger wondering whether to attend the annual Southern Baptist Convention meeting, and especially this meeting coming up in a few weeks in St. Louis. Show up and participate.

Personally, I believe every Southern Baptist Convention meeting is important. Look back through our history and the annual meetings are key markers on our journey as a denomination. Yes, we’ve tackled some tough issues along the way, but as the largest evangelical network of churches in the United States gathered via elected messengers, we have collectively committed through the years to embrace the centrality of the gospel of Jesus Christ communicated through an inerrant Scripture. [Read more…]

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ATTEMPT TO OVERRIDE TENNESSEE GOVERNOR’S VETO OF BIBLE BILL FAILS

Baptist and Reflector

Bible-Tennessee-flagNASHVILLE – An attempt to override Gov. Bill Haslam’s veto of a bill that would have made the Bible the official state book of Tennessee failed on April 20.

The Tennessean reported on its website that after nearly two hours of discussion, members of the Tennessee House of Representatives voted 43-50, thus ending an opportunity to override the veto.

Because the House did not override the veto, the Senate did not need to discuss or vote on the issue. [Read more…]

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TN GOVERNOR VETOES BIBLE BILL

Editor’s Note: At press time on Monday, no date or time had been established for legislators to override the Governor’s veto of the Bible bill.

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Bible-Tennessee-flagNASHVILLE — Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam vetoed a bill April 14 that would have made the Bible the official state book of Tennessee.

The bill was approved earlier this month by both the state Senate and House of Representatives.

According to The Tennessean, Gov. Haslam cited an opinion issued in 2015 by Attorney General Herbert Slatery that the bill could violate the state and federal constitutions.

“In addition to the constitutional issue with the bill, my personal feeling is that this bill trivializes the Bible, which I believe is a sacred text,” Haslam wrote in a letter to House Speaker Beth Harwell, The Tennessean reported. [Read more…]

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EXHIBIT EXAMINES CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT

Public invited to open house event at Carson-Newman on Sunday, Jan. 31

Carson-Newman News Office

Recent Carson-Newman graduate Darius Childs works with other students in preparing the university’s new “We March with Selma” exhibit. Housed in the Appalachian Cultural Center on Russell Avenue, the exhibit will be the focus of an open house on Sunday, Jan. 31.The display is free and open to the public.

Recent Carson-Newman graduate Darius Childs works with other students in preparing the university’s new “We March with Selma” exhibit. Housed in the Appalachian Cultural Center on Russell Avenue, the exhibit will be the focus of an open house on Sunday, Jan. 31.The display is free and open to the public.

JEFFERSON CITY – A new exhibit on Carson-Newman University’s campus focuses on the 50th anniversary of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Student-curated, the display will be housed in the University’s Appalachian Cultural Center throughout the spring semester.

The public is invited to an open house event scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 31, from 3-5 p.m.

The “We March with Selma” exhibit is part of the University’s “A Simple Justice: The Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act,” a year-long observance of the historical event. [Read more…]

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GROUP TARGETS BAPTIST UNIVERSITIES

Baptist Press

160126alexandra-la-mapALEXANDRIA, La. — The homosexual activist group Human Rights Campaign has targeted 23 institutions of higher learning with Southern Baptist ties in a report that also names 35 other colleges and universities with distinct Christian identities. Among the schools targeted are Carson-Newman University, Jefferson City, and Union University, Jackson.

Released just before the 2015 Christmas season, the report, “Hidden Discrimination: Title IX Religious Exemptions Putting LGBT Students at Risk,” asks Obama Administration education officials to increase reporting requirements for these 58 schools because each was granted “exemptions of interest” relating to either “gender identity” or “sexual orientation” or both. [Read more…]

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