LACK OF PLAN MARKS CHURCH RESPONSE

By Bob Smietana
Lifeway Research

170404domesticviolence1NASHVILLE — When it comes to domestic violence, Protestant pastors want to be helpful but often don’t know where to start.

Most say their church would be a safe haven for victims of domestic violence.

But many don’t know if anyone in their church has been a victim of domestic violence. And only half say they have a plan in place to help if a victim comes forward.

Those are among the findings of a new report on churches and domestic abuse from Nashville-based LifeWay Research, based on a phone survey of 1,000 Protestant senior pastors. Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research, said churches want to help victims of domestic violence but aren’t always effective at doing so.

“Many pastors aren’t aware if domestic violence is happening in their congregation,” McConnell said. “And even if they are aware, they often don’t know how to help.” [Read more…]

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DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AFFECTS CHRISTIANS

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

dometic-abuse-woman-manELIZABETHTON — Christians and church members are not immune from domestic violence, says long-time Christian counselor Art Webb.

One in four women will experience some kind of abuse by the time they reach 18 years old said Webb, a Christian counselor who has served with Watauga Baptist Association, based in Elizabethton, for 30 years.

“I’ve seen domestic violence among Christians as well as church and non-church members,” Webb said.

In fact, it’s sometimes more difficult for Christian women, Webb said. It’s hard for a Christian woman married to a professing Christian man to acknowledge the problem. “It brings shame and disgrace on the family if they admit it,” he added. [Read more…]

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VICTIM: TREAT DOMESTIC ABUSE WITH CARE

LifeWay Research

depressed-woman-cryingNASHVILLE — Investigating claims of domestic violence can backfire for churches, said radio host and speaker Autumn Miles, who partnered with LifeWay Research on a study about churches and domestic violence.

Miles, a past victim of domestic abuse, said it’s difficult for victims to come forward and ask a church for help. And when they do, they often need immediate assistance. They can’t wait for a church to do an investigation before deciding to help. [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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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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TENNESSEE LEGISLATORS KILL BATHROOM BILL

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

public restroom signs male female gender bathroom toiletNASHVILLE — Tennessee state legislators will not act upon the so-called “bathroom bill” for the second consecutive year.

The bathroom bill (SB771) would prohibit public schools from having policies that would allow students to use the bathroom or locker room of their choice based on what sex the student chooses to be. [Read more…]

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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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