By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector
For nearly all of my life, I have heard of the soap opera, “As the World Turns.” I can honestly say that I never recall watching a single episode. My grandmother, with whom I spent most of my daytime hours before going to school, was a “General Hospital” fan.
The soap opera, which aired on CBS from 1956 until it was canceled due to low ratings in 2010, actually has no meaning at all for me, except that I like the name. After all, if the world wasn’t turning, none of us would be here.
As I read recent headlines, I sometimes wonder why God has allowed this world to keep turning for as long as He has. This world, including the country in which we live, is a complete mess.
I have said it before but I can’t imagine Sodom and Gomorrah being any worse than what our world has become today. Yet, God continues to have mercy on us.
Here are some things happening in our world today that literally should make every Christian weep.
- Chaos in Afghanistan. The Taliban (remember 9/11?) has taken control of Afghanistan. Baptist Press reported Aug. 17 that “Afghanistan’s capital fell to the militant Islamic terrorist group Aug. 15. The takeover of Kabul completed a rapid conquest of Afghanistan by the Taliban as the United States neared a complete withdrawal of troops after nearly 20 years in the Central Asian country following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The Taliban reportedly has already begun a campaign of retribution against some Afghans.
- Earthquakes and tropical storms. Just recently Haiti was struck by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake. See story on page 12. In addition, Tropical Storm Grace unleashed an estimated 15 inches of rain on the already devastated country. In addition, the government in the country is in turmoil. Thousands of people, injured in the earthquake, have not been able to get medical help. Southern Baptist Send Relief efforts are at a standstill because of unstable conditions in the country. It may be several weeks before teams can go and provide assistance.
- COVID-19 numbers are on the rise again. Just when it appeared things were beginning to get back to at least a new normal, the new Delta variant of the coronavirus has caused a spike in COVID-19 across the nation, including Tennessee. According to recently published data, the number of COVID cases in Tennessee is the highest it has been since early January. This will only continue to divide those in the country who want masks worn in public places and those who do not. Tensions are high.
Before I depress myself any more (and our faithful readers), let me remind you that as the world turns, God is in control and there are some good things happening in our world as well.
The staff of the Baptist and Reflector is blessed in that we can share the good and positive stories that are happening primarily in our state but also around the world through the pages of the paper.
This week’s issue has been made available to churches at no cost to introduce members and guests to the paper.
The B&R was first published in 1835 and is one of the longest, continuously published papers (both secular and religious) in the country. While we have to share news at times that is not always pleasant, our focus is on the positive things that God is doing through His people and churches in Tennessee.
In this issue, you will read about a small country church in Ardmore, near the Alabama line, that baptized 18 people in the Elk River earlier this month. You will read about the Pregnancy Crisis Center in Morristown that is helping mothers with unplanned pregnancies to choose life. You will read about Baptist Collegiate Ministries all across Tennessee that are reaching college students with the gospel and more.
Yes, there is a lot of bad news in the world, but the good news is there too. We encourage those readers who may be looking at their first issue to become subscribers to the Baptist and Reflector. We are very affordable. The subscription rate is $15 for 26 issues annually, less than 60 cents per copy. See our subscription form on page 3 or go to baptistandreflector.org to subscribe.
Don’t let the secular headlines leave you depressed. God is in control and He is our hope for a world that has been overrun by sin. Remember, that as the world turns, God is the one who is making it spin.