Archive for October, 2013

Truett-McConnell College joins federal lawsuit

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Washington, D.C.– Today the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty together with the national law firm Locke Lord LLP filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of three non-profit religious organizations who cannot comply with the federal government’s mandate that they provide employees with free access to abortion-inducing drugs and devices:

  • Reaching Souls International, a nonprofit evangelistic ministry dedicated to preaching the Gospel and caring for orphans in Africa, India, and Cuba;
  • Truett-McConnell College, a Georgia Baptist college dedicated to equipping students to make disciples of Christ among all the nations through a biblically-centered education; and
  • GuideStone Financial Resources, the benefits arm of the Southern Baptist Convention. GuideStone has been providing retirement and health benefits to Southern Baptist churches and affiliated ministries like Reaching Souls and Truett-McConnell College for nearly 100 years.

“We teach our students what it means to think biblically about all areas of life,” said Dr. Emir Caner, President of Truett-McConnell. “We can’t tell them that human life is sacred from the time of conception and then turn around and offer health benefits that are inextricably linked to providing abortion-causing drugs. Southern Baptists have a long history of standing up to government coercion in matters of conscience—it’s a tradition we’re honored to join.”

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Connect 316 Ministry Fellowship Launches

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by Dr. Rick Patrick, pastor
FBC Sylacauga, Ala.

We are excited to announce the launch of a theologically driven ministry fellowship in Southern Baptist life that is not Calvinistic. Connect 316 is committed to promoting the doctrines and principles of the Hobbs-Rogers theological tradition. Our goal is the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We aim to help fellow Christians who embrace our doctrinal convictions to connect with one another as we share God’s unconditional love with everyone all over the world. While this article is designed to answer many of your questions, for more information, check out our website at www.connect316.net.

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For Whom was the Temple Curtain Torn?

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by Ron Hale

Ron Hale has served as pastor, church planter, strategist (NAMB), director of missions, and associate executive director of evangelism and church planting for a state convention, and now in the fourth quarter of ministry as minister of missions.

The Jewish temple in Jerusalem was not an inviting spiritual structure. It was imposing and intimidating. I don’t imagine that smiley faces with happy handshakes greeted you at multicolored welcome centers as you entered.

God-fearing Gentiles had a segregated space for their worship and were strictly forbidden from entering the Jewish areas. A sign written in Greek read: any non-Jew who entered “is answerable himself for his ensuring death.”[1] Jewish women had a small court set aside for their use at the temple. In later years, a post for Roman soldiers was installed to maintain order and surveillance.

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FBC Oxford, Miss., ongoing race relations

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by David Roach
freelance writer
Baptist Press

OXFORD, Miss. (BP) — When First Baptist Church in Oxford, Miss., passed a resolution apologizing for its 1968 decision to exclude African Americans from worship services, it opened the door for racial reconciliation in its city.

“I had never seen a church or any organization move that seriously toward repentance and then apologize without any excuse,” said Andrew Robinson — who is pictured below with Eric Hankins — and is pastor of Oxford’s historically black Second Baptist Church, a National Baptist congregation that accepted the apology and granted forgiveness.

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Church Discipline Requires a Tender Heart: Love, Not Legalism

Ronnie Rogers is senior pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Norman, Okla.

by Ronnie Rogers, pastor
Trininty BC, Norman, Okla.

A biblical attitude is crucial to the whole process of church discipline. If the attitude of those implementing discipline is not right, then what God designed to be a beautiful act of selfless love is transformed into an ugly act of power, even if all the other instructions are followed to the letter. The offspring of that evil may shortly surface as a disuniting and judgmental spirit in the fellowship, or it may lay dormant until the next attempt to lead the church in discipline and then surface with a vengeance.[1]

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