During the 1960 presidential election, John F. Kennedy traveled to Houston to assure Baptist ministers there that he was, in fact, committed to religious liberty and separation of church and state. The fear was that he, as a Roman Catholic, might not recognize those principles. He did. Turns out, the Houston ministers should’ve been less worried about the Vatican and more worried about, well, Houston.
Norm Miller is the director of communications and marketing at Truett-McConnell College.
The election of Fred Luter as the SBC’s first African-American president brought affirming nods from secular and religious media.
But the racism of a few members of the First Baptist Church in Crystal Springs, Miss., continues to garner condemnation from neighbors, local and national media, and from FaceBookers who are not so friendly in their remarks on the church’s FB page.
At issue is the wedding of an African-American couple — Charles and Te’Andrea Wilson, who attend the church – who were told only one day before their announced and planned wedding that they’d have to be married elsewhere. FBC Crystal Springs would not be available. The church was available, however, for the wedding’s rehearsal two days previous.
Pastor Stan Weatherford told local news media that those in the church who objected to the wedding were but a very few. However, this group of a very few – reportedly, five or six — apparently hold enough power that they allegedly threatened to fire the pastor if he performed the ceremony at the predominantly White, historic church. Continue reading
The four-year-old who says, “I can do it by myself” has a lot in common with the typical pastor.
Pastors are notorious for their lone ranger approach to ministry. It’s what I call the number one failure of 90 percent of pastors. They prefer to go it alone.
Even Jesus needed a buddy. “He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, ‘So, you men could not keep watch with me for one hour?'” (Matthew 26:40)
Sometimes it helps to have someone nearby, praying, loving, caring, even hurting with you.
The word paracletos from John 16:7 is translated “Comforter” and “Helper” in most Bible versions. The literal meaning is “one called alongside,” the usual idea being that the Holy Spirit is our Comforting Companion, a true Friend in need. And each time that word is found in the New Testament–John 14:16,20; 15:26; 16:7; and I John 2:1–it always refers to the Lord.
However, here’s something important.
While paracletos does always refer to the Lord in those scriptures, the word parakleesis (also a noun), for comfort or consolation, may refer both to the work of the Lord in our lives as well as the effect we have upon each other.
Don’t miss that.