Dallas meeting to focus on prayer Join C316 and others in prayer for our SBC annual meeting.

June 6, 2018

DALLAS (BP) — Connect316 has changed its program — now to focus on prayer — for its Monday evening meeting, June 11, following the concluding session of the SBC Pastors’ Conference.

“Prayer will be our only agenda,” Will Hall, editor of the Baptist Message in Louisiana, wrote in an email distribution Saturday morning, June 2.

Connect316, an organization advocating a “traditionalist” view of the doctrine of salvation, “has heard the heart of our [SBC] president, Dr. Steve Gaines, and we believe our Convention’s future rests upon prayer and fasting, now more than ever.”

Gaines issued a call for 21 days of fasting and prayer, leading up to the opening of the June 12-13 SBC annual meeting in Dallas, in a statement he issued May 11 largely addressing controversy related to Paige Patterson up to that point involving comments Patterson had made in sermons regarding domestic abuse and a woman’s physical appearance. Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, was subsequently terminated by a trustee executive committee on May 30 largely over the handling of two female students’ rape allegations against fellow students at SWBTS and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary where he earlier had served as president.

Hall, in his email, said the June 11 Connect316 fellowship will focus on “calling upon our Lord to capture our thoughts, hearts, and actions. We will pray for Dr. Gaines and all our convention committee members, and for those who bring reports. We will pray for all the candidates who will be nominated. We will pray for Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Most of all, we will implore God to send a revival among our people marked by humility, repentance and holiness.”

Hall wrote that “anyone and everyone” is invited to “this solemn and special time of unifying around the cross and Lordship of Christ.” People may “come and go as you please” during the session, which will begin around 9 p.m. in the Omni Dallas Hotel; refreshments will be provided.

Referencing one of the two nominees for SBC president, Hall added, “We will still provide 400 complimentary copies of Ken Hemphill’s newest book, Unlimited, on a first come, first serve basis. Ken Hemphill will be present for a meet and greet.”

Connect316, according to its website, is a fellowship that affirms a doctrine of salvation between that of Calvinism and Arminianism, holding that Christ died for the sins of every person.

Hemphill had initially been scheduled to address the Connect316 meeting, along with Richard Land, former president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. Ministries with a “traditionalist” view of salvation also were to have been introduced to the group, including TrueLife, Soteriology 101 and Baptist Strong.

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Among the matters to be prayed for are the issues lately raised related to both SWBTS & SEBTS.

The Power of Love Is Needed Right Now in the American Church

May 23, 2018

By Dr. Ronnie Floyd
Senior Pastor, Cross Church Northwest, AR
President, National Day of Prayer

Editor’s Note: This article was originally posted at Dr. Floyd’s personal blog and is used by permission.

This past Saturday, the world watched Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, an American actress, unite in marriage in their captivating royal wedding.

Michael Bruce Curry, an Episcopalian Bishop from the United States, delivered the message at the wedding. He quoted the powerful words of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who once said, “We must discover the power of love, the redemptive power of love. And when we discover that, we will be able to make of this old world a new world. Love is the only way.”

On This Side of the Pond

While the royal wedding was happening, on this side of the pond, our hearts were breaking from another evil shooting in one of America’s schools, resulting in ten people killed and an additional ten wounded. This time, the shooting occurred on Friday, May 18, in the Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas.

From South Florida to Southeast Texas, this evil knows no boundaries.

What is the answer?

Love Can Help and Heal When Nothing Else Can

As Bishop Curry stated in the royal wedding on Saturday, “There’s power in love. Do not underestimate it.” After quoting from I John 4, reminding everyone to love one another, he later spoke these powerful words, “Love can help and heal when nothing else can.”

It is love like this that will not just hold a marriage together, but it is love like this that has the power to mend over time the broken hearts and lives from the devastation of a school shooting.

While the World is Breaking, the Church in America Needs to Rise Together in This Kind of Love

Since the power of God’s love can help and heal the brokenhearted, the Church in America needs to become so immersed in this love, individually and collectively, that we rise to offer this kind of love in the world today.

The Church in America is facing challenges at every level. At times social media amplifies them before the world. I fully realize these challenges cannot be ignored or minimized. I have never been timid or fearful in dealing with any of them, and I certainly am not now.

Yet, there is a right way to deal with these problems, and it is through the power of love.

The power of love has seen us through problems before and the power of love will see us through again.

Love leads to unity, not division. Love keeps everyone in mind, not just ourselves. Love respects and honors all people.

While this world is breaking before our eyes and making promises it cannot keep, the entire Church in America needs to rise together in love in order to give this world the only thing we can give them that will last forever… the love of Jesus Christ.

When we present this love, it must be real within us individually, but it also must be experienced between us as a family dynamically. This kind of love changes everything.

Let Love Be Our Way Forward

Our world cannot afford for us to be sidelined because of our attitudes. Our world needs us, but more than us, it needs the gospel of Jesus Christ that we are called to advance to every corner of this universe.

Therefore, let love be your way forward. Never let anyone outside of your circle of love.

As Christ followers, we do not just believe in the sanctity of human life, but also in the dignity of human life; that is treating each other in the right way while we are on this earth.

Jesus prayed for us to be one, “so that the world may believe you sent me.” John 17:21

Therefore, let love be our way forward. Through our issues and through our problems, let love prevail through them all.

God’s way is the always the right way. God’s way is always through love.

Regardless of differences, love is still the way forward. We do need to rediscover the way of love, the redemptive power of love. Let love be our way forward.

Heaven According to Dr. Titus

May 22, 2018

By: Walker Moore
Awestar Ministries

The other night, 4-year-old Titus the Honorable and I were sitting on the floor playing with some toys. We were enjoying the time together in silence when Titus spoke up and said, “Poppy, you know when you die, you will go to heaven.” He wasn’t asking a question but stating a fact.

I wasn’t sure why he was telling me this. Did he want to reassure me because he thinks I am knocking on death’s door? Not too long ago, one of his grandmothers passed away. But what he doesn’t know is that when I die, most people will respond by saying, “I’m surprised he lived that long.”

I could tell Titus wasn’t done with this line of thought. I said, “Is that so?”

He continued, “When you die, they have to put you in the dirt …” Again, I could see the little wheels turning in his mind “… and then a door will open for you to get to heaven.”

“Yes, and Jesus will be there waiting for us,” I said.

I thought the conversation was over when Titus continued, “And that is when zuuuuuuuzzzzuuuuit…” he put his fingers on his eyelids and rapidly pulled them toward the back of his head. “That is when your eyeballs go from the front of your head to the back.”

I didn’t want to laugh, because we were having a very serious conversation. “I didn’t know that,” I replied.

Dr. Titus, what a theologian you have become. I am not exactly sure what is going to happen when we see the resurrected Jesus Christ face to face. I think you have a better grip on it than most of us.

I know of only one man who saw Jesus face to face in all His glory. His name was John, and he wrote about what he saw in the book of the Revelation. John said when he turned and saw Jesus, it was overwhelming. There were no human words to describe his view. He tried to paint a picture of what Jesus looked like, although at best, it was a poor one.

John said our Savior’s face shone like the most brilliant, blinding light you can imagine. A thousand suns combined radiated from his face. Then John went on to describe Jesus’ hair as white like wool. Realizing he needed a better description, he said it was like the purest, whitest snow you have ever seen.

But amidst that blinding brilliance, John’s gaze locked onto the Savior’s eyes. They were so intense it was like looking deep into a fire. Now, I know you have seen comic-book heroes with eyes that shot out fire, but John was talking about something much different. Jesus’ eyes were saying, “I am the King of kings and the Lord of lords. I am the eternal Jesus, the Creator, and everything that exists was not only created by Me, but its very existence is because I AM.”

John looked down at Jesus’ feet, which were glowing as if they had just come out of a red-hot furnace. When Jesus spoke, His voice was like a sonic boom. One of His whispers could cause the ground to tremble and rattle the farthest star.

But Titus, do you know what will happen when the door opens, and we see this magnificent Jesus? There is only one possible response when we come face to face with our Creator. We will be like John, who said he fell at His feet like a dead man. But Jesus didn’t want John to be scared, so He put a hand on his shoulder. The same voice that can move mountains and rattle the stars spoke peace into John’s heart. “Do not be afraid,” Jesus said.  

I am not sure. Titus the Honorable, when the “zuuuuuuuzzzzuuuuit” part comes and (as you say) “Your eyes go from the front of your head to the back.” But the Bible says we don’t understand everything, which might happen.

The sad part, though, is that only those who have accepted Christ as their Savior will get to hear Jesus say, “Do not be afraid.” That is why I need you to learn all you can about Jesus. It is important that we tell others. You come from a long line of those who have spent their lives sharing the good news: your great-grandfather, your grandfather, your dad—and now, the mantle is being passed down to you.

Dear Dr. Titus, go tell them that if they know Jesus, one day, the door to heaven will open, and they will see Him face to face. And who knows? They might even hear “zuuuuuuuzzzzuuuuit.”