By: Julio Guarneri Calvary Baptist of McAllen, Texas, provided relief to thousands of immigrants fleeing violence from Central America. However, beyond relief efforts, the church seeks opportunities for development, sustainment and advocacy.
By: EthicsDaily Staff Amid increasing violence in South Sudan, Baptists in this African nation are ministering to refugees and internally displaced persons. The country is the world's third largest refugee crisis but receives far less attention.
By: Edgardo Martinez First Baptist Church of El Paso, Texas, ministers to immigrants along the U.S.-Mexico border. Moving beyond charitable acts, they are also challenging a system that causes poverty and other injustices.
By: Philip Jenkins While immigration is a political hot potato in the U.S., it also has religious implications. When ordinary people move from one area or another, sometimes reluctantly, they take their religion with them.
By: Tim Long Since May 2016, thousands of immigrants have flocked to Tijuana, awaiting their turn to cross into the U.S. Six Baptist churches from this Mexican border town are ministering to 500 of those asylum seekers.
By: Shannon Youell Evangelism is challenging in a post-truth world, but humans are still seekers of truth. How can church leaders re-engage Christians to share the truth of the gospel in our post-truth culture?
By: Neville Callam Hardly can one identify a greater need of Baptists today than to rediscover Baptist interdependency - an interdependency that rejects cultural imperialism, paternalism and neo-colonialism.
By: Michael Okwakol I first heard of the Baptist World Alliance when I joined the staff of the Baptist Union of Uganda in 1984. Since then, I have discovered many benefits from BWA involvement. Here are a few of them.
By: Nathan Finn "The Disturbances" is an inspiring story and a sobering reminder that what happened in Nigeria in 1966 could happen again. However, the more these stories are told, the better able we are to prevent genocide.
By: Meredith Stone My worldview was small until my seminary professors introduced me to the Baptist World Alliance's global family, where we teach each other that all folks are created in the divine image - not just Americans.
By: EthicsDaily Staff In a nationwide polarized political climate, Texas lawmakers have found an issue around which they can unite: putting an end to human trafficking. An estimated 313,000 people in Texas are trafficking victims.
By: Craig Sherouse The beautiful diversity of the Baptist world family is always on display when the BWA meets. As a local church pastor for 41 years, my ministry and missional partnerships have been greatly enriched by the BWA.
By: Paul Msiza Growing up during apartheid's reign in South Africa was difficult. Christianity was viewed with suspicion, and Baptists were marginalized. But then I was exposed to the Baptist World Alliance.
By: Wade Smith "The Disturbances" offers one snapshot of the larger tribal conflict that would ultimately lead to the Biafran War in Nigeria from 1967-1970. Missionaries shared their stories of incredible courage and faith.
By: Daniel Trusiewicz Baptists have enjoyed freedom to preach the gospel, train leaders and carry out fruitful missionary activities in Moldova since the eastern European nation gained its freedom in 1991. Here are the stories of three of them.
By: Carolyn Wynstra I was only 21 years old when I arrived in Nigeria for my first teaching assignment. I still remember the roar of the masses coming from downtown Jos when the killings and ransacking of homes began.
By: Emmanuel McCall In a culture that valued both the importance of emotion and pulpit oratory, Martin Luther King Jr. brought theological reflection and the ability to show how the gospel related to social action and justice issues.
By: Jim Hill I have a dream that one day white Christians will have the courage to lead a nation to have an honest conversation about racism and white privilege. I have a dream that conversation will lead our nation to begin to heal.
By: Charles Cheek Not long ago, neighbors gathered on front porches to freely exchange ideas to bring about change. We've lost sight of that in our isolated society. But we can gather again on the "front porch" for justice.
By: Zach Dawes Many churches remain predominantly black or white, but Martin Luther King Jr. reminded us of the difference between segregated and segregating churches. MLK Jr. Day services offer an opportunity to integrate.
By: Candice Lee It's tempting to imagine that trafficking only happens in faraway countries, but that's not the reality. The Woman's Missionary Union provides grants to respond to human trafficking in the U.S. and around the world.
By: Stacy Blackmon Some folks may feel that human trafficking is too big of a problem for them to offer any help. But individuals, small groups, even churches can play a vital role in stopping human trafficking in its tracks.
By: Robert Parham National Human Trafficking Awareness Day is Jan. 11, a time to draw attention to the third leading worldwide criminal industry. While there's no doubt Baptists have taken a stand, let's use this day to become further engaged.
By: Pam Strickland Many practicing Christians view pornography, which drives demand for prostitution and sex trafficking. To stop human trafficking, the church must end the demand for victims. And we must start with us.
By: Stuart Blythe While Baptists are committed to human rights at an official level, that commitment doesn't seem to make it into many churches - even though clear theological grounds exist for the support of human rights.
By: Duane Brooks and Jen Whittenberg More than just football comes to town with the Super Bowl. In addition to the thousands of visitors in town for the game, there is an increased demand for commercial sex. Here's one church's response.
By: Colin Harris We're all aware of the "fake news" phenomenon, but a broader look at our society reveals a range of distortion that's been detrimental to our common life much longer than our current fake-news problem.
By: Valerie Carter Unlike sex-trafficked victims, society, including the church, does not look favorably upon those in the business of prostitution. But there's a thin line between the two, and our thinking must change.
By: Robert Parham Retired missionaries Bill and Audrey Cowley showed courage during a time of tribal genocide in Nigeria in 1966 and built one of Africa's transformative educational institutions. They are EthicsDaily.com's Baptists of the Year.
By: Cliff Vaughn Bill and Audrey Cowley not only saved lives during a tribal genocide in Nigeria in 1966, they also founded Baptist High School in 1961, which emerged as a pre-eminent educational institution and remains so to this day.
By: Zach Dawes The Baptist Center for Ethics / EthicsDaily.com hit the ground running in 2016 and didn't slow down. As the year nears its close, we look forward to continuing our efforts to advance the common good in 2017.
By: EthicsDaily Staff With tens of millions of displaced children in need of education, churches and faith-based organizations in Lebanon have ministered to the needs of displaced persons since the start of the Syrian conflict in 2011.
By: Bader Mansour Everyone who grew up Southern Baptist knows Lottie Moon. A missionary to China in the 1800s, she personified the missionary spirit of Southern Baptists. But do you know the story of George Laty?
By: Cliff Vaughn The creation of a documentary like "The Disturbances" requires travel, interviews, archival research, writing, meetings, scanning, editing, phone calls, e-mails, marketing, more travel. It also requires your support.
By: Robert Parham "On earth, peace" was a ridiculous announcement at Jesus' birth. Since his birth, it's been an outlandish expectation, a preposterous promise. And yet, as Christmas nears, are we trying enough?
Play "Name That Baptist," a game created by EthicsDaily.com staff for its 25th anniversary celebration in 2016. The game offers a playful review of Baptist Center for Ethics' quarter century of work by highlighting global Baptist leaders who have collaborated to help advance the common good.
By: EthicsDaily Staff Human Rights Day will be observed on Dec. 10. The Baptist World Alliance is encouraging its members to participate in the annual observance in their worship services over that weekend.
By: Tara Hornbacker Through stories of courage and survival in the face of monumental obstacles, "The Disturbances" explores the deep bonds between missionaries serving in Nigeria during a deeply troubled time.
By: Paul Hobson The leader of the Baptist Union of Great Britain has joined other faith leaders from that nation to urge government leaders to take immediate action to deliver aid to up to 250,000 civilians in Aleppo.
By: Robert Parham For 25 years, the Baptist Center for Ethics has walked through doors of opportunities, often not knowing what awaited us on the other side. Now, it's your turn to walk through a door with us with your financial support.
By: Brent McDougal This Thanksgiving, you can share the love of God in natural ways, ones that fit your plans and hopes for the holiday. So try one of these seven ways to be on mission for God this season. Check out No. 4.
By: Barry Howard Your church will be healthier if members are equipped to be good theologians. There are two categories of theology: folk and academic theology. Both are extremely important to the health of the church.
By: Richard Mouw While deeply disturbing, EthicsDaily.com's documentary provides an inspiring glimpse into the lives of missionary families who served the Lord under unimaginably difficult circumstances in Nigeria in 1966.
By: Neville Callam As part of their commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, Lutherans in Germany held a joint ecumenical remembrance with Catholics, making a serious commitment to visible unity.
By: Mike Kuhn Mission funding is a powerful force flooding the Middle East like a sudden storm in an arid desert. It changes the entire environment - sometimes doing great good, but with the potential to do great harm.
By: Frank Rees While Christians are all one in Christ, that does not mean our Christian identity does away with our differences. Difference is part of who we are because difference is part of who God is.
By: EthicsDaily Staff The companion book to the feature-length documentary film, "The Disturbances," is now available as an e-book, featuring stories and more details that could not be included in the film due to time constraints.
By: Paul Hobson Baptists in Europe and the Middle East who are involved in the response to the refugee crisis are seeing an "incredible spiritual harvest," says a member of the European Baptist Federation.
By: Jim Kelsey Baptist churches are well equipped to move with freedom and flexibility in a rapidly changing world, leaving behind those things that are not core to who we are and might slow us down on our journey.
By: EthicsDaily Staff As the 15th anniversary of Sept. 11 approaches, Baptist and Muslim leaders believe interfaith engagement offers hope for a better future, even as negative rhetoric heightens tension for U.S. Muslims.
By: Mitch Randall After 15 years, you would assume our society has grown up regarding the relationship between Christians and Muslims. At times, the opposite seems true. We must set aside our ignorance and biases.
By: Danny Chisholm As we approach the 15th anniversary of 9/11, it's more vital than ever for Muslims and Christians in the U.S. to work together. We can unite to improve our communities without compromising our religious views.
By: EthicsDaily Staff Samford University will host two events centered around a new film from EthicsDaily.com on the role of missionaries during genocide. Bill and Audrey Cowley, who are featured in the film, will attend both events.
By: Neil Brighton Many churches have a steady stream of people serving on short-term foreign mission trips. These trips can have good or bad consequences. How is your church preparing your members to serve?
By: EthicsDaily Staff More than 50,000 people have died in South Sudan's 3-year-old civil war as both sides increasingly rely on recruiting children to fight. An estimated 16,000 children have been recruited in the conflict.
By: EBF Staff European Baptist leaders met with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, during which the president signed a decree celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation in the eastern European nation.
By: Kathleen Hardage It's back-to-school time. As teachers return to their classrooms, here are 5 ways that you as a Christian parent or your church can build a positive relationship with teachers. They need and deserve our support.
By: Cliff Vaughn The genocide in Nigeria in 1966 escaped the radar of most North Americans. While few missionaries talked about what happened 50 years ago, many other folks seemingly didn't want to hear about it. Why?
By: Bill Shiell It's back-to-school time. Renewed churches are engaged in local schools. By adopting a public school, a church can address racism, serve the poor and share the gospel through word and deed.
By: Zach Dawes U.S. views of education seems to be closely tied to their political affiliation, a Gallup survey suggests. Yet two-thirds of parents of K-12 students expressed satisfaction with their oldest child's education.
By: Danny Chisholm Many churches are not uniform when it comes to political views. We are a tapestry of different political, social and theological positions. This political season, we must reaffirm what unifies us amid diverse views.
By: EthicsDaily Staff Public, premiere screenings of EthicsDaily.com's forthcoming documentary, "The Disturbances," begin in September. Six cities in five states are on the schedule, with several more in the works.
By: EthicsDaily Staff EthicsDaily.com's new feature-length film, "The Disturbances," tells what missionaries did in Nigeria in 1966 during a time of tribal genocide. It is an untold story that is finally getting its due on its 50th anniversary.
By: EthicsDaily Staff Corrections' budgets at the state and local level 'have increased about three times as fast as spending on elementary and secondary education,' a U.S. Department of Education report says.
By: Zach Dawes Interacting with global Baptists during the Baptist World Alliance's annual gathering offered two advantages: Your personal echo chamber is revealed, and you're able to expand your sense of community.
By: EthicsDaily Staff How does a pastor 'stay fresh' after a 40-year ministry with the same church? Bill Brown, senior pastor of Syndal Baptist Church in Australia, shared his insights in a video interview with EthicsDaily.com.
By: Brian Kaylor The Baptist World Alliance's annual gathering frequently focused on religious liberty, passing resolutions that address religious-liberty violations in Nigeria and that urge Baptists to minister to refugees.
By: Brian Kaylor Canadian Baptists at the 2016 Baptist World Alliance annual gathering welcomed global Baptists to Vancouver, reflecting on their unique ministry heritage and context as they introduced their country.
By: Brian Kaylor Global Baptists discussed the COP21 agreement, emphasized the reality of climate change, and urged a more robust creation care theology at a commission meeting during the 2016 BWA gathering.
By: EthicsDaily Staff More than 65 million people were forcibly displaced by conflict in 2015, a United Nations' report says, which is nearly 6 million more than 2014. Over half of those forcibly displaced were children.
By: Brian Kaylor Global Baptists face a growing debate over how Baptist relief and development agencies could most effectively collaborate. The issue likely will be a focal point during the BWA annual gathering.
By: Michael Helms Many Christians are threatened by U.S. pluralism pecking away at their majority status. To fight it, some Georgia Baptists are pushing for laws that benefit them, but that's liberty and justice for some.
By: Frank Broome Two visions are at work in the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship family. One vision cherishes the best of what it means to be Baptist; the other wants to change the world. Both visions have value.
By: John Pierce Christian fundamentalists have a record of landing on the wrong side of equal rights and social change. A Georgia Baptist editor has peddled a fear-based argument to limit Muslims' religious freedom.
By: Tony Peck At a European Baptist Federation conference, Baptists were challenged to change their language about the arrival of thousands of refugees to Europe, viewing it not as a crisis but a blessing.
By: EthicsDaily Staff 'The Disturbances,' a feature-length film from EthicsDaily.com, is based on video interviews with 25 eyewitnesses sharing how missionaries saved lives in Nigeria in 1966. Learn more via its Facebook page.
By: EthicsDaily Staff Christian schools in Israel "are at risk of collapsing financially." After the schools ended a strike last September, the government agreed to pay $12.7 million to the schools but has not done so yet.
By: Roger Olson Many churches send a group of their congregants on a mission trip to help those "poor other people." Do they need more help? Or do we? Churches might benefit more from a mission trip in reverse.
By: Martin Accad Beliefs about Jesus today are diverse among Muslims. When our conversation is rooted into a robust life in the footsteps of Jesus, theological dialogue with Muslims will be strengthened and more fruitful.
By: Brian Kaylor Despite the technological and financial limitations that Cubans have faced over the last 50 years, Baptist leaders there report dramatic growth among churches over the last two decades.
By: EthicsDaily Staff A Baptist church in Kansas City, Missouri, will hold a series of 'provocative conversations' - human trafficking, racism, foster care and the future of education - and how they affect their community.
By: Brent McDougal Missions can't be a bait-and-switch to get people to come to a worship service. To grow a genuine mission work in your community, your church must invest time, attentiveness and love.
By: EthicsDaily Staff Recognitions of two Baptist women, Molly T. Marshall and Barbara "Babs" Baugh, will bookend the Friday event lineup at the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship's general assembly in June.
By: Jerrod Hugenot While some Baptists claim that women should not be in church leadership, especially pastoral ministry, the truth is that without their leadership and commitment, churches would not have much left.
By: Glen Marshall Evangelism often happens best when it happens obliquely. If evangelism is always the primary motivator for everything we are, do and say, we will end up making our evangelism inauthentic.
By: EthicsDaily Staff Fashion companies have improved oversight of fabric producers but remain largely ignorant of raw materials sources and labor conditions, a Baptist World Aid Australia report says.
By: EthicsDaily Staff Three nations - Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia - were at the center of the Ebola epidemic, and faith leaders have been vital in responding effectively to the crises in the West African nations.
By: Simon Jones God often works where he's not invited or welcomed - except by those who have no other prayer but that he'll come to their aid in their distress. Just ask those, many of them Christians, in the refugee camp in France.
By: Faliku S. Dukuly Liberia's Ebola crisis took nearly 5,000 lives even as groups like the Liberia Baptist Theological Seminary stepped in to help. Now declared free of Ebola, the African nation's struggles continue.
By: Tony Peck This June, United Kingdom citizens will vote in a referendum on whether or not the government should continue to be part of the European Union. One Baptist leader calls on Britain to continue its partnership.
By: EthicsDaily Staff After shedding more than 1,000 missionaries and staff, Southern Baptists' International Mission Board president discusses the agency's future and mobilizing ordinary Christians to the mission field.
By: Baptist Union of Great Britain As the French government demolishes homes in a makeshift refugee camp, where migrants hope to cross the English Channel into Britain, Baptists in the United Kingdom urge their government to ensure protection.
By: Neville Callam As we seek to relate the teaching of Scripture to the vexed issues of contemporary life, we should not fail to recognize the complexity of the process by which we can hear the voice of God.
By: Roger Olson Some equate "American evangelicalism" with a far right-wing political movement, but many evangelicals don't identify with or participate in the Religious Right or fundamentalist theology.
By: John Weaver A Baptist church in England has received an award to recognize its ongoing efforts to care for the environment in all areas of church life. It's one of more than 300 churches from all denominations to earn the award.
By: EthicsDaily Staff Thirty-two Iowa pastors and a handful of national leaders have informed the 2016 presidential candidates that evangelical voters "are looking for a biblical approach regarding immigrants and immigration."
By: Bob Newell Born into poverty in 1935, Elvis Presley overcame the odds to become a music legend. Many others around the globe face similar disadvantages. How can we as Christians give them opportunities to prosper?
By: EthicsDaily Staff Restrictive European Union policies have exacerbated the global migrant-refugee crisis, making migration an increasingly perilous and dangerous endeavor, a Doctors Without Borders report says.
By: Paul S. Fiddes Some may find the covenantal approach of mutual trust between churches is hopelessly impracticable, but Baptists have learned over the years to live with the risks of trust and love.
By: Paul S. Fiddes From the beginning of their church life, Baptists thought that "walking together and watching over each other" was more than individual believers in a congregation; it involved churches watching over each other.
By: John Pierce The United States is plagued with 'ceremonial Christianity,' which baptizes national allegiance and political ideologies in the language of faith. And Jesus' teaching is lost in the process.
By: EthicsDaily Staff Amid divisive, anti-Muslim rhetoric, Baptist leaders have urged interfaith engagement with Muslim neighbors. To aid churches in those initiatives, EthicsDaily.com offers a free downloadable resource.
By: Joe LaGuardia We often exercise theological gerrymandering to support our ideological beliefs about the day's most pressing issues. We must avoid any declaration that God is taking one side over the other.
By: EthicsDaily Staff What did EthicsDaily.com accomplish in 2015? To start with, more than 500 columns and around 100 news articles were published, written by more than 150 unique contributors from 23 U.S. states and nine countries.
By: Dennis Bickers If the need for bivocational ministers in our denominations will increase over the next several years, we must seek ways to identify and train those persons who have been called to such ministry.
By: Martin Accad With the church in the Middle East on life support, the solution is not to fan fears of Islam and Muslims and develop strategies of war against them. Rather, the transformation must start from within.
By: Martin Accad The church of the Middle East is on life support, and fingers regularly point at Islam as the cause of its demise. Under such circumstances, how do you prepare future leaders for the Arab church?
By: Robert Parham How should U.S. citizens in general and Baptists in particular respond to the U.S. accepting 12,000 Syrian refugees? We have two models. One serves those in great need; the other rejects them out of fear.
By: Colin Harris The marriage between the evangelical and political right seems to have evolved into a relationship where the power it sought is now defining that faith and its responses to issues. But there may be hope.
By: Brian Kaylor Southern Baptists' International Mission Board says it sold $18 million in overseas properties to cover missionary expenses in 2014, but that number doesn't match the agency's own 2014 audit.
By: Brian Kaylor The head of Southern Baptists' International Mission Board said the elimination of up to 800 missionary positions was necessary because of a $210 million spending deficit. But those numbers don't add up.
By: Dennis Bickers Many ministers start their ministry burdened by student debt while earning barely enough to make minimum payments on that debt. The difficult answer is to pay off that debt as soon as possible.
By: David Swartz Did women missionaries find their work liberating? Some described themselves as fulfilled, found and happy. Others struggled with frustrations, and married women felt this tension most acutely.
By: Zach Dawes While many newspapers charge readers to access their online information, EthicsDaily.com provides free content for churches and people of faith. And we're able to do it with your financial support.
By: Sarah Stone Following two major earthquakes, Nepal is facing nationwide fuel shortages after more than two months of blockades along its border with India. The shortage is closing schools and affecting hospitals.
By: Ferrell Foster Others may turn away from the suffering of refugees, but followers of Jesus can't afford such apathy. By caring for those who suffer, we're caring for Him. Jesus is a refugee, and he needs us.
By: Paul Hobson The British government's welfare reform bill is a dangerous shift that will harm poor families and their children, according to a report from churches representing several faith groups.
By: Mark Tidsworth When churches struggle to survive, its members want to save it. Such motives are natural and healthy. But we must face the reality that God's mission focuses on the world, not any individual church.
By: Hailey Brenden Research into gender-based violence during the Central African Republic conflict has led to the release of a powerful report with the potential to help survivors and inspire leaders to take action.
By: Paul Hobson Some 4,000 people, many of them women and children, languish in a refugee camp on France's northern coast. The threat of violence is high, a British Baptist pastor said. "They need some form of justice."
By: Ircel Harrison Many young ministers leave seminary burdened with debt. Churches are struggling with declining finances and can't afford to pay appropriate salaries to full-time pastors. Can they afford each other?
By: Ircel Harrison Church programs come and go. Buildings often become a burden rather than a resource. Strategies rise and fall. But churches wanting the best return on investment should focus on people. People will endure.
By: Robert Parham Baptist missionaries saving Nigerian lives in the '60s. Interfaith leaders support an end to world hunger. The pope visits the U.S. These are some of our better angels that surfaced last week.
By: Brian Kaylor Baptists in the former Soviet-bloc nation of Georgia have divided over issues of homosexuality during the past two years. Three leaders there recently explained the controversy to EthicsDaily.com.
By: Bill Wilson Declining receipts from churches and increasing pressure from the national Baptist body to forward a larger percentage of receipts upstream are squeezing state conventions and associations.
By: EthicsDaily Staff Ending a strike by Christian schools that began on Sept. 1, leaders of the Israeli government and the nation's Christian schools reached an agreement enabling students to return to classes.
By: Paul Hobson Fifty-seven percent of people in England call themselves Christians, and one in five of those who don't is open to finding out more about Jesus after hearing Christians talk to them about their faith, a British report says.
By: Chris Hall The United Nations will vote on its Sustainable Development Goals to tackle poverty, hunger and other issues over the next 15 years. Here's why your church should support these initiatives.
By: EthicsDaily Staff Christian, Jewish and Muslim faith leaders signed a statement calling for a broad commitment to end hunger by 2030. Bread for the World released the statement signed by 67 leaders.
By: James Gordon The remaining Nazi concentration camps were liberated 70 years ago. Whatever else the Holocaust demands, it requires us to identify what is human and humane, and then to protect, cherish and embody that humanity.
By: Mike Massar Lake Providence in Louisiana is a city of contrasts. The gap between the rich and poor continues to widen. But amid the poverty, Baptist missionaries have dedicated their lives to help those with deep needs.
By: EthicsDaily Staff With nearly a half-million immigrants arriving in Germany so far this year, one German Baptist explains why the country and its Baptist churches are so open in a new Skype interview from EthicsDaily.com.
By: James Gordon Libraries are an essential and crucial part of our social fabric. They are places where we learn to be critical of the status quo and radical in the way we see and judge the world in which we live.
By: David Swartz Charles Spurgeon's commitment to evangelism and gospel-centered preaching makes him adored by today's evangelicals. Those same traits form the foundation for his staunch Christian pacifism.
By: Yohanna Katanacho Nearly 50 church schools in Arab towns and villages in Israel educate more than 30,000 Christian and Muslim Palestinian Israeli Arabs. Yet Israel has been imposing increasing pressure on these schools.
By: Paul Hobson Following Britain's prime minister describing migrants as a "swarm of people," leaders from several British denominations called for "a more informed and higher level of debate on the issue."
By: Daniel Trusiewicz Poland is a nominally religious nation with 38.5 million residents. The Baptist movement is nearly 160 years old; they have more than 5,000 baptized members in 90 local congregations.
By: Jim Kelsey Churches must disciple people in the same way we raise our children. We don't sit our kids down for a weekly lecture. We walk with them through their lives, helping them draw lessons from their successes and failures.
By: Robert Parham The Baptist World Congress was a splendid overall success, despite lower than desired attendance due to fears of Ebola and xenophobia in South Africa toward other foreign workers. Here's an overview.
By: James Gordon When students leave universities buried in debt, they have little time to think about changing society. Education has been reduced to a commodity, and students must focus on paying off long-term debt.
By: EthicsDaily Staff Many missionaries and their agencies fall into the trap of paternalism, creating a sense of dependency in the people of less-developed regions. Here are six ways to avoid this pitfall.
By: David Fitch Christian apologetics trains us to think we have the answers before hearing the questions. In that respect, it harms mission work. We can't presume to know answers when we haven't taken time to listen.
By: EthicsDaily Staff As part of its extensive coverage of the Baptist World Alliance's 2015 World Congress, held in Durban, South Africa, EthicsDaily.com staff interviewed a number of Baptists on a variety of topics.
By: Brian Kaylor Baptists from around the world, meeting in Africa for the Baptist World Congress, heard updates from those in western African nations impacted by last year's Ebola epidemic, which claimed more than 11,000 lives.
By: Vickey Casey Knowledge is power in countries such as Mozambique and Uganda, but telling people they have rights is only half the battle. Making affordable legal services available is another challenge altogether.
By: Brian Kaylor The general secretary of the Association of Baptist Churches in Rwanda was honored during the Baptist World Congress for his human-rights efforts in the face of ethnic prejudice and genocide.
By: Vickey Casey Countless poor people all over the world need legal advice, advocacy and support but can't afford lawyers. Lawyers partnering with BMS World Mission are restoring balance to a system weighted against the poor.
By: Brian Kaylor South African musicians danced and sang as they welcomed Baptists from around 80 nations to the 21st Baptist World Congress in South Africa, held every five years by the Baptist World Alliance.
By: Brian Kaylor At the Baptist World Alliance's Congress, held every five years and for the first time in Africa, outgoing president John Upton reflects upon the "power of collectiveness" of global Baptists.
By: Roger Olson When Catholic Church cardinals chose their replacement for retiring Pope Benedict, I didn't care. Today, I've come to admire and recognize Pope Francis as a Christian leader. Here's why.
By: Jerrod Hugenot Catholics and Baptists have both had varying levels of embrace for connecting faith and social justice. It's ultimately gratifying to see people of faith share abundance where scarcity might reign.
By: Brian Craig Before ever undertaking a cross-cultural short-term mission experience, realize all that you don't know and do some intentional study about the people group or country where you're headed.
By: EthicsDaily Staff Joel Gregory, who will deliver the closing sermon at the Baptist World Congress in South Africa this month, discusses the global Baptist witness in the latest Skype video from EthicsDaily.com.
By: Robert Parham U.S. Baptists raised their voices following the Charleston shooting and the Supreme Court's same-sex marriage ruling. By contrast, few Baptist voices spoke up about the pope's encyclical on the environment.
By: Barry Howard As you celebrate the unrivaled freedom we enjoy in the U.S., celebrate your religious liberty by exercising your freedom to worship. And respect the freedom of others to choose when or if they worship.
By: Bill Wilson The two groups meeting separately at the hotel couldn't have been more different. Sure, the bodybuilders didn't look anything like the Baptists, but in one key way they're both very much alike.
By: Robert Parham After a preview of EthicsDaily.com's documentary on the story of what missionaries did in Nigeria in 1966 amid several days of genocide that took 30,000 lives, the Twitter reaction was energizing.
By: David Fitch Some folks serve their church in traditional organized functions; others serve outside the church walls. Both groups must come together in a way that's seamless and represents a whole of way of life.
By: Brian Kaylor A Baptist pastor from eastern Ukraine sees God at work in his country even after the destruction of his 300-member church by pro-Russian separatists when he refused to back their cause.
By: Paul Hobson The Burundi president's announcement that he would seek a third term sparked unrest in the East African nation. More than 20 have died, 100 injured, 600 arrested and 100,000 fled the country.
By: Zach Dawes While government funding of universal early childhood education is important, churches can help fill the gap by providing tutoring and mentoring at all levels, especially the early primary grades.
By: EthicsDaily Staff Michael Okwakol, senior pastor of a Baptist church in Uganda and president of the All Africa Baptist Fellowship, talks about challenges for African churches in a new EthicsDaily.com Skype interview.
By: Thomas Kidd Southern Baptists rescinded presidential hopeful Ben Carson's invitation to speak at their annual Pastors' Conference. Evangelicals need to stop platforming political candidates at denominational functions.
By: Jonathan Langley Africa is a diverse continent with more than 50 countries. It's vital for mission and aid agencies to communicate genuine needs when raising funds without perpetuating damaging African stereotypes.
By: Greg Mamula Are Baptist churches part of a denomination? Or is a confederation a more precise term? In a confederation, each church continues to remain themselves while uniting for a common purpose.
By: Fiona Spence Ed Walker wanted to do something about Britain's homeless so he and his wife bought a house and rented it out to an ex-offender who had been living in a hostel. And Hope into Action was born.
By: EthicsDaily Staff As people leave their homes for other countries, the church and the gospel can become the presence of God to those people, says Sam Chaise in a new EthicsDaily.com Skype interview.
By: Zach Dawes Religion can and should play a role in shaping society, but it should do so by offering a moral compass through public witness that retains a distinction and distance from politicians and parties.
By: EthicsDaily Staff Two EthicsDaily.com documentaries - "Through The Door," a look at the faith community's engagement with prisons, and "Beneath the Skin: Baptists and Racism," will air on TV networks in March.
By: Bill Wilson More than just a basketball coach, Dean Smith was an active layman at his Baptist church and took his faith very seriously. And years ago, he stopped by to encourage a group of boys at their RA banquet.
By: Daniel Trusiewicz Albania in southeastern Europe regained its independence and opened its doors to Christian missionaries in 1991. Today, about 160 evangelical churches exist, including eight Baptist congregations.
By: Robert Parham Even though Baptists are in a winter of discontentment, they do manage to collaborate in some remarkable ways. One of the best examples of collaboration is the Baptist World Alliance.
By: Larry Eubanks The church needs to gather together, but they should be so much more than just people who gather for worship and prayer. The church is a group of people with a common mission out in the world.
By: Barry Howard Without any long-term objective to your church's mission strategy, your church could be encouraging a sense of entitlement that trends toward continual poverty. Here are five steps to break that cycle.
By: Brian Kaylor When a federal judge halted President Obama's executive order on immigration, putting nearly 750,000 immigrants at risk for deportation, many faith leaders, including Southern Baptists, responded with silence.
By: Ircel Harrison Certain boundary issues – money, relationships, time management –are often overlooked in ministerial training. Why do good leaders ignore common sense and fail to observe boundaries?
By: Barry Howard Does your church need to re-evaluate how to best use its resources for the poor and vulnerable? The author of "Toxic Charity" examines the ineffective approach taken by many churches and nonprofits.
By: Trevor Barton Tomás is 9 years old and from Honduras. He is trying to learn new words and strange phrases that will allow him to live in his new world in South Carolina. But for now, he lives in the shadows.
By: EthicsDaily Staff About 100 people attended an event in Texas focused on ending human trafficking. The state accounts for almost 14 percent of all calls received by the National Human Trafficking Resource Center.
By: Stephen Holmes In their beginnings, Baptists did away with traditional distinctions of Christian life. Rather than being seen as discarding the religious life, it was more accurately an abandonment of secular life.
By: EthicsDaily Staff More than two dozen governors shared positive economic outlooks in their State of the State addresses. Education and criminal justice were popular topics with most of those politicians.
By: Brian Kaylor Standing in the city cemetery in Guatemala City, a contradictory mix of life and death covers the landscape. A nearby ministry started by a Guatemala Baptist leader seeks to tip the balance toward life.
By: Eron Henry About 80 churches with some 11,000 members make up the Union of Baptist Churches in the Netherlands. As Baptists migrate throughout the nation, church leaders seek to expand their missional focus.
By: Paul Hobson Boko Haram, a jihadist group seeking to establish Sharia law in Nigeria, carried out a massacre in the west African nation's northeastern region. And a Baptist leader there says the world merely watches.
By: Neville Callam When Baptists from around the world gather is South Africa in July for the Baptist World Congress, they'll find a continent of Baptists already spreading the Good News among fellow Africans and beyond their shores.
By: Martin Accad Islam is like a diamond that has collected dust and needs to be cleaned up, said a spokesman for the American Muslim community. In what ways can Christians help? Or will we throw stones?
By: Brian Kaylor Leaders of a Cuban Baptist group praised the news that the U.S. and Cuban leaders have announced a historic shift in relations between the two nations after a strained 50-year relationship.
By: EthicsDaily Staff Beloved Baptist leader Carolyn Weatherford Crumpler died on Jan. 2. Always loyal to her institution and a tireless advocate for missions, she challenged Southern Baptists to engage social issues.
By: Robert Parham Representing how a number of goodwill Baptists have responded to the swelling refugee crises and the devastating disease of Ebola, Don Sewell is EthicsDaily.com's pick as Baptist of the Year for 2014.
By: Robert Parham Baptists must reclaim our heritage as human rights advocates. We can help church members know that history by observing Human Rights Day in December and know how human rights is Jesus' agenda.
By: Rupen Das Syria occupied Lebanon for 20 years. The memory still burns in many Lebanese families. But when Syrian refugees cascaded into Lebanon to flee their nation's civil unrest, Lebanese churches had to make a choice.
By: Elizabeth Evans Hagan We live in a Christian society and don't face the level of persecution that Paul faced. But we can stand up to hate against our Muslim neighbors, just like these Oklahoma University students did.
By: Preston Clegg When Second Baptist in Little Rock began to pray and research their next missions project, they focused on third-grade reading levels. The goal was to impact an injustice rather than treat its symptoms.
By: Darren Blaney The Bible isn't concerned about churches being led by charismatic leaders sharing the vision and achieving goals. Its focus is on godly men and women helping others become godly men and women.
By: Pat Took For a church to achieve unity, or be of "one mind," it doesn't require seeing eye-to-eye on all issues. Rather, churches should be filled with dissident voices struggling to find God's way together.
By: Zach Dawes Faced with declining attendance and budgets, churches must seek a new way to live out evangelism that doesn't rely on the "if you build it, they will come" mindset. The early church can guide us.
By: Courtney Pace Lyons Prathia Hall faced many obstacles in her life but didn't let them discourager her. She was a civil rights activist, Baptist preacher and a mentor to more than 200 African-American clergywomen.
By: Sam Chaise Religious freedom, where individuals are free to choose their religion, is on the decline in North America and Western Europe, shifting from pluralism to secularism, which favors the lack of religion.
By: Roger Olson History is always written and taught from some point of view; no truly objective account exists. When religious figures' accomplishments are glossed over, we have an incomplete view of history.
By: Brian Kaylor Baptists from Israel, Syria and Iraq explained at a BWA forum how they live as a minority group in their nations and shared their efforts to build bridges with their non-Christian neighbors.
By: Israel Olofinjana Samuel Ajayi Crowther, an iconic church leader in Africa and beyond due to his role as the first African bishop, was a bridge between Africans and Europeans. He was often misunderstood by both.
By: Joe LaGuardia Even though some haven't welcomed women in ministry in recent years, women have been included in leadership in Baptist life since the 1600s. And they'll continue to bless the church for years to come.
By: Richard Wilson William Tolbert Jr., leader of Liberia and former Baptist World Alliance president, was assassinated in 1980, but his legacy lives on through the Liberia Baptist Theological Seminary's lecture series.
By: Arthur Brown It's a Western myth that Muslims do not speak out against the violent actions of extremist adherents of their faith. Here are three Muslim leaders who condemn the abduction of 200 Nigerian girls.
By: Doug Dortch How do churches grow? Instead of focusing inward, they need to focus on selfless service, demonstrating their value to the larger community by offering something and not expecting anything in return.
By: Edwin Davis Zero-tolerance solutions to student discipline issues have been disastrous for schools. Adopting a process of restorative justice will lead to fewer suspensions, higher grades and graduation rates.
By: Israel Olofinjana Reverse mission, the practice of sending missionaries to Europe and North America by churches from the non-Western world, is seen by some as arrogant, but it's actually a compliment.
By: Shane McNary Using the mental and religious lenses they bring with them, Western missionaries can misinterpret what is happening in their places of service. That's why it's important to learn the context of the culture.
By: Thomas Kidd Reaching and retaining the rising generations has been a perennial challenge to churches. Many churches have died because they failed to meet the test. Here are three ways yours can pass.
By: Elie Haddad For Christian churches serving in a place where the majority of people are not Christians, it's vital to discover why God has placed them where they are and how they can reach their communities.
By: Sarah Stone More than 50 children left the yellow bus and spent the next few hours singing, playing and laughing. But soon the bus would have to take them back to their impoverished lives on India's streets.
By: Colin Harris Does scientific understanding represent an assault on the truth of the Bible? Rather than pit science and faith against each other, we can be religiously faithful and scientifically honest.
By: Greg Mamula Christian churches across North America have served a great purpose for the past 50 to 75 years. That world's been unraveling over the past few decades. God is knitting something new. Will we be ready?
By: William Cowley Baptist High School in Nigeria celebrated its first graduation with 50 young men earning diplomas. The school was empty and locked for four weeks. But one mom traveled 700 miles to say thanks.
By: Zach Dawes Four Baptist leaders shared their insights about the trends they saw in church life. Their top trends center on technology, staffing changes brought on by economic factors, and an altered focus on missions.
By: Dennis Bickers When people utter racial slurs, it reflects what's in their hearts. While laws prevent negative behaviors, they can't change a person's heart. That's why racial reconciliation must begin in church.
By: Brian Kaylor Some Baptists have offered praise for Pope Francis, elected a year ago, despite key theological differences between Baptists and Catholics. Others dismissed him and his call for Christian unity.
By: Matt Snowden Local congregations are taking a more direct role in missionary sending. Large cooperative groups must learn to reprioritize global missions to recapture the hearts of emerging generations.
By: Chris Hall A Baptist Missionary Society missionary began a church in Sri Lanka, then known as Ceylon, in 1813. Two centuries later, Cinnamon Gardens Baptist Church is thriving and sending its own missionaries.
By: EthicsDaily Staff First Baptist of Austin is one of the "greenest" churches in central Texas. The city of Austin awarded its Green Business Leaders Program platinum certification award to the church.
By: Richard Wilson When we focus on a doctrine of exclusion, Christians and Muslims miss the important opportunities to focus on common issues, such as attention to the poor and the quest for spiritual maturity.
By: Noel Erskine Before Adoniram Judson sailed for Burma and William Carey left for India, George Liele began his mission work in Jamaica. He was the first ordained black Baptist pastor in the U.S. and the Caribbean.
By: Martin Accad The Syrian conflict has provoked a growing fear of Islam and Muslims among Christians in Syria, the region and, to some extent, throughout the world. Interfaith relationships can turn that around.
By: Naomi King Walker Qualified and called women ministers permeate every area of Baptist life, yet many still enjoy far fewer opportunities than their male counterparts. The attitudes of churches are evolving. Has yours?
By: David Stratton The U.S. reveres not merely religious toleration but religious liberty for all. Unlike other nations, violence in the name of religion is nearly nonexistent. So why are we so silent about our success?
Keep Calm and Stand Firm in the midst of a war that the apostle Paul talks about elsewhere in Scripture, where we do not fight against flesh and blood, but we war against principalities and powers. In the midst of this war, we can keep calm because Christ’s death on the cross has broken the chains of these powers in our lives. We can keep calm because God’s Spirit will not abandon us; instead, God’s Spirit will dwell within us to fight against these powers so that we may become more and more conformed to the image of Christ.
Do you see? In the year ahead we might not only bring heaven to earth, we might bring people to Jesus. They might be surprised to learn that he cares so much about second-graders, and homeless people, and senior adults who need a hot, nutritious meal, and those who need decent, affordable housing. They might be surprised to learn that he cares so much about them.
So, let me summarize: It’s not just the Twelve who are sent on a mission, and it’s not just the Seventy. If we’re going to get this message to the world it’s going to take all of us, that whole, big, boisterous crowd of disciples following along behind Jesus.
A half-million Albanian immigrants live in Athens. Bob and Janice Newell run a center where many of these "economic refugees" receive help in their transition. (Photo: LeadershipGreece2011.blogspot.com)
The only evangelical church in one of the most fiercely Muslim areas of the world is under severe pressure and may close its doors without support from Western Christians, the founder of Open Doors said.
When Jesus encounters people in the Gospels, there are two things that never happen. (1) People are never encountered and given a vision of God simply for their personal ecstasy. It always results in following and service. (2) No one that Jesus encounters is ever called to serve themselves.
To crack down on immigration scams, the British government has put into place tougher regulations for colleges admitting foreign students. For some theological colleges, new rules come with a high cost.
After a screening of EthicsDaily.com's documentary, "Gospel Without Borders," panelists and audience members noted that the current perception and treatment of immigrants was similar to the "Jim Crow" laws in the U.S.
A Baptist church in Lebanon is supporting hundreds of families, mostly women and children, who have fled Syria following the nation's harsh crackdown on demonstrators calling for freedom and democracy.
What's the Christian response to the national debt? How do the debt and our weak economy affect the poor? Participants viewing the EthicsDaily.com documentary on faith and taxes wrestled with these questions.
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, a leader at his Baptist church, signed one of the nation’s harshest anti-immigration law. With the Bible’s call to protect the stranger, one might wonder what god the governor serves.
Plotting their strategy to defeat President Obama, about 80 pastors and other conservative Christian leaders held a closed-door meeting this week to discuss the need for spiritual and political change in the nation.
As the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship holds its 20th annual meeting this week, a task force is gathering input on its future. While many will share their hopes and dreams for CBF, will they step up to make them a reality?
British Baptists met for their annual assembly, kicking off a weekend of thoughtful sermons and prayers for mission personnel. They also commissioned the army's chaplain-general, the first Baptist to hold the post.
As patriotic triumphalism swept the country, ordinary Americans shot off fireworks, political leaders issued victory statements and newspaper headlines announced pride in national success. (White House photo by Pete Souza)
Since President Obama and his family visited a Baptist church on Easter and Fox News later aired a tape of the church's pastor, the church has received more than 100 threatening e-mails, faxes and phone calls.
Trustees OK'd a roadmap to chart the future of Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond. To pave the way, the seminary will sell existing buildings, raise transitional dollars and fund a $10 million endowment.
Of the dozen state lawmakers identified in a Southern Poverty Law Center report for their radical-right beliefs on immigration, conspiratorial attitudes and involvement with hate groups, four were Southern Baptists.
U.S. Rep. Peter King's hearings on the "radicalization of American Muslims" are only the latest Christian-Muslim flare-ups. To break this pattern of demonization, goodwill faith leaders must choose to be proactive.
Members of a British Baptist church faced 10-hour days in primitive conditions as they helped cook for tens of thousands of refugees, who have been pouring across Libya's border to escape the fighting.
Global Baptists have provided financial aid and are assisting with relief and rescue efforts after Japan's devastating earthquake and tsunami. They have responded to earthquakes in four other nations over the last 14 months.
A Baptist pastor in Cuba said he is stepping down from his church position because of prolonged government pressure and threats made against the church. Other Baptist pastors face similar situations, he warned.
The bold ethical challenge to love God and neighbor is reduced to a lowest common denominator of personal piety in many faith communities. But the biblical expectation laid on people of faith is to seek a just community.
“Baptist” is not necessarily a name our spiritual forefathers chose for themselves. It was given to them by those who observed their behavior, didn’t like it very much, and chose the name as a form of ridicule.
One of Tanzania's sharpest contrasts is between the lack of mosquito nets and the abundance of cell phones. One kills malaria-bearing mosquitoes; the other allows instant contact across the immense east African nation.
During a Muslim-Baptist mission trip to provide mosquito-repellent nets in one of the world's poorer nations, a young Muslim mother received the 100,000th net distributed by a Baptist-led organization.
Two Baptists and a Muslim left behind Oklahoma's infectious fear of Islam to combat the infectious disease of malaria in Tanzania, demonstrating that different faiths can work together to meet human needs.
We live in a world of experts. We seek out advice from people we think have the most knowledge and who have proven to be effective in their field. We want to know what they have to say about the issues or concerns that affect us most.
The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship was born 20 years ago, and moderate Baptists began their slow Southern Baptist Convention exodus. Today, the CBF is poised to create a home for a brave, progressive Christianity.
When well-off churches and other Christian organizations partner with poorer churches overseas, are they actually diverting people and funds away from locally initiated and productive ministries with lower overhead?
It's clear that most Americans have an insular faith. On a pop quiz of religious knowledge, people who identified themselves as atheists and agnostics scored better than anyone who identified with a particular faith.
Funding career missionaries and adjusting the size of the Atlanta staff are twin goals that the national Cooperative Baptist Fellowship's 2012 Task Force should recommended, according to the Oklahoma CBF.
Taking a "step toward peace," some 300 people, including about one third of them coming from Memphis' Muslim community, attended a screening of "Different Books, Common Word" at First Baptist of Memphis.
First Baptist Church of Memphis is breaking new cultural ground with its sponsorship of a citywide screening of EthicsDaily.com's documentary about how U.S. Baptists and Muslims are engaged in interfaith dialogue and action.
The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina is seeking input on revisions to its foundational statements. However, those revisions mute some of the most distinctive aspects of the Baptist movement.
Surfing takes a lot of effort to catch a wave and propel toward land. The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship needs to catch a cultural wave, morphing into a decentralized system to propel it into the future.
Students are starting another school year, including people in ministry and Christian vocations seeking the highest levels of degree attainment. But why do some pursue that level of education and what degrees are appropriate?
Many Baptists have watered down Jesus, severing his agenda for social justice from Christian faith. How do we counteract the ideological gloss on the biblical witness used to justify a laissez-faire economic system?
Charged with "visioning the missional and organizational future" of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, the CBF's 2012 Task Force will soon begin the urgent work of re-envisioning and adopting a new roadmap for the future.
Thirty years ago, Baliey Smith, then Southern Baptist Convention president, stood in the Oval Office and attacked Jimmy Carter's religious beliefs because of political differences. Today, Baptists continue to follow that model.
While Baptists have a rich 400-year history, it's important to reflect on our future – as individuals and as communities. To paraphrase Yogi Berra, if we don't know where we're going, we might not get there.
Sharing their concerns about the vilification of Muslims by Christians, two Baptists mapped out ways for constructive engagement between the world's two largest faith groups during a Baptist World Alliance focus group.
David Coffey showed courage and demonstrated wisdom during his presidential tenure of the Baptist World Alliance. As his term draws to a close, he reflected on his service in an EthicsDaily.com interview.
What do the younger generation of Baptists think about where we are headed? While no Baptist speaks for another, these voices of influence will be among those who will one day define what it means to be Baptist.
When churches search for a pastor, their process focuses mostly on what the minister can offer the church, with little consideration of what the church can offer the minister. We need more churches to commit to mentoring.
Baptists in Great Britain were among those honored recently in the Queen's Birthday Honors list. They include a former president of the Baptist Union of Great Britain as well as a teacher retiring after 29 years of service.
At EthicsDaily.com's luncheon during the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Assembly, three individuals described how they built relational bridges over the cultural minefield of Christian-Muslim tensions.
Good Baptist historians stick their necks out for the common good and offer a relevant moral witness when it counts. They're more interested in strengthening the prophetic voice than offering soothing sermons.
A nonprofit organization in Helena, Ark., helps business start-ups and small local governments in Arkansas to go through strategic planning, branding and marketing plans at a fraction of the usual rates.
Two events – the Delta Grassroots Caucus and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Arkansas' spring assembly – illustrated the entrepreneurial spirit permeating one of the nation's poorest economic regions.
Anxiety and abundance were two themes that emerged during a retreat of organizational leaders related to the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Baptists should rejoice at the challenges and prioritize the opportunities.
Until recently, Britain had been monocultural and largely Christian. Today, like many other nations, it's a rich mix of languages, ethnicities, colors and cultures. How will that affect Baptists' missionary task?
Conservative columnist Cal Thomas wrote that the sexual scandals in Catholicism and Protestantism were different, but Catholic and Baptist leaders have more similarities than differences on the child-abuse front.
To meet the many needs facing quake-ravaged Haiti, the Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Mission Convention is evaluating volunteer opportunities with input from Haitians. It's not a time for feel-good mission trips.
Baptists have too often emphasized individualism – an it's-me-and-Jesus attitude – over community. But there are good reasons to be connected to others as part of our Christian life. Here are five of them.
"Different Books, Common Word" can be an important vehicle for social change on the local level where Islamic centers and Baptist congregations can get together to screen the documentary and discuss it.
While most of the attention of the earthquake in Haiti has focused on Port-au-Prince, many throughout the country are suffering. One church network has been providing assistance to help with the ongoing crisis.
EthicsDaily.com's documentary, "Different Books, Common Word," airing on ABC-TV stations across the country, is generating positive dialogue about the relationship between goodwill Baptists and Muslims.
During filming of "Different Books, Common Word," many couldn't believe Baptists and Muslims could have any sort of relationship. Their disbelief didn't grow in a vacuum. It was cultivated by extremism of word and deed.
The Baptist-Muslim engagement was the most unanticipated and underreported religion story of 2009. And EthicsDaily.com's new documentary examines five stories that will shed light on that relationship.
A small Baptist college in Georgia will require faculty to express public allegiance to the Southern Baptist doctrinal statement, reinforcing how Southern Baptist education has changed to be more about isolation and indoctrination.
Some Christians want us to distance ourselves from Muslims, falsely claiming the actions of extremists define Islam. Yet these same critics consider Christian extremists to be the exceptions of their own faith.
With gritty determination and undeniable dignity, Emmanuel McCall has worked constructively in the white Baptist power structure to advance racial reconciliation. He's EthicsDaily.com's Baptist of the Year for 2009.
EthicsDaily.com's new documentary, "Different Books, Common Word: Baptists and Muslims," has been picked up by more than 60 ABC stations across the country for broadcast beginning in January. And more will follow.
Theological schools, especially Baptist seminaries, should be living ethical communities. Ethicists can play an important role in these communities by continually raising questions and possible alternatives.
Today, in Lima, Peru, one of the poorest sections of Peru, six people are there. They were the ones who could go, but all of us together provide the means so that they can be there to tell people about Christ. They can inoculate children. I wish you could see the video of the place. It is so tragic, but in the name of Christ, on your behalf and because of your generosity, they are there.
So the next time you’re at a party and you’re asked what Baptists believe, don’t be calling me on your cell phone for a review! Just remember the four fragile freedoms—Bible freedom, Soul freedom, Church freedom, and Religious freedom—and you’ll be fine.
No, Baptists aren’t the only freedom-loving people in the world. But thanks to their efforts, millions of people here and abroad enjoy freedom of conscience when it comes to religion. No elected official, no ordained minister controls what we believe, or what we do about church, if anything. And that, my friends, is a very big deal!
A Southern Baptist leader evoked images of Hitler and the Holocaust to thwart health-care reform. It is a brutal insult both to the victims and survivors of that Holocaust. His handlers should silence him.
We’ve got some pretty big shoes to fill.I’m pretty certain we don’t want to follow Joe Paterno at PennState.That would be a formidable task to undertake, to be sure.But we can’t skirt a larger task, for you and I work in the shadow of the Master.We are to share His words, and we are to do His work.We are to be His hands and His feet.
Washington, DC (BWA) --Baptist World Aid (BWAid), the relief and development arm of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA), is coordinating relief efforts to the Philippines and Indonesia after these countries were badly affected by a typhoon and earthquakes, respectively.
And if you are not already thoroughly confused, followers of Dutch theologian Joseph Arminius muddy the water still more. Arminians whole-heartedly agree with Calvin that we are incapable of saving ourselves. We don’t choose God. God chooses us. However, say Arminians, for God’s choice to finally make a difference, we must respond to God’s grace. In other words, God makes the first move (prevenient grace) but he can’t save us by himself. At some point, we have to cooperate (cooperative grace) with God by accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord. Even though God chooses us to be his own, we have the freedom to resist his grace and say, “No. I’d rather be in Hell.”
This time, they did. But God does not guarantee Ezekiel or Frank or anyone else that people will listen. That’s not our worry. God says, speak anyway.
So, a little humility, weak and wobbly ones of God. It’s not all up to you. Speak anyway. Whether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are a rebellious house), they shall know that there has been a prophet among them.
A panel attempted to unravel several tangled strands from “Beneath the Skin” during a screening of the award-winning documentary at the Baptist Center for Ethics luncheon at the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Assembly July 2.
A college professor had lectured on "the least of these" for years. But it wasn't until she adopted her infant daughter, who was on the verge of being sold into slavery, that the subject went from her head to her heart.
When the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting begins today, leaders expect one trend to continue: Few young leaders will attend. One young pastor says many of his peers don't want to be associated with the SBC brand.
President Obama's trip to predominantly Muslim nations in the Middle East holds historic promise. Every Christian can only pray that Obama's trip sows seeds that will bear fruit of a hundred-fold for peace.
Some churches have removed Baptist from their names, but others seek to reclaim the meaning of the name. Many principles of historical Baptist theology and polity offer a solid basis for citizenship in a free and diverse society.
If the Southern Baptist Convention believes that actions speak louder than words, then its action of having a program of virtually all whites and all males places a big question mark over the convention's 2009 meeting logo.
The majority of Christians in the United Kingdom think attendance in their own churches will increase over the next 20 years, a survey revealed. They're less optimistic about growth of other churches in the U.K.
Two pastors imprisoned in Azerbaijan have been released, but a delegation said Baptists from that region have experienced ongoing hostility from authorities. Part of an annual offering will help these religious-freedom issues.
When Churchland Baptist Church in Virginia used the "Beneath the Skin" DVD and study guide for a recent group session, it encouraged open and honest discussion that will hopefully trickle into further conversations in other settings.
Something new is developing that is changing the face of Christian missions. Trusting relationships are important when it comes to people making decisions about their investment of time, money and resources.
About 10 teen and pre-teen inner-city girls in Arkansas came together through a Cooperative Baptist Fellowship ministry to form a co-operative to sell jewelry. The girls learned valuable business skills and gave back to others.
Few are answering the call to a vocation of full-time mission service overseas, a mission worker told Baptists at the annual Baptist Assembly in Great Britain. With the needs so great, why are the laborers so scarce?
After a passionate speech from an 18-year-old, British Baptists passed a resolution condemning the use of 'mosquito' alarms, which emit a high-pitched sound that's intolerable to many young adults, to force them away from businesses.
The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship's disaster response efforts continue in Louisiana and along the Gulf Coast, where there are still families waiting to rebuild their homes and lives after hurricanes struck in 2005 and 2008.
The new president of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, Kingsley Appiagyei, challenged Baptists "to expect great things from God, and also to attempt great things for God," at the Baptist Assembly's opening celebration.
While the green movement is still taking root at many churches, some congregations are taking steps to be more faithful stewards of God's creation, from reducing their use of foam products to cleaning up a nearby park.
Environmental organizations, such as the National Wildlife Federation, the Audubon Society and the Sierra Club, are reaching out to churches and faith-based organizations for partnerships on issues of environmental stewardship.
Despite the Missouri Baptist Convention executive director's assertion that money given by churches to sustain ministries and missions efforts has not been tapped to fund lawsuits, the convention's executive committee is proposing exactly that.
With their roots stretching back to 1911, the Baptist community in Israel numbers 3,000 people making up 20 churches in Galilee and central Israel. They are a minority group in a multifaith, multicultural society.
Baptists and other Christians in Gaza lived side by side with their Muslim neighbors in love and respect until six years ago. Today, they are caught between the Israeli attacks on Gaza and attacks from militant Muslims.
The Baptist movement in Lebanon began more than a century ago when a Lebanese photographer visited a Baptist church in St. Louis. Today, its ministries include a seminary, publishing house, school and a community-relief organization.
"Beneath the Skin," an award-winning documentary, and a panel of Baptists of color will headline the Baptist Center for Ethics' annual luncheon at this year's General Assembly of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.
Popular author and preacher Tony Campolo urged Baptists to help care for the needs of others by making systemic changes to American society and churches, during the final session of the Baptist Border Crossing.
David Coffey, president of the Baptist World Alliance, told an estimated 900 participants at the Baptist Border Crossing that their network will be successful as they trust the Lord to help them overcome barriers.
Carolyn Staley, minister of education at Pulaski Heights Baptist Church in Little Rock, Ark., has organized an Arkansas Chapter of Baptist Women in Ministry. Some of her members can't be named publicly.
Thirteen students toured six countries as part of a Cooperative Baptist Fellowship mission program last summer. Now they're helping others understand how the United Nations' goal to eradicate poverty intersects with their faith.
The Baptist World Alliance convened a number of Christian and religious groups in Amman, Jordan, to discuss common interests and to review plans surrounding the official opening and dedication of the Baptism Center in Bethany beyond Jordan.
The popular perception is that there is no constructive relationship between Baptists and Muslims in the United States. Why is that? Why is there so little recognized relationship between goodwill Baptists and Muslims?
I chuckled when I read, "A rabbi, a priest and a minister walked into a bar. The bartender said, 'Is this a joke?'" Well, it was no joke for me on May 29, 2005. The setting was not a bar, but the home of Rabbi Stephen Chaim Listfield in Montgomery, Ala.
Staley caught the irony of singing and talking about progress in racial relations—yet until that service, two people who work in the same church every day had never worshiped together. She made a public commitment to doing something about it.
Religious groups are more than eager to love their neighbors when it comes to regulating personal behavior. But when it comes time to take on the big issues of social and economic injustice, conservative Christians begin to sound more like a certain character in one of Jesus' parables.
Listening to the voices of the marginalised, opposing discrimination of women and noting the impact of climate change were among the commitments made by Baptists around the world in Rome as part of the 'urgent Gospel task of being justice seekers and peacemakers'.
ATLANTA -- When many wouldn’t, Angel and Jason Pittman believe—in their neighbors, in the community, and in what God can do. After years of living that message in Overtown, the poorest neighborhood in Miami, the local community is starting to believe, too.
We like to talk—and act as if our latest opinion is the right one for everyone else to embrace. But our past actions do not afford us such a position on the subject of race. It is a time to shut up, reflect deeply and listen to others.
This past week, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship announced in a press release that income is running at seven percent below 2008 and at just 79 percent of its current budget. As a result, the organization is cutting internal spending by 20 percent, and reducing funding for partner organizations by 30 percent.
Randy Hyde: "We all know that occasionally churches have been victimized by gunmen. The latest took place last year in a Unitarian church in Knoxville, Tenn. But does anyone honestly believe that allowing worshipers to shoot back is the answer?"
ATLANTA -- Last summer Matt and Melanie Storie moved to rural Perry County, Ala. Statistics say it’s one of the nation’s poorest counties, but these Cooperative Baptist Fellowship field personnel believe it is a place where hope and the presence of Christ are bringing about change.
Here is a question related to what the lawmakers in Arkansas are considering: “Would Jesus carry a gun to church?” I think most of us would certainly answer no to this question. But the issue over guns in church raises a larger question about our infatuation with violence that is directly contrary to Jesus’ message and life of non-violence.
The greatest lesson we can learn from our experience in the SBC is to embrace the good experiences and to try to avoid duplicating the bad experiences. The old saying that “those who fail to study history are doomed to repeat it” is appropriate, but once one has studied history, he or she must take action in the contemporary world.
Jesus declares that the ancient prophecy of Isaiah was coming to life as he read it. The theme of his life would be one of service to the unwell, distressed, oppressed and impoverished. This is what happened, but Jesus also had a message. It was one that spoke of freedom, the restoration of the divine in human life, the power of forgiveness and a place for us all in the purposes of God.
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- How can Baptists maintain an effective witness into their fifth century of existence? More than 400 participants gathered at First Baptist Church Feb. 9 to mark the 400th anniversary of the Baptist movement and to anticipate what the fifth century of Baptist life might hold.
Missions abroad are worthwhile, Larry Hovis said, but he feared that too much emphasis farther away could mean that CBFNC was neglecting an important part of the CBF mission of serving “the most marginalized, the most neglected, the least evangelized.” There were plenty of people in North Carolina who fit that description, he believed.
Why would a Baptist be heavily involved in an interfaith organization? Aren’t we known for our unreserved advocacy and commitment to Christian conversion? Shouldn’t our energies be focused on the advancement of gospel sharing? Is cooperation with other faiths a form of endorsement to their claims of spiritual legitimacy?
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (CBF) -- More than 1,000 people gathered in Birmingham, Ala., Jan. 31 for the first regional gathering of the New Baptist Covenant. The event, which was held at the historic 16th Street Baptist Church, St. Paul's United Methodist Church and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, occurred on the one year anniversary of the Celebration of a New Baptist Covenant, which drew more than 15,000 Baptists in Atlanta.
Baptists and Muslims must get to know each other and overcome ignorance and misinformation. That was the dominant message from both Baptist and Muslim presenters at the first national Muslim-Baptist dialogue held Jan. 9-11 at Andover Newton Theological School in Newton Centre, Mass.
Muslim leader Sayyid Syeed told Baptists and Muslims on Friday night at the opening session of the first national dialogue between two faiths in the Abrahamic tradition that his religion needed the help of Baptists in America.
Around 80 Baptist and Muslim leaders from across the nation gathered in Boston for a first-of-its-kind dialogue Jan. 9-11 in hopes of furthering mutual understanding and discovering areas of common ground. Held at the Islamic Center of Boston and Andover Newton Theological School, the meeting included presentations, breakout discussion sessions, worship services and fellowship times.
Reversing the Southern Baptist Convention’s decline and loss of influence will demand new leadership and theological transformation, two very unlikely possibilities in the next decade. The SBC’s numerical slide and besmirched image took some 30 years to achieve and cannot be undone by a quick makeover.
Washington, D.C. (BWA) -- The Baptist World Alliance (BWA) has issued a formal response to "A Common Word Between Us and You," a letter written by 138 Muslim leaders and scholars that appealed for Christians and Muslims to cooperate in engendering peace and religious freedom.
When we now listen to the religious minority's stories of injury and insult, we take the first step toward religious reformation. Awareness births empathy--empathy births a passion for righteousness. At least, that's the way goodwill Baptists ought to respond morally.
Can Baptist congregations still be courageous enough to respect, honor and validate the personal and moral choice of members who challenge the Christian mainstream by exercising a renewal of our commitment to the liberty of conscience?
Washington, D.C. (BWA) -- Baptist Churches in Vietnam (BCV), one of several Baptist conventions and unions in the Southeast Asian country, gained official recognition from the Vietnamese government in early October.
Inspired by the vision and success of the Celebration of a New Baptist Covenant held earlier this year, several Baptist groups are planning similar regional gatherings for 2009. Next year will also mark the 400th anniversary of the Baptist movement.
Messengers to the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina on Nov. 12 voted 431-354 to eliminate any possibility of contributions to the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship through the convention's new single giving plan. The recommendation before the convention would have allowed congregations to continue a 10 percent contribution to CBF in Atlanta, but now that option will cease permanently beginning January 2010.
In light of Barack Obama's victory in Tuesday's presidential election, many people are considering what his election might mean for race relations in America. Reflections from several African-American Baptist ministers suggest that although they see Obama's election as an important moment, it must be just one step on a longer road toward racial reconciliation.
Messengers at the 2008 annual meeting of the Missouri Baptist Convention adopted a resolution on "environmental stewardship." However, the resolution barely promoted environmental stewardship but instead mainly attacked those who warn of the dangers of global warming.
A British Baptist organization and students around the world are promoting efforts this week to raise awareness of the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo where more than five million people have died since 1996.
ATLANTA (CBF) -- A year-long spiritual discernment process culminated Oct. 10 in the unanimous approval by its governing Coordinating Council of the re-prioritizing of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship's work.
(BWA) Edna Lee de Gutiérrez from Mexico, president of the Baptist World Alliance Women's Department (BWAWD) from 1985-1990 and vice president of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) from 1990-1995, died on Sunday, October 5.
A Southern Baptist Convention official who usually attacks Muslims and makes derogatory remarks about Islam recently offered his support for a report urging greater dialogue with the adherents of the world's second largest religion. The following day, however, he returned to his approach of rejecting dialogue as he attacked Christians attempting to increase understanding between the faiths.
The Southern Baptist Convention, which four years ago withdrew from the Baptist World Alliance over theological and relational differences, isn't likely to return to the fold any time soon, the denomination's leaders indicated Tuesday.
An action thriller ripping across three continents has a storyline about the son of an Islamic cleric, who displays admirable piety and wrestles with moral ambiguity, and the son of a Baptist preacher, who discloses a minimalist faith. One seeks God's will; the other says he believes in God without letting faith trouble his actions. One is black; the other is white. Both are Americans.
Rev. Olu Menjay could have lived a comfortable life in America. As a refugee from the Liberian civil war, he was granted a green card. After graduating from Mercer and Duke Divinity School, he was in pursuit of a doctorate at Boston University when Rev. Emile Sam-Peal, general secretary of the Liberian Baptist Missionary and Education Convention, invited him to return to Liberia to become principal of Ricks Institute, a K-12 grade school about 12 miles outside Monrovia.
Laura Cadena, a fifth-generation Tejana, recalls a story about when her grandmother moved from Laredo to Dallas, Texas: "She remembers getting on a bus and the sign saying 'Whites Only' or 'Blacks Only,' and she didn't know where she was supposed to sit."
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary doctoral student David Roach is writing his dissertation under the working title of "The Southern Baptist Convention and Civil Rights, 1954-1995." These bookend dates begin with the Supreme Court's ruling against the segregation of public schools and conclude with the SBC's resolution apologizing for current individual and systemic acts of racism. When he asked if he could interview me, he said that he knew my response would be cordial and candid.
Sarah Palin is a front-line culture warrior whose election as vice president would be a "disaster" for the country, says an American Baptist pastor and longtime nemesis in local politics in the governor's hometown of Wasilla, Alaska.
Much has been written about Baptist ethicist Henlee H. Barnette, including the fact that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was interested in some of his activities. But so far as we know, Barnette's FBI file hasn't seen the light of day—until now.
Aidsand Wright-Riggins expected some sort of emotional response years ago as a religious-studies major in college when he illustrated a presentation on race and religion by tearing up an Ebony magazine portrayal of Jesus as an African-American.
Tip O'Neill's famous quote that "all politics is local" is nowhere truer this year than in Alabama's second congressional district, where both the Democratic and Republican candidates are deacons at the same Southern Baptist church.
A Southern Baptist leader credited with rejecting the demonization of Islam has a track record of promoting and offering derogatory statements about Muslims. Although Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, has been praised for avoiding hateful attacks on Muslims that other Southern Baptists have offered, he has at times refused to repudiate such remarks and has offered his own problematic comments about Islam.
Songs sung in church are more than words and music. They are teaching tools and a record of a congregation's values and beliefs. A new hymnal, just released by LifeWay Christian Resources, aims to set those standards in Southern Baptist churches for a generation--a generation that follows a seismic theological shift often called the "conservative resurgence."
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain's pick of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, aimed in part to ease doubts about his candidacy among the Religious Right, isn't winning over all conservative evangelicals.
On the football field a "crackback" is an unexpected blind-side block that takes a would-be tackler out of the play. When it comes to hiring black coaches, it's a standard part of the playbook, says Fitz Hill, former head coach at San Jose State University.
WASHINGTON (BWA) Baptist World Alliance President David Coffey and General Secretary Neville Callam are appealing for prayer for those affected by the conflict between Georgian and Russian forces over the Georgian breakaway provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Estimates are that more than 158,000 persons are displaced as a result of the fighting.
WASHINGTON (BWA) A global Baptist leader decried attacks targeting Christians in the state of Orissa in eastern India. More than 600 churches have reportedly been demolished, 4,000 Christians forced to flee from their villages and at least 25 killed as a result of religious violence.
The Islamic Society of North American has taken a proactive initiative to invite two Baptists to speak this weekend in Columbus, Ohio, at its annual meeting, which will draw an estimated 30,000 Muslim participants, have some 600 display booths and offer a plethora of sessions ranging from the "Thinking Outside the Mosque" to "Medical Aspects of Fasting."
A Focus on the Family Action broadcaster has apologized for a tongue-in-cheek video asking people to pray for rain during Barack Obama's outdoor speech at next week's Democratic National Convention, but a former Southern Baptist Convention officer quickly took up the cause.
Muslims plan to construct over 180 mosques in Germany. The birthplace of the Protestant Reformation, Neo-Orthodoxy, Dietrich Bonheoffer's Confessing Church and Pope Benedict XVI, it is also the location of almost 1,000 Baptist churches and the Baptist World Alliance's 2008 youth conference.
Mega-church pastor Rick Warren has flipped from being a cheerleader for President Bush in the fall of 2004 to claiming neutrality in the 2008 presidential election. His twist is accompanied by a widespread claim that he now has a broader moral agenda. But discerning Christians ought to ask what purpose drove his shift and did he really pivot toward a more comprehensive set of moral issues?
When the Southern Baptist Convention began the process of defunding the Baptist World Alliance and bore false witness against it, some Southern Baptists, who claimed to support the BWA, were publicly silent. They dared not challenge openly, if at all, the fundamentalist leadership. They engaged in collusion with wrongdoing, and that helped the SBC's abandonment of the Baptist global commons.
Cecil Sherman, founding coordinator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, has acute leukemia, specifically acute myeloid leukemia. At 80 years old, he received his first round of chemotherapy early last week at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. He knew going in that his protocol would require hospitalization for 30 days. Sadly his wife, Dot, died on Friday, after a long battle with Alzheimer's.
Recent comments by a Southern Baptist seminary professor that abused women are at least in part to blame if they refuse to submit to their husband's God-given authority don't square with official teachings of his denomination.
When Indonesian Muslims were making intimidating phone calls and threatening churches in 1998, Muslim women at an Islamic boarding school guarded the wife of a Baptist pastor when her husband was out of the country advocating for human rights in Washington.
While promoting more domestic drilling for oil, Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, has repeatedly offered false claims about the environmental devastation of oil wells in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Baptist World Alliance leaders repeatedly addressed the issue of climate change last week at their annual gathering in Prague, Czech Republic, even extending deliberations in the final session to strengthen a resolution on the issue.
When some Indonesian Muslims were looting, demonstrating, making intimidating phone calls and threatening churches in 1998, Muslim women at an Islamic boarding school protected the wife of a Baptist pastor when he was out of the country, showing him the positive side of Islam.
Baptist World Aid wants to become the "network hub" for the relief and development efforts for global Baptists, according to a document presented in Prague, Czech Republic, at the annual gathering of the Baptist World Alliance.
Global Baptists are scheduled today to discuss an open letter from 138 Muslim religious leaders to 32 Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant Christian leaders. Issued Oct. 13, 2007, the letter calls for finding common ground based on a shared understanding of each tradition's foundational principles of love for God and neighbor and warns that world peace depends on Christians and Muslims.
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Albert Mohler warned that electing Sen. Barack Obama as president would send America on a trajectory toward "normalization" of homosexuality and gay marriage.
Nearly 400 years after the founding of the first Baptist church in Amsterdam by John Smyth and Thomas Helwys, Baptists are still debating the meaning of ordination, a topic that will be considered during six hours of formal presentations and discussions at the Baptist World Alliance meeting this week in Prague, Czech Republic.
How many Baptist seminaries celebrate their diamond jubilee with a gift wish list that includes funding for solar panels to produce hot water and photo voltaic panels for electricity production for street lights?
When the Southern Baptist Convention voted in June 2004 to withdraw from and defund the Baptist World Alliance, a tiny body stepped up a month later at the BWA's annual meeting in Seoul, South Korea, with a commitment to help rebuild the world's largest organization of Baptist conventions and fellowships.
It saddened me to read excerpts in EthicsDaily.com from your sermon from a series on "Biblical Manhood and Womanhood" delivered at Denton Bible Church. Therefore, my husband and I went on line and listened to the entire sermon to understand the context.
Support from conservative Christians and endorsement by Judge Roy Moore weren't enough for political outsider Matt Chancey to win Tuesday's Republican primary runoff for president of Alabama's Public Service Commission.
I suppose every school has bullies. I remember running into high-school bullies who didn't like my nerdy appearance, or who took offense when I talked to a certain girl in Latin class. Almost the entire high school turned bully in 1968, the year a handful of brave African-American students became the first to integrate our all-white enclave. I saw cruelty up close, but don't remember any of the adults instructing us to be nicer. Some of us really needed an authority figure to spell things out for us.
A little over a year ago, the Missions Committee offered a small way we can impact our community. They sponsored "piggy banks" for each Sunday school class asking for loose change offerings to benefit God's Pantry.
Denial of human rights anywhere is a threat to human rights everywhere. Silence to injustice any time furthers injustice every time. Indifference to the suffering of any group increases indifference to the suffering of all groups.
Maintaining muteness this week about the Southern Baptist Convention president's honorary degrees from two diploma mills will become much more difficult for denominational officials, given the federal sentencing on Wednesday of the owners of a diploma mill. Mainstream media coverage and the blogosphere commentary about degree factories will likely spike.
Three months after Azerbaijan, under international pressure, released a Baptist pastor imprisoned on questionable grounds, a second Baptist church leader in the same small village has been jailed on what family members claim are trumped-up charges of illegal possession of a firearm.
The Holocaust is a singular event of 20th-century social evil that should not be watered down by flawed analogies to other moral wrongs. Defective analogies trivialize genocide and the suffering of survivors.
Conversion should not be a hidden agenda in interfaith friendships between Baptists and Jews, but that does not mean Christians cannot talk about Jesus, said two panelists at a screening of a new Baptist Center for Ethics DVD titled "Good Will for the Common Good: Nurturing Baptists' Relationships With Jews."
I want to propose a new name for Alabama's education system--one that more accurately portrays the true status of public education in our state. I propose we call our public schools "the Lazarus system."
The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Coordinating Council on Wednesday endorsed a global Christian campaign to deepen engagement with impoverished and marginalized communities and challenge international leaders to achieve the Millennium Development Goals to cut poverty in half by 2015.
A member of the Southern Baptist Convention Resolutions Committee says they did not recommend a resolution this year calling for a boycott of California's public schools, because the committee believed Christians need instead to "retake" the school system.
Theological diploma mills are a significant problem of moral integrity. If ministers will take educational shortcuts and misrepresent their ministerial training, then they will probably cut corners and engage in deception on other church fronts. If prominent ministers claim honorary degrees from diploma mills, they validate these entities, making them credible options for younger ministers.
An "academic freedom" bill that opponents say could open the door to teaching creationism in public schools sailed through Louisiana's House of Representatives last week, buoyed by testimony in favor of the legislation by biologists from Baptist-affiliated Louisiana College.
Last Wednesday messengers at the Southern Baptist Convention in Indianapolis passed six resolutions. As a Southern Baptist, I usually brace myself for the backlash created by offensive resolutions. I've done this since 1997 when I was awakened by a phone call from a Lutheran friend that began, "What's with you Southern Baptists and Mickey Mouse?" I was unaware that the messengers voted on a resolution to boycott Disney because of its policies toward homosexuals.
Many of my gifted and well-meaning colleagues in the Southern Baptist world have devoted much time and energy toward calling a "truce" on the in-fighting regarding the contentious issue of women in ministry. The way my friends commonly arrive at a peaceful conclusion to this matter goes something like this:
Despite the Southern Baptist Convention's declaration eight years ago that the Bible forbids women from serving as pastors, the ranks of ordained Baptist clergywomen in the South are growing faster than ever, according to a new report.
Advocates of Christian schooling criticized the Southern Baptist Convention Resolutions Committee for declining to bring a resolution condemning a California law that critics say requires public schools to indoctrinate children into accepting homosexuality.
While not as well known as Martin Luther King Jr., Fred L. Shuttlesworth was the Baptist pastor most responsible for the success of the civil rights movement in the Alabama city known as "Bombingham." Fifty racially motivated bombings between 1947 and 1955 epitomized southern resistance to integration.
A former Southern Baptist Convention president warned of denominational decline in a national gathering of pastors. "We have reached a place that our spiritual forefathers feared," Jimmy Draper, former head of LifeWay Christian Resources, said Monday at the SBC Pastors Conference in Indianapolis.
The premier event on Thursday morning at the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship meeting in Memphis will be the Baptist Center for Ethics' screening with a panel discussion of a new DVD that challenges Baptists to nurture the common good with their Jewish neighbors.
Ten years after adopting a controversial declaration that the Bible teaches that women in marriage should be submissive to men, the Southern Baptist Convention's "complementarian" view of gender roles remains more theory than fact in churches, says a new white paper released on the eve of the SBC annual meeting.
At least 20,000 African-American men packed the streets of St. Louis on the first Sunday in June, marching one of the historic Annie Malone May Day Parade routes through "The Ville" and ending in Tandy Park.
A month after Cyclone Nargis, Myanmar's military rulers defended their relief operations amid international criticism that the government was dragging its feet in allowing aid to the hardest-hit areas of the Irrawaddy delta region.
When John Winthrop sailed across the Atlantic in 1630 the perceptions of others was at the forefront of his mind. Born into a family of English gentry, Winthrop was elected governor of Massachusetts Bay by speculators and investors who had never set foot in New England.
Don't miss the Baptist Center for Ethics' luncheon in Memphis on Thursday, June 19, at the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship's annual gathering. You will hear a Methodist law-school professor who rocked Alabama's faith community out of its moral lethargy about an unfair tax structure; encouraged a Republican governor, who sought justice for the least of those in his state; and grabbed the attention of the Wall Street Journal. She has the moral vision of a biblical prophetess and the analytical carefulness of a tax expert.
A new resolution proposed for consideration at next month's Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting urges parents in California to withdraw their children from public schools at least until the state repeals a law that social conservatives decry as homosexual indoctrination.
Myanmar's resistance to working with outsiders is not only delaying the delivery of much-need aid to survivors of a May 2 cyclone, but may be hampering fund raising by charitable organizations awaiting specific information about how prospective donors can help.
Every morning, all across our country, in big cities and small towns, students come trudging through the doors of our schools. Some come eagerly, anticipating each day; some come reluctantly, overwhelmed by challenges too great for them. Some come from homes where books are read and learning is encouraged; others come from daunting family situations.
The idea behind Baptist World Aid's "Rescue 24" is to put an emergency team on the ground within 24 hours of any disaster anywhere in the world. When it comes to getting into cyclone-ravaged Myanmar, it might be closer to 24 days.
Baptists have throughout history largely lagged behind other Christians in theological and practical discussion concerning the environment, but there are signs the Baptist conscience is awakening to the issue of creation care, a European Baptist leader told a recent gathering of British Baptists.
Street fighting in Beirut at the end of last week forced the closing on Thursday of the Beirut Baptist School, led to the postponement of a public lecture today at Arab Baptist Theological Seminary and enveloped a BMS World Mission staff member.
WASHINGTON (BWA) Baptists from North America, Europe and the Asia/Pacific region are mobilizing personnel and resources to assist victims of a devastating cyclone and its resulting flooding in Myanmar.
The House of Representatives this week takes up a spending bill analysts say would bring the total cost of U.S. military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq since Sept. 11, 2001, to at least $875 billion.
LifeWay Christian Resources' recent annual statistical study demonstrated in rather clear fashion that the Southern Baptist Convention, which had long defied the trends of mainline denominations by continuing to grow, appears to have peaked and begun a gradual decline. Baptisms continue a steep slide despite fervent efforts to prop them up, and even the amorphous "membership" category showed a dip in 2007.
A Religious Right spokesman with ties to the Southern Baptist Convention says he plans to counsel pastors to "cross the line" in telling church members how they should vote in the upcoming presidential election.
The Southern Baptist Messianic Fellowship, a ministry formed in 1990 to preach the gospel to Jews, will for the first time have a booth this year in the exhibit hall at the Southern Baptist Convention.
Baptists should condemn the idea that incarceration cures crime, advocate just alternatives to prison and work to reclaim and restore persons leaving the penal system, says an appellate judge and ordained Baptist minister.
Thoughts about subordination of women that brought censure to a female presenter who critiqued them in a recent apologetics conference at Midwestern Baptist Theological seminary find some parallel in recent history of the Southern Baptist Convention, according to an analysis by EthicsDaily.com.
I had the pleasure of hearing former Vice President and Nobel Prize recipient Al Gore speak in January at the New Baptist Covenant Celebration in Atlanta. The presentation he delivered to his fellow Baptists was one of stewardship of the earth. Caring for God's creation and its inhabitants was a responsibility first given to Adam. We still have that responsibility today, although the effects of our negligence are leaving behind some irreversible consequences.
A speaker at an apologetics conference at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary has been rebuked for comments critical of prominent Southern Baptists who believe God ordains for wives to be subordinate to their husbands.
TheGreenBible.org is now online. The site, from Baptist Center for Ethics and EthicsDaily.com, is a warehouse of information on the biblical mandate to care for the environment--and what people of faith can and should do.
When the Christian Right begins advocating freedom in public classrooms, practice the time-honored discipline of moral discernment. Listen carefully. Think cautiously. Remember that the Right's past agenda is the best predictor of their real agenda. Know that God is not the author of confusion, but God's children are, especially when it comes to those who want theology taught in biology classrooms in public schools.
CNN's Campbell Brown correctly identified "True Love Waits" as an abstinence program in Sunday's Compassion Forum with the Democratic presidential candidates focusing on faith issues. But she failed to challenge the Southern Baptist Convention president's exaggerated claim crediting the faith-based program with reducing the rate of HIV/AIDS in Uganda.
Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond will eliminate four of its 13 full-time faculty positions in a downsizing plan to be presented to trustees April 28. President Ron Crawford said the school is not yet ready to announce which professors are losing their jobs.
Leaders of the American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A. said a recent Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life survey plotting America's religious landscape used flawed methodology in reporting the denomination as 81 percent white.
Education has become the flashpoint in the culture wars, but it could become a starting point to finding common ground, a professor told 150 teachers and clergy from Oklahoma at a conference March 25-26.
A prominent Southern Baptist leader often engages in personal insults and character assassination in sermons, interviews and radio programs instead of merely explaining his disagreement on the issues, according to an analysis of his comments by EthicsDaily.com.
Australian Baptists announced last week that they support Earth Hour 2008, an initiative launched last year in Sydney that focuses on global warming and has spread across the globe, signing up individuals, corporations and cities to reduce their greenhouse emissions.
Meeting under protest in Panama City, Fla., leaders of Florida's largest black Baptist organization pledged to use the 2006 death of a 14-year-old African-American youth at a boot-camp style detention center to inspire new programs aimed at keeping young men out of trouble.
A prominent Cooperative Baptist Fellowship church in Alabama has dismissed a popular minister of music under arrest on charges of child abuse and third-degree sex offense stemming from events alleged to have occurred several years ago in Maryland.
Climate change's impact on church ministries and missions must be a top drawer issue for the North American Baptist leaders, who will meet at the Carter Center on Wednesday to discuss next steps for the New Baptist Covenant.
A judge ruled Tuesday that the Missouri Baptist Convention didn't include enough protections when it incorporated Windermere Baptist Conference Center as a separate non-profit entity in 2000 to prevent Windermere from amending its articles of incorporation to eliminate the convention's right to elect the center's trustees.
Now we have a chance to see what the Religious Right is made of--if it truly stands for ethics and values, as its leaders profess, or whether its leaders can continue to engage in gutter politics and get away with it.
Baptists of North America recently participated of a true Baptist gathering called "Celebration of a New Baptist Covenant." Judging by the name the organizers chose, they seem to believe at least two things about Baptists in North America: We Baptists need something new, and we Baptists are a covenant people.
A Southern Baptist official who has been a frequent critic of the Celebration of a New Baptist Covenant inaccurately attacked the Celebration and those present for not focusing on evangelism. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, claimed that the Baptist bodies at the Celebration were not growing because they were not evangelistic.
I was unable to travel to the New Baptist Covenant Celebration, due to meetings I had to attend related to an opportunity to purchase land on the highway next to our church. I am sorry that I missed it.
The recent New Baptist Covenant Celebration in Atlanta focused on Jesus' moral agenda, outlined in Luke 4. Perhaps like the Shema (Dt 6:4-9), we should keep these words of Jesus in our hearts, recite them to our children, and talk about them when we are at home and when we are away, when we lie down and when we rise. They are worthy of our binding them as a sign on our hand, fixing them as an ensign on our foreheads, and writing them on the doorposts of our houses and on our gates.
A self-help group for victims of clergy sexual abuse is asking the head of a Southern Baptist seminary to apologize for calling their organization "evil-doers." The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests also requested a face-to-face meeting with Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.
Like every other Baptist gathered in Atlanta, I was so pleased at the experience from participating in the Celebration of a New Baptist Covenant. I was unsure whether to come at first, not knowing what to expect or what to think about what might come of this meeting, but I was told by one of my elder mentors that I needed to be there. As usual, the wisdom of my friend was right on target and I am grateful to God for the chance to see it with my own eyes and to hear it with my own ears.
I am writing this short article in the afterglow of the Atlanta event that celebrated the New Baptist Covenant. The overall response from the Canadian contingent, even though our participation was more as observers than egalitarian partners, was that the speakers were inspiring and the workshops stimulating.
The Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention isn't yet ready to respond to a motion referred from last year's convention calling for a feasibility study of a denomination-wide database of clergy sex offenders, a work group studying the proposal said Tuesday.
To an outsider, the main impetus for the New Baptist Covenant, supported by 30 Baptist denominations and groups in North America might seem clear: an opportunity for the Baptists of North America to re-group after the years of controversy centered on the Southern Baptist Convention and its withdrawal from the Baptist World Alliance.
The New Baptist Covenant meeting was, without doubt, the most inspiring, uplifting, heart-warming and stimulating meeting in my lifetime. It was also the first time I've been proud of being a Baptist in at least 30 years.
The Florida Board of Education should discount a letter from the top official of the Florida Baptist Convention opposing the approval of language for the new science standards that reads: "Evolution is the fundamental concept underlying all of biology and is supported by multiple forms of scientific evidence."
January's historic Celebration of a New Baptist Covenant was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be part of a new movement in Baptist life. Those of us who were fortunate enough to attend enjoyed three days of fellowship and reconciliation with Baptist brothers and sisters from all walks of life, absolutely incredible, God-inspired preaching, and chances to learn about ways to help heal those who have been broken by our sinful world.
The New Baptist Covenant Celebration was a great success. Bringing together Baptists from various denominational communities, theological traditions, ethnicities and geographic locations was an unprecedented venture.
The New Baptist Covenant meeting was a wonderful gathering of like-minded Baptists. I have been invited to reflect and evaluate the meeting, consider what the future might hold for this kind of meeting and provide suggestions for local and hemispheric actions. Let me start with an evaluation using the name of the meeting:
Goodwill Baptists in North America are having feverish public and private conversations about next steps. Of course, trying to get Baptists heading in the same direction is like herding cats, a near impossibility.
Former President Jimmy Carter declared unanimous support for Al Gore's creation-care mandate in front a supportive audience of 2,500 Baptists at a luncheon gathering Jan. 31 in Atlanta, but not all response was positive outside the banquet hall.
Anyone who has been around Baptist preachers very long knows that the old simile about us being like manure is embarrassingly true: spread us around and we do a little good, but get us all together and we stink to the high heavens.
Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum and an organization that advocates Christian schooling as an alternative to public schools are part of a new coalition calling on California parents to remove their children from public schools.
I was privileged this past week to participate in a truly historic event. Baptist groups from all across North America, even from around the world, gathered in Atlanta for a three-day show of Christian unity. The event, dubbed a New Baptist Covenant, brought together white Baptists, African-American Baptists, Hispanic Baptists, Asian Baptists and others. We all joined hands and lifted our voices praising God. And we prayed, prayed for a return to traditional Baptist principles.
Among the thousands of Baptists at last week's Celebration of a New Baptist Covenant was a Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) minister--Michael Kinnamon, general secretary of the National Council of Churches. Kinnamon, who became the NCC's leader on Jan. 1, heads the ecumenical body that unites 35 Christian denominations representing 45 million people in 100,000 congregations.
As a person of color who attended the New Baptist Covenant, I was and continue to be a bit skeptical about the outcomes. I have learned in my 32 years of life how important it is for a person of color to keep his or her expectations low when discussing race and ethnicity with others. It's not that we do not hope for the best, but it is a way to protect ourselves from further cultural wounding.
Fifteen thousand pastors and laypersons representing churches across the land met last week in Atlanta under the banner of the New Baptist Covenant to offer a progressive voice for Baptists. All Baptists in North America were invited, and every major group signed on except Southern Baptists.