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: 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: 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: 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: Brian Kaylor
Southern Baptist leaders joined politicians and corporations who have suddenly changed course this week by publicly opposing the Confederate battle flag.
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: Seth Vopat
It's hard enough to understand the reluctance by many to accept female pastors, but the inequality of women has consequences that reach well beyond the pulpit.
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: 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?
Retired warden Vernon Pittman created a scholarship foundation for the offspring of inmates and their victims. His story is one of several told in a new documentary from EthicsDaily.com.
It's good for Southern Baptist Convention and Cooperative Baptist Fellowship loyalists to pray for each other, but they can also work together for the common good.
Providing a fitting close to his leadership style, Richard Land ended his nearly 25 years of service as Southern Baptists' top ethics spokesman by hitting partisan notes at the SBC's annual meeting.
From a disturbingly young age, every mirror culture can provide a woman tells her that it is the shape, size, look, feel, smell and taste of her body that gives her value. Even in church.
Moderate Baptists are making progress on accepting women as senior pastors, but it's painfully slow. Meanwhile, they lose gifted women who fulfill their calling in other churches.
Women serving in the ministry know some ceilings won't be broken in their lifetimes. Yet they can join together and beat upon the glass ceiling to make a million cracks.
Russell Moore, a dean and vice president at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, will replace Richard Land as Southern Baptists' new ethics chief.
Lottie Moon was one of the first single Baptist women to be appointed as a missionary – with the understanding she would be involved only in "women's work for women." She didn't listen.
While British Baptists' record on women in ministry is far from perfect, they have affirmed the ministry of women in every aspect of their life together – and have done so for a long time.
If the matter of women bishops remains unresolved and the conflict ratchets higher, is it possible that there could be a parting of the ways for the marriage of church and state in England?
Despite insisting for years that he would not endorse candidates, the main political spokesman for the Southern Baptist Convention officially endorsed Republican Mitt Romney for president.
An ecumenical Christian nonprofit is dedicated to helping women around the globe to fulfill their unique purpose, the group's executive director tells EthicsDaily.com.
Founded in 2001, Global Women's vision is of a world where every woman is empowered by God's love, valued by her community and equipped to fulfill her unique purpose.
The myth that the poor get what they deserve has been around since Jesus' day. While too many Christians accept the myth, one group is taking steps to help poor women.
Southern Baptists were supposed to be exempt from the downward trends of other white Protestant denominations, yet membership has declined for the fifth year in a row.
Baptist-Muslim relationships. Sustainable development. Religious freedom. All are on the agenda when global Baptists meet for the Baptist World Alliance gathering in Chile.
"Baptist" used to mean freedom, tolerance and autonomy. Now it means bigotry and partisan politics. And that's why so many Southern Baptist churches need to change their names.
As Richard Land, Southern Baptists' embattled top ethicist, faced Southern Baptists for the first time since his controversial and plagiarized racial words, he quickly glossed over the issue.
An African-American pastor hopes messengers at next week's annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention will pass a resolution condemning Mormonism as racist.
Folks who are the most vocal about "living under biblical authority" often rely on obscure verses to keep women from exercising their leadership gifts in the church. It betrays the gospel.
The decision by Southern Baptist trustees to cancel the radio program of their top ethicist while allowing him to keep his job sparked criticism from some Baptists and journalists.
Obesity health problems cost up to $190 billion annually. Will a campaign similar to the anti-smoking effort help reduce obesity rates? And will churches be involved?
Did Southern Baptist Convention agency head Richard Land write the apology statement for racially charged remarks issued under his name, or was it written by African-American Baptist clergy?
Long kept in the shadows by Baptist churches, women in ministry are moving into the spotlight. Participation in a program that highlights women in the pulpit has quadrupled in two years.
Lottie Moon, whose name and likeness are used by Southern Baptists to fuel fundraising efforts for foreign missions, was a "defiant pioneer" who saw no restrictions on women in ministry.
A Southern Baptist committee investigating allegations of plagiarism against the denomination's ethics leader suggests journalism and talk radio have different standards. Not everyone agrees.
If something didn't work the way it should, Ethel would find out why and fix it. She was a formidable woman with strong opinions about everything. And you know what? She was right.
The Southern Baptist agency headed by Richard Land, the SBC's top ethicist, will investigate plagiarism charges against him but suggested that radio shows have different standards.
Richard Land, Southern Baptists' chief ethicist, apologized on Monday for plagiarism during his radio show, saying he "failed to provide appropriate verbal attributions."
Richard Land, Southern Baptists' top ethics official, quoted liberally from a conservative writer's column about the Trayvon Martin shooting without attribution, a Baptist blogger says.
Richard Land, a leading SBC official, denounced civil rights leaders calling for justice in the Trayvon Martin shooting. Is this how Southern Baptists demonstrate God's love to people of color?
Richard Land, the SBC's public policy official, made reckless statements about the Trayvon Martin shooting, stoking the fires of anger toward people of color, the media and the administration.
Lots of people will tell you how to preach. But Lillian Daniel, senior minister of First Congregational Church in Glen Ellyn, Ill., recently shared tips on how not to preach.
Although conservative pastors and husbands advocate for male domination, Jesus' words and actions about women in ministry are clear: He didn't restrict women.
The Southern Baptist Convention may elect its first African-American president this year. It would be a powerful symbol, but will the SBC's white power structure allow that symbol to lead to transformation?
For many women, Martha Stearns Marshall Month may be the only time they preach for the entire year. And for many church members, it may be the only time they hear a female preach God's word.
FAIRHOPE, Ala. (RNS) For the Rev. Jerry Henry, pastor of First Baptist Church of Fairhope, being Southern Baptist is a defining aspect of life.
NEW ORLEANS (RNS) Rev. Fred Luter told his African-American congregation that he will seek to become the first black man to lead the SBC.
While a slim majority holds a favorable impression of Southern Baptists, half of young adults said they would not consider joining a Southern Baptist church. Will a new name make a difference?
Southern Baptist leaders are weighing a name change for the denomination. With so many choices already taken, one accurate possibility still exists.
Several Southern Baptist leaders joined a meeting of more than 150 conservative evangelicals, who announced former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum as their political savior.
Although he claims to be nonpartisan, a Southern Baptist official is working behind the scenes to defeat President Obama and stop Mitt Romney from earning the GOP presidential nod.
When Southern Baptists withdrew from the Baptist World Alliance eight years ago, SBC leaders issued a series of false accusations. Any reconciliation must begin with the SBC's confession of wrongdoing.
Southern Baptist leaders extended support to GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich despite his affairs and divorces. It's a stark contrast to the treatment they gave Bill Clinton.
Rather than continue a partnership that would help fund breast cancer treatment and recovery, a Southern Baptist Convention agency pulled the plug to prevent a perceived link to Planned Parenthood.
Speeches by the past and present pastors of First Baptist Church of Dallas illustrate how quickly the Baptist heritage of religious liberty for everyone is soon forgotten – or ignored.
Open-minded Baptists say they are open to women in ministry in all levels of leadership, but the statistics suggest otherwise. What's at stake for this discrepancy?
With anti-immigration activists screaming at their legislators to crack down on the undocumented, goodwill people of faith must make their voices heard in a civil tone to impact the common good.
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.
Dominionism, the belief that Christians should take control of the government and all of society's institutions, is a misguided theology that seeks to turn Christ into a political messiah.
Some stories about iconic Southern Baptist missionary Lottie Moon were fabricated to aid fund-raising efforts after her death and to camouflage her advocacy for women's rights. Her real story is better than the myths.
(RNS) The Roman Catholic priest who faces expulsion from the priesthood for advocating for women to be ordained as priests is refusing to recant.
(RNS) A Roman Catholic priest who has campaigned for the ordination of women has been told he will be expelled if he does not publicly recant.
Are Southern Baptists leaders once again ignoring the latest reckless rant – that President Obama "lives like a playboy" – from the head of their public-policy office?
As language continues to evolve and as biblical scholars help us better understand the meaning of ancient words, Bible translations need to be updated. This presents a problem for those who adhere to inerrancy.
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.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (RNS) Decades ago, Daniel Parker would pretend to be a preacher, belting out sermons as he jumped up and down on his bed.
(RNS) Officials of the SBC say they were the victims of a hoax when a group claiming to be them announced it had started to support gay marriage.
Focusing on forgiveness and conflict resolution that occurred in the aftermath of civil war in Sierra Leone, a documentary illustrates the courage and grace of ordinary people.
Marring the racially inclusive image that Southern Baptists attempted to present through their annual meeting, a resolution on immigration sparked a lively debate over a proposal that critics called "amnesty."
(RNS) Southern Baptists adopted a plan to try to boost minorities in their top leadership posts as they face continuing reports of declining membership.
More than two-thirds of evangelical pastors doubt global warming is real and manmade while Catholic leaders issued a call to action to address the problem. Why are evangelical leaders in denial?
Even among individual Christians and churches that advocate for women in ministry, hierarchical thinking can subtly manifest itself as patriarchal attitudes of superiority.
NEW ORLEANS (RNS) The Rev. Roy Bourgeois now faces expulsion from his religious order and from the priesthood over his support for the ordination of women.
As a young woman in the civil rights movement, Prathia L. Hall was a barrier-breaking Baptist woman preacher, raising her fiery and focused voice in some of the movement's toughest battlegrounds.
Richard Land, head of Southern Baptists' Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, quit a group that defends Muslims' religious liberty rights – a move that caps months of his wavering on the issue.
(RNS) A top leader of the Southern Baptist Convention has resigned from a new interfaith coalition.
Two pastors – one Southern Baptist, the other an independent Baptist – are linked to a mortgage scheme in which many people lost their homes. Both Baptist bodies lack an effective system for clergy accountability.
Baptists have never had consistent criteria for ordaining deacons, ministers or pastors, but the perception of ordination for many of them has shifted from a recognition of servanthood to a position of authority and power.
The Georgia Baptist Convention has ousted a church from their ranks because the congregation has a woman as co-pastor. If the state's Baptists really have a problem, perhaps they should have voted God out.
Why do many Baptist churches insist on unanimous recommendations from their pastor search committees? Many are insecure and don't want potential challenges to their recommendations on the church floor.
LONDON (RNS) A bishop has triggered fury by likening the debate over allowing female bishops to the “serious threat” of warfare.
It's time for moderate Baptists who claim they support women pastors to quit paying lip service to the notion and actually call a woman. When will they be ready to give women a chance?
Following several suicides by gay teens, a Southern Baptist leader said evangelical churches' response to homosexuality has been rooted in fear and ignorance. Will churches' actions speak louder than his words?
During these changing times in our world, there is much that impacts the Baptist movement. Here are 10 predictions and observations about what the future may hold.
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.
(RNS) Women have been ordained as priests in all 110 dioceses of the Episcopal Church.
As another Mainstream Baptist group comes to an end, it's a sad reminder that historic Baptist distinctives, such as the priesthood of all believers and church-state separation, have lost their appeal for many Baptists.
Southern Baptists' Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission gave its John Leland Award, named after a Baptist preacher who championed church-state separation, to a man who is dismantling Leland's legacy.
Key early organizers of the Religious Right convened secret meetings in the mid-1970s to link their political agenda with conservative Christianity. Their goal was to elect Christian conservatives and build a “Christian Republic.”
Bailey Smith, then president of the Southern Baptist Convention, claimed 30 years ago that God "does not hear the prayer of a Jew." Today, other Southern Baptist leaders have rhetorically followed his lead.
Ronald Reagan, then the GOP nominee for president, joined a who's who of conservative Christians on a Dallas stage 30 years ago, convincing many Southern Baptists and other evangelicals to join the Republican cause.
Blazing the trail for women to serve in the ministry hasn't been easy, but the path has fewer rocks and ruts than it did years ago. For today's young women, the journey is a little smoother. And that makes it worth it.
(RNS) The Church of God has decided to permit women to serve on local church councils but they cannot be ordained as bishops.
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.
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.
Churches seem to be the most formidable institutional structures resistant to egalitarian roles for women. To reform it, God needs people to challenge the religious powers that be and become instruments of peace.
Men have long held senior leadership roles in the church and fulfilled the pastoral role. What continues to keep Baptists and some evangelicals from accepting women in Christian leadership, especially as pastors?
During an EthicsDaily.com luncheon, two North Carolina pastors shared stories about how their congregations took some small steps that turned into significant strides in Baptist-Muslim relationships.
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.
As part of a church series on social issues, a former judge on the Arkansas Court of Appeals, who's now a pastor, addressed educational issues for African-Americans in the South.
Has the SBC pivoted away from its position over the past 20 years of fidelity to angry fundamentalist leaders and faithfulness to the political right? Are the results of the SBC's annual meeting an aberration or a new positive trend?
The Southern Baptist Convention and Cooperative Baptist Fellowship are looking at restructuring. Such efforts can be accomplished with clenched fists or open hands.
Sooner or later, Southern Baptists will learn the lesson that pious preaching won't protect kids against clergy child molesters. What we don't know is how long the lesson will take.
Some conservatives say it is God's intention that women should be "submissive" to men, but a Baptist woman from the early 1900s saw it differently when she proclaimed that women were created as equal to men.
The Rev. Janine Denomme, who devoted her life to the Catholic Church and had been ordained as a priest, died on May 17. That ordination was grounds to deny her a Roman Catholic burial at her local parish.
The Southern Baptist Convention is criticizing public schools as bastions of anti-Christian attitudes and urging churches to foster private schools or home schooling. It is past time for the SBC to reverse its course.
A well-meaning covenant on civility is meaningless when the most uncivil people of all refuse to have anything to do with it. The U.S. right wing is not interested in dialogue. They want only victory.
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.
While there is a surplus of ministers wanting a shrinking pool of big-church jobs, many small churches have difficulty attracting a decent pastor. They could have an easier time if they didn't eliminate half the candidates.
Missing from criticism about the final report of the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force, intended to reorganize the stagnant Southern Baptist Convention, is concern about the statement's anti-public school agenda.
People give to those things they believe in and value, but they must hear the story and become engaged. If they chose not to support what we are about, maybe we are about the wrong things.
Lepers. Orphans. HIV patients. Prisoners. The elderly. Marginalized youth. They are among the poorest of the poor in India. And Leena Lavanya forges her own path to minister to all of them.
Some Southern Baptists claim that preventing women from serving as pastors is defending the gospel. When did Jesus proclaim that the good news of the Kingdom of God is that women should not exercise authority over men?
When Baptist leaders explain how they can justify banning women preachers, they often shrug and say that's what God's word says. By selectively embracing the Bible literally, they are impeding God's working in our world.
The Georgia Baptist Convention is preparing to sever ties with a church that called a woman as co-pastor. Why doesn't the church break ties on its own? That may be easier to do, but something bigger is at stake.
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.
In too many Baptist circles today, the calling of a woman to pastoral ministry is still denied or dismissed. Yet, in churches where the principle of the autonomy of the local church is truly cherished, miracles occur.
Southern Baptist megachurch pastor Ed Young Sr. recently devoted a sermon to the problems with the American tax system. However, several claims made by the former SBC president were inaccurate.
The last seven generations of the Cartledge family have been Baptists. And it all started because of a seemingly unfortunate incident and a woman preacher's spirited defense in 1770.
Two 19th century Baptists remind us there's more than one way to be a hero. Lottie Moon sacrificed a comfortable life to share the gospel in China, and Crawford Toy refused to surrender his integrity to narrow-minded demands.
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.
World leaders gathered in Copenhagen to negotiate the details of an accord to combat global warming, and Southern Baptist leaders voiced their opposition with erroneous claims.
Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, recently called President Obama "very dangerous" and claimed Obama was damaging America.
We live in a dangerous age. Ethics have been discarded for the sake of political ideology and we are much the worse for this, with some even calling for the violent removal of President Obama from office.
The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina voted last week to deny churches the opportunity to give through the convention to the Baptist Center for Ethics, thereby ending an almost 20-year partnership.
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham broke with fellow Southern Baptists once again when he joined Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) to urge a bipartisan effort to support climate change legislation.
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.
A mission volunteer's stolen cell phone contained the only photos of her recently deceased brother. That bad news, however, brought volunteers and children closer together.
Some Southern Baptist leaders are divided over whether to support legislation designed to reduce abortion and drawing support from pro-life and pro-choice advocates.
Nearly 400 youngsters from impoverished homes participated in an Arkansas swim camp led by CBF staffers. Six went on to a competitive meet, but getting there was an adventure.
For the fourth consecutive year, Second Baptist Church of Little Rock, Ark., partnered with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship to ensure more than 300 students received much-needed school supplies.
Today's young adults have no patience for local church intrigue or denominational domination. They want to serve God in the most meaningful way possible.
Baptists must treat each other with respect and civility even when there are disagreements over issues, an Oklahoma pastor and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter both urged.
Some churches fear controversy, but not Second Baptist of Little Rock, Ark. Their Sweet Justice series tackled hot-button issues and offered first steps on how to get involved.
It's not just the leaders of the male-dominated Southern Baptist Convention that stifle women. Those who disagree but remain silent are also culpable.
The homeless issue is all around us if we choose to see it. More than one in four homeless people, for example, are children. Will churches work with others to achieve solutions?
Humpty Dumpty's smarter than we think. To win control, you need to be the one to define what words mean – even if you have to take them out of context.
Rather than accept responsibility for setbacks, some leaders prefer to pass the buck to external factors or other people. (At least, that's what the liberal media want you to believe.)
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.
Those of us raised Southern Baptist continue to engage them, even when we've left the convention. Our relationship to this group we no longer claim is dysfunctional and enmeshed. How do we break the addiction?
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.
Conservative leaders within the Southern Baptist Convention have exalted "pet doctrines" and personal opinions to the status of dogma. Those who disagree risk condemnation and expulsion.
The SBC's decision to expel Broadway Baptist Church is a missed opportunity for the denomination to reverse its regressive slide and reinforces the negative, intolerant image of the SBC in American public life.
Five motions offered by SBC messengers called for investigations into the influence of targeted leaders.
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.
The executive committee of the Southern Baptist Convention voted unanimously June 22 to recommend ending its more than 125-year relationship with Broadway Baptist Church in Forth Worth, Texas.
Christy McMillin-Goodwin, associate minister for education and missions at Oakland Baptist Church in Rock Hill, S.C., has been nominated as moderator-elect for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.
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.
Southern Baptists have moved to the right in their critique of public education. One video, featuring three Southern Baptists, urges the rescue of children from "pagan, godless schools" and uses footage of Hitler and Nazis.
Charged with being "racist" for a remark she made in 2001, Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor was simply acknowledging that perspective can be important. Like every other justice, her experiences inform her perspective.
Wiley Drake, former second vice president of the SBC, let it be known that he was praying for President Obama to die. Is praying for someone's death consistent with the values and truth that Jesus embodied in his life and ministry?
Why are some Southern Baptist churches reluctant to use Baptist in their name? To the church-hunter who has already disavowed the denomination, it's like the joy from receiving a pretty package – until you see what's inside.
The Southern Baptist Convention's chief executive officer advocates the launch of a Christian alternative to public education. Rather than retreat from public education, however, goodwill Baptists must speak up for public schools.
Like the behemoth General Motors, which was once too big to fail, the titanic SBC is taking on water, and its current leadership knows not what to do to salvage the ship. The one thing they could do is a crystal-clear biblical teaching.
While some younger Southern Baptists are ready to climb on board the environmental bandwagon, they are still dragging their feet – just as their elders did on the race issue.
Any discussion about the nature of the denominational structure that does not begin with a biblically precise view of the church is bound to lead to more, not less, misunderstanding.
Oregon lawmakers passed a law prohibiting schools from making deals that hide the sexual misconduct of teachers who resign. The practice is called passing the trash. Why can't Southern Baptists do something similar?
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.
Today, the Southern Baptist Convention's Richard Land condemns torture. But for years, he has mirrored the knee-jerk Republican conservatism of his SBC constituency and used it to his own political advantage.
The head of Southern Baptists' Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission made news recently when he denounced waterboarding as torture. Virtually ignored was why he shifted his position and why he had not spoken out sooner.
Hundreds of Southern Baptist leaders are calling for a 'Great Commission Resurgence' to address declining numbers. It's hard not to laugh when you recall that years ago they claimed that evangelism would reign supreme once they were in control.
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.
With more people saying they have no religious preference, does it spell the end of Christianity? Maybe they're growing weary of religion and angry religious politics. One can only hope.
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.
A Southern Baptist Convention official repeated yet again his claim that the earth was cooling. If he were alone, one could dismiss his comment as another half-baked claim.
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.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark.—New fruit is budding from a previous dying-on-the-vine event, which originated from some tiny seeds planted here in 1971.
The forthcoming book by a former trustee of the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board exposes several ethical shortcomings in the management approach of IMB trustee leaders.
A motion made at last year’s Southern Baptist Convention to remove Ft. Worth’s Broadway Baptist Church from membership in the SBC over the issue of homosexuality was discussed today by the denomination’s executive committee, which delayed action until the completion of further study.
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.
Former pastors, ministers and staff members at Second Baptist Church in Little Rock gathered there recently on the church’s 125th anniversary to dialogue about ministry.
Showings of “Beneath the Skin: Baptists and Racism” in two tiny south Arkansas towns hit home.
During his inaugural address, President Barack Obama quoted the Apostle Paul, but it was really a Peter moment.
Raouf Halaby sometimes asks his students, as he’s breaking the ice about his background, how big they think the Jordan River is.
Sometimes a sense of awe is lacking nowadays in society. The story of U.S. Airways Flight 1549 is awesome.
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.
Many of Nashville’s faith leaders are expressing opposition to an effort to make English the only language in which the city government can offer services, considering “it to be unjust, inhospitable, and detrimental to the wellbeing” of the community. Missing in moral action is the leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention and its state affiliate, the Tennessee Baptist Convention.
The Mohawk haircut on the shepherd gave it away. This wasn�t going to be a typical Christmas nativity depiction.
Rev. Cheryl Allen didn't tear down a wall; she just created a small hole in it. As a result, about 720 abandoned babies have been rescued through the "Door of Hope."
Cheryl Allen is a senior pastor because she literally has gone where no man would go.
The DVD screening, sponsored by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Arkansas, brought old and painful memories to many in the diverse audience of about 170--a 60-40 mix of white and minorities.
Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, recently made inaccurate claims that the earth is cooling instead of warming. As he made his claims during the Nov. 22 broadcast of his radio program "Richard Land Live!," Land mocked Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore and others who warn of the dangers of climate change.
Over this past weekend, the most read article on Foxnews.com was entitled "Magazines Featuring Female Pastors Pulled From Shelves, 'Treated Like Pornography.'"
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.
LifeWay Christian Stores reportedly pulled a Christian magazine from its racks because five smiling women on its cover are pastors.
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.
A Baptist state newspaper editor hopes leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention won't take steps to rejoin the Baptist World Alliance.
The nomination of Sarah Palin changed Southern Baptist fundamentalism quicker than Eve tempted Adam to eat the apple in the Garden of Eden, metaphorically speaking. The Republican Party's first woman caused Republican Party's first-line male clergy to revise their theology about women, while claiming they never meant what they said earlier.
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."
Southern Baptists on Sept. 24 are launching a 40-day Prayer Vigil for Spiritual Revival and National Renewal. The daily prayers will include requests for God's guidance in voting, for the election of more "godly" Christians, for God to "help churches find ways to help Christians get to the polls" and for public officials to be protected "from the attacks of Satan."
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.
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.
There may have been mosquitoes in the Garden of Eden, says a Southern Baptist seminary president, but they didn't become a pest until after Adam and Eve committed Original Sin.
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.
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.
Top leaders of a conservative activist group often quoted in Canadian media as representing Judeo-Christian moral values pad their resumes with degrees from unaccredited schools.
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.
Critics say a song being sung this summer in Southern Baptist Vacation Bible Schools across the country includes faulty theology about the Trinity and the Bible.
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.
Bruce Ware, professor of Christian theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., actually does know why husbands abuse their wives.
Ah! The good old days--when men were men and women were kept in the kitchen; when being white was right for America.
Allowing women to become pastors and act as elders is a "cancer" that is pushing evangelical churches toward liberalism, a Texas pastor warned in a recent sermon defending "Biblical Manhood & Womanhood."
During the Friday evening worship service at the CBF annual meeting in Memphis, the CBF director of missional church ministries began his presentation by saying, "I love church." He then invited the participants to repeat the phrase in unison. I'm not much into cheerleading, so I didn't open my mouth. I just couldn't bring myself to say the words. Let me tell you why.
Southern Baptist leaders including the convention's new president Johnny Hunt are involved in a quiet move to bring the Tennessee Temple University into the fold of Southern Baptist schools.
I don't think there's anything weirder than religious sexual obsession. Sex is tough enough without layering our obsession about it with some bizarre religious viewpoint.
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.
One reason that men abuse their wives is because women rebel against their husband's God-given authority, a Southern Baptist scholar said Sunday in a Texas church.
Baptist Press falsely labeled a Baptist Center for Ethics' DVD screening at the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship's annual meeting last week in Memphis with an inaccurate subheading and lead in a news story, leading one to wonder if the editor actually read the story. Perhaps the editor wanted to say what the actual text as reported in the body of the story did not say.
What do Karen Armstrong, Kathleen Norris and Anne Rice have in common? Actually, they share several similarities. They are all white women born in the 1940s who have been heavily influenced by the Catholic tradition and are prolific and acclaimed English-language authors.
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.
Southern Baptist Convention President Johnny Hunt's Web site has been updated to include two honorary degrees in his biographical sketch from schools identified by EthicsDaily.com as diploma mills.
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.
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.
The Southern Baptist Convention on Wednesday passed a resolution urging political involvement by churches.
Local churches, and not the Southern Baptist Convention, must take responsibility for ridding the denomination of sexual predators, the head of the SBC Executive Committee said Tuesday.
Georgia mega-church pastor Johnny Hunt won a surprise first-ballot election as next president of the Southern Baptist Convention in the most wide-open race in many years.
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.
Southern Baptist leaders promised years ago with their takeover of the convention's agencies and seminaries a golden age. They have delivered an age of denominational decline, division and dishonesty.
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.
A Southern Baptist listed as a charter signer of "An Evangelical Manifesto" statement released May 7 says he was asked the review the document but never consented to include his signature.
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.
After the failed vote on Sunday at Nashville's Two Rivers Baptist Church to expel church members, one of the targeted members gave God the credit for the vote which allowed her to remain a member.
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 prominent Southern Baptist church in Nashville, Tenn., narrowly voted to retain 71 members in what would have been one of the largest church-member expulsions in recent history of the Baptist faith.
A movement launched in 1979 to purge the Southern Baptist Convention of so-called "liberalism" failed in its promise to deliver a more evangelistic denomination, according to an SBC statistician.
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.
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.
Total membership in the Southern Baptist Convention dropped nearly 40,000 last year, prompting one official to declare America's second-largest faith group officially a "denomination in decline."
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.
A Southern Baptist spokesman who once asked the Republican Party for a "wedding ring" for the Religious Right accused a recent North American gathering of Baptists of being too partisan.
A former Baptist pastor in Jacksonville, Fla., previously charged with lewdness in connection with text messages he allegedly sent to a teenager now faces two additional charges, including one that he fondled a child.
Canadian Baptist leaders said they were puzzled by Southern Baptist Convention President Frank Page's statement that in Canada a pastor can be jailed for speaking out against homosexuality.
A liberal and anti-Christian media is helping America slip toward moral ruin, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention said in an American Family Association webcast.
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.
A leading scholar on global warming says a letter sent last week to all 100 United States senators urging defeat of a measure to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions is factually wrong.
Southern Baptist Convention leader Richard Land apparently thought he had good reason for refusing to sign a recent statement by fellow Southern Baptists calling for action on global warming. He believes the Earth is getting colder.
Organizers of the Southern Baptist Environment and Climate Initiative defended their statement released Monday urging Southern Baptists to take better care of the environment and fight climate change.
Untruth anywhere harms truth everywhere. Misleading headlines misdirect public opinion. False charges cover up flawed documents. No matter how noble the cause, wrongful means damage the desired goal.
Nearly 50 Southern Baptists leaders are issuing a declaration today urging Southern Baptists to take care of the environment and fight climate change. The Southern Baptist Environment and Climate Initiative released its environmental statement entitled "A Southern Baptist Declaration on the Environment and Climate Change," which cites Scriptures and the Baptist Faith & Message of 2000 to support its environmental message.
"I'm here today because nobody calls me 'chicken,'" guest preacher Michelle McClendon said in a sermon Feb. 3 at Second Baptist Church in Lubbock, Texas.
Southern Baptist Convention leader Richard Land claims he didn't know he was using a word that some consider crude or obscene when he called Sen. Charles Schumer a "schmuck."
Should a Southern Baptist Convention leader resign for using a Yiddish slur against a Jewish senator, or is it "much ado about not much?" That's the range of reaction to Monday's EthicsDaily.com story quoting Ethics & Religious Liberty head Richard Land calling New York Senator Chuck Schumer a "schmuck."
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.
A Southern Baptist leader lecturing at Criswell College used a gutter word to describe a Jewish U.S. senator.
The Southern Baptist Convention will have a hard time addressing either the problem of sexual abuse by clergy or domestic violence as long as its leaders persist in the theological view that women are subject to men, a victims' advocate says.
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.
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.
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.
A Southern Baptist Convention leader described a support-and-advocacy group for victims of sexual abuse by clergy as "evil doers" who are "just as reprehensible as sex criminals."
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.
Former Baptist mega-church pastor Darrell Gilyard pleaded not guilty to lewd and lascivious conduct at his arraignment Tuesday in Jacksonville, Fla.
A grand jury in Tucson, Ariz., has indicted a Southern Baptist youth minister arrested Jan. 11 on eight counts of sexual abuse of a minor, a local television station reported Friday.
Thinking that clergy sex abuse is about sex is like thinking the Bataan Death March was about marching.
A seminary president and recently announced candidate for president of the Southern Baptist Convention says in a new book that Christians should have an exit strategy from public schools.
A Southern Baptist youth minister in Arizona was reportedly placed on administrative leave following his arrest last Friday on nine charges of sexual misconduct and abuse of a 13-year-old girl.
An African-American Baptist preacher once promoted by past Southern Baptist Convention presidents Paige Patterson and Jerry Vines and the late television preacher Jerry Falwell surrendered to police in Jacksonville, Fla., Monday afternoon on charges of lewd and lascivious conduct with a 14-year-old girl.
A recently announced candidate for president of the Southern Baptist Convention who has in the past said he would support treatment to change the sexual orientation of pre-born infants from gay to straight and called it sinful for married couples to remain childless by choice has once again injected his opinions into the womb.
"God is in His Heaven, and the hypocrites are in His church." Now before you send me hate mail about being anti-Christian, I am only paraphrasing the results of a LifeWay Research survey on church affiliation. LifeWay is part of the Southern Baptist Convention headquartered in Nashville, Tenn.
A Southern Baptist seminary president called charges by the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests that he turned a blind eye to allegations of clergy sex abuse "snap judgments" that are "misinformed and inaccurate."
The trial of a Southern Baptist pastor charged with molesting two stepdaughters and raping one of them is moving forward, even though his lawyer says the two star witnesses have recanted.
An advocacy group has called on Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary to suspend its president and investigate newspaper reports from 1991 that he ignored allegations of sexual misconduct by a preacher friend now accused of sending lewd text messages to minors.
A woman who says she resisted unwanted advances 17 years ago by a pastor now under investigation for allegedly sending lewd text messages to two underage girls believes there are other victims and has started a blog urging them to come forward.
A victims' advocate says a Florida pastor accused of sending obscene text messages to a minor might have been stopped if the Southern Baptist Convention had a database of sexual abuse by clergy.
A prominent Southern Baptist church in Austin, Texas, may see its second former minister go to prison for sexual abuse of a child.
In 2000 the Southern Baptist Convention made headlines with theological arguments including women cannot be pastors and wives must submit to their husbands. Next year those controversies come to local churches in a new study by LifeWay Christian Resources.
Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson picked up a rare endorsement from a religious leader--a Southern Baptist layman credited with rescuing the nation's second largest faith group from what he and others viewed as a liberal drift.
A Southern Baptist pastor charged last month with domestic violence after a fight with his wife resigned from his Atlanta-area church on Sunday, according to media reports.
A prominent Florida mega-church is scheduled to vote tonight on whether begin a Christian academy, joining a grassroots strategy to eventually build a large network of Southern Baptist schools to compete with public education.
Many Southern Baptist Convention leaders, including President Frank Page, have indicated they don't think a predator database would help prevent clergy child molestation.
A California grandmother is spearheading a two-day boycott of the state's public schools to protest new laws that social conservatives decry as homosexual indoctrination.
The pastor of a Southern Baptist church in suburban Atlanta is on administrative leave after being arrested on charges of simple assault and obstruction of a 911 call after an altercation last week with his wife.
A Southern Baptist scholar says Pat Robertson's endorsement of Rudy Giuliani signals a larger "Giulianiazation" of evangelical Christianity that he views as dangerous.
A former vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention has called for a boycott of CBN and the "700 Club" until founder Pat Robertson "repents" of endorsing Rudy Giuliani for president.
Focus on the Family founder James Dobson denied in Monday's radio broadcast an Internet report that claimed he is on the brink of endorsing Mike Huckabee for president.
Baptist Women in Ministry is hoping to nearly double participation in a second annual day for women to preach in Baptist churches early next year.
The Southern Baptist Convention International Mission Board has censured a trustee for writing about trustee business in a Web log that board leaders said reflected poorly on fellow board members and violated a policy requiring trustees to speak only in "positive and supportive" terms about actions of the board.
A prominent Southern Baptist church in Florida once picketed by homosexual groups for its opposition to gay marriage is now in headlines for the arrest of a volunteer youth minister accused of sexually abusing teenage boys he met through the church.
While I grew up Baptist, I did not grow up American Baptist. Coming from outside 25 years ago, my perspective may be different from those who have always been here. They may not see or recognize the four treasures I have discovered in American Baptist life. Those treasures are very concrete practices, not abstract principles.
Southern Baptist Convention leader Richard Land called Mormonism "the fourth Abrahamic faith" in a discussion of controversy over Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's religious affiliation.
The one-time director of hunger concerns for the Southern Baptist Convention said a downturn in giving to an annual hunger offering indicates the nation's largest Protestant denomination has turned its back on the poor.
Unless presidential candidates want a spiritual smack down, they should avoid talking to Southern Baptist Convention president Frank Page, who failed to retain the pastoral confidentiality of two conversations and then boasted to other pastors about his soul-winning ways. In both cases, Page elevated his own evangelistic credentials and degraded the spiritual character of candidates.
The president of the Southern Baptist Convention says he offered to pray with Rudy Giuliani to accept Christ as his savior, but the Republican presidential candidate declined.
A former Southern Baptist pastor in Cordova, Tenn., has been indicted on charges of rape and sexual battery by an authority figure involving a teenage boy.
The environment is a second-tier concern for Christians--in part because the Bible teaches that the world is coming to an end, anyway--and the church's top priority is saving souls, according to a Southern Baptist Convention leader.
As the Missouri Baptist Convention's lawsuits against five ministries continue in pre-trial stages after more than five years, the state convention recently announced individuals it considers to be experts in Baptist polity. The two individuals are expected to be deposed in the upcoming months.
The Southern Baptist Convention spoke with a unified voice in support of the war in Iraq but failed to persuade Americans outside the denomination to join them in supporting an increasingly unpopular war, according to an article analyzing public statements by convention leaders.
A new challenge unveiled by Southern Baptist Convention leaders to increase support for the Cooperative Program unified giving plan would have disqualified from leadership at least seven of the 13 "conservative resurgence" SBC presidents elected since 1979.
A leading Jewish organization condemned a proposed Southern Baptist Convention study on formally recognizing a "messianic" fellowship as an "evangelistic mission entity" to Jews.
We recognize that no individual or organization can speak for all Baptists. The following represents the concern, confession, commitment, and appeal by the majority of the messengers meeting in Houston, Texas, June 5, 1968.
"America stops on Super Sunday," proclaims the television promotion.
On initial examination, any ethical consideration concerning the dismissal of Bobby Knight as Indiana University's basketball coach is a slam dunk.