By: Leroy Seat
While in solitary confinement in 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. wrote his powerful "Letter from a Birmingham Jail." Today, those of us who bask in the "blessing" of "majority privilege" need to take his words to heart.
By: Molly T. Marshall
Lent, a time of lament and a season of reckoning, begins in the middle of Black History Month. And that's fitting as color still trumps character, and white privilege takes up too much financial, social and psychic space.
By: Lee Spitzer
Our culture is swift to judge and attack; we assume we are superior to those with whom we differ. Many movements and individuals suffer from spiritual amnesia, forgetting we are all made in God's image.
By: EthicsDaily Staff
More than 80 U.S. faith leaders from a wide range of Christian traditions signed a declaration denouncing racism and poverty; their letter was mailed to members of Congress.
By: Richard Schweissing
Regardless of his precise language, President Trump identified a huge block of people who by his standard are not welcome in this country. His words are unacceptable because we are all one in Christ.
By: Ron Rolheiser
How you regard the least of these in society - the poor, the accused, the incarcerated and so on - reflects your decency. Treat them poorly, and you corrupt your own decency. There's no neutral ground.
By: Gordon King
Racism and prophetic protests against racism are part of the biblical message, yet we hear so few sermons in our churches about this moral issue. Here are 4 suggestions for pastoral leaders.
By: Brent McDougal
Loving your neighbor, especially those you don't like, has the power to radically change the world. Jesus' parable about The Good Samaritan reminds us it takes more than kind words to achieve peace. It takes action.
By: Stuart Blythe
Style over substance in preaching typically isn't good. When it comes to preaching against racism, style, or how you say something, can be more vital than what you actually say.
By: Stuart Blythe
Preaching against racism is prophetic, and the ones who can best deliver that courageous and disruptive message are pastors, who are invested in the life of a congregation and can make that message transformative.
By: Stuart Blythe
William Willimon's latest book draws on his own Methodist tradition in order to honestly name racism as sin. And for a model of preaching in a way that confronts racism, he turns to Baptist pastor, Martin Luther King Jr.
By: Colin Harris
An abundance of knowledge is certainly not a bad thing in itself. However, when we don't analyze and evaluate information, we can't discern the larger context of that information. Consider these examples.
By: Jim Somerville
For three weeks after white nationalists rallied in Charlottesville, Virginia, I mentioned racism in my sermons and how we need to root it out of our hearts and out of our nation, but I may have pushed too hard.
By: Ray Higgins
Christians must stand against the evil and sinful nature of prejudice, racism, white supremacy and Nazism as well as any who advocate for these anti-Christian philosophies. Here are 4 ways you and your church can do that.
By: J. Michael "Mickey" Robertson
After Mickey Robertson preached a sermon that condemned the KKK and its racist ideology, a symbol was carved into a tree near the congregation's outdoor meeting space. It's an old symbol resurrected by the "New Klan."
By: Colin Harris
Statues and symbols, such as those related to the Confederacy, can be an in-your-face effort to validate superiority and to justify injustice. While many can be removed, those that can't can be handled another way.
By: Michael Middaugh
As statues topple, and two sides gather, we are still wrestling with firmly held beliefs and emotion-laden ideologies that will continue to divide our nation if we're not careful.
By: J. Michael "Mickey" Robertson
Other people will be different, like it or not. Our task is not to engage them in a fight, but to recognize the humanity within them. Only then can we win them over spiritually. That's our task - and it won't be easy.
By: Leanna K. Fuller
Churches can disagree on many things, but most of us agree that racism is fundamentally wrong. Saying nothing is both a mark of privilege and a sign of complicity. This is a time for moral courage.
By: Paul Putz
In the height of the civil rights era, how did self-professed Christian football players and coaches 45 years ago respond to questions about racism? Here are their answers.
By: Ferrell Foster
The white supremacists protesting in Charlottesville may look like me, but they are not my people; they have refused to love their neighbor as Christ instructed us. It's time more of us proclaim this difference.
By: Molly T. Marshall
The white supremacist rally in Charlottesville protesting the diversity that comprises the U.S. reminds us unity is hard work. While it is God's desire for humanity, it requires repentance and perseverance.
By: EthicsDaily Staff
Before the deadly day in Charlottesville in the aftermath of the white supremacist rally, local clergy from various faiths had been gathering to prepare a safe space in the event of a tragedy.
By: Michael Cheuk
When the Klan announced plans to come to this town, the local faith community organized a response. Like an overgrown garden, the day was chaos, yet God planted seeds of connection, clarity and love.
By: Starlette McNeill
North American churches are often more racialized than the communities around them. Ministers must encourage real conversations about race's negative impact on the authentic formation of Christian community.
By: Ron Rolheiser
While charity is good and virtuous, it doesn't necessarily change the social, economic and political structures that unfairly victimize some people and unduly privilege others. We must also have good and fair policies.
By: Colin Harris
When issues divide communities of faith today, we must decide whether the appeal of culture's gods and the power of long-held beliefs will be obstacles to the call to community.
By: Ferrell Foster
The alt-right paints a picture of the U.S. as a white nation under attack from non-whites. It ignores that from our earliest days, the U.S. has been a place where all types of diverse people have come together.
By: Colin Harris
It's difficult, if not impossible, for people steeped in certain beliefs and attitudes, such as racism, to escape the chains of those beliefs to see the world a different way. But the gospel can transform are ingrained thinking.
By: Starlette McNeill
A noose in an African-American museum reminds us that this form of unfounded vengeance upon African-Americans is still desired by some, that the crowd is only a few steps away. It's only waiting for people to go silent.
By: Jerrod Hugenot
Easter is not just this one Sunday. It marks the beginning of disciples who do not fear but move forward in the confidence of a faith that summons them away from familiarity and indifference.
By: Vinoth Ramachandra
When examining our national histories, we must be objective, nuanced and morally responsible. Only those who see the world in black and white refuse to acknowledge anything good in their enemies.
By: Emmanuel McCall
At a time when it was unpopular for black and whites to travel together, Robert and I became "soul partners" as we crisscrossed the nation in numerous racial reconciliation initiatives.
By: Colin Harris
For Martin Luther King Jr., the heroes of the civil rights movement were the unnamed thousands who endured taunts and threats as they called us to live out our creed. This holiday is a tribute to them too.
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: Alan Cross
As we remember the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., we remember that King did not just call us to come together. Rather, he challenged the reasons why we were apart in the first place.
This free resource sheet provides resources to congregations and goodwill people of faith for observing the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday and for reflecting on his life and legacy.
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: Brian Lee
With all the eruptions of violence, it's easy to overreact and paint certain groups with a brush that is far too wide and certainly unwarranted. How do we respond in light of all that is happening? Here are 3 ways.
By: Terrell Carter
Many barriers divide our country today, but the most visible and contentious one is race - in particular how black and white people perceive and act toward each other. Who is worthy of your compassion?
By: Dennis Bickers
The racial problems in America are not going away in the near future. It's time for churches and individuals to intentionally work toward understanding one another and developing relationships.
By: Michael Helms
Your family roots have a deep influence on you. On your life's journey, you must recognize the parts of your family system that still exist around you and within you - and ask yourself what needs to change.
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: Zach Dawes
Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary on April 19, 1961. A Baptist minister, then a second-year student, recalls the visit.
By: Robert Parham
My grandfather put a small crack in the TV race barrier when he had an African-American guest on his local hunting-and-fishing show in the 1950s - a move that drew criticism from fellow church members.
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: Grace Ji-Sun Kim and W. Mark Koenig
While baseball in the U.S. has challenged prejudices and stereotypes and seen some elements of racism dismantled, racial prejudice and racism have also intertwined with our national pastime.
By: Robert Parham
Heading into the 25th year since the formation of the Baptist Center for Ethics is a good time to list some accomplishments and to acknowledge some shortcomings. Here are five of each.
By: Chuck Summers
Racism continues to be an ugly scar upon the America's soul. While media have focused on acts of violence afflicted upon minorities, environmental racism doesn't receive a lot of public attention.
By: Brian Kaylor
South African leaders spoke during the Baptist World Congress about the nation's Truth and Reconciliation Commission that helped the transition from racial apartheid.
By: Griff Martin
More than a half-century after Harper Lee published her only novel, "To Kill a Mockingbird," she returns to continue the story of Scout, no longer a child, and Atticus Finch in "Go Set a Watchman."
By: Thomas Kidd
Even if it's only late-arriving symbolism, the Confederate flag's removal from South Carolina's statehouse is the right thing to do. However, its removal does nothing to address massive ethnic inequalities.
By: Larry Coleman
The toxic racism that's torn at our nation has its roots in prejudice, a more subtle part of our worldview. To eradicate racism, we must first deal with the prejudices learned in our own homes.
By: Michael Helms
As more and more news about racial tension tears apart our country, more of us need to model the spirit of Larry, an older African-American, who no longer sees "people as black or white anymore."
By: Greg DeLoach
After 10 years serving as First Baptist of Augusta's pastor, I had never met our Baptist neighbors across the street. Following the Charleston massacre, I knew it was long overdue for me to meet them.
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: Colin Harris
Fear can be a healthy response to danger. Others can manipulate fear in unhealthy ways. That fear seems to grip our collective consciousness. It's time to stop reinforcing it.
By: Danny Chisholm
Members of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church taught us a lesson in forgiveness. The world needs to know there is an alternative to violence. And it isn't more violence.
By: Guy Sayles
As the Charleston church shooting reminds us, division among races, made worse by educational and economic inequality, is a wound which remains painfully open. How do we heal it?
By: Terrell Carter
In the aftermath of the Charleston church shooting, those of us in leadership within faith communities must re-examine how we protect those that we serve. Here are four steps.
By: Robert Parham
Three EthicsDaily.com documentaries will be shown at the Baptist World Congress in South Africa, where thousands of global Baptists will gather in July.
By: J.V. McKinney
In a field of dirt and grass in a small Arkansas town decades ago, a group of black and white boys learned a lesson playing baseball together - a lesson many adults never learn in their lifetimes.
By: James Ellis
Is there a right way to respond to the uproar in Baltimore? Everyone responds to feelings of injustice and prejudice differently. To suggest any group should respond in one way is misguided. We can do better.
By: Robert Parham
To understand better white Baptists of the South on race, you need to remember a forgotten figure, A.C. Miller, and a slice of history, 1954's Southern Baptist Convention.
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: Terrell Carter
One of the simplest evidences of our commitment to seeing and treating people as equals before God is through the diversity that is found within our congregations and leadership.
By: Terrell Carter
More than six months after Michael Brown was shot and killed in Ferguson, Missouri, tensions still simmer. Some ask, "What can churches do?" But many other churches are silent.
By: Reggie Warren
As long as the United States is divided into two groups over race relations, the opportunity to find common ground seems bleak. We need leaders willing to begin to build bridges.
By: EthicsDaily Staff
Three EthicsDaily.com documentaries on prisons, racism and immigration are coming back for an encore on an expanding network focused on African Americans.
By: Brian Kaylor
While most Baptist churches in the St. Louis region avoided publicly commenting on the crisis in Ferguson, a few churches offered words and actions to advance the common good.
By: Joe LaGuardia
Preparing and delivering quality sermons every week is hard work, which makes plagiarism a tempting choice. Pastors aren't immune to breaking the eighth commandment, but their churches deserve better.
By: EthicsDaily Staff
Soul of the South Network will air EthicsDaily.com's documentary, "Beneath the Skin: Baptists and Racism," on July 28, with multiple broadcasts after the initial airing.
By: EthicsDaily Staff
EthicsDaily.com is coming again to your television. Soul of the South Network, an African-American network reaching more than 20 million homes, will air three of our documentaries in July.
The Web site for EthicsDaily.com's documentary Beneath the Skin: Baptists and Racism.
By: Colin Harris
The images of brutality against civil rights activists in the 1960s led to a turning point in our history. Perhaps this election season with its expected assault of brutal attack ads will mark another turning point.
Practice resurrection. That’s our gospel today … to go from here to practice resurrection! There’s nothing shy at all about this response. We are to live fully in God’s thunderous YES! We are to live God’s resounding affirmation of the world and all God’s children who need God’s offer of love and reconciliation.
By: EthicsDaily Staff
Sponsored by an association of American Baptist churches in Detroit, "Beneath the Skin," EthicsDaily.com's documentary on Baptists and racism, will be screened at Detroit's First Baptist Church on April 12.
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: Colin Harris
Some say racism is no more, but it still has an irrational hold on our collective thinking. The more we deny this, the less likely we can be helped. So here's how to deal with the elephant in the room.
Churches have a responsibility to oppose racism that still persists, even in the church. Churches that refuse to do so are guilty of a major failing, a Baptist leader said.
The Miss America pageant crowned its first Indian-American winner Sunday night. Learn about this and other Miss America firsts in the new Skype interview from EthicsDaily.com.
Martin Luther King Jr.'s words still reverberate around the world today, challenging racism and discrimination wherever it is found. Despite the progress, others continue to resist the Dream.
The distractions we face and forces of evil we’ll confront each day as we run our individual races are alluring and intimidating. Only a resolve which matches their intensity will overcome them. If we don’t have this “I am not giving up” attitude, we’ll fall to the side and disappoint ourselves and others. By God’s grace, don’t let that happen to you.
If it's wrong for whites to speak derogatorily about blacks, it is just as wrong for blacks to speak derogatorily about whites. Here's what goodwill people of faith can do about racial slurs.
The encounter between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin reaches beyond racism. It illustrates that anyone who is different is an "other" whom our society views with suspicion.
Bearing false witness reached a fever pitch following George Zimmerman's acquittal, but inflammatory rhetoric only makes a reasonable conversation on race next to impossible.
TV commentator and satirist Bill Maher says Paula Deen's use of the N-word is just a word. While that may be true, it's also true that words still matter. Maher should know this.
Paula Deen's admission of using the "N word" revealed her obliviousness to the changing world around her. She never learned her brand had to steer clear of the dark side of Southern history.
Over time, people have come to realize that men and women of different races, cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds are all equal before God. What steps can your church take?
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.
Many Christians once used the Bible to justify their racism. Do we justify any prejudices today that will one day make our grandchildren ashamed of our ignorance?
The Jim Crow days of the South are long behind us, but racism still rears its ugly head. Many of us, however, are oblivious to the outright ugliness that characterizes prejudice.
The first-ever gathering of a group of minority scholars was a chance to share stories of oppression in the hopes of working toward restoration, justice and reconciliation.
Russell Moore, a dean and vice president at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, will replace Richard Land as Southern Baptists' new ethics chief.
Migrant workers in Lebanon are governed by a system prone to abuse and that gives too much power to employers, but churches offer reconciliation between Lebanese and migrants.
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.
If race remains a part of our lives, no one wins. While some see the task of eliminating race as impossible, others see it as inevitable. The world of race is passing away.
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.
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.
As a committee is expected to release the findings of its plagiarism investigation of Southern Baptists' lead ethicist on Friday, academic leaders say they take such issues seriously.
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?
Richard Land, Southern Baptists' embattled ethicist under investigation for plagiarism, has used sexual metaphors to color his political analysis, some of which contradict his espoused sexual ethics.
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?
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.
The process toward reconciliation is slow, often painful and usually unfinished. With time, however, today's controversial issues become tomorrow's embarrassing memories.
Think one person can't make a difference? In 1947, a farmer petitioned his school district to provide bus transportation to all students, not just the white ones. His case evolved into Brown v. Board of Education.
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.
Can you rid yourself of racism without first ridding yourself of race? The more one writer understood her identity as a Christian, the less she relied on race. Here are 15 reasons she left race behind.
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.
We behave as if we can't help being racially motivated, but race doesn't control us. It's time we die to our racial selves and be awakened to our new nature in Jesus.
Seeking to counter the militaristic approach of Christian Zionism, a conference to raise awareness about injustices to Palestinian people drew more than 600 participants.
Dozens of nonprofits and faith-based groups urged governors to reject a proposal from a for-profit corporation to buy and manage prisons because of its troubling stipulations.
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?
Documents from a conservative lobbying group that's skeptical of climate change science included a plan to develop school curriculum to cast doubt on climate change.
Leaders from the Apostle Paul to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. recognize the church's mission as one of reconciliation. Yet churches still have much to do to tear down our nation's racial barriers.
Several Missouri churches received a letter from a law firm warning them their tax-exempt status will be in jeopardy if they assist a planned ballot initiative to restrict payday lenders.
Payday lenders are often found in poor neighborhoods where they can prey upon those with no or bad credit. Regulating these businesses is an uphill battle for many states.
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.
(RNS) Marvin Perkins says God led him to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints -- but friends advised otherwise.
At least nine states may expand or introduce gambling. With U.S. Sen. Harry Reid noting "it's very important that we have a national law," it may not be long before federal legislation is introduced for online wagering.
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.
Conservative evangelical voters lifted Newt Gingrich to his dramatic victory in South Carolina's GOP primary as the thrice-married politician won the first southern primary by invoking subtle racial arguments.
(RNS) Catholic leaders have issued an open letter to Catholic candidates Gingrich and Santorum, warning them “to stop perpetuating ugly racial stereotypes.”
During the 1948 World Series, a photo of two players from the Cleveland Indians – Larry Doby and Steve Gromek – showed the world a way white supremacy and racism could be overcome.
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.
(RNS) At 87, the Rev. C.T. Vivian can still recall the moment, decades after the height of the civil rights movement.
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.
A Justice Department opinion legalized some forms of online gambling. The decision paves the way for massive growth in online and state-sanctioned gambling, an Illinois pastor says.
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.
Deforestation has a big environmental and economic impact. Doing its part to sow seeds of justice and hope, one church has planted nearly 100,000 trees in two years.
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (RNS) The second of three city men was sentenced to nearly 14 years in prison for burning a local black church after President Barack Obama was elected.
FAYETTEVILLE, Tenn. (RNS) A white church secretary is suing her former employer, arguing that she was fired for marrying a black man.
The road from white supremacy to equality is a long one. Those folks who make the journey begin a legacy for their grandchildren. Here's one man's story.
Two St. Louis Baptist pastors – one black, the other white – reached out to help their racially divided city in 2008 after a gunman killed five people at a council meeting.
A Baptist theological journal examines the issue of racism among Baptists but with a twist, showing examples of racial and cultural progress that can serve as role models for others.
As part of New Baptist Covenant II, EthicsDaily.com's documentary, "Gospel Without Borders," was featured at one of the satellite sites followed by an interfaith panel discussion.
As part of New Baptist Covenant II, EthicsDaily.com's documentary, "Gospel Without Borders," was featured at one of the satellite sites followed by an interfaith panel discussion.
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.
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (RNS) The Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, the driving force behind the Birmingham integration efforts, died at age 89.
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.
WASHINGTON (RNS) Religious leaders and civil rights veterans said King's legacy is unshakable.
Harper Lee's "To Kill A Mockingbird" profoundly challenged racism's empty mythology. Today, insecure majorities still view anyone different, including Hispanics and Muslims, as a threat.
(RNS) The Southern Christian Leadership Conference has named a nephew of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. as its new leader.
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.
WASHINGTON (RNS) A black denomination that began in support of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. has decried the “disrespect” shown to President Obama.
As his national prayer rally launches in Houston on Saturday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry continues to consider whether he is being "called" to run for president.
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?
President Obama is "living like a playboy," says the head of Southern Baptists' public policy office. Next time, he might want to consider fact-checking before repeating debunked claims from emails and Glenn Beck.
Countering a position urged by a Southern Baptist official, United Methodist leaders said weakening the DREAM Act by limiting the full rights of students' citizenship is "immoral."
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.
(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.
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.
At a conservative Christian conference designed to flex political muscle, a Southern Baptist leader and other conservative Christian activists claimed that U.S. evangelicals are the main victims of religious bigotry.
Former President Gerald Ford was honored this month with a statue in the House of Representatives. While best known for pardoning Nixon, Ford in his college days took a bold stand against racism.
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?
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (RNS) As a white man surrendered to federal marshals, workers were rebuilding the pulpit of the Macedonia Church of God in Christ.
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (RNS) Breaking a two-day deadlock, a federal jury convicted a white man, Michael F. Jacques, on all three charges.
The Civil War, which began 150 years ago, did not occur in a vacuum. It was part of a crisis born out of the horrors of slavery. The anniversary is a good time for us to recall the lessons – painful and joyful – of the past.
Against a backdrop of simmering racial tensions, two fast approaching anniversaries – the Civil War and the Freedom Rides – offer a time for truth-telling by those of moral good will.
Bigotry toward and hatred of the "other" is inexcusable on a human level, but even more so as followers of Jesus. We are called to love the other and work for justice and peace in this world.
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (RNS) The sole man to stand trial for torching a black church the night of President Obama’s election was confronted in court.
A half-century ago, racism in the United States could no longer be ignored. Are we facing a similar situation today, in which a cultural flaw, defined this time in wealth instead of race, is being exposed and challenged?
(RNS) The Rev. Joseph Lowery has always combined his work on secular causes with a sacred message.
Not all contemporary Baptists consistently promote religious freedom. They passionately argue for their right to worship but forget to do the same for other faith groups. Richard Land is a prime example.
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.
When Jesus heard the news that John the Baptist was taken into prison, something must have reverberated deep within him. Something profound must have been set loose in his soul and he had to do something in response. What did he do? He left home and moved out into the world with his own message. He sensed the shock of hearing about John’s imprisonment and it stirred him to leave home and begin his ministry.
(RNS) A top leader of the Southern Baptist Convention has resigned from a new interfaith coalition.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (RNS) Newly sworn-in Gov. Robert Bentley said that people who aren’t “saved” Christians aren’t his brothers and sisters.
(RNS) A coalition of Christian churches answered the Rev. Martin Luther King’s 1963 “Letter from Birmingham Jail.”
Martin Luther King Jr. and his associates were a powerful prophetic voice that called American society to a new way of being and cultivated future generations to think differently and more justly.
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.
PolitiFact.com, a nonpartisan fact-checking organization, dubbed the claim that health care reform was "a government takeover of health care" as the top lie of the year. Southern Baptist leaders parroted the phrase.
LONDON (RNS) A right-wing political group now says it has withdrawn the invitation because “he is not the right candidate for us.”
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.
White supremacy is one of this nation's oldest cancers. And it is the core consistent subliminal theme running throughout many of the Tea Party factions.
A new report untangles the wad of Tea Party threads, and the movement laid bare shows less obsession with government and taxes and more obsession with race, ethnicity and Barack Obama.
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.
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.
The head of Southern Baptists' Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission remains a strong voice against the right of Muslims to build an Islamic center near Ground Zero. But his reasons don’t all add up.
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.”
CLEVELAND (RNS) Members of the World Council of Churches will gather to discuss how to expose and combat racism.
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.
White-biased imagery is common in our churches. Its inherent racism, however, is much more subtle than the blatant sexist language and patriarchal imagery that dominates our worship services and beyond.
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.
U.S. Sen. James Webb argued that present-day diversity programs have made whites the real victims of racism. His position would be laughable except a growing number of Euro-Americans seem to agree.
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.
Published 50 years ago, "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee captured both the prejudice of a culture and the fearlessness of one man, Atticus Finch, to stand up for what's right. The book's lesson never ends.
An elected official in an Arizona community took offense at a school mural featuring different ethnic children, questioning why the biggest picture was a black person. But, as the councilman tells it, that doesn't make him racist.
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.
The problem with racist and sexist language is bigger than derogatory terminology. Equally devastating is when language is used to treat those of another race or gender as if they're invisible.
The new racial reality is characterized by a belief that with the victories of the civil rights movement, America's race-related problems are behind us. But has our society simply entered a phase of gentler racism?
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.
As hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil flow daily into the Gulf of Mexico, a Southern Baptist leader claimed that environmentalists and President Barack Obama are mostly to blame for the devastation.
Efforts at so-called educational and immigration reforms in Arizona have rightly brought about protests of racism and prejudice. Still, perhaps we should thank Arizona for a valuable lesson.
The government exists for the welfare of all its citizens, not just the majority. The contention of Rand Paul, Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate, that the free market will work everything out is neither democratic nor logical.
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.
Rand Paul, Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate, was unable to give a straight-forward, yes-or-no answer to the question of his support for the Civil Rights Act of 1964. His position cannot go unchallenged.
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.
You are likely to find tea party members sitting in your church pews, based on a recent New York Times poll. How should churches respond? And how should we address the racial overtones in the movement?
While racial discrimination is no longer legal, we've got a long way to go. As a spiritual disorder, racism is so deeply rooted in us that nothing short of a conversion experience can change a person's mind and heart.
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.
Once health care reform passed, the anti-reform minority became vitriolic, shouting racial epithets, carrying out acts of violence and claiming states' rights were usurped. It all mirrors the objections to civil rights in the '60s.
The rhetoric of the Tea Party members and others, who were unable to make their will mandatory through the electoral process, is crossing a dangerous line into a social activism that condones violence.
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.
Despite the claims of numerous fact-checkers and other pro-life leaders, Southern Baptist leaders have continued to claim falsely that health care reform legislation will allow federal funding of abortion.
As a 12-year-old, I couldn't fathom the uproar desegregation caused. My church barred blacks from entering. A mob gathered at my school. But my mother, who drove the school bus, provided the best lesson.
As a child growing up in church and segregated South Carolina in the 1940s, I was troubled when I realized black people weren't welcome in our church. The only answer given to me: "This is the way things are."
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.
Why do many scholars of color find it difficult to get their articles published or gain tenured employment? Perhaps the academic community's call for diversity is more for political correctness than intellectual prowess.
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.
Racial discrimination and segregation are no longer legal, but Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream of seeing a nation united rather than divided by race has not made as much progress. It's a spiritual problem.
Charles Wellborn opened membership in a Texas Baptist church to people of "all races and colors" in 1958. He received menacing phone calls and a cross burned on his lawn. He was 86 when he died Oct. 1.
After the SBC's Richard Land apologized to the Anti-Defamation League for comparing Obama and other Democratic leaders to the Nazis, he accused another critic of being a "speech czar."
One week after apologizing for comparing Democratic leaders to the Nazis, the Southern Baptist Convention's Richard Land reneged on his promise to stop using such comparisons.
Days after saying he stood by his analogy, a top Southern Baptist official apologized for accusing President Obama and congressional Democratic leaders of attempting to do "precisely what the Nazis did."
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.
Minorities in church. Rushing to war. Alleviating poverty. For some Christians, certain areas of life are simply too important to run the risk of Jesus meddling with them.
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 Southern Baptist leader accused President Obama and congressional Democratic leaders of attempting to do "precisely what the Nazis did" and compared a health-care adviser to Josef Mengele.
American Christians are under the impression that health insurance is a moral indicator for faithfulness and righteousness, even convincing ourselves the uninsured have made their own beds in terms of health care.
We don't often see them, but many of us wear racial lenses that distort our reality. Somehow we must find corrective lenses to help us conquer our racist distortion of reality.
Clint Eastwood's "Gran Torino" is about death and redemption as well as the loss of an American way of life. It's theological and timely given our age of rage against people of color.
Former President Jimmy Carter created an uproar by charging that some of the opposition to President Obama is due to continued racism. One African-American pastor applauded his courage.
Protesters vilify a black president. A congressman enjoys public health care but votes against health care for veterans. And ministers are silent as black leadership is demonized. What's happening to our character?
It's difficult to look outside our own lives and look at those who are different from us. It's harder to stand up for them and make sure they're included in our circle. Shannon Johnson knows.
Parents pull their children from school so they aren't exposed to President Obama's speech. A Baptist pastor in Arizona prays for the president's death. What fuels such fear and hatred?
Why is there such unhinged anger toward and paranoia about President Obama speaking to school children? Have the racist sins of the fathers finally visited the children?
The National Socialist Movement, or Nazi Party, met in North Carolina recently. Their America is filled with bigotry and racism. We must stand up for an America where people work together for the common good.
When we focus on the inspiring portions of history and gloss over the evils of our national heroes, history loses its value as an example and no longer tells the truth, W.E.B. Du Bois reminds us.
Among the 125 notable vehicles of the 20th century in the Henry Ford Museum, including a string of presidential limos, you can actually board only one and sit where its most famous passenger sat.
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.
Members of Congress holding town hall meetings on health care reform are being shouted down by angry mobs of constituents. Pure paranoia? Not really. It's displaced racism.
Racism is flourishing in the United States. What can churches do? Screen "Beneath the Skin" in Sunday school classes and sponsor public forums to dialogue about racism.
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.
Healing the racial divide is as important to Christianity as hot-button issues such as abortion and gay marriage, an African-American pastor said at a New Baptist Covenant regional meeting.
A pending hate crimes bill is causing some Christian conservatives to fret, but there's no reason to fear that preachers' right to speak freely will be restricted.
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 arrest of a black Harvard professor outside his own home is an experience endured by many people of color. Why are we surprised that they do not trust the police?
The confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor show that the SBC has chosen to become even more political than the Republican Party.
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.)
Gwen Ifill's book examines the new generation of black political leaders seeking to build futures for themselves and the people they serve in innovative ways.
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?
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.
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.
Sen. John Cornyn, as well as many Euro-Americans, perceives the ideal response to racism is to claim colorblindness. As noble as this may sound, it is a policy that is detrimental to communities of color.
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.
I was confronted by a man who said that when he was growing up, racism was accepted as fact; no one around him questioned it, so how could his failure to act differently be held against him? That is precisely the exceeding sinfulness of sin.
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.
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.
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?
America has come close to moments of racial reconciliation before, and in each instance the nation found a way or a reason to turn away from that opportunity. Will the election of Barack Obama be one more missed opportunity?
"Beneath the Skin: Baptists and Racism" will be screened by National Ministries during a luncheon at the biennial gathering of the American Baptist Churches-USA in Pasadena, Calif., in June.
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.
"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.
During two breakout sessions at the recent Baptist Border Crossing, Baptists viewed EthicsDaily.com’s documentary “Beneath the Skin: Baptists and Racism” and discussed how they could cross racial boundaries.
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.
The minds of many people of color have become accustomed to seeing reality through the lens of the dominant culture. The horror is when they accept this false reality as truth.
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.
On Feb. 7, 2008, a man walked into Kirkwood City Hall and killed six people. The shooter, a local man known quite well by several church members, was a black man. All of the victims were white.
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.
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.
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.
I’m very grateful for “Beneath the Skin” as it proved to be an excellent resource to bring our two very different congregations together for meaningful discussion and planning.
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.
Is it really better for government and religion to stay out of each other's affairs? This is a question that Joshua DuBois most likely will have to answer time and time again. May his wisdom surpass his years; and from what I've read of him, it does.
That’s the miracle of watching “Beneath the Skin: Baptists and Racism.” No matter where you are on the journey of race and reconciliation, the film offers a place for people to deepen their relationships with other people.
Showings of “Beneath the Skin: Baptists and Racism” in two tiny south Arkansas towns hit home.
It is an ambitious and even audacious idea. But it is a hopeful one. For too long we have skirted the edges of disaster existing as "us and them." It's time, not just for Baptists, but for everyone, to find a way just to be us.
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 have a long and storied history on the issue of race and racism.
Hopefully, the enthusiasm of this new reality will continue as the hard work of true change begins.
An educational documentary on racism from EthicsDaily.com has been accepted at two more U.S. film festivals.
Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, once again used his weekly radio program to mock the idea of global warming and instead claimed that the earth is experiencing global cooling. However, Land relied on poor evidence, including a discredited list of scientists and the prediction of an unreliable almanac.
A virus broke out in early December in Little Rock, one that infects people of faith with a passion to do justice. Ground zero was, of all places, a Baptist church. And day one wasn’t even Sunday.
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 events in our country and our community make the timing of this DVD and the screenings that have been held in Nashville, Fort Worth, Louisville, Atlanta and now Little Rock perfect for creating a new day in race relations.
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.
"Beneath the Skin: Baptists and Racism" will screen Tuesday, Dec. 2, at Second Baptist Church in downtown Little Rock from 6:30-8:30 p.m. The free event also features the participation of several well-known figures.
The university's new interpretation of the Bible marked an about-face from a 1986 pamphlet, "Race Relations," written by a Bible department faculty member, Marshall Neal, who argued that racial segregation was based on the authority of the Bible.
Forty years after King's death, it is noteworthy that except for North Carolina and Virginia, voters in Southern states were not part of the dramatic voting that resulted in the election of Barack Obama as the next president of the United States.
In order for racial reconciliation to be an act of discipleship, white Christians must start at the ethical beginning, that place where we learn what sin is by learning of Christ's grace: worship.
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.
Rather than speaking about a color-blind or "post-racial" society, the pundits and other observers of the Obama election should hope that it marks a society committed to "post-racism."
Methodists have historically had the ability to hold together the concerns of both liberals and conservatives, to preach both the evangelical and social gospels, and to attempt to understand and acknowledge the important positions deeply held by people on opposite sides of the theological or political divide, bringing them together in what some might call a "radical center."
Three older pastors took me aside to offer some well-intentioned advice. In summary, they told me I wouldn't get far in ministry if I challenged racism. They defended their racist humor, insisting they meant no harm, declaring it was simply part of culture.
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.
EthicsDaily.com's new video on Baptists and racism will be screened at an international film festival on Sunday, October 19, at 12:00 p.m., at the Avon Williams Campus of Tennessee State University in downtown Nashville.
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.
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.
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.
As we drove into the cemetery, I could see through the windshield of my brother's car the flagpole at the entrance, and the flag itself--flying at half-mast.
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.
The question came up on an American Airlines flight from Nashville to Dallas. I was reading the September-October issue of Sojourners, a liberal Christian magazine, and my seatmate was reading over my shoulder. We were both taken with a letter to the editor that opposed an apology for slavery.
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."
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.
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.
One reason 11 a.m. Sunday remains the most segregated hour in America is because many church members want it that way, according to a recent article by CNN.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
I grew up in Brownwood, Texas, an ordinary segregated county-seat town. I gave little thought to the welfare or needs of the folks who lived in "The Flats," the place where the blacks lived.
A delegation of British Baptists in Jamaica this week apologized for England's role in the transatlantic slave trade, a scourge that shaped Caribbean history with effects that linger until today.
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.
A delegation representing British Baptists travels Thursday to Jamaica to personally apologize for their nation's role two centuries ago in transatlantic trading of slaves.
The church remains the last bastion of segregation in America not primarily due to prejudice but because of power, says civil-rights advocate and author Will Campbell.
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.
Most Americans are coming to terms with the environmental peril facing our planet. Documentaries, books, media attention and scientific research are raising consciousness to this very important issue. For this we should all be grateful. However, there exists an inconvenient truth within the present environmental movement. The greatest levels of environmental derogation exist where people of color live.
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.
The interim executive director of the Missouri Baptist Convention has apologized for calling the Confederate flag a symbol of hate.
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.
It was a costly battle for many whose family, profession, prestige – even life itself were laid on the line. During the 1950s and 1960s the fight for dignity and human rights against bigotry, hate and apathy changed the lives of thousands of Americans.
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.
Racism is racism. Sexism is sexism. Wrong is wrong. Secular hate speech is as wrong as religious hate speech. Liberal untruthfulness is as wrong as conservative untruthfulness. Yet human nature compels us to rationalize, to justify and to defend our dehumanizing action and beliefs, and those of our friends, those on our side.
On Friday, April 4, the world remembers the 40th anniversary of the untimely and tragic death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King's legacy is large, and much of the progress we have made in race relations, although still inadequate, is due to his unwavering belief and commitment to justice, freedom, and equality for all.
The editor of the Missouri Baptist Convention's in-house publication, "The Pathway," has strongly defended the controversial Confederate battle flag and aggressively attacked those who challenge it.
An Alabama law professor who argues that fair taxation is a moral issue will present her case June 19 at a luncheon meeting sponsored by the Baptist Center for Ethics. The gathering is in conjunction with the 18th General Assembly of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, scheduled June 19-20 in Memphis, Tenn.
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.
Growing up black in America, Aidsand Wright-Riggins says he is used to hearing the "n-word." What bothers him is as a midweek air traveler he seldom sees more than one or two fellow African-American passengers, even though the United States is more than 12 percent black.
What do Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain have in common? All three are ontologically white males. No one can become the leader of the world's most powerful country (empire?) unless they are committed to what male whiteness symbolizes within the colonial process.
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.
Last week Barack Obama did two remarkable things. First he risked speaking directly to the reality of racism in America and American history. Obama framed his remarks with his signature phrase of "the audacity of hope." He claimed that his populist candidacy for the presidency is proof that audacious hope has a place in today's America.
This has been a remarkable morning. It started with a phone call from Tony Brown, a radio talk show host in Alexandria, La. On the show with me were Jerriel Bazile, whose brother stands accused of selling drugs to an FBI agent in Bunkie, La., and a woman whose son has been charged in a shooting. We talked about the adversarial relationship between the Bunkie police force and the poor black community. Yesterday, Mr. Bazile reported, 100 Bunkie residents gathered to protest and organize.
What color was Jesus? Was it skin pigmentation that determined Jesus' message or was it the prophetic imagination that defined his mission? Are pigmentation and imagination separable or inseparable? How is it that we remake Jesus in our own image?
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.
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.
Americans are leaving Baptist churches at nearly twice the rate that others are joining them, according to details of a study released Monday by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.
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 Tennessee congressional candidate is being criticized for not disavowing a flier that says the incumbent and Jews hate Jesus.
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."
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.
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.
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.
Former Baptist mega-church pastor Darrell Gilyard pleaded not guilty to lewd and lascivious conduct at his arraignment Tuesday in Jacksonville, Fla.
The church's struggle against racism is no longer primarily about skin color, but institutions that bestow privilege on some and penalties on others, an activist, denominational leader and scholar said in a special-interest session Friday at the New Baptist Covenant Celebration in Atlanta.
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.
The great modern-day theologian--Steven Colbert of the popular Comedy Central show "The Colbert Report"--recently began accepting applications for the position of his very own "black friend."
A controversial "pro-majority" group gathers today in Jena, La., to protest both the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and last September's rally that brought thousands of African-Americans to the small town in solidarity with six arrested black teens now famous as the Jena Six.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday affords Americans a built-in opportunity to revisit the issue of racial justice. It is also a window through which we may re-view the lives of others who, like King, pushed America toward becoming a "beloved community" of racial justice.
On Jan. 2, 1965, Martin Luther King Jr. led a "mass meeting" at Brown Chapel in Selma, Ala. This meeting kicked off the involvement of King's Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Selma's voting rights campaign.
In his elegant little book, "Finally Comes the Poet," Walter Brueggemann writes that the task of the preacher is to be "a voice that shatters settled reality and evokes new possibilities." If he is right about that, then no preacher in the last century has been more effective than Martin Luther King, Jr. His words helped shatter the settled reality of segregation. He also gave voice to the possibility of what he called the "beloved community."
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.
North American Baptists will soon have one of the best opportunities in our history to address the racial divisions that have too long defined us.
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.
Denzel Whitaker turned 17 while shooting "The Great Debaters," the new movie directed by and starring Whitaker's namesake, Denzel Washington.
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.
Earlier this year, I posted about my excitement about the New Baptist Covenant. And I encourage as many people as possible to attend next January's celebration.
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.
"Amazing Grace" finally arrives on DVD today, nine months after its theatrical release.
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.
Last month I watched the events in Jena, La., unfold with particular interest. Jena is hometown to one of my aunts. I have friends from college and in Louisiana life who grew up in Jena and who have family living there now. I was born in Alexandria, about 30 miles away.
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.
Protests sparked by the hanging of three nooses from a Louisiana schoolyard tree have sparked a series of copycat acts, further fueling a debate over America's lingering legacy of racial injustice and violence.
In the late 1970s, I was a not-yet-30-year-old pastor with four or five years of grassroots ordained experience under my belt. I was serving a congregation of fewer than 50 members in south-central Los Angeles, in a converted restaurant located in a community whose racial makeup was rapidly transitioning. Whites had long since made their flight from the economically declining neighborhood to points westward, seeking enclaves of homogeneity.
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.
Race is the bone lodged in the throat of Baptists, affecting every utterance, every action.
I often have college students do an essay on race relations and the Christian heritage in light of reading Martin Luther King, Jr. Most students express an appreciation of King's life and work but many add: "We are glad that the issue of race relations is over. We are glad that we don't have to work on that problem anymore."
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.
Television is a minimalizing medium. Thirty- or 60-minute shows don't allow for much subtlety, so producers reduce characters to caricatures and simplify complex issues to make them fit into the allotted time. Those are the producers who try; most have settled for "reality" television, abandoning the notion of well-produced, scripted dramas.
"The only stained glass window in the church that remained in its frame showed Christ leading a group of little children," United Press International reported the day after the bombing. "The face of Christ was blown out."
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.