Articles related to Richard Land, Aaron Weaver, Plagiarism, Trayvon Martin, Race, SBC, ERLC


Planned Parenthood and Our Culture's Disrespect for Life
Planned Parenthood and Our Culture's Disrespect for Life

By: Aaron Weaver
The notion that we can reduce abortions by subsidizing an organization for which abortion is its foundational service - financially and philosophically - is morally incoherent.

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Southern Baptist Leaders Join Growing Tide against Confederate Flag
Southern Baptist Leaders Join Growing Tide against Confederate Flag

By: Brian Kaylor
Southern Baptist leaders joined politicians and corporations who have suddenly changed course this week by publicly opposing the Confederate battle flag.

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The Field
The Field

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.

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Responding to the Unrest in Baltimore
Responding to the Unrest in Baltimore

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.

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Baptist Ethics Pioneer A.C. Miller Stayed Tethered to Bible
Baptist Ethics Pioneer A.C. Miller Stayed Tethered to Bible

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.

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Why Current Ideas for Easing Racial Tensions Won't Work
Why Current Ideas for Easing Racial Tensions Won't Work

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.

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Some Baptists in St. Louis Respond to Ferguson Crisis
Some Baptists in St. Louis Respond to Ferguson Crisis
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.
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Preachers, Thou Shall Not Steal
Preachers, Thou Shall Not Steal
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.
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TV Network Will Broadcast EthicsDaily Documentaries
TV Network Will Broadcast EthicsDaily Documentaries
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.
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"Beneath the Skin: Baptists and Racism" (2008)

The Web site for EthicsDaily.com's documentary Beneath the Skin: Baptists and Racism.

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Georgia Bill Would Allow Concealed Weapons in Churches
Georgia Bill Would Allow Concealed Weapons in Churches
By: Aaron Weaver
Georgia politicians are considering a proposed law that would drop the ban on firearms in churches and other public places. Some faith leaders are opposing the misguided legislation.
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Never Give Up
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.
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Racial Slurs Are Out-of-Bounds Regardless of Race
Racial Slurs Are Out-of-Bounds Regardless of Race
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.
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3 Ways to Foster Restoration after Zimmerman Verdict
3 Ways to Foster Restoration after Zimmerman Verdict
Following protests for and against the George Zimmerman decision, it's time for Christians to encourage restoration. It won't happen overnight, but here's what you can do.
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Zimmerman Case Reveals Deeper Malady
Zimmerman Case Reveals Deeper Malady
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.
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Goodness, For God's Sake
It’s not really about our questions of belief ... it’s about how we live. In that kind of exchange, Jesus makes sure it’s not about orthodoxy (right belief) but about orthopraxy (right living). At least in Jesus’ thinking, if right belief doesn’t stay connected to how we live, something vital is missing. So Jesus told this story in answer to the man’s question, “Who is my neighbor?”
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Replace the False Witness Over Race with Christian Witness
Replace the False Witness Over Race with Christian Witness
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.
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Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman – Our Neighbors in God's Eye
Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman – Our Neighbors in God's Eye
George Zimmerman's acquittal is the latest example of the deep distrust and philosophical divides that separate our nation. Here are three ways Christians can respond.
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3 Suggestions for Racial Reconciliation in Your Church
3 Suggestions for Racial Reconciliation in Your Church
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?
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Collaboration of SBC and CBF Loyalists Hinges on Advancing Common Good
Collaboration of SBC and CBF Loyalists Hinges on Advancing Common Good
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.
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Richard Land Exits SBC Leadership in Partisan Form
Richard Land Exits SBC Leadership in Partisan Form
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.
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Will Moderate Baptists Break Silence on Abortion?
Will Moderate Baptists Break Silence on Abortion?

Many moderate and progressive Baptists have attempted to steer clear of the abortion debate, ceding abortion as an issue of moral significance to the Religious Right.

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Minority Scholars Draw Strength Sharing Their Stories
Minority Scholars Draw Strength Sharing Their Stories
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.
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Once Supporters, Baptists Now Shirk Earth Day
Once Supporters, Baptists Now Shirk Earth Day

When Earth Day began in 1970, Baptists actively supported the need for greater regulations to protect the planet. Today, too many Baptists shirk that responsibility.

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More Baptists Taking Aim at Predatory Lending
More Baptists Taking Aim at Predatory Lending

Not many associate Baptists with opposition to predatory lending, but Baptists in several states have been fighting the wealthy and powerful industry in recent years.

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Russell Moore to Replace Richard Land as SBC's Ethics Chief
Russell Moore to Replace Richard Land as SBC's Ethics Chief
Russell Moore, a dean and vice president at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, will replace Richard Land as Southern Baptists' new ethics chief.
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Will Baptists Become Advocates for Climate Change?
Will Baptists Become Advocates for Climate Change?

With a few exceptions, churches and denominations have been silent about climate change. Since the issue isn't going away, what will it take to move them to action?

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SBC Leader Breaks Promise, Endorses Romney
SBC Leader Breaks Promise, Endorses Romney
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.
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Is It Impossible to Eliminate Racial Identity?
Is It Impossible to Eliminate Racial Identity?
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.
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Southern Baptists Continue Membership Decline
Southern Baptists Continue Membership Decline
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.
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Baptists Will Address Environment, Religious Freedom, Technology in Chile
Baptists Will Address Environment, Religious Freedom, Technology in Chile
Baptist-Muslim relationships. Sustainable development. Religious freedom. All are on the agenda when global Baptists meet for the Baptist World Alliance gathering in Chile.
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Have Southern Baptists Entered Witness Protection?
Have Southern Baptists Entered Witness Protection?
"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.
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Land Sidesteps Plagiarism Issue at SBC Annual Meeting
Land Sidesteps Plagiarism Issue at SBC Annual Meeting
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.
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Prominent African-American Southern Baptist Condemns Mormonism as Racist
Prominent African-American Southern Baptist Condemns Mormonism as Racist
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.
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Reactions Mixed to Action against SBC's Land for Plagiarism, Inflammatory Remarks
Reactions Mixed to Action against SBC's Land for Plagiarism, Inflammatory Remarks
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.
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Institutions Consider Plagiarism Intellectual Theft
Institutions Consider Plagiarism Intellectual Theft
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.
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If America Has an Obesity Campaign Akin to Smoking Campaign, Will Churches Join It?
If America Has an Obesity Campaign Akin to Smoking Campaign, Will Churches Join It?
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?
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Southern Baptist Leader Relies on Sexual Metaphors
Southern Baptist Leader Relies on Sexual Metaphors
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.
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Did Land Write His Apology for Racially Charged Remarks?
Did Land Write His Apology for Racially Charged Remarks?
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?
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Lottie Moon Defied Male-Dominated Southern Baptists
Lottie Moon Defied Male-Dominated Southern Baptists
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.
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Do Talk-Radio Standards Justify Land's Plagiarism?
Do Talk-Radio Standards Justify Land's Plagiarism?
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.
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SBC Agency to Investigate Land's Plagiarism
SBC Agency to Investigate Land's Plagiarism
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.
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SBC Official Issues Apology for Plagiarism
SBC Official Issues Apology for Plagiarism
Richard Land, Southern Baptists' chief ethicist, apologized on Monday for plagiarism during his radio show, saying he "failed to provide appropriate verbal attributions."
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Baptist Blogger Accuses SBC Ethics Agency Head of Plagiarism
Baptist Blogger Accuses SBC Ethics Agency Head of Plagiarism
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.
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Fifteen Reasons Why I Left Race
Fifteen Reasons Why I Left Race

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.

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Does SBC Leader's Rant Reflect God's Love?
Does SBC Leader's Rant Reflect God's Love?
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?
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SBC Official's Radio Rant Advances No Moral Good
SBC Official's Radio Rant Advances No Moral Good
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.
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Race Made Me Do It: How Race Makes Us Unconscious
Race Made Me Do It: How Race Makes Us Unconscious
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.
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Too Many Christians Are Obsessed with Violence
Too Many Christians Are Obsessed with Violence
The legislator who pushed Florida's 'stand your ground' law is a leader in a Baptist church. As we follow Jesus, it should become more difficult to engage in and approve of violence.
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Into Jerusalem
By stooping to ride the lowly donkey, Jesus was inviting his followers to see that the Kingdom of God was lowly in spirit, not exalted in merely political terms.
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What Will Election of the SBC's First African-American President Mean?
What Will Election of the SBC's First African-American President Mean?
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?
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Southern Baptists Mull Whether ‘Southern’ Still Fits
FAIRHOPE, Ala. (RNS) For the Rev. Jerry Henry, pastor of First Baptist Church of Fairhope, being Southern Baptist is a defining aspect of life.
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Pastor Poised to Be First Black to Lead Baptists
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.
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Is the Mormon Church’s Racial History a Problem for Mitt Romney?
(RNS) Marvin Perkins says God led him to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints -- but friends advised otherwise.
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Will New Southern Baptist Name Change Perception?
Will New Southern Baptist Name Change Perception?
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?
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An Accurate Choice for Renamed Southern Baptists
An Accurate Choice for Renamed Southern Baptists
Southern Baptist leaders are weighing a name change for the denomination. With so many choices already taken, one accurate possibility still exists.
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Catholics warn Gingrich, Santorum on race baiting
(RNS) Catholic leaders have issued an open letter to Catholic candidates Gingrich and Santorum, warning them “to stop perpetuating ugly racial stereotypes.”
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Baptists Join Evangelical Summit Backing Santorum
Baptists Join Evangelical Summit Backing Santorum
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.
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Beloved Hymns Carried King Through Troubled Times

(RNS) At 87, the Rev. C.T. Vivian can still recall the moment, decades after the height of the civil rights movement.

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SBC Official Involved in Political Efforts to Defeat Romney, Obama
SBC Official Involved in Political Efforts to Defeat Romney, Obama
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.
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Remember Why the SBC Left the BWA
Remember Why the SBC Left the BWA
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.
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Despite Affairs, Gingrich Given Political Grace by SBC Leaders
Despite Affairs, Gingrich Given Political Grace by SBC Leaders
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.
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LifeWay's
LifeWay's "Pink Bible" Recall Shows Politics of Association
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.
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Church Secretary Says Interracial Marriage Got Her Fired
FAYETTEVILLE, Tenn. (RNS) A white church secretary is suing her former employer, arguing that she was fired for marrying a black man.
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Religious Liberty – Our Forgotten Baptist Heritage
Religious Liberty – Our Forgotten Baptist Heritage
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.
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Dominionism: A Danger in Churches and Politics
Dominionism: A Danger in Churches and Politics
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.
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Religious Leaders Laud King in Memorial Service

WASHINGTON (RNS) Religious leaders and civil rights veterans said King's legacy is unshakable.

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King’s Nephew Named to Head Civil Rights Group
(RNS) The Southern Christian Leadership Conference has named a nephew of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. as its new leader.
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Lottie Moon: The Facts and Myths about Her Life
Lottie Moon: The Facts and Myths about Her Life
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.
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Black Baptists Decry Disrespect Directed at Obama
WASHINGTON (RNS) A black denomination that began in support of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. has decried the “disrespect” shown to President Obama.
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Rick Perry Invokes God's
Rick Perry Invokes God's "Calling" to Prepare Presidential Run
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.
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Are SBC Leaders as Spineless as Land is Shameless?
Are SBC Leaders as Spineless as Land is Shameless?
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?
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Southern Baptist Official Calls Obama
Southern Baptist Official Calls Obama "a Playboy"
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.
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Methodist Leaders Challenge SBC Official on Altering DREAM Act
Methodist Leaders Challenge SBC Official on Altering DREAM Act
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."
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Battling Over the Meaning of the Bible's Words
Battling Over the Meaning of the Bible's Words
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.
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Southern Baptists Wrestle with Gay Hoax
(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.
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SBC's Contentious Debate over
SBC's Contentious Debate over "Amnesty" for Undocumented Immigrants
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."
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Southern Baptists Look to Minorities to Jumpstart Growth
(RNS) Southern Baptists adopted a plan to try to boost minorities in their top leadership posts as they face continuing reports of declining membership.
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Conservative Christian Panelists: U.S. Christians Persecuted
Conservative Christian Panelists: U.S. Christians Persecuted
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.
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Climate Change: How Evangelical and Catholic Leaders Differ
Climate Change: How Evangelical and Catholic Leaders Differ
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?
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At 89, Civil Rights Icon Reflects on Faith, Activism
(RNS) The Rev. Joseph Lowery has always combined his work on secular causes with a sacred message.
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Some Baptists Stray from Religious Freedom's Path
Some Baptists Stray from Religious Freedom's Path
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.
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SBC Leader Quits Group Promoting Religious Liberty
SBC Leader Quits Group Promoting Religious Liberty
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.
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Southern Baptist Leader Resigns Coalition Supporting Mosques
(RNS) A top leader of the Southern Baptist Convention has resigned from a new interfaith coalition.
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Ala. Governor Says only Christians Are his Brothers and Sisters
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (RNS) Newly sworn-in Gov. Robert Bentley said that people who aren’t “saved” Christians aren’t his brothers and sisters.
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Two Kinds of Baptists, Same Kind of Problem
Two Kinds of Baptists, Same Kind of Problem
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.
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Some Baptists Echo
Some Baptists Echo "Lie of the Year"
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.
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Georgia Baptists' Anger over Women Pastors
Georgia Baptists' Anger over Women Pastors
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.
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Would Tyler Clementi Be Loved By SBC Churches?
Would Tyler Clementi Be Loved By SBC Churches?
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?
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10 Observations about the Future of Baptists
10 Observations about the Future of Baptists
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.
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CBF Poised to Be Home for Progressive Christianity
CBF Poised to Be Home for Progressive Christianity
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.
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Mainstream Baptist Group in Georgia Shuts Down
Mainstream Baptist Group in Georgia Shuts Down
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.
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Southern Baptists Honor Foe of Church-State Separation
Southern Baptists Honor Foe of Church-State Separation
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.
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SBC Leader Tries to Articulate Anti-Mosque Position
SBC Leader Tries to Articulate Anti-Mosque Position
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.
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Religious Right Linked Politics, Conservative Christianity
Religious Right Linked Politics, Conservative Christianity
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.”
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Anniversary of Bailey Smith's Harmful Moment in Baptist-Jewish Relations
Anniversary of Bailey Smith's Harmful Moment in Baptist-Jewish Relations
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.
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A 'Transformative Moment' in SBC Political Activity
A 'Transformative Moment' in SBC Political Activity
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.
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Thirty Years of Baptist Religious-Political Attacks
Thirty Years of Baptist Religious-Political Attacks
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.
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Young Ministers Speak to the Baptist Future
Young Ministers Speak to the Baptist Future
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.
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Is the SBC Pivoting Toward a New Future?
Is the SBC Pivoting Toward a New Future?
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?
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Taking Aim at Baptist Bureaucracies
Taking Aim at Baptist Bureaucracies
The Southern Baptist Convention and Cooperative Baptist Fellowship are looking at restructuring. Such efforts can be accomplished with clenched fists or open hands.
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How Long Until Southern Baptists Stop Abusive Clergy?
How Long Until Southern Baptists Stop Abusive Clergy?
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.
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 Land Defends BP, Blames Obama for Gulf Catastrophe
Land Defends BP, Blames Obama for Gulf Catastrophe
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.
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SBC's Anti-Public School Crusade is Off Course
SBC's Anti-Public School Crusade is Off Course
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.
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Civility Requires More Than One-Way Street
Civility Requires More Than One-Way Street
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.
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SBC's Great Commission Resurgence Task Force Pushes Christian Academies, Home Schooling
SBC's Great Commission Resurgence Task Force Pushes Christian Academies, Home Schooling
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.
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Denominations Must Align with Constituents
Denominations Must Align with Constituents
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.
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Catholics and Baptists Have Different Sacraments but Similar Child Abuse Scandals
Catholics and Baptists Have Different Sacraments but Similar Child Abuse Scandals
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.
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Women Pastors: Baptists' Loss Is Others' Gain
Women Pastors: Baptists' Loss Is Others' Gain
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.
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Southern Baptists Falsely Claim Health Care Reform Funds Abortion
Southern Baptists Falsely Claim Health Care Reform Funds Abortion
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.
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Megachurch Pastor Decries Tax System
Megachurch Pastor Decries Tax System
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.
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Why a Journal on Race, Ethnicity and Religion?
Why a Journal on Race, Ethnicity and Religion?
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.
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Baptist College: Faculty Must Affirm Faith Statement
Baptist College: Faculty Must Affirm Faith Statement
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.
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Southern Baptist Leaders Offer Erroneous Global-Warming Claims
Southern Baptist Leaders Offer Erroneous Global-Warming Claims
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.
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SBC Leader Labels Obama as
SBC Leader Labels Obama as "Very Dangerous"
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.
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Christian Ethics Must Address Nation's Real Problems
Christian Ethics Must Address Nation's Real Problems
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.
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North Carolina Baptist State Convention Severs BCE from Budget
North Carolina Baptist State Convention Severs BCE from Budget
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.
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Land Cries Censorship Over Criticism of His Nazi Analogy
Land Cries Censorship Over Criticism of His Nazi Analogy
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."
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Richard Land Flip-Flops on Nazi Apology
Richard Land Flip-Flops on Nazi Apology
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.
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SBC Leader Apologizes for Nazis Reference
SBC Leader Apologizes for Nazis Reference
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."
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Republican Senator Graham Supports Climate Change Bill, Breaks with SBC
Republican Senator Graham Supports Climate Change Bill, Breaks with SBC
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.
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 Invention of Lying? SBC Head's Nazi Analogy Offensive
Invention of Lying? SBC Head's Nazi Analogy Offensive
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.
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SBC Leader Invokes Nazis in Health-Care Discussion
SBC Leader Invokes Nazis in Health-Care Discussion
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.
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Optical Illusions: Our
Optical Illusions: Our "Racial Lenses" Distort Reality
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.
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"Gran Torino" Is a Parable for the Age of Rage
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.
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African-American Baptist Applauds Carter's
African-American Baptist Applauds Carter's "Courage"
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.
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The Cancer Creeping into Our Nation's Character
The Cancer Creeping into Our Nation's Character
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?
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The Other: Standing Up for Those Who Are Different
The Other: Standing Up for Those Who Are Different
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.
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Southern Baptist Leaders Split on Abortion Reduction Bill
Southern Baptist Leaders Split on Abortion Reduction Bill
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.
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What's Really Motivating Angry Town-Hall Mobs?
What's Really Motivating Angry Town-Hall Mobs?
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.
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Today's Generation Jettisons Relics of Ministries Past
Today's Generation Jettisons Relics of Ministries Past
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.
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Building Bridges: Crossing Valley of Racism
Building Bridges: Crossing Valley of Racism
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.
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Hate Crimes Bill Won't Restrict Sermons
Hate Crimes Bill Won't Restrict Sermons
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.
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Is Blaming Men for Inequitable Treatment of Women Good Theology?
Is Blaming Men for Inequitable Treatment of Women Good Theology?
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.
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Saving the Environment – A Resolution at a Time
Saving the Environment – A Resolution at a Time
If Baptists desire to speak with credibility on environmental stewardship, they must move beyond passing resolutions and pursue concrete actions.
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SBC Is More Partisan than Southern Baptist Republican Senator on Sotomayor
SBC Is More Partisan than Southern Baptist Republican Senator on Sotomayor
The confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor show that the SBC has chosen to become even more political than the Republican Party.
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Defining Words' Meaning is Path to Control
Defining Words' Meaning is Path to Control
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.
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First Rule of Falling Leaders: Blame Something
First Rule of Falling Leaders: Blame Something
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.)
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The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama
The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama
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.
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Breaking the Addiction to Being Southern Baptist is Tough
Breaking the Addiction to Being Southern Baptist is Tough
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?
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Southern Baptist Leaders Exalt Non-Essential ‘Pet Doctrines’
Southern Baptist Leaders Exalt Non-Essential ‘Pet Doctrines’
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.
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SBC's Expulsion of Texas Church Reinforces its Negative Image
SBC's Expulsion of Texas Church Reinforces its Negative Image
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.
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SBC Agencies Asked to Investigate ‘Cussing Pastor’
SBC Agencies Asked to Investigate ‘Cussing Pastor’
Five motions offered by SBC messengers called for investigations into the influence of targeted leaders.
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Young Leaders Staying Home From SBC's Annual Meeting
Young Leaders Staying Home From SBC's Annual Meeting
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.
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SBC Executive Committee Recommends Disfellowshipping Church
SBC Executive Committee Recommends Disfellowshipping Church
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.
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 Would a Baptist Church by Any Other Name Smell as Sweet?
Would a Baptist Church by Any Other Name Smell as Sweet?
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.
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Claiming Colorblindness: A Myth That Needs to be Debunked
Claiming Colorblindness: A Myth That Needs to be Debunked
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.
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SBC Program Is Virtually All White, All Male; ABC Program Is Multi-Cultural
SBC Program Is Virtually All White, All Male; ABC Program Is Multi-Cultural
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.
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Southern Baptists Continue Crusade Against Public Schools
Southern Baptists Continue Crusade Against Public Schools
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.
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From Racism to Greed, Society Labels Its Greatest Sins Good
From Racism to Greed, Society Labels Its Greatest Sins Good
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.
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Pastor and Former SBC Vice Pres Prays for President's Death
Pastor and Former SBC Vice Pres Prays for President's Death
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?
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Surprise Package: Some SBC Churches Drop
Surprise Package: Some SBC Churches Drop "Baptist" from Name
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.
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Southern Baptist Convention Top Exec Boosts Anti-Public School Agenda
Southern Baptist Convention Top Exec Boosts Anti-Public School Agenda
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.
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Inerrancy Was Battle Cry for SBC Takeover, Not Rallying Point for Growth
Inerrancy Was Battle Cry for SBC Takeover, Not Rallying Point for Growth
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.
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Southern Baptists Dragging Feet on Urgent Global-Warming Issues
Southern Baptists Dragging Feet on Urgent Global-Warming Issues
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.
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From a Biblical Perspective, Is the Church Really King?
From a Biblical Perspective, Is the Church Really King?
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.
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Oregon Protects Kids from Sexual Predators. Why Can't Churches?
Oregon Protects Kids from Sexual Predators. Why Can't Churches?
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?
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Audacity of Faith: Reflection on Election of Barack Obama
Audacity of Faith: Reflection on Election of Barack Obama
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?
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National Ministries Announces Luncheon Screening of
National Ministries Announces Luncheon Screening of "Beneath the Skin" in Pasadena
"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.
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Land's Torture Turnabout Shows No Regret for Past Support
Land's Torture Turnabout Shows No Regret for Past Support
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.
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Richard Land Substantially Alters Position on Torture
Richard Land Substantially Alters Position on Torture
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.
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SBC Leaders Launch Effort to Turn Around Flagging Numbers
SBC Leaders Launch Effort to Turn Around Flagging Numbers
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.
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Baptists of Color Headline BCE Luncheon at CBF
Baptists of Color Headline BCE Luncheon at CBF
"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.
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Beneath the Skin: Baptists Discuss How to Cross Racial Borders
Beneath the Skin: Baptists Discuss How to Cross Racial Borders
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.
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The End of Christian America? Not By a Long Shot
The End of Christian America? Not By a Long Shot
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.
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Dominant Culture Influences Our Reading of the Bible
Dominant Culture Influences Our Reading of the Bible
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.
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Fundamentalists Wage War on Science, Climate Change Facts
Fundamentalists Wage War on Science, Climate Change Facts
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.
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A Racial Unity Service Hits Home for Minister
A Racial Unity Service Hits Home for Minister
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.
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Documentary Helps Community After City Hall Shooting
Documentary Helps Community After City Hall Shooting
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.
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‘Pentecostal Wind’ Gives Energy to a Dying Event
‘Pentecostal Wind’ Gives Energy to a Dying Event
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.
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A Time for Not Talking About Race
A Time for Not Talking About Race
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.
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Burleson Details Ethical Shortcomings at IMB
Burleson Details Ethical Shortcomings at IMB
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.
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Black, White Congregations Renew Relationships
Black, White Congregations Renew Relationships
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.
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SBC Delays Action to Remove Broadway Baptist Church from Membership
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.
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Churches Must Be Strengthened, Not Captive, to Past
Churches Must Be Strengthened, Not Captive, to Past
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.
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Office Has Potential to Remedy Some Biases
Office Has Potential to Remedy Some Biases
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.
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Film Offers Starting Point for Deeper Relationships
Film Offers Starting Point for Deeper Relationships
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.
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DVD Showing on Racism Hits Home
DVD Showing on Racism Hits Home
Showings of “Beneath the Skin: Baptists and Racism” in two tiny south Arkansas towns hit home.
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Baptists in Search of Unity
Baptists in Search of Unity
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.
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Baptists Show Unity at Birmingham New Baptist Covenant Event Featuring President Carter
Baptists Show Unity at Birmingham New Baptist Covenant Event Featuring President Carter
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.
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Baptists and Racism
Baptists have a long and storied history on the issue of race and racism.
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Hope’s Hard Work
Hopefully, the enthusiasm of this new reality will continue as the hard work of true change begins.
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SBC Leader Uses Poor Evidence to Promote ‘Global Cooling’
SBC Leader Uses Poor Evidence to Promote ‘Global Cooling’
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.
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Arkansas CBF Initiative on Racism Goes Viral
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.
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New Leadership and Theological Transformation Might Reverse SBC Decline
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.
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Nashville Faith Leaders Oppose English-only Campaign, SBC Leaders Are Silent
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.
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Jon Meacham Just Doesn’t Get Religion
Fundamentalists are not the only type of Christian that appeals to biblical authority. More than a few theological progressives and liberals throughout history and even today make arguments based on biblical injunctions on a regular basis, especially in the political arena.
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Baptist Leader Misstates Environmental Data
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.
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The South Must Awaken
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.
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Regional New Baptist Covenant Meetings Planned
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.
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The Myths of Transcending Race and Post-Racialism
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."
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See Gray in a World of Black and White
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."
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New EthicsDaily.com Video to Screen at International Film Festival (Updated)
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.
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The Southern Baptist Convention is not a Cult, We Just Sometimes Act Like We Are
Over this past weekend, the most read article on Foxnews.com was entitled "Magazines Featuring Female Pastors Pulled From Shelves, 'Treated Like Pornography.'"
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SBC Leadership Not Interested in Rejoining Baptist World Alliance
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.
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Report: LifeWay Pulls Magazine Featuring Women Preachers
LifeWay Christian Stores reportedly pulled a Christian magazine from its racks because five smiling women on its cover are pastors.
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Beneath Black, White--and Brown--Skin
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."
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Moderate and Conservative Southern Baptists Differ on Race at Three Points
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.
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Missouri Baptist Editor Says Southern Baptists Shouldn't Rejoin Baptist World Alliance
A Baptist state newspaper editor hopes leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention won't take steps to rejoin the Baptist World Alliance.
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Politician Palin Forces Theological Revisionism
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.
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SBC Leader Promotes Demonization of Muslims
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.
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Omitted Titles in New Baptist Hymnal Reflect Theological Shift (Corrected)
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."
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SBC Leaders Nervous About Election
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."
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Wiley Drake Takes Up Prayer Call for Rainout of Obama Event
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.
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Integrating Churches Easier Said Than Done
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.
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Moral Amnesia about SBC's Withdrawal from the BWA Is No Virtue
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.
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What's the Buzz? Seminary President Discusses Sin, Death and Mosquitoes
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.
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Professor's Views on Spouse Abuse Don't Square With SBC Statements
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.
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SBC Leader Misstates Environmental Impact of Oil Wells
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.
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Academic Credentials of Conservative Canadian Leaders Questioned
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.
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Mohler, Dobson Bash Obama
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.
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Theology of Southern Baptist VBS Song Questioned
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.
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An Open Letter to Dr. Bruce Ware
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.
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Confusion Reigns for Southern Baptist Professor
Bruce Ware, professor of Christian theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., actually does know why husbands abuse their wives.
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Show Me a Sexist; I'll Show You a Racist
Ah! The good old days--when men were men and women were kept in the kitchen; when being white was right for America.
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Texas Church Says 'Egalitarian' View Not an Option for Evangelicals
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."
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SBC President Gives Blessing to Ties With Tennessee Temple
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.
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The Strange Sexual Obsessions at Southern Seminary
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.
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Federal Sentencing May Turn Up Heat on Fraudulent Seminary Degrees
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.
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Southern Baptist Scholar Links Spouse Abuse to Wives' Refusal to Submit to Their Husbands
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.
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Baptist Press Misleads Its Readers with False Subheading
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.
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SBC Leader Says Dominion, Not Exodus, Key to Fixing California's Public Schools
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.
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Hunt's Biography Updated, Canadian Religious Leader Comes Under Criticism for Diploma Mill
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.
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Southern Baptists Affirm War on Christmas
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.
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Despite Setbacks, Study Says Baptist Women Making Gains in Ministry
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.
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Southern Baptists Criticized for Failure to Speak Out on California Schools
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.
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Fred Shuttlesworth: Prophet of Social Equality at CBF
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.
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SBC Resolution Encourages Political Involvement
The Southern Baptist Convention on Wednesday passed a resolution urging political involvement by churches.
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SBC Leaders Recommend Against National Database of Clergy Sex Offenders
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.
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Johnny Hunt Wins Six-Way Race to Become SBC President
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.
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Former SBC Leader Declares Denomination in 'Free Fall'
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.
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SBC Enters Age of Decline, Not Promised Golden Age
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.
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Scholars Say Submissive Wives Decree More Theory Than Practice in SBC Churches
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.
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Southern Baptist Denies Signing 'The Evangelical Manifesto'
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.
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Proposed SBC Resolution Calls for Exodus From California Schools
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.
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Let's Question Winner's Circle Theology
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.
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Another Vital Statistic: Is the SBC On the Brink of Financial Decline?
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.
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Prominent Baptist Church Votes Not to Expel Dissident Members
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.
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Leader Says 'Conservative Resurgence' Failed to Produce More Evangelism in SBC
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.
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Southern Baptist Mission Board Sponsors Exhibit for Messianic Jews
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.
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Southern Baptist Leaders' Comments Echo 'Biblical Patriarchy' Theology
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.
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SBC Reports Membership Decline
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."
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Speaker Chastised Over Criticism of 'Biblical Patriarchy' at SBC Seminary
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.
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Facts Don't Back Up SBC Leader's Non-Partisan Claim
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.
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American Baptist Officials Say Pew Survey Paints False Picture of Denomination's Ethnic Diversity
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.
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Confederate Flag Issue Flies in Face of Anniversary of MLK Assassination
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.
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Martin Luther King Jr. was Prophetic Voice for Peace
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.
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Missouri Baptist Editor Supports Confederate Flag
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.
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BCE Luncheon to Explore Morality of Fair Taxation
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.
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Gilyard Faces More Charges
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.
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Canadian Baptist Leaders Dispute SBC President's Gay Marriage Claim
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.
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SBC President Says Media Liberal, Biased Against Christians
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.
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Baptist Leader Terms Racism 'Insidious Cancer' in Society
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.
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What Do Obama, Clinton and McCain All Have in Common?
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.
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SBC Leader Has Penchant for Name Calling
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.
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Climate Expert Challenges Southern Baptist Leader's Global Warming Claims
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.
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Context Key to Understanding Jeremiah Wright's Remarks
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.
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Barack Obama Talks Straight on Race
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.
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Did Skin Pigmentation or Prophetic Imagination Fuel Jesus' Vision?
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?
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SBC Leader Claims Earth Not Getting Hotter But Colder
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.
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Organizers Defend Environmental Statement
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.
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Headlines Mislead Public About SBC Shift on Global Warming
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.
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Southern Baptist Leaders Release Environmental Statement
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.
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SBC Leader Pleads Ignorance in Use of Jewish Slur
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."
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Reaction Mixed to SBC Leader Calling Jewish Senator 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."
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Richard Land Must Go
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.
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SBC Leader Uses Obscene Slur to Describe Jewish Senator
A Southern Baptist leader lecturing at Criswell College used a gutter word to describe a Jewish U.S. senator.
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Advocate Says Theology of Submission Hampers Southern Baptist Response to Sexual Abuse by Clergy
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.
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Richard Land Misrepresents Baptist Groups
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.
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Study Says Baptists Losing Ground in America's Religious Landscape
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.
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SNAP Leaders Ask Patterson to Apologize for 'Evil-Doers' Remark
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.
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Executive Committee Still Studying Feasibility of Clergy Sex-Offender Database
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.
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SBC Seminary President Labels Clergy Sex-Abuse Victims' Group 'Evil-Doers'
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."
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Baptists Must See Crisscrossing of Race, Poverty and the Environment
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.
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Christian Groups Call for Boycott of California Public Schools
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.
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Can Baptists Bridge the Racial Divide?
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.
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Gilyard Pleads Not Guilty to Lewdness Charge
Former Baptist mega-church pastor Darrell Gilyard pleaded not guilty to lewd and lascivious conduct at his arraignment Tuesday in Jacksonville, Fla.
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Panelists Urge New Covenant Baptists to Fight Institutional Racism
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.
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Southern Baptist Youth Minister Indicted on Molestation Charges
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.
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It's Not About Sex
Thinking that clergy sex abuse is about sex is like thinking the Bataan Death March was about marching.
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Help Wanted: Black Friend
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."
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White Supremacists Headline Martin Luther King Day Protest in Jena
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.
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Fred Shuttlesworth and Racial Justice: An Old Perspective for a New Millennium
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.
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Martin Luther King and Selma's 1965 Voting Rights Campaign
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.
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In Memory Of Martin Luther King
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."
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Mohler's New Book Advocates Exit Strategy from Public Schools
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.
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Arizona Baptist Youth Minister Charged, Former Texas Deacon Sentenced, for Sexual Abuse
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.
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Former Pastor Arrested on Charges He Sent Lewd Text Messages to 14-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.
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Southern Baptist Leader Says In-Vitro Fertilization Immoral
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.
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Face-Based Religion
"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.
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New Baptist Covenant Celebration Chance to Move Forward in Race Relations
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.
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Paige Patterson Denies Turning Blind Eye to Clergy Sex Abuse
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."
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Baptist Pastor on Trial for Molestation Gets Boost When Witnesses Recant
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.
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SNAP Calls for Suspension, Investigation of Seminary President's Link to Accused Predator
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.
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Blog Solicits Reports About Accused Preacher Predator
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.
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SNAP Leader Says Sex Offender Database Might Have Stopped Accused Predator
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.
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'Great Debaters' Star Likes Unfamiliar Story
Denzel Whitaker turned 17 while shooting "The Great Debaters," the new movie directed by and starring Whitaker's namesake, Denzel Washington.
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Second Former Minister From Austin Southern Baptist Church Convicted of Molestation
A prominent Southern Baptist church in Austin, Texas, may see its second former minister go to prison for sexual abuse of a child.
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Southern Baptist Study Puts Women in Their Place
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.
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Paul Pressler Endorses Fred Thompson
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.
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Pastor Accused of Domestic Violence Resigns
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.
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First Baptist Church Jacksonville Considering Christian School
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.
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Good Samaritan Holds Lesson for Treatment of Clergy Abuse Victims
Many Southern Baptist Convention leaders, including President Frank Page, have indicated they don't think a predator database would help prevent clergy child molestation.
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California Grandmother Leading Two-Day Boycott of Public Schools
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.
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Southern Baptist Pastor Charged With Domestic Violence
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.
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Words Aren't Enough for New Baptist Covenant
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.
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Southern Baptist Scholar Warns Against 'Giulianiazation' of Evangelical Politics
A Southern Baptist scholar says Pat Robertson's endorsement of Rudy Giuliani signals a larger "Giulianiazation" of evangelical Christianity that he views as dangerous.
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Former Southern Baptist Leader Calls for Boycott of Pat Robertson
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.
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Dobson Denies He is Endorsing Huckabee; SBC Leaders Voice Support
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.
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'Amazing Grace'
"Amazing Grace" finally arrives on DVD today, nine months after its theatrical release.
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SBC Mission Board Suspends Trustee for Blogging Dissent
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.
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Finding Good News in Jena
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.
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Sexual Abuse Scandal Hits Prominent Southern Baptist Church in Florida
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.
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Symbolic Nooses Reveal Racial Divide
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.
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Repairers of the Breach, Restorers of Paths
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.
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SBC Leader Labels Mormonism 'Fourth Abrahamic Faith'
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.
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Moderate Baptist Leader Says SBC Neglecting the Hungry
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.
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Presidential Candidates Risk Spiritual Smack Downs When Visiting Baptist Leader
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.
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SBC President Says He Offered to Pray with Giuliani to Accept Christ
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.
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Former Southern Baptist Pastor Charged with Rape, Sexual Battery of Teenage Boy
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.
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Southern Baptist Leader Attacks Gore, Says Christians Should Save Souls, Not the Earth
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.
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An Expert on Baptist Polity?
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.
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SBC's 'Public Theology' Failed to Win Support for Iraq War, Scholars Say
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.
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Racial Reconciliation Is Not a Past Event

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."

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SBC Leaders Endorse Plan for Increased Funding
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.
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Group Asks Southern Baptists to Stop Efforts to Convert Jews
A leading Jewish organization condemned a proposed Southern Baptist Convention study on formally recognizing a "messianic" fellowship as an "evangelistic mission entity" to Jews.
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A Statement Concerning the Crisis in Our Nation
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.
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