April 2015 Issue

 All April articles are provided below. Just scroll to see the list, and click to read any article.

 

Beyond the blaze

Biscoe Baptists’ wide embrace not tempered by challenges BISCOE, N.C. — Typical for many mill towns, Biscoe residents recall the heyday when abundant jobs, recreation and social life sprang from the large, bustling mill. Today, local jobs are fewer and keeping bright...

Quotation Remarks

“For Jesus, what matters above all is reaching out to save those far off, healing the wounds of the sick, restoring everyone to God’s family. And this is scandalous to some people!” —Pope Francis in a February Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica (RNS) “Maybe the people who...

Editorial: Politicized pronouncements of faith present problems

Political ideology masked as Christianity (or another religious faith) is costly. The high price is being paid again and again. According to survey results reported by Religion News Service, current college freshmen are distancing themselves from identifiable...

Understanding Islam’s Sunni-Shiite divide

Sunni and Shiite Muslims, two main sects of Islam, have been in conflict for more than a millennium. Why does such an ancient division continue to influence politics, foreign policy and even wars today? Recently, militants from the Sunni-led Islamic State group have...

Poll: 1 in 4 Americans say Islamic State represents true Islam

(RNS) More than a quarter of Americans and nearly half of senior Protestant pastors say the Islamic State terrorist group offers a true representation of Islamic society, according to a pair of new surveys by LifeWay Research. Forty-five percent of 1,000 senior...

But are they really Muslim?

The savage inhumanity of ISIS’s brutal ideologues continued as the organization kidnapped hundreds of Christians to be used and abused in a sneering show of radical imbecility that grows from a perverted interpretation of Islam. The terrorist group also released...

Todd Still appointed dean of Baylor’s Truett Seminary

WACO, Texas — Baylor University has announced that President Ken Starr appointed New Testament scholar Todd D. Still as the fifth dean of the university’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary. Still currently serves as the William M. Hinson Professor of Christian...

Report finds anti-Semitism a problem at U.S. colleges

WASHINGTON — A comprehensive survey of anti-Semitism at American colleges released in late February shows that significant hostility is directed at Jews on U.S. campuses. The National Demographic Survey of American Jewish College Students, produced by a Trinity...

‘Bishop Bling’ makes a soft landing in new Vatican post

VATICAN CITY — The German churchman christened the “Bishop of Bling” for lavish expenditures he made on his residence and church offices has been given a low-level post at the Vatican, nearly a year after Pope Francis ousted him from the Limburg diocese. Bishop...

Myanmar’s religious noise pollution annoys locals

MANDALAY, Myanmar — While Myanmar’s strict curbs on religious freedom continue to draw international scrutiny, its lax enforcement of noise limits is attracting the ire of locals. Residents of the densely populated cities of Mandalay and Yangon are demanding stronger...

Mormon critic excommunicated for ‘apostasy’

SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) — Mormon critic and podcaster John Dehlin has been excommunicated from the LDS Church. The official charge against the founder of the “Mormon Stories” podcast was “conduct contrary to the laws and order of the church,” but a letter from Dehlin’s...

Young Brits reject religion, approve of atheist politicians

CANTERBURY, England —In marked contrast to the U.S., public figures who disavow belief in God tend to win approval from a growing number of British people. A survey of 1,500 adults released in February by YouGov, a British market research firm, shows that as many as a...

Court finds Applebee’s not liable

Court finds Applebee’s not liable for man burned while praying over fajita skillet TRENTON, N.J. (RNS) — A New Jersey man cannot collect damages for burns he suffered while bowing his head in prayer over a sizzling steak fajita skillet at Applebee’s, a state appeals...

A high price

## Evangelicals find that affirmation of gay members can be costly NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Pastor Stan Mitchell’s announcement that his evangelical GracePointe Church would fully affirm gay members was met with a standing ovation from some, stunned silence from others, but...

A tribute to Eldred Taylor

Editor’s note: Eldred M. Taylor died Jan. 15 in Louisville, Ky., at age 93. Among his ministry settings, he served as pastor of First Baptist Church of Somerset, Ky., 1958-1981. He was succeeded by Robert Browning, who now serves as pastor of First Baptist Church of...

Classifieds

Senior Pastor: First Baptist Church of Lenoir, N.C., is prayerfully seeking a full-time senior pastor. FBC affirms the 1963 Baptist Faith and Message. The church is now in its 126th year and has 782 members. It is important to our members to have opportunities for...

Lesson for May 3, 2015

with Tony W. Cartledge 1 John 4:7-21 “Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another.” — 1 John 4:11 Deep Love Perhaps you have known someone, newly in love, who couldn’t stop talking about his or her new flame. Or, perhaps you’ve known what it...

Lesson for May 10, 2015

1 John 5:1-5 with Tony W. Cartledge “Who is it that conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” — 1 John 5:5 Love Conquers All Victory: we love the word. We long to conquer our opponents and come out on top. When our team wins the Super...

Lesson for May 17, 2015

1 John 5:6-13 with Tony W. Cartledge “And this is the testimony: God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” — 1 John 5:11 Testimony What comes to your mind when you hear the word “testimony”? Perhaps you think of a criminal trial, in which witnesses to a...

Lesson for May 24, 2015

Ezekiel 37:1-14 with Tony W. Cartledge “Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD’.” — Ezekiel 37:4 Can These Bones Live? Public speaking is fraught with both opportunity and peril. Not only does the speaker...

Lesson for May 31, 2015

Isaiah 6:1-13 with Tony W. Cartledge “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I; send me!’” — Isaiah 6:8 You Want Me To Do What? Do you believe God has called you to any particular sort of ministry...

Baptist Profiles in Conscience

Nannie Helen Burroughs Editor’s note: This is the second article in a series that highlights the Baptist principle of liberty of conscience. The series is supported by an endowment gift from the William H. Whitsitt Baptist Heritage Society, whose mission is carried on...

How ‘ill’ are you?

Editor’s note: This article in the series “Transitions: Helping churches and church leaders in changing times” is provided in partnership with the Center for Healthy Churches (healthy-churches.org). My grandmother often used a word to describe herself or other people....

How to give your testimony

The well-dressed man standing at the pulpit is sharing his testimony. The pastor, Brother Will B. Done, sits behind him. The testifier shouts, “Brothers and sisters, I’m not the man I used to be! Yes, friends, I used to be a drunkard.” Will B. Done calls out, “Tell it...

Transformative experiences

A conversation with Scott Willis about worship, music & more MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Scott Willis has been playing guitar, writing songs and engaging in worship leadership for a long time. In college he traveled nationally with a musical group of Baptist students...

BWA host: ‘Come over to Africa!’

FALLS CHURCH, Va. — When thousands of Baptists gather in Durban, South Africa for the 21st Baptist World Congress, July 22-26, it will mark the first such meeting ever held on the African continent. Organizers hope more than 4,000 Baptists from around the world will...

Rwandan Baptist to receive Human Rights Award

Corneille Gato Munyamasoko, general secretary of the Association of Baptist Churches in Rwanda, will receive the BWA Congress Human Rights Award in July, following action by the BWA Executive Committee meeting in Falls Church on March 4. Munyamasoko was lauded by the...

Baptists and the Civil War

April 1865 150 Years Ago In their own words Like a towering, thundering wave crashing upon the shore, the army of U.S. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant finally breaks through the Confederate lines at Petersburg on the morning of the second day of the month, a Sunday. It is the...

Beliefs into Action

The night Dean Smith broke the rules on race in Chapel Hill James Forbes was at a conference of pastors on Sunday, Feb. 8, in Virginia when he got a call from his brother. “Have you heard the news?” his brother asked. Dean Smith, the revered former basketball coach at...

‘Caving into culture’ often needed

Reblog Selections from recent blogs at baptiststoday.org Whenever a hot-button issue arises within the larger society, as well as within church life, there are those who charge proponents of social change with abandoning the Bible and caving into culture. One does not...

Are they really working?

My students are allowed to use laptop computers in class because I want them to take good notes, and most people can type faster and more legibly than they can write by hand. But I often ramble around the room to make sure they have a word processor open, rather than...

Online mapping

Atlas ‘heat-maps’ views on abortion, gay marriage, immigration WASHINGTON — Anyone from politicians to scholars to the simply curious can now see just how deeply the nation is divided on abortion or same-sex marriage — and discover there’s significant consensus on...

Who’s watching all that Christian media?

All the preaching, teaching, music and entertainment beamed by Christian TV and radio is primarily consumed by evangelicals and weekly churchgoers — the folks most often found in the pews. Meanwhile, 2 in 3 Americans are tuned out, a new survey finds. But Ed Stetzer,...