Digest

Stories of interest to Arkansas Baptists ...

Thursday
Apr162015

Special needs children and their families

NASHVILLE (BP) – In theory, everyone is welcome at church. In practice, that's not always true for some children. And when parents feel their child isn't welcome, the entire family often stays home.

The term "special needs" describes people who have developmental delays, cognitive disabilities, physical challenges, and social or emotional differences. Children with special needs as well as their parents and siblings benefit from being part of a church family for the same reasons all families do.

These families need to know God offers salvation through Jesus Christ, of course. But they also need the hope, support, respite and acceptance that come from being part of a church family. They appreciate the simple joy of showing up to participate in something without making an appointment, filling out paperwork, setting goals and constantly evaluating progress.

Click to read more ...

 

Thursday
Apr162015

Colorado tells bakers it's OK to refuse Bible cakes

DENVER (BP) – Colorado officials have rejected discrimination claims by a man who was refused service at three bakeries because he requested cakes that included Bible verses calling homosexuality a sin.

Critics of the rulings by the Colorado Civil Rights Division argue that they are in sharp contrast to a CCRD decision in 2014 that a Christian baker cannot refuse to make a cake for a gay wedding ceremony.

Bill Jack, one of the founders of Worldview Academy which conducts Bible-based summer camps, had approached three Denver-area bakeries in March 2014 and asked for two cakes, both in the shape of an open Bible. He presented a drawing showing what he wanted on each: "God hates sin -- Psalm 45:7" and "Homosexuality is a detestable sin - Leviticus 18:22" on one cake; "God loves sinners" and "While we were yet sinners Christ died for us -- Romans 5:8" on the other. According to two TV news reports, Jack also asked that the first cake include an image of two groomsmen holding hands with a red "X" over them.

All three businesses -- Azucar Bakery, Le Sensual Bakery and Gateaux Pastries -- refused to make the cakes. Jack filed three claims of discrimination with the Colorado civil rights agency.

Click to read more ...

 

Thursday
Apr162015

Same-sex marriage gap widens for evangelicals and culture

NASHVILLE (BP) – Americans who have gay or lesbian friends are twice as likely to say gay marriage should be legal as those who have none.

And more than half of Americans, meanwhile, say homosexuality is not sinful.

Such survey results place evangelicals increasingly in a minority position in American culture over same-sex relationships.

Click to read more ...

 

Thursday
Apr162015

Global religious freedom draws leaders' appeal

WASHINGTON (BP) – The Southern Baptist Convention's lead religious freedom advocate is part of a widely diverse, informal coalition urging Congress to strengthen protections for the rights of people of faith overseas.

Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, signed on to a letter sent April 14 to members of a House of Representatives subcommittee seeking their support for the Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA). The bill, which will update the original IRFA of 1998, is designed to enhance the United States' ability to promote religious freedom globally. It also will reauthorize the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) through 2021.

Click to read more ...

 

Wednesday
Apr152015

Ohio's rich Southern Baptist history

COLUMBUS, Ohio (BP) – "The ripest field for Southern Baptist work in the U.S.A."

That's how Ray Roberts, who would become the first executive secretary of the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio, described the Buckeye state in 1952. Over the next six decades, Roberts and other Ohio Southern Baptists proved the ripeness of their field by planting hundreds of churches, establishing three other Baptist state conventions in pioneer areas, building a network of Baptist ministries and leading untold thousands to faith in Christ.

Click to read more ...