Stories of interest to Arkansas Baptists ...


Mo. lobbyist enlists hunters to search for missing wife

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - A Missouri Baptist lobbyist whose wife went missing 16 months ago is turning to deer hunters for help.

“The half-million hunters that go out in the woods during this deer season, if they would all hear the message and if they would all pay attention and report the odd items, someone’s loved one is going to be found,” Kerry Messer, a pro-family lobbyist with clients including the Missouri Baptist Convention, recently told KFVS television in Cape Girardeau, Mo.

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Boy in Barbie ad blurs gender ID, experts say

NASHVILLE (BP) - Mattel's Moschino Barbie commercial featuring for the first time a boy playing with the doll could help normalize gender confusion and distort God's intended image of humanity, experts in gender identity issues and ministry to those experiencing same-sex attraction told Baptist Press.

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Syrian refugees: balancing compassion and security

NASHVILLE (BP) – With at least 31 U.S. governors opposing the resettlement of Syrian refugees in their states following terrorist attacks in Paris, Christians have found themselves discussing the appropriate balance between security and compassion in immigration policy.

Various media outlets reported at least one terrorism suspect in Paris entered Europe among a wave of migrants last month by falsely identifying himself as a Syrian refugee. Only 1,500 Syrian refugees have been accepted into the U.S. since 2011, CNN reported, but the Obama administration has agreed to allow 10,000 more in 2016.

Among the governors to oppose continuing resettlement of Syrians in their states are at least two Southern Baptists: Alabama's Robert Bentley and Georgia's Nathan Deal.

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Bill to guard marriage advocates' rights, draws Baptist support

WASHINGTON (BP) – A Southern Baptist Convention ethicist and advocate for religious freedom has joined other church leaders to endorse revised legislation to prevent discrimination by the federal government against Americans who object to same-sex marriage.

Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, and nine others endorsed the latest version of the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) in a Nov. 13 letter to the bill's sponsors, Sen. Mike Lee, R.-Utah, and Rep. Raul Labrador, R.-Idaho.

The legislative proposal seeks to protect religious liberty following the Supreme Court's June legalization of same-sex marriage. That decision and the uncertainty in its wake have left the conscience rights of Christians and other defenders of biblical, traditional marriage susceptible to potential federal discrimination.

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Israeli-Palestinian tensions rise, yet hope flickers

JERUSALEM (BP) – A clash of religions and ethnicities – when it comes to the latest Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the lines get blurred and the story gets complicated.

The latest clash involves a familiar site that is holy to Jews and Muslims – what Jews call the Temple Mount and what Muslims call Al-Aqsa or the Noble Sanctuary. Atop the buried ruins of the first and second Jewish temples are the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa mosque, two of Islam's most sacred sites.

Both Jewish temples were destroyed by invaders, the second in A.D. 70. Six hundred years later the Dome of the Rock was built. It enshrines the rock from which Muhammad is said to have made his night journey into heaven and is located on an outcrop known as Mount Moriah where, according to Jewish belief, Abraham went to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice.

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