Digest

Stories of interest to Arkansas Baptists ...

Friday
Nov212014

Gay marriage, 'faith' spur judges to resign

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (BP) – When Gayle Myrick received a memo from the North Carolina state government threatening criminal prosecution unless she performed gay wedding ceremonies, she knew she had to resign her job as a magistrate – even though resignation left her unemployed and without retirement benefits at age 64.

"When you're grounded in your faith and you know – especially at my age – what you believe and whom you believe, decisions come rather quickly," Myrick, a former magistrate in Union County near Charlotte, told Baptist Press.

Myrick is one of at least six magistrates in North Carolina who have opted to resign rather than marry homosexual couples following a federal judge's ruling that the state's gay marriage ban is unconstitutional. For at least two of the magistrates -- both of whom have ties to Southern Baptist churches -- the decision to resign has brought financial hardship. But they said obeying God required leaving their jobs.

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Friday
Nov212014

SBC Disaster Relief works disasters on deeper level, panel says

ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP) – Whether it's a tornado in Oklahoma, a wildfire in Washington or a hurricane in New York, disaster survivors need more than assistance with rebuilding their homes when tragedy strikes. They need help rebuilding their lives. Southern Baptist Disaster Relief is committed to providing help, healing and hope to disaster survivors across North America.

Many people are aware of what SBDR does in response to these types of tragedies, however many people may not realize how SBDR works on a deeper level. Kevin Ezell, president of the North American Mission Board, addressed that issue as he hosted a disaster relief panel discussion Nov. 20 as part of NAMB's monthly staff "boot camp" to give insight into the scope of SBDR.

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Friday
Nov212014

Duggars targeted by pro-gay petition

Jim Bob and Michelle DuggarNASHVILLE (BP) – Nearly 100,000 people have signed an online petition asking the TLC network to cancel the popular reality show "19 Kids and Counting," contending that its stars, Arkansans Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, use their fame "to promote discrimination, hate, and fear-mongering against gays and transgendered people."

The Duggars have 19 children and are outspoken advocates of their Christian faith as well as pro-family public policies. Their television show debuted in 2008 as "17 Kids and Counting," since which time they have had two more children. Speaking at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary last year, the Duggars said they stopped using birth control pills after the drugs caused Michelle to experience a miscarriage years ago.

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Friday
Nov212014

Floyd releases ebook for prayer, revival

Floyd

SPRINGDALE (BP) – Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd has released a motivational tool book to help pastors and churches across the SBC engage in concerted prayer for the next great awakening in advance of the 2015 annual meeting in Columbus, Ohio.

Floyd announced the release of his ebook in a press conference call Wednesday (Nov. 19), joined by Southern Baptist editors, writers and state convention leaders. The announcement also marked the release of the annual meeting theme, "Great Awakening: Clear Agreement, Visible Union, Extraordinary Prayer," based on Romans 13:11, for the June 16-17 gathering.

During the conference call, Floyd highlighted several recommendations from his ebook: intercessory prayer for pastors on Saturday evenings and Sunday mornings in advance of weekly sermons; a month of preaching on the subjects of repentance, extraordinary prayer, revival, awakening and teaching on God's word; the dedication of a full Sunday morning worship service to congregational prayer; a day of prayer and fasting in May, and attendance at the Columbus meeting.

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Friday
Nov212014

Russell Moore: President Obama's actions on immigration issue 'unwise'

MooreWASHINGTON (BP) – President Obama's new executive actions to change immigration policy are unwise and threaten the growing consensus for reform, said the Southern Baptist Convention's lead ethicist.

Obama announced in prime time Nov. 20 his actions, which include most controversially a plan to protect nearly five million undocumented immigrants from deportation. The president's use of executive authority came after the Senate approved comprehensive immigration reform in the last Congress but the House of Representatives failed to do.

Russell D. Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), said he disagreed with Obama's unilateral act. Moore noted he supports immigration reform, but the president's decision is an "unwise and counterproductive move."

Writing in a post for Time magazine online, Moore said, "It's because of my support for immigrants and for immigration reform that I think President Obama's executive actions are the wrong way to go.

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