Grateful to have served

Arkansas Baptists are among God’s chosen, and I say this with a heart of gratitude to each of you for allowing me to serve on the Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC) staff for nine years. Without reservation, I am able to say that the churches across Arkansas will find no better servants in God’s kingdom on earth than are found in the offices of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention. 

Nothing that comes from the ABSC offices is accomplished without a great deal of prayer and preparation. Many hours of prayer and meetings are involved in every strategy. There is a great sense of God’s presence in the work of the ministry teams, and Arkansas Baptist churches should be grateful to God of His servants in those offices.

These teams that serve under the direction of Dr. Emil Turner are committed to the Great Commission – which begins at the local church where you worship and serve. All mission efforts certainly begin at the local church, but without the support and direction of the staff at the ABSC, the local churches would not be as successful in reaching Arkansas and our world with the gospel message. 

The Arkansas Baptist State Convention has another annual meeting coming up on Nov. 1-2 at First Baptist Church in Little Rock. The 2011 meeting will happen because each of these folks began planning this year’s meeting the moment the closing prayer of last year’s meeting ended. I will be there this year, and hopefully, you will be, too.

“If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him” (John 12:26, NASB).

Bob Williford


Applying Scripture

We must diligently study and apply Scripture in order to defeat Satan and fight the good fight of faith. Each application must be in harmony with the total meaning and message of Scripture, not from an isolated verse taken out of context.

Knowing what the text is actually saying, (from a) historical context, word study, etc., is helpful. The Bereans were commended for searching the Scriptures to see if what the Apostle Paul said agreed with what was in the Old Testament. Meditation on the text is necessary so God may reveal underlying principles or application and to imprint the text in our memory. Still, if necessary, the Holy Spirit can recall to our mind any Scripture we have heard or read. 2 Timothy 2:15 says study to show yourself approved unto God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed knowing how to rightly divide the Word of truth. King David said, “I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation” (Psa. 119:99).

Just as Jesus withstood Satan with Scripture when He was tested in the wilderness, so too, we will stand in the evil day when the Holy Spirit uses us to wield the Sword of Scripture we have diligently meditated and studied. For such a time as this, we have been called. Let us by faith be faithful.

Katherine Gossien
Little Rock


Name change perspective

I don’t know what would be the best name to rename the Southern Baptist Convention (“What would you change the name of the SBC to?” ABN, Oct. 8). Having served for over 14 years in what began as a church plant in Maryland, let me share a perspective.

For suggestions, why don’t we rename the SBC the “New England Baptist Convention” or the “Mid-Atlantic Convention”? If you are from the Northeast, are unchurched and someone comes presenting themselves as a “Southern” Baptist, you may ask the following: “Are we New Englanders so deficient that you are importing your culture here? Did it not work out for you in the South? ... Why are you here?” 

What if we started a New England Baptist Church in Montgomery, Ala.? Would that not seem odd to you?

The glaring point that I think you are missing is that “Southern” is a regional term and not an international one. We as “Southern” Baptists say that our mission is to reach the world for Christ. This implies that many of us must go to the world. It would also imply that we would not seek to import and impose a regional way of thinking represented by a name that is perceived as regional to all except those from that region.

You are an articulate guy not without insight. From my side of the fence, a progressive guy would grow to view the name change of the SBC as more than a “Red Wolves” type of move.

By the way, I am with you on the Red Wolves thing. And the logo is truly hideous to boot.

Darrell Bridges


Arkansas abortion clinics

To be accurate, Arkansas has three abortion clinics.

Yes, Arkansas has one “surgical” abortion clinic in the entire state since the death last year of William Harrison who provided surgical abortion in his Fayetteville clinic. 

But Planned Parenthood of Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma operates clinics in Little Rock and Fayetteville that provide abortions, but they are chemical, not surgical, using the deadly abortion RU486 pill instead of a scalpel to kill the unborn child.  

When and if the lone surgical abortion clinic ever closes, plans are already being laid for Planned Parenthood to take over the abortion trade in Arkansas.

The recent announcement of a 2012 merger of Planned Parenthood of Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma with Planned Parenthood of the Heartland means more abortions in Arkansas. Planned Parenthood of the Heartland has built mega-clinics and provides webcam abortions to dispense the abortion pill RU486 to women in rural areas who do not have access to an abortion provider. 

Arkansas Right to Life has initiated Arkansans Against Planned Parenthood (AAPP) to save the children of Arkansas, both born and unborn. The AAPP will tell the truth about Planned Parenthood to the pro-life, pro-family citizens of Arkansas through a bulletin that will contain current news and information about the activities of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the affiliate Planned Parenthood of the Heartland. The bulletin will be available online and may be downloaded and copied for distribution.

All Arkansans concerned about children and families should be informed about the activities of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland in Arkansas. 

Rose Mimms
Arkansas Right to Life


Dylan book review

After reading “The Gospel According to Bob Dylan” review, 8/11/11, I wondered what is next, “The Gospel According to Michael Jackson?”

Do we not have any truly born again, sold-out to Jesus people to write about anymore?

I hope Mr. Dylan made a real profession of faith in Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior. The review said the author does not give concrete facts about Dylan’s faith but instead gives evidence and allows those who read the book [to] decide who Dylan really is. Can’t Mr. Dylan give us concrete facts about his faith, or is it just another celebrity thing?

I am weary of our Sunday school material and Southern Baptist literature parading secular people in front of us like they were some kind of god.

Tell us about the heroes of the Bible and godly men and woman who are dedicated, committed Christians, not afraid to speak up about their faith.

Psalms 107:2 says, “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy.”

Franklin Piercey
First Baptist, Scranton

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