Top 10 list?

I have been a Christian for almost 28 years. I enjoy and appreciate Arkansas Baptist News, but words can’t express the sorrow I felt after reading the front page of Volume 112, Number 1. Of the 2012 top 10 stories chosen by ABN staff, “100 saved” came in dead last, while No. 1 goes to “Tucker elected.” Really?     

Jesus said that He came “to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). Have we forgotten that? I’m sure there was more joy in heaven over the 100 saved than someone being elected. I’m not even 40 years old yet, and even I can remember a time when seeing souls saved was the most important thing there was. Now I don’t know.         

Am I jumping to conclusions? Or maybe I just don’t have the facts or I just don’t understand. Here is a fact: Lost souls came in dead last! Not five or even seven, but last. There will be some explaining to be done at the judgment seat of Christ over this one, and I am praying that God in wrath will remember mercy (Hab. 3:2). I don’t know if all this is “for publication” or not; doesn’t matter. What matters is that this article was a stark reminder of the direction we are headed in. Nothing but nothing should come ahead of lost souls. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. 

Kevin McDaniel 

Editor’s Note: Articles for the annual ABN “top 10” list are judged based on overall impact to Arkansas Baptists and their work in the state, and saving souls should be (and I pray is) our No. 1 priority. That being said, we had other specific “salvation” articles that didn’t make the list, such as the hundreds of people saved in Haiti as a result of the work of Arkansas Baptists and the dozens saved during revivals on various Arkansas college campuses throughout the year. In fact, every article could have been about folks being saved across Arkansas in churches, large events, small events, etc. The top 10 list is designed to be more of a collective snapshot of the year. Regarding the “100 saved” article that made the list, I believe the staff chose this event because it illustrates the collective work – that of sharing Jesus Christ – that Arkansas Baptists do every day. I appreciate your passion for Jesus! It is the same passion the staff of the ABN shares as we seek to make Jesus Christ known in Arkansas and around the world.


BP article distorts facts

The Jan. 24 issue of the ABN Now online edition contained a Baptist Press article by Tom Strode with statements by Richard Land and Jerry Sutton linking the Southern Baptist stance on the abortion issue to the Conservative Resurgence and indicated those who opposed the political actions of the Resurgence were pro-abortion. Many relevant facts were not stated and other statements presented as facts were not true.

It was stated that at the 1971 Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting, Foy Valentine of the Christian Life Commission supported a resolution that would permit abortion in rare cases. Land stated this was proof that “those Southern Baptists who disagreed with the effort to reform the convention’s institutions” were “mostly pro-choice themselves.” But leaders of the Conservative Resurgence were taking an even more pro-abortion position at that time. W.A. Criswell has been acknowledged as the spiritual and inspirational leader of the Conservative Resurgence. In 1973, shortly after Roe vs. Wade, Criswell stated, “I have always felt that it was only after a child was born and had a life separate from its mother that it became an individual person, and it has always, therefore, seemed to me that what is best for the mother and for the future should be allowed.” Other Conservative Resurgence leaders were making similar statements. By using the “guilt by association” methods of Strode and Land, you could say the Conservative Resurgence was more pro-abortion than those opposed to the Resurgence, but that would be as misleading as Land’s attempt to paint those of us who oppose the political methods of the Conservative Resurgence as pro-choice.

Strode’s article has presented a distorted image of the Southern Baptist stance on abortion. Like others who are committed to inerrancy and opposed to the political Resurgence, I rejoice in our denomination’s support for the pro-life movement. We should work together for this cause instead of making false accusations against some or giving undeserved credit to others.

Ron West

Editor's Note: The article referenced in this letter did not appear in the ABN print edition. It was published in the ABN Now digital edition and online on the ABN website. To read the article click here.


Cowboy churches

I would like to thank the Arkansas Baptist News (“Cowboy church reaches Western culture,” ABN Nov. 20, 2012) for informing us about how God is using the cowboy church to bring people to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. We were blessed to see our youngest granddaughter baptized at Mountain Top Cowboy Church in Heber Springs. I am so thankful that God cannot be placed in a box and tied up with a pretty bow. He meets us where we are and in every situation. He can be served in a sale barn or a beautiful building.

“For where two or three are gathered together in My name, there I am in their midst” (Matt.18:20).

Keep up the good work.

Sandra Starkey


The ‘Bible lady’ is gone

Thank you for your article “Pressing On” (“Avoiding the ‘spiritual cliff,’” ABN Jan. 10, 2013). You couldn’t have been more correct about the results of the removal of the use of God’s name from the public arena. Back a hundred years ago (well almost) I was teaching in a rural two-room grade school in southwest Missouri. We had a “Bible lady” who came to our school on a regular schedule to present the gospel and teach Bible stories through the use of flannel graph. She was a “circuit rider” who went to the rural schools in our county. We even celebrated “Christmas” instead of the “holidays” and had a Christmas pageant with Baby Jesus. Those days are long gone. It seems like we still don’t get it! God meant what He said in 2 Chronicles 7:13-14 – He meant it then and He means it now.  We may look, but we will not find any other deliverance from any of the “cliffs” looming before our nation.

Thanks for your leadership with ABN.
Mike Wolf
Hot Springs Village


‘No Higher Power’

All pastors, as well as other committed Christians, should read Phyllis Schlafly’s new book, “No Higher Power.” The author has promoted her book on the Mike Huckabee radio show.

While aimed at all religions (except one), the war against freedom of religion is aimed primarily at Christianity. Progressively, God was taken out of public schools, pastors were silenced, abortion was legalized, public symbols of Christian faith removed, private prayer meetings zoned out. Now military chaplains and health care professionals are to be forced to violate their religious beliefs.

Franklin Graham was barred from speaking/praying at the Pentagon. Richard Land says he will not pay for abortions and is prepared to go to jail.

Ronald Reagan said in a speech in 1964, “We’re at war with the most dangerous enemy … and it’s been said if we lose that war, and in so doing lose this way of freedom of ours, history will record with the greatest astonishment that those who had the most to lose did the least to prevent its happening.”

Gwen Carpenter

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