2014: SBC Annual Meeting RoundupFound 68 stories for this story collection.
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Politics, gay marriage & embryo adoption focus of ethics panel
BALTIMORE (BP) -- Ethicist Russell D. Moore and pastor Matt Chandler addressed issues ranging from preaching on political topics to relating to homosexual friends to adopting embryos during a question-and-answer session held in conjunction with the 2014 meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention."To some degree, it doesn't matter what you do and say, you are going to be known as the people who are against things if you are against the things that people like." -- Russell Moore, ERLC presidentThe Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), the convention's moral issues and public policy entity, sponsored "Questions & Ethics Live" June 10 at the Baltimore Hilton. Moore, the ERLC's president, and Chandler, lead pastor of teaching at The Village Church in Flower Mound, Texas, responded to issues raised by an audience of more than 200 people.
Chandler, who has been at The Village Church nearly 12 years, said he has preached on such issues as abortion and homosexuality but doesn't recall he has "ever explicitly tried to be political in regards to the things I'm addressing."
"At the end of the day, I feel like if I make it like a full-on, political, party issue, then what ends up happening is I start to lose people in the crowd whom I think I can persuade with the Word of God," Chandler told Phillip Bethancourt, moderator and the ERLC's executive vice president.
Chandler said if he teaches on what the Bible says about an issue, "then I think I'm addressing political things and cultural issues without making it a Democratic Party issue or a Republican Party issue. And so I have found that by doing that I don't lose my Democrats, that they'll listen and they'll hear. And they might not necessarily land where I land, but at least now we're talking about the Bible and not partisan."
The key to not being labeled "culture warriors" is "to talk about people," not just a topic, he said.
"[I]f you are going to talk about homosexuality, you had better talk about homosexuality in light of the reality that there are ... more than likely people in your congregation that struggle themselves or love people that struggle or have a neighbor who walks in that lifestyle," Chandler said. "And if you ignorantly paint this issue, you are going to jam up the people you have been meant to lead; you are going to push people who are struggling into silence and quiet and not towards confession and the seeking of help."
One participant asked how Christians "communicate with conviction without being known as the people who are against everything."
Moore said, "To some degree, it doesn't matter what you do and say, you are going to be known as the people who are against things if you are against the things that people like. ... Read More
6 entity heads address messenger questionsBALTIMORE (BP) -- Messengers had opportunities to ask questions of the presidents of Southern Baptist entities during their reports to the June 10-11 annual meeting in Baltimore. Read More
Spurgeon, Golden Gate move spotlighted
BALTIMORE (BP) -- The life of Charles Spurgeon and an upcoming campus relocation were main topics at June 11 alumni and friends luncheons hosted by seminaries at the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Baltimore. Read More
FIRST-PERSON: SBC's wisdom & gender reassignment
Columnust Penna Dexter explains why Southern Baptists did the right thing in passing a resolution that extends "love and compassion to those whose sexual self-understanding is shaped by a distressing conflict between their biological sex and their gender identity" and to "invite all transgender persons to trust in Christ and to experience renewal in the Gospel." Read More
Annie's church transforms to reach Baltimore's inner city
BALTIMORE (BP) -- Ryan Palmer admitted he was skeptical when he was called to pastor a dying church in Baltimore's inner city, where storied missionary Annie Armstrong was once a member.A theater major and attorney, Palmer had made other plans with wife Leslie, the two of them members of the Seventh Baptist Church that had then dwindled from a high of 2000 to only 17 members."And in 2003 I was actually called and asked to pastor the remnant. The previous pastor was burned out. He said, 'Brother this is where God wants you. He sent you and I believe you are the next pastor,'" Palmer told Baptist Press. "And like Sarah, Abraham's wife, I laughed. My idea was to be bicoastal. I was going to have a home on the East Coast and two aircraft, a home in L.A. and work in the entertainment industry."
Palmer's idyllic picture differed from the Baltimore he ministers to today, where openly homosexual and transsexual pastors lead churches a stone's throw away from his. It's also where heroin addicts, the homeless, prostitutes, alcoholics, committed blue-collar workers, affluent professionals, artists and college students all live within a two-mile radius of the architecturally rich church founded in 1845 and rebuilt after a 1919 fire.
On June 8, the Sunday prior to the Southern Baptist Convention 2014 annual meeting, Palmer relaunched the congregation as Seventh Metro Church. Fred Luter, who had mentored Palmer in ministry, preached the service as one of the last sermons of his term as Southern Baptist Convention president.
Luter commissioned Palmer and the 15 or so Seventh Metro members in ministry, joined on the occasion by perhaps 300 Southern Baptist friends and supporters.
"Father, in the name of Jesus, on behalf of the churches and messengers of the Southern Baptist Convention, on behalf of NAMB -- the North American Mission Board, God we right now want to pray and lift up the Seventh Metro Church," Luter prayed. "Thank you for these committed and faithful members. Bless them God collectively and individually. God we commission them. We send them out from this day forth God to fulfill the Great Commission and the Great Commandment of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. ... We lift them up to you God. Give them the boldness and strength that they need God to go throughout the highways and the byways of Baltimore God, and compel lost men and women, boys and girls to come." Read More
Panelists debate theology, agree on evangelismBALTIMORE (BP) -- Participants in a panel discussion held during the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Baltimore shared their disagreements concerning theology and evangelism, but agreed about the urgency to evangelize. Read More
SBC director of library & archives honoredBALTIMORE (BP) -- The Council of Seminary Presidents has honored Bill Sumners, director of the Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives, for 30 years of service in assembling and maintaining one of the world's largest collections of Baptist research material. Read More
Priscilla Shirer: 'God is able' and sovereign-BALTIMORE (BP) -- An overflow crowd of more than 1,200 women examined God's sovereignty during the 60th annual Southern Baptist Convention Ministers' Wives Luncheon, held June 10 during the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in Baltimore. Read More
Jeannie Elliff honored by ministers' wives
BALTIMORE (BP) -- Jeannie Elliff, wife of International Mission Board President Tom Elliff, was honored with the 2014 Willie Turner Dawson Award during the Ministers' Wives Luncheon at the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in Baltimore. Read More
Pastor's wife: Conversation brings balanceBALTIMORE (BP) -- When a pastor's wife asks her husband, "How can I help you?" the answer may not be what she expects. But Christine Hoover says a simple question can open the door to conversation that brings clarity to the blurred lines between ministry and a couple's personal life together. Read More