Baptist Press Archive

Thursday, July 03, 2014

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  • Billy Graham's July 4, 1970, words: 'The Unfinished Dream'

    by Myriah Snyder, posted Thursday, July 03, 2014 (3 years ago)

    Photo courtesy of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association
    WASHINGTON (BP) -- Billy Graham stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial the morning of July 4, 1970, to deliver his message, "The Unfinished Dream," to a crowd estimated between 15,000 and 30,000 people.

    Graham was the keynote speaker for Honor America Day’s "nationally televised religious service," according to a Baptist Press story at the time. Total attendance for Honor America Day celebrations near the memorial that day would approach 400,000. Amid the political and emotional chaos of the Vietnam War, Honor America Day was organized to boost the American spirit and "rededicate [Americans] to the responsibilities of America for the unfinished tasks ahead," former President Lyndon B. Johnson said.

    The religious service included Graham's message; benedictions by Baptists E.V. Hill and E.L. Harrison and Roman Catholic Bishop Fulton J. Sheen; and music by Kate Smith, the United States Army Band and the CenturyMen, a choir of 100 Southern Baptist men. A parade of flags to the White House concluded the morning's festivities.

    The religious service was the first in a series of national, patriotic celebrations that day including activities on the mall between Lincoln Memorial and the Capitol, a spectacular fireworks show and various other events featuring such notables as Bob Hope, Glen Campbell, Jack Benny, Dinah Shore and the New Christy Minstrels.

    Although reports in preparation for the event stated that police were expecting a peaceful crowd, Graham's message was met with protesters. Young "hippies" dishonored the flag, shouted anti-war obscenities, attempted to disrupt the service and tried to climb the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Their efforts were unsuccessful; the crowd applauded as the protesters were dispersed by park police.

    Graham began by interpreting 1 Peter 2:17 to mean "honor the nation," establishing a tie to the Independence Day celebration. "We're not only here today to honor America,” he declared, “but we're here as citizens to renew our dedication and allegiance to the principles and institutions that made her great."

    Graham acknowledged the significance of the monuments surrounding him and the vision represented by Presidents Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln. "We can listen to no better voices than these men who gave us the dream that has become America," the evangelist said. "These men represent thousands who worked, prayed, suffered and died to give us this nation."

    The nation's institutions were "under attack," Graham said, but the goal of the celebration was to prove that Americans still believed in them.

    "Let's let the world know today that the majority of us still proudly sing 'My country 'tis of thee. Sweet land of liberty.' America needs to sing again. America needs to celebrate again. America needs to wave the flag again."

    Graham commented on accusations against him for "honoring any secular state" by stating, "Jesus said, 'Rend unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's. The apostle Paul proudly boasted of being a Roman citizen. The Bible says honor the nation. As a Christian or as a Jew or as an atheist, we have a responsibility that has always stood for liberty, protection and opportunity." Read More

  • Students take Jesus to Rio's 'Crack-land'

    by Don Graham, posted Thursday, July 03, 2014 (3 years ago)

    IMB/Wilson Hunter
    RIO DE JANEIRO (BP) -- Locals know it as "Crack-land," a run-down, crime-ridden neighborhood in the heart of Rio where addicts come to get their fix. Many never leave. Crack cocaine is the star attraction, and its victims line Crack-land's streets. They've lost everything to the drug -- jobs, homes, families, hope. Read More

  • Former addict escapes from Rio's 'Crack-land'

    by Don Graham, posted Thursday, July 03, 2014 (3 years ago)

    IMB/Lina White
    RIO DE JANEIRO (BP) -- After seven years on the streets, Marcelo Gomes* had seen enough. He'd witnessed too many fellow crack addicts brutally murdered at the hands of the drug lords who ruled Rio's favelas (slums). If he didn't do something soon, he might be next. Read More

  • ANALYSIS: No 'war on women' - examining Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Hobby Lobby dissent

    by Gregory Tomlin, posted Thursday, July 03, 2014 (3 years ago)

    According to Justice Ginsburg, religious liberty ends where a third party enters the equation, or where people are gathered for a purpose other than public worship.
    WASHINGTON (BP) -- Within hours of the Supreme Court's decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, politicians and media outlets were accusing conservative justices of fueling the "Republican war on women." The critics predicted a tidal wave of new cases caused by conflicts between workers and employers who hold "religiously grounded objections" to blood transfusions, antidepressants and medicinal products made from pigs. Read More

  • Ramadan – a time for 'intense' Mideast prayer

    by S. Craig Sanders, posted Thursday, July 03, 2014 (3 years ago)

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP) -- Violence erupting in Iraq and Syria as the jihadist group ISIS declares an Islamic state is "annihilating Middle Eastern Christians," the director of Islamic studies at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary said. Read More

  • Religious freedom urged at Air Force Academy

    by Kristen Eicher/WORLD News Service, posted Thursday, July 03, 2014 (3 years ago)

    COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (BP) -- The Restore Military Religious Freedom Coalition teamed up with the Family Research Council to deliver a petition with 105,000 signatures to the Air Force Academy seeking the restoration of First Amendment freedoms, particularly religious liberty, to cadets at the Colorado Springs school. Read More

  • CALL TO PRAYER: Interceding for our nation

    by Frank S. Page, posted Thursday, July 03, 2014 (3 years ago)

    On the eve of our 238th anniversary as a free country, we must stop and thank God for all He has done for us. Frank S. Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, calls us to pray for our nation this Independence Day. Read More

  • EDITORIAL: La Verdadera Libertad

    by Gustavo Suárez, posted Thursday, July 03, 2014 (3 years ago)

    Hace ya 51 años que mi familia y yo emigramos de mi país natal en busca de libertad política. Aunque yo solo tenía nueve años pude sentir las garras dolorosas de un régimen déspota. Recuerdo, aunque a una edad muy tierna, varias cosas que han impactado mi vida hasta hoy día. Déjame mencionar algunas de estas. Read More

  • Ladrón entra a una iglesia, encuentra el perdón y una nueva vida

    Por Dana Williamson/The Baptist Messenger, posted Thursday, July 03, 2014 (3 years ago)

    BROKEN ARROW, Oklahoma (BP) —- Cuando George Aguilar entró y robó cosas de la First Baptist Church de Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, lo último que esperaba encontrar era amor y perdón. Pero esa noche de noviembre del 2004 cambio para siempre la vida de este hombre de 20 años.

    Siendo un joven fácil de influenciar quien perdió su trabajo y necesitaba dinero para enviar a su madre y hermano menor en El Salvador, Aguilar dijo que pensó que lo púnico que podía hacer bajo estas circunstancias era robar.

    Aguilar y otros dos hombres robaron e hicieron destrozos en 11 iglesias en el área de Broken Arrow/Tulsa en un lapso de cuatro meses. Se llevaron las cámaras, los módems de las computadoras, las guitarras, los amplificadores y otros equipos electrónicos. Hicieron daños a las propiedades de las iglesias que ascienden a los $250,000. En la iglesia en Broken Arrow estos hombres causaron $25,000 en daños a la propiedad y destruyeron lo que no se iban a llevar.

    La iglesia acababa de completar la construcción de un edificio de usos múltiples, sin contraer deudas financieras, y el cual incluía el centro para alabanza.

    "Todos estábamos enfurecidos pensando cómo alguien podría hacerle esto a una iglesia," dijo el pastor Nick Garland. "Fue especialmente doloroso para nosotros porque trabajamos tanto tiempo para ver la estructura terminada y había sido dañada en tan poco tiempo y tan insensatamente. Quería que atraparan a la(s) persona(s) que hizo esto y quería que lo(s) castigaran."

    Después que los ladrones fueron aprendidos, Aguilar escribió una carta de disculpas para las iglesias que él había robado y destrozado. Read More

  • Evento hispano toca comunidad

    Por el personal/Noticias Bautistas de Arkansas, posted Thursday, July 03, 2014 (3 years ago)

    Foto de Jessica Vanderpool
    GURDON, Ark. (BP) -- ¿Qué tienen en común partidos de futbol, una clínica dental y una fiesta de barrio? Evangelismo. Todo esto y más fue parte de un evento hispano misionero de un día llamado "Impactando su comunidad a través de Cristo." Read More

  • Acuerdo bipartidista sobre tráfico y adopción

    Por el personal, posted Thursday, July 03, 2014 (3 years ago)

    WASHINGTON (BP) -- Un acuerdo bipartidista del Congreso diseñado para combatir el tráfico sexual de niños y para fomentar las adopciones ha recibido el respaldo del líder de ética de la Convención Bautista del Sur. Read More

  • Tarjetas de oración conectan iglesias y capellanes

    Por Joe Conway, posted Thursday, July 03, 2014 (3 years ago)

    ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP) -- Mientras desarrollaba su sermón para niños, Mark Standridge planeaba no proporcionarle una tarjeta a su joven audiencia. El pastor de la Iglesia Bautista Placer Heights en Placerville, California, inició su corto mensaje con una pregunta para los niños. Read More

  • EDITORIAL: La Verdadera Libertad

    Por Gustavo Suárez, posted Thursday, July 03, 2014 (3 years ago)

    LAUREL, Maryland (BP) –- Hace ya 51 años que mi familia y yo emigramos de mi país natal en busca de libertad política. Aunque yo solo tenía nueve años pude sentir las garras dolorosas de un régimen déspota. Recuerdo, aunque a una edad muy tierna, varias cosas que han impactado mi vida hasta hoy día. Déjame mencionar algunas de estas. Read More