Baptist Press Archive

Friday, October 01, 2010

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  • ELECTION '10: Future of 'gay marriage' could be at stake

    by Michael Foust, posted Friday, October 01, 2010 (8 years ago)

    WASHINGTON (BP)--The economy may be dominating the election season and Congress may be in the spotlight, but activists on both sides of the "gay marriage" debate are closely watching several key gubernatorial and state legislative races that could determine the future of marriage in the United States.

          Statewide races in at least five states -- Minnesota, Maine, Rhode Island, Maryland and New York -- could decide whether marriage is redefined nationally to include homosexual couples. At the same time, two states, Iowa and New Hampshire, could see "gay marriage" laws repealed outright if everything falls the way of conservatives in November. None of the states have constitutional marriage amendments.

          Conservative groups are watching state races with a close eye this year, particularly after watching legislatures in three states pass laws legalizing "gay marriage" in 2009. The races could go a long way toward giving federal courts an indication of the nation's mood on the issue, said Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, which backs candidates who support traditional marriage.

          "The courts read election returns," Brown told Baptist Press. "The Proposition 8 case is moving its way through the courts, and it's up to the people of this country to make absolutely clear, especially to the U.S. Supreme Court, that the people of this country aren't going to stand for unelected judges or out-of-control legislatures forcing same-sex marriage on this country."

          Many of the homosexual groups' state victories in recent years were due to the advocacy and support of multi-millionaire Tim Gill, a homosexual man who made his money from his successful Quark software company. He retired in 2000 and announced he would use his money for homosexual advocacy. Much of that money has gone to support state-level candidates.

          "I don't know that there's been a more important election [on the issue], because up until this point, Tim Gill and a number of extremely wealthy gay multi-millionaires have been putting millions of dollars into state elections, supporting candidates who want to redefine marriage, but those candidates never talked about the issue publicly," Brown said. "They have been dealing with what was essentially a stealth campaign.

          "This election, for the first time we have been able to make marriage an issue and win. No longer will Tim Gill and the rest have a free pass. Winning in the key places we're involved ... Read More

  • SBC 2009-10 fiscal year: below budget 6.18%; Cooperative Program down 4.03%

    by Art Toalston, posted Friday, October 01, 2010 (8 years ago)

    NAMB photo
    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--The Southern Baptist Convention finished its Oct. 1 - Sept. 30 fiscal year 6.18 percent below budget, while Cooperative Program receipts for the year were down 4.03 percent and combined CP and designated giving for the year was down 2.52 percent, according to a news release ... Read More

  • NAMB's Ezell: 'Considerable change' coming

    by Staff, posted Friday, October 01, 2010 (8 years ago)

    ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP)--Telling North American Mission Board staff "considerable change" is coming, President Kevin Ezell shared a retirement incentive with employees that will be the beginning of an overall reduction in force ... Read More

  • RESOURCE: 'Whosoever Will'

    by Staff, posted Friday, October 01, 2010 (8 years ago)

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)—"Whosoever Will," a critique of five-point Calvinism released by LifeWay in 2010, reached bestseller status on, hitting number one Aug. 30 in the category of "Denominations & Sects" and also number one on Aug. 31 in the category of "Calvinist." Read More

  • WHOSOEVER WILL: Total depravity

    by Paige Patterson, posted Friday, October 01, 2010 (8 years ago)

    [IMGONLY=28786@left@100]FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)--In the well-publicized internal discussion among evangelical Christians concerning Calvinism, the fact that the biblical teaching of man's hopeless depravity, however defined, is the doctrine that the world vociferously rejects is often overlooked.

    However defined, depravity, in its self-sufficient arrogance, pictures man as fallen, rebellious toward God, and helpless in his ability to please God even in his noblest acts. Such a picture is ali... Read More

  • WHOSOEVER WILL: Another view of the biblical doctrine of election

    by Richard Land, posted Friday, October 01, 2010 (8 years ago)

    [IMGONLY=28787@left@100]NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--The question of God's divine sovereignty and man's "free agency" as The Baptist Faith & Message describes it, has vexed serious Christians for centuries.

    How do we reconcile two great eternal truths, seemingly one in contradiction to the other, proclaimed by the same apostle under the Holy Spirit's inspiration -- that "He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight" (Eph. 1:4); and that God has an ... Read More

  • WHOSOEVER WILL: The atonement: Limited or universal?

    by David L. Allen, posted Friday, October 01, 2010 (8 years ago)

    [IMGONLY=28788@left@100]FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)--The issue of the "extent of the atonement" answers the question "For whose sins did Christ die?" There are only two options: 1) for the elect alone ("limited atonement" also called "definite atonement," or "particular redemption"), or 2) for all of humanity.

    Importantly, arguing for unlimited atonement and against limited atonement does not require quoting a single Arminian or non-Calvinist. It is a common misconception that all Calvinists aff... Read More

  • WHOSOEVER WILL: A Baptist's perspective on irresistible grace

    by Steve Lemke, posted Friday, October 01, 2010 (8 years ago)

    [IMGONLY=28789@left@100]NEW ORLEANS (BP)--Many Baptists, when asked about the five points of Calvinism, characterize themselves as two or three point Calvinists, and almost invariably the two doctrines that Baptists deny are limited atonement and irresistible grace.

    Why do most Baptists deny irresistible grace?

    At the Synod of Dort, which framed the doctrines summarized in the T.U.L.I.P. acrostic, irresistible grace was defined as "God works in us without our help." The Synod affirmed ... Read More

  • WHOSOEVER WILL: The perseverance and assurance of the saints

    by Ken Keathley, posted Friday, October 01, 2010 (8 years ago)

    [IMGONLY=28790@left@100]WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP)--At a symposium honoring Dale Moody, I. Howard Marshall recited the old saw that Arminians know they are saved but are afraid they cannot keep it, while Calvinists know they cannot lose their salvation but are afraid they do not have it. Aside from being witty, this highlights the two components of the question about assurance.

    First, is it possible to know absolutely or even confidently that one is saved, and second, is it possible for those w... Read More

  • Church gives CP a multi-national boost

    by Karen L. Willoughby, posted Friday, October 01, 2010 (8 years ago)

    SILVER SPRING, Md. (BP)--"Without missions, a church is just a social club. Without missions, there is nothing you can justify to members. Without missions there is nothing to give to the church. Without missions, it's just about you."

    Samuel Rozolem, pastor of Nations United Baptist Church, is unwavering: "I believe that's the only reason a church exists, to do missions."

    To Rozolem, the Cooperative Program is a vital missions channel for the multi-national Nations United congregation... Read More

  • He was 'empty' until 'I opened my heart'

    by Karen L. Willoughby, posted Friday, October 01, 2010 (8 years ago)

    SILVER SPRING, Md. (BP)--Samuel Rozolem was a teenager when he came to America with his family from Brazil. His grandfather was a pastor and he was a nominally religious churchgoer when, in 1998, he turned his life over to God.

    "There was nothing dramatic going on in my life. I had a good job; I was financially independent; I had my own business," he recounted.

    "But everything was empty. In August 1998 I came to a point where I told God, 'If You have something for me, if You really hav... Read More

  • CULTURE DIGEST: Religious talk leads to little change, Barna finds; ...

    by Erin Roach, posted Friday, October 01, 2010 (8 years ago)

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--A surge in communications technology in the past decade has expanded religious dialogue, but the discussions have led to little change in people's lives, The Barna Group found in a recent survey.

    When asked, "Has anything related to your religious beliefs, practices or preferences changed in the past five years?" just 7 percent of respondents could think of anything that had changed.

    The types of people most likely to have changed included 13 percent of young adu... Read More

  • FIRST-PERSON: The heart of cooperation

    by Frank S. Page, posted Friday, October 01, 2010 (8 years ago)

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--I could have titled this article "The Miracle of Cooperation" or even thought about it titling it "When God Adds Up." Read More

  • FIRST-PERSON: Do unto others ...

    by Kelly Boggs, posted Friday, October 01, 2010 (8 years ago)

    ALEXANDRIA, La. (BP)--A Rutgers University freshman leapt to his death off of the George Washington Bridge on Sept. 22. Read More

  • ELECCIONES 2010: Definición de 'persona' en las boletas de votación de Colorado

    Por Michael Foust, posted Friday, October 01, 2010 (8 years ago)

    DENVER, Colo. (BP)--Dos años después de haber perdido en un ambiente electoral que no favorecía a los conservadores, los antiabortistas de Colorado regresan este año con otra iniciativa que incluir en la boleta de votaciones, la cual podrían responder a la sencilla pregunta: ¿qué es una persona?

          La Enmienda 62, como se le llama, enmendaría la constitución de Colorado para que defina a una persona como "cada ser humano desde el inicio del desarrollo biológico de ese ser humano." Tal frase parecería algo de sentido común para muchos estadounidenses, pero de hecho es bastante controversial y, si se le sostiene, podría tener un impacto dramático en las leyes del aborto de ese estado.

          En el 2008, una propuesta similar -- la primera de su tipo en una boleta de votación estatal -- perdió, 73 contra 27 por ciento. Aunque no llegó ni cerca de ser aprobada, encendió la chispa de un movimiento nacional que vio la aprobación de la enmienda de la definición de persona en la Cámara de Dakota del Norte y en el Senado de Montana en el 2009. Ninguna propuesta de ley llegó más lejos, pero mostró que el asunto no se limitaba a Colorado. Los ciudadanos de Mississippi, por ejemplo, votarán sobre la iniciativa de la definición de persona en el 2011, gracias a una exitosa campaña de petición.

          La enmienda 62 es la única pregunta relacionada con el aborto que aparece en la boleta de votación de un estado en las elecciones del 2 de noviembre. Si fuera aprobada, probablemente habría una demanda en su contra.

          "La Enmienda 62 pudiera restaurar la dignidad de todos los niños antes de nacer y corregiría una dudosa noción legal que dice que un niño antes de nacer es una propiedad no una persona," dijo Keith Mason a Baptist Press. Mason es el director de la campaña de la Enmienda 62. "Hablando desde el punto de vista legal, los niños por nacer pueden ser matados por el aborto ya que se les considera una propiedad de la madre no una persona. ...Traerá el argumento del carácter de persona ante la corte por primera vez desde el caso Roe vs. Wade."

    Irónicamente, el movimiento a favor del carácter de persona obtuvo su inspiración directamente del texto de la decisión tomada en 1973 sobre el caso de Roe vs. Wade, donde se legalizó el aborto a nivel nacional. Read More

  • Ayuda alimenticia es vital para combatir la crisis de VIH/SIDA

    Por Charles Braddix, posted Friday, October 01, 2010 (8 years ago)

    Foto de Charles Braddix
    SWEETWATERS, South Africa (BP)--Hlengiwe tiene solo 14 años, sin embargo es la cabeza de su familia que cuida a sus siete hermanos, hermanas y primos menores. Sus padres, abuelos, tías y tíos han muerto de SIDA. Read More

  • Junta de TX: religión presente equitativamente en los libros de texto

    Por Jerry Pierce, posted Friday, October 01, 2010 (8 years ago)

    AUSTIN, Texas (BP)--La Junta de Educación del Estado de Texas (SBOE por sus siglas en inglés) estrechamente aprobó el 24 de septiembre una resolución en la que se advierte a los editores de libros de texto que contenidos que "demonizan o exaltan a una o a más [religiones] que otras" serían rechazados. Read More

  • EDITORIAL: Nuestra responsabilidad ciudadana como creyentes

    Por Luis R. López, posted Friday, October 01, 2010 (8 years ago)

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--A la luz de los recientes eventos que nuestro país ha vivido en las últimas semanas, podríamos preguntarnos, ¿Cuáles son las responsabilidades de un ciudadano cristiano? ¿Cuál debe ser nuestro rol como creyentes ante las autoridades? Read More