Thursday, November 18, 2004Download All Stories
China attempts to improve image while simultaneously suppressing Christians
BEIJING, China (BP)--When outgoing Secretary of State Colin Powell met with Chinese officials at the end of October, they assured him they were willing to re-open a dialogue on human rights abuses in their country and Powell left saying relations between the United States and China were the best they've been in more than 30 years. But recent reports of increased persecution of Christians may construct a different assessment of the communist nation. Read More
1 year later: Mass. marriage ruling sparked national backlash
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--One year ago this month, Massachusetts' high court handed down its historic ruling legalizing same-sex "marriage," sparking a nationwide backlash that is still being felt. In the year since that ruling, 13 states banned same-sex "marriage" within their respective constitutions, the U.S. House and Senate debated a nationwide ban on "gay marriage" and a conservative president was re-elected. Read More
Churches learn to negotiate insurance after hurricanes
Victory Baptist Church in West Palm Beach lost its steeple and sustained added damage when every tree on the grounds was toppled by Hurricane Frances.
ORLANDO, Fla. (BP)--The damage caused by hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne has led church pastors and leaders into a maze of insurance claims, negotiations and settlements. Pastors, while still comforting and counseling church members who suffered losses in the storms, also must try to rally church members to replenish church coffers which took a hit from cancelled Sunday services.
Still, most church leaders, in interviews with the Florida Baptist Witness, say the storms have served to unify their congregations and focus their attention on their neighborhoods. Read More
WMU executive and NAMB respond to Va. declaration
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--The national Woman’s Missionary Union and Virginia WMU are autonomous organizations, national WMU Executive Director Wanda Lee said in a statement regarding a “Declaration of the Dignity of Women” adopted by Virginia WMU in September.
"[NAMB] still strongly affirms women in a myriad of roles in the church and denomination, including the 2,500-plus who serve as NAMB missionaries and the 200 women who serve as SBC-endorsed chaplains." NAMB statement
The Virginia WMU declaration alleges discrimination “against women in the work of Christian ministry” and takes particular aim at the Southern Baptist Convention’s Faith and Message 2000 statement of beliefs. The BF&M, which cites numerous Bible passages in various areas of belief, notes that the office of pastor should be held by men. Read More
FIRST-PERSON: Virginia WMU & women in ministry
FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)--How intriguing to see that the leaders of Woman’s Missionary Union of Virginia have adopted a declaration endorsing the "diverse and unlimited" Christian vocations of women. Does Scripture offer any unlimited choices other than God’s grace? Read More
Okla. Baptists elect 1st woman to post of 2nd vice president
DEL CITY, Okla. (BP)--Oklahoma Baptists made history when messengers to the annual meeting of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma elected a woman to one of its three top offices.
New petition by Mo. Convention filed against breakaway entities
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (BP)--Attorneys for the Missouri Baptist Convention have filed a new petition in the legal effort to reclaim five breakaway entities, with assets of $250 million, that changed their charters to elect their own trustees, rather than the convention. Read More
Ill. Baptists vote to reduce board from 72 to 33 members
TINLEY PARK, Ill. (BP)--Messengers to the Illinois Baptist State Association's annual meeting at the Holiday Inn Select and Convention Center in Tinley Park Nov. 10-11 approved a reduction in the size of the association's board from 72 to 33 members. Read More