Tuesday, December 11, 2018Download All Stories
Refugee stories stretch volunteer's 'narrow view'RICHMOND, Va. (BP) -- Remember back in 2015 when Syria's refugees were flooding out of the country in record numbers? Thousands died crossing a sea on what should have been a 45-minute boat journey. Rescue and relief organizations were out in record number.
In the years since, many more refugees have filled the news cycle. More than a million Rohingya people have reportedly been forced out of their homes in Myanmar, taking shelter in Bangladesh, Malaysia and Thailand with no hope or plan for the future. Uganda is reportedly also hosting more than a million refugees from South Sudan. And refugees from Somalia, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and Nigeria join Syrians in their quest to somehow get beyond the reach of terrorist groups. Read More
Chinese Christians: We will 'stand strong'SICHAUN PROVINCE, China (BP) -- As China continues to hunt down and arrest members of a house church in Sichuan Province, many of the 100 or more Christians arrested reportedly pledged in advance to persevere even until death.
Gina Goh, Southeast Asia regional manager for International Christian Concern, said many leaders of Autumn Rain Covenant Church counted the cost and pledged faithfulness in advance of arrests at homes, workplaces and on the streets that have continued since Dec. 9.
"I think a lesson we can learn from them is they continue to say that, 'No matter what may come, we will continue to serve the Lord. We will continue to stand strong in our faith,'" Goh told Baptist Press today (Dec. 11). "As was demonstrated in this church, ... their pastor, a lot of elders, actually wrote letters to their congregation saying that, 'We will not bend, even if it means jail, even if it means death. We will continue to preserve our faith.'" Read More
High court's order raises question on abortionWASHINGTON (BP) -- The U.S. Supreme Court's refusal to rule on cases involving government funding of Planned Parenthood has raised the question of whether pro-life advocates can count on a majority of justices in abortion-related cases.
The high court announced Monday (Dec. 10) it would not review lower court opinions regarding decisions by Kansas and Louisiana to remove Planned Parenthood as a Medicaid provider. The order came in cases that did not address abortion directly but involved whether Medicaid recipients can challenge a state's decision on who qualifies as a provider in the government program that helps with health-care expenses. Read More
Survey: Americans want more Christ this ChristmasNASHVILLE (BP) -- Most Americans want more religious meaning to the Christmas season, and for some that includes the seasonal greetings we say to each other.
A new study from LifeWay Research found two-thirds of Americans (65 percent) say, "Christmas should be more about Jesus."
Those looking for more Christ in Christmas in 2018, however, are significantly fewer than four years ago. A 2014 LifeWay Research study found 79 percent of Americans at that time said Christmas should be more about Jesus.
While similar numbers registered disagreement with the statement in 2014 and 2018 (18 and 19 percent respectively), the percentage who said they were unsure if Christmas should be more about Jesus jumped from 3 percent four years ago to 16 percent today. Read More
Former Houston's First minister admits embezzlementHOUSTON (BP) -- A former pastoral staff member at Houston's First Baptist Church has admitted to embezzling more than $800,000 from the congregation, according to media reports.
Jerrell Altic, 40, was indicted Dec. 10 for first degree felony theft of more than $800,000 from 2011-17, Houston's First said in a statement by pastor Gregg Matte and deacon chairman Craig Bloodworth. Altic surrendered to law enforcement today (Dec. 11) and has "admitted fully to the offense," his attorney James Alston said according to The Houston Chronicle.
Altic is "working with the church, he's trying to make amends for everything that he possibly can," Alston said, adding, "He feels horrible for what has happened and the pain that it's caused everyone at the church, and his family members and friends. He would want me to tell everyone that he's sorry." Read More
Mohler underscores 'something glorious' to SBTS gradsLOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP) -- Seminary graduates bear witness to the glory of God's reign promised by the birth of the Messiah, said R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, at the school's 222nd commencement exercises.
During the Dec. 6 ceremony in Louisville, Ky., 156 master's and doctoral students were present to receive their degrees on Friday as members of an overall 208-person graduating class.
In his address, titled "For the Earth Shall Be Full of the Knowledge of the Lord as the Waters Cover the Sea," Mohler said the graduates of Southern Seminary are part of a global movement that began in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago. And that movement will not stop until God's glory spreads to the entire world, he said. Read More
FROM THE STATES: Ala., Tenn., Okla. evangelism/missions news; '... [T]hey ... are going to spend eternity either in heaven or hell'
Today's From the States features items from: The Alabama Baptist; Baptist and Reflector (Tennessee); Baptist Messenger (Oklahoma) Read More