Baptist Press Archive

Monday, December 17, 2012

Download All Stories
  • Funerals begin in Connecticut, Obama cites Bible, vows action; Luter points to God's house

    by Diana Chandler, posted Monday, December 17, 2012 (6 years ago)

    NEWTOWN, Conn. (BP) -- Funerals were held today (Dec. 17) for two of the 20 children shot to death last Friday in the presumed safety of a Newtown, Ct., elementary school.

    "We can't tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end."

    -- President Obama

    At nearby Southbury Baptist Church, pastor Bryan Sims met Monday with Southern Baptist disaster relief volunteers drawn to the community to speed healing and offer salvation. The church is serving as a base for Southern Baptist responders. The leaders encouraged Southern Baptists to pray for Newtown and suggested financial donations be sent to the Baptist Convention of New England's Victim Relief Fund.

    "... If revival is going to happen in our nation, it MUST start with the people of God."

    -- Fred Luter

    At Sunday's interfaith prayer vigil in Newtown, President Obama offered the assurance of 2 Corinthians 4:16-5:1 in his remarks.

    "Scripture tells us: '... do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all,'" President Obama said at the vigil, quoting from the passage. "'So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.'"

    Friday in the town of 30,000, 20-year-old Adam Lanza killed his mother at home, then drove to Sandy Hook Elementary School and killed 20 children and six adults, before committing suicide.

    Southern Baptist Convention President Fred Luter said the mass murder should be a wake-up call.

    "What happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School could happen at any school in America. No town, city or state in America is exempt from the demonic attacks of the enemy," Luter said. "As president of the Southern Baptist Convention, I would like to call on Southern Baptists across America to do three things in the aftermath of this tragedy in Newtown, Ct." -- to pray for spiritual revival; share their faith; and be "lights in a dark world" and "salt in a salt-less society."

    "If revival is going to happen in America it is not going to happen because of who is in the White House, the governor's house, or the mayor's house; but revival will happen because of who is in God's house," said Luter, pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans. "The Bible is very clear that if revival is going to happen in our nation, it MUST start with the people of God."

    Like so many pastors across the nation, Sims preached on the tragedy in his Sunday (Dec. 16) sermon.

    "I do trust that God will bring good out of this ... thing. For a God who created a universe out of nothing, nothing is impossible," Sims said.

    Sims is keeping the congregation updated through the church's Facebook page, telling of three Mississippians trained in trauma ministry who were en route to the church.

    "Along with [North American Mission Board disaster relief chaplaincy coordinator] Enio Aguero, they will use our church as a home base to coordinate efforts for ministry to Newtown and beyond," Sims wrote. "They will also help us develop a plan for the future ministry to the community." ... Read More

  • At Sandy Hook, chaplains pray, offer hope

    by Joe Conway, posted Monday, December 17, 2012 (6 years ago)

    NEWTOWN, Conn. (BP) -- While Enio Aguero has ministered to families of service personnel killed in action, only God's grace could prepare him to comfort those who lost their children in the mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Read More

  • Huckabee answers, 'Where was God?'

    by John Evans, posted Monday, December 17, 2012 (6 years ago)

    NEW YORK (BP) -- Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee took to his Saturday show on Fox News to answer the question of where God was during Friday's massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Ct. Read More

  • Collegians trek to N.Y. to tackle hurricane survivors' mud-out needs during winter break

    by Adam Miller, posted Monday, December 17, 2012 (6 years ago)

    Photo by Adam Miller
    NEW YORK, N.Y. (BP) -- Southern Baptist college students are spending their winter breaks making homes livable again for residents spending Christmas in dwellings damaged by superstorm Sandy.

    Photo by Adam Miller
          About 325 students are working with Southern Baptist Disaster Relief efforts through Jan. 22 on Staten Island and in other affected areas. At least 27 groups of students will gut homes, haul debris and minister while living in a tent village at Staten Island's Zion Lutheran Church. Read More

  • Christmas music enjoyed by 70% of Americans

    by Jon D. Wilke, posted Monday, December 17, 2012 (6 years ago)

    NASHVILLE (BP) -- Christmas music is nearly inescapable every December and most Americans enjoy it.

          According to a new LifeWay Research study, 70 percent of Americans enjoy hearing Christmas songs in December and 86 percent believe school choirs and bands should be allowed to perform religious Christmas music. Read More

  • 'O Come, All Ye Faithful' atop LifeWay carols

    by Jon D. Wilke, posted Monday, December 17, 2012 (6 years ago)

    NASHVILLE (BP) -- Every year, new Christmas songs are written and performed by popular artists from nearly every music genre, but inside churches, the classics still reign.

    The most popular Christmas songs downloaded or sold through [URL=][/URL] are:

    1. O Come, All Ye Faithful

    2. Joy To The World! The Lord Is Come

    3. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

    4. Angels We Have Heard On High

    5. Christ Has Come

    6. Silent Night,... Read More

  • Attorney: City laws against churches on rise

    by Michael Foust, posted Monday, December 17, 2012 (6 years ago)

    NASHVILLE (BP) -- Cities increasingly are viewing churches as a financial drain, writing laws that make it difficult -- and expensive -- for congregations to build new properties, an Alliance Defending Freedom attorney said at a Conference on the Culture in Nashville.

    Kevin Theriot, senior counsel with ADF, said churches "are beneficial to society" but that governments don't always see it that way.

    "You would no more tax a church than you would tax a public park," Theriot said at the a... Read More

  • Stephen Mansfield: 're-engage the culture'

    by Diana Chandler & Erin Roach, posted Monday, December 17, 2012 (6 years ago)

    NASHVILLE (BP) -- Christian evangelicals have a prime chance to influence the culture for moral change in the face of declining cultural values, author Stephen Mansfield said at a Conference on the Culture in Nashville.

    Mansfield offered hope and direction in reengaging a culture he described as "in the wrong arms," speaking on the role of faith in politics at the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission's annual Conference on the Culture in November.

    "I'm no... Read More

  • FIRST-PERSON: Mental health & the Newtown tragedy

    by Shannon Royce, posted Monday, December 17, 2012 (6 years ago)

    Shannon Royce, president of, a nonprofit organization for families living with hidden disabilities, echoes a desperate mother's plea for a discussion of mental health struggles that can lead to tragic consequences such as those in Newtown, Ct. Read More

  • BP Ledger, Dec. 17 edition

    by Staff, posted Monday, December 17, 2012 (6 years ago)

    EDITOR'S NOTE: BP Ledger will not be published Dec. 24 or Dec. 31.

    EDITOR'S NOTE: BP Ledger carries items for reader information each week from various Southern Baptist-related entities, and news releases of interest from other sources. The items are published as received.

    Today's BP Ledger contains items from:

    Open Doors USA

    Hardin-Simmons University

    Campbellsville University

    University of Mobile

    Joni and Friends

    North Korea: Christians Still Intensely Persecut... Read More