Baptist Press Archive

Friday, April 20, 2012

Download All Stories
  • 1% Challenge: Economy doesn't deter church from giving

    by Meredith Flynn, posted Friday, April 20, 2012 (6 years ago)

    BRIDGEPORT, Ill. (BP) -- Pastor Wes Hahn didn't have to twist any arms when he proposed that Shiloh Baptist Church increase its Cooperative Program giving by 1 percentage point in 2012.

    During his four-year tenure at Shiloh in Bridgeport, Ill., Hahn has used every opportunity to promote CP, Southern Baptists' main method of cooperative giving. In Illinois, 43.25 percent of CP funds go to national and global Southern Baptist missions, while the remaining 56.75 percent helps support Illinois missions.

    Shiloh has a long history of Cooperative Program support, Hahn said, so when he suggested the church raise its giving from 14.5 to 15.5 percent of their undesignated offerings, the finance team and the rest of the congregation were ready to accept the 1% Challenge, a national initiative by the Southern Baptist Convention's Executive Committee.

    "The beauty of the Cooperative Program" is that Southern Baptists' 45,000-plus churches are "all working to fulfill the Great Commission," Hahn said. "... For every dollar we give to the CP, it's literally going around the world."

    Shiloh and other churches that have tackled the 1% Challenge are doing their part to combat a nationwide slide in Cooperative Program giving. Last year, national CP giving was 3.98 percent below the amount allocated to support Southern Baptist ministries globally and across North America, despite a slight increase over the previous year. In Illinois, year-end Cooperative Program giving was 9 percent below budgeted giving and 2.6 percent lower than the previous year.

    "It's been a couple of tough years in a row for Cooperative Program missions, but here in Illinois, we're making the necessary adjustments and living within our means," said Nate Adams, executive director of the Illinois Baptist State Association. "We're all eager for the economy to improve and for Illinois Baptist families and churches to get past these current financial hardships.

    "The fact that these families and churches continue to give so faithfully to cooperative missions even during these challenging times, is a cause for great encouragement," Adams said.

    Shiloh is one example of a church giving despite a downward economy. The church's undesignated giving in 2011 was 6 to 7 percent lower than the previous year, Hahn said, but missions giving actually increased, including a record high contribution to the Illinois Mission Offering.

    "Even though there might be a little downturn in the economy, so the tithes and offerings are down, when it got to specific giving, they said, 'Well, that's the need; that's what we're going to do.'" Hahn recounted.

    Shiloh's missions giving mindset and growing missions sending strategy is based on knowing the important role the church plays in Kingdom ministries, Hahn said, noting that Jesus' challenge in Acts 1:8 to be witnesses all over the world isn't possible without cooperation. Read More

  • Study: Religious hostility escalates worldwide

    by Mark Norton, posted Friday, April 20, 2012 (6 years ago)

    WASHINGTON (BP) -- Practicing a religious belief in nearly one-third of the world's countries is increasingly difficult due to government restrictions and public hostilities, according to new data from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. Read More

  • Speaker: Avoid 'proof texts' for sexual ethics

    by Andrew Walker, posted Friday, April 20, 2012 (6 years ago)

    DECATUR, Ga. (BP) -- A highly anticipated conference sponsored by moderate Baptists on the topic of sexuality kicked off its first day on Thursday (April 19) with conference attendees hearing speakers discuss the issue of sexual identity and how to discern "new understandings" of authority. Read More

  • Cooperation & the Southern Baptist Convention

    by Roger S. (Sing) Oldham, posted Friday, April 20, 2012 (6 years ago)

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) -- Recognizing the drain frequent financial requests made on the churches, our Baptist forbears in the opening decades of the 20th century hammered out a plan that recognized and sought to address this problem. Read More

  • Prioritizing SBC work in North America

    by Kevin Ezell, posted Friday, April 20, 2012 (6 years ago)

    ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP) -- Sometimes I am asked how the North American Mission Board is prioritizing its work in North America. There are probably a few different ways we could do that, but I tell people we are letting the numbers draw our map and letting God be our guide. Read More

  • Church members ponder, 'What more can I do?'

    by David Roach, posted Friday, April 20, 2012 (6 years ago)

    EDITOR'S NOTE: Cooperative Program Sunday will be April 22 in the Southern Baptist Convention.

    MARION, Ky. (BP) -- Even though Mexico Baptist Church already was giving 25 percent of its undesignated receipts through the Cooperative Program, the rural Kentucky congregation wanted to do more for Christ.

    Led by pastor Tim Burdon, the congregation set a goal of giving more dollars through CP than ever before by asking each member to increase his or her weekly gift to the church by ... Read More

  • Named for W. Carey, church is strong on CP

    by Mike Creswell, posted Friday, April 20, 2012 (6 years ago)

    EDITOR'S NOTE: Cooperative Program Sunday will be April 22 in the Southern Baptist Convention.

    HENDERSON, N.C. (BP) -- Much of Al James' life connects with missions history.

    James is pastor of Carey Baptist Church near Henderson, N.C., named for William Carey (1761-1834), the famous English missionary. Carey's preaching and writing through his trailblazing career in India as a missionary, translator and educator helped launch the modern missions movement.

    James also is asso... Read More

  • Complaint: N.H. P. Parenthood breaking law

    by Staff, posted Friday, April 20, 2012 (6 years ago)

    CONCORD, N.H. (BP) -- The Alliance Defense Fund has filed an official complaint against Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, saying the group is breaking New Hampshire state law by directly providing abortion-causing drugs to women.

    According to the April 18 complaint, filed with the New Hampshire Board of Pharmacy, "Planned Parenthood does not have a pharmacist on site at any of its six clinics" but nevertheless distributes birth control, the morning-after pill and RU-486. New Hamps... Read More

  • CULTURE DIGEST: Births to cohabiting couples dramatically increase

    by Staff, posted Friday, April 20, 2012 (6 years ago)

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) -- The number of babies born to unmarried couples who are living together in America has increased dramatically during the past decade, according to a new report by the National Center for Health Statistics.

    "We were a little surprised in such a short time period to see these increases," Gladys Martinez, a demographer and the lead author of the report, said.

    About 23 percent of the reported births in the study -- based on face-to-face interviews of 22,000 men and ... Read More

  • FIRST-PERSON: Mirando a lo que tengo

    by Óscar J. Fernández, posted Friday, April 20, 2012 (6 years ago)

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) -- Cuando llegué a los Estados Unidos de América, tropecé con una realidad muy diferente a la que había imaginado por lo que había visto en las películas de Hollywood y leído en algunas revistas que habían llegado a mis manos en Cuba, país en el que cualquier publicación estadounidense era considerada como "Propaganda del Enemigo" por lo que podrá imaginar que era muy difícil leer algo publicado aquí. Read More

  • Tweets de pastor de NYC eliminan valla comercial

    Por Sara Shelton, posted Friday, April 20, 2012 (6 years ago)

    NEW YORK (BP) -- Cuando el pastor Freddy T. Wyatt llega cada día a su iglesia en la ciudad de New York y se sienta en su oficina, mira por la ventana. Ahí, al lado del Hotel Broadway Plaza, hay una valla comercial de cuatro pisos de alto que es la morada de anuncios de productos como Coca-Cola y Vitamin Water (agua vitaminada). La Iglesia Gallery ha estado en la esquina de la 27 y Broadway durante casi tres años y, cada tres semanas cuando el anuncio cambia, los miembros de la congregación no pueden menos que notarlo.

    Cuando a principios de abril Wyatt se sentó en su escritorio y su mirada se dirigió a la valla comercial, se quedó en shock cuando vio -- un nuevo anuncio de Vitamin Water, una marca de Coca-Cola, que presentaba a una mujer medio desnuda con la frase "xxx tú está en la onda" que le cubría el pecho y que promovía un sabor de la bebida llamado XXX.

    "La valla me dejó sin aire pero no en forma positiva," relató Wyatt. Yo había comenzado a anticipar los diferentes anuncios cada mes, pero este me dejó helado. Me rompió el corazón."

    Wyatt pensó en los hombres y mujeres de la Iglesia Gallery que verían ese anuncio cada domingo cuando regresaran a sus hogares. "¿Cómo podían estar enfocadas en la verdad que recién se les había presentado en la iglesia cuando salieran a enfrentar una distracción de cuatro pisos?"

    Pensó en sus hijos, dos varones y una hija. ¿Qué mensaje les enviaría esto a ellos?

    "Se me rompió el corazón al pensar que mi hija, después de escuchar el mensaje que ella era amada y valorada por Dios atravesara las puertas de su iglesia solamente para recibir otro mensaje de una valla comercial de cuatro pisos. Este le dice a ella: 'Si te ves así o te levantas la blusa o provocas a los hombres, entonces serás valorada.' Estoy seguro de que este no es el propósito de la compañía -- degradar mujeres y tentar a los hombres a hacer lo mismo -- pero esto es exactamente lo que la valla hace." Read More

  • La cooperación y la Convención Bautista del Sur

    Por Roger S. (Sing) Oldham, posted Friday, April 20, 2012 (6 years ago)

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) -- Reconociendo el frecuente egreso financiero que las peticiones hacían en las iglesias, nuestros antepasados bautistas en las primeras décadas del siglo XX idearon un plan que reconocía y buscaba abordar el problema. Read More

  • COMPENDIO CULTURA: Los nacimientos en parejas cohabitantes incrementan dramáticamente

    Por el Personal, posted Friday, April 20, 2012 (6 years ago)

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) -- El número de bebés nacidos a parejas no casadas que viven juntas en EE.UU. aumentó dramáticamente durante la década pasada, de acuerdo a un informe de noticias del Centro Nacional de Estadísticas de Salud.

    "Estuvimos un poquito sorprendidos de ver estos incrementos en tan corto tiempo," dijo Gladys Martínez, demógrafa y autora principal del informe.

    Cerca del 23 por ciento de los nacimientos reportados en el estudio-- con base en entrevistas cara a cara a 22.00... Read More

  • Dado con los falsos profetas, Quietud

    Por Alci Rengifo, posted Friday, April 20, 2012 (6 years ago)

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) -- En la actualidad estamos acostumbrados a aceptar las imitaciones. Hay sustitutos para el café, el azúcar, las ropas de marca y hay joyas que solo un experto puede notar la diferencia entre las genuinas y las de fantasía.

    Las personas que coleccionan antigüedades, muchas veces descubren que los artículos que compraron como antiguos y por los cuales pagaron una fortuna, son solamente muy buenas imitaciones.

    En la actualidad también hay engañadores y falsos maest... Read More

  • EDITORIAL: Mirando a lo que tengo

    Por Óscar J. Fernández, posted Friday, April 20, 2012 (6 years ago)

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) -- Cuando llegué a los Estados Unidos de América, tropecé con una realidad muy diferente a la que había imaginado por lo que había visto en las películas de Hollywood y leído en algunas revistas que habían llegado a mis manos en Cuba, país en el que cualquier publicación estadounidense era considerada como "Propaganda del Enemigo" por lo que podrá imaginar que era muy difícil leer algo publicado aquí. Read More