Current News July 26
*From The States Insert (pgs. 5-9)
*Clean Churches Die (pg. 1)
Scott Attebery – During my second full week of pastoring, one of the ladies of our church made a disturbing comment. Looking back, I believe her comment probably describes the attitude of many other churches and their members. Our church was getting ready to construct a new building when I was hired. I’m sure the lady meant well, but you can imagine my shock when she said, “I don’t know why we are building a new building. We are a small town and only getting smaller.” She was right. At that point in time, the town of 18,000 people had experienced a brief decline in population. However, her viewpoint missed one major fact: Out of the 18,000 people in the town, no more than 5,000 were active in a local church.
* Fight Against Trafficking Gains Broad House Support (pg. 1)
Tom Strode • Baptist Press – A deeply divided U.S. House of Representatives has found at least one issue it can agree on across the board — combating human trafficking. The House has approved more than a dozen anti-trafficking bills in recent weeks, with only three votes total against the proposals. Leading a trio of three measures passed July 12 was the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Act, comprehensive legislation authorizing more than $500 million for four years to combat sex and labor trafficking. The Senate must approve the bills before they can be signed by President Trump…
*The Sad, Simple Case of Eugene Peterson (pg. 1)
Larry Page – Unless you’ve spent the last week in total isolation, you are aware of the brouhaha created by Eugene Peterson, the well-known, long-time pastor and evangelical writer. He has authored many books, but is best known for The Message, a best-selling paraphrase of the Bible. At 84 years-of-age, Peterson did serious damage to his Christian bonafides and tarnished his reputation. Now he and his writings will be viewed as suspect and lacking gravitas all because he had a serious lapse in judgment. How did it come about? In an interview with Religion News Service, Peterson was asked if his views on same-sex marriage had changed. He indicated that he didn’t think homosexuality was wrong. When reflecting on the homosexuals in his previous congregations, he said, “I don’t think we ever really made a big deal of it… it’s not a right or wrong thing as far as I’m concerned.” He then added that he would officiate a same-sex marriage.
*Praying for Those Who Oppose Us (pg. 3)
Larry Barker – Do you pray for those who oppose you? Prayer is probably the most neglected spiritual discipline in a leader’s life, especially when a leader is a “doer,” it can feel like they are not really doing anything at all when praying. It can be very hard to slow down and stay focused on God long enough to spend ample time in prayer. But the commands and admonitions are clear: “Men ought always to pray!” “Pray without ceasing!” and “Always remembering you in our prayers!” Prayer is actually the first thing we should do, and all too often, it is the last.
CBC Day Set for Sept. 10 (pg. 2)
Terry Kimbrow – Mark your calendars for CBC Day on Sunday, Sept. 10. I am respectfully requesting that all BMAA churches set aside this Sunday, or another day this fall, to take a one-time offering for our new annual fund program, “Gifts that Transform,” and/or make a pledge to give additional offerings over the 12 months to follow. The ultimate goal of the annual CBC Day is to fully underwrite the expenses associated with the Bible & Missions Departments and to fund the Minister’s Discount Program — all distinctives of Central Baptist College. It is my strong desire that the churches of the BMAA come together for one day of our three-month Special Emphasis and see what God can and will do through our people.
Kicking Off Session One: SOAR 2017 (pg. 2)
Dustin Wisely saw the ugly side of church. He lived a double life growing up — a rule-following, Christian-mimicking life around his church, but a life that looked like the world at school. By 14, he was even leading Sunday School, Bible studies and worship songs; but he tried so hard in his façade that his friends saw through him. They knew he was living a split life, and in his heart, Dustin knew he wasn’t a true Christ follower. He didn’t love God. That is, until his 18th birthday, when God saved his soul. No more “playing Christian,” and no more living that contradicting life. Christ had redeemed him. Though there wasn’t even an invitation at church that evening, Dustin went forward and met his father, the pastor, at the altar and confessed.
Jacksonville College: God Answers Prayers (pg. 3)
Dr. Mike Smith, President of Jacksonville College (via Baptist Progress) – At 5 p.m. on March 20, Jacksonville College employees met for a time of prayer for the college. Among various needs brought before the Lord, the group prayed for the salvation of students. Jacksonville College believes no education is complete until a student understands who God is and how to relate to Him through His Son Jesus Christ. That Monday evening, administration, faculty and staff lifted our students in prayer. We asked God to move in a mighty way among our student population and that He would change their hearts. We had no idea He would move so quickly.
Song of Solomon: A Love for All Seasons (pg. 3)
DiscipleGuide – Marie is a young, single woman who has recently come to know Christ, and is working her way through studying the Scriptures. She is learning the value of God’s heart for her, and how He pursues her daily with an endless love. Jacob and Caroline have been married for 42 years, and are still striving after God’s perfect will for their marriage. Michael has been widowed for years, and isn’t searching to get remarried soon. How would a study about love benefit all of these people?
Spotlight on Missions (pg. 4)
Jesse & Rebecca Hales (Dominican Republic)
Trumpet Notes (pg. 4)
Bloodshed in Jerusalem; Non-denominational Protestants “On the Rise”; Gaming Site Exposes Youngsters to Animated Porn; Free-Speech Zone Eliminated; Judge Fines David Daleiden; Marine Warned, Lose Your Guns or Lose Your Kid; Reclaiming the Rainbow
Ask Others About Themselves (pg. 10)
Chuck Lawless – I can only wonder how many people I pass every day without knowing much about them. Some of these folks are neighbors I still don’t know well. Others are coworkers and students on a campus large enough that knowing everyone closely is not easy. Some are members of our local church, a three-year-old church plant. Here’s what I’m learning, however. Everybody has a story, and I’m richer if I know those stories. To get there, though, I must ask people about themselves. Here are some reasons why asking questions makes a difference:
Obedience (pg. 11)
Paul White – (I Sam. 15:22) Saul, the great man of God, had committed a grievous sin. The prophet Samuel began his conversation by reminding Saul of his childlike humility, which he displayed when he was first anointed. Saul was guilty of the same sin that we, many times, are guilty of — not taking God seriously concerning His commands for our lives.
Central Men Meet (pg. 12)
The Central Arkansas District Brotherhood met at North View Baptist Church in North Little Rock on July 17, with 50 in attendance. Josiah Burns provided our special music, and Rueben Staton gave our devotional. Our program was provided by Todd West, who informed us about Disciple Guide’s new ministry called Activate (one/day training for pastors, pastors’ retreats and church revitalization.) Bro. Todd also spoke on “When God Adds Additions to the Church” (Acts 2:41-47). The Brotherhood’s $230 offering went to Activate. Our next meeting will be Oct. 9 at Kellogg Valley Baptist Church in North Little Rock at 6:30 p.m. (Bill Thornton, secretary/treasurer)