October 18, 2012 Print Edition

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Michael Lewis to be nominated for Pastors’ Conference president

ORLANDO (FBW)—Michael Lewis, pastor of First Baptist Church in Plant City, will be nominated president-elect of the Florida Baptist Pastors’ Conference next month when the group meets in conjunction with the Florida Baptist State Convention annual meeting in Orlando.

Clayton Cloer, pastor of First Baptist Church of Central Florida in Orlando, will nominate Lewis, Cloer said in an Oct. 1 statement to Florida Baptist Witness.

Editorial: ‘Sinful and tyrannical’

President Barack Obama, meet President Thomas Jefferson.

Of course, our president is acquainted with his predecessor. But it seems clear Obama is unfamiliar with one of Jefferson’s most important works. A growing backlash to the Obama Administration’s mandate requiring coverage of abortion-inducing drugs and contraceptives under the Affordable Care Act (“ObamaCare”) would be quickly resolved if the president would follow Jefferson’s convictions about religious freedom.

Point of View: How should Christian voters decide whom to support?

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP)—Earlier this year, in the midst of the presidential primary season, I was asked to address a group of Southern Baptist pastors on the question of Christian faith and political engagement. Though no one knew for sure who the candidates would be at that time, the first question I was asked was, “How should an evangelical Christian decide who to support in this election?” That was a legitimate question, and has prompted me to think of some wider implications.

Point of View: Dave Says

Dave Says is a column featuring the financial advice of nationally syndicated radio host Dave Ramsey, the Dave Says column is filled with timely, relevant questions and answers taken from actual calls on Ramsey's radio program, The Dave Ramsey Show.

Point of View: Religious freedom and democracy

When Benjamin Franklin emerged from the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787, a lady asked him, “Well, Mr. Franklin, what kind of government have you given us?” The old patriot gave his immortal reply, “Madam, we have given you a republic—if you can keep it.”

Why publish voter guides?

A word from the executive editor: This information concerning the 2012 general election is being provided as a service to our readers. Voter guides are provided for the two major party candidates for president, the two major party candidates for United States Senate from Florida, information about the three Florida Supreme Court justices who are on the ballot for retention, and information about the 11 constitutional amendments voters are being asked to considered on the ballot.

‘Jesus’ wife’ fragment authenticity doubted

NEW ORLEANS (BP)—Various news outlets, perhaps jumping to cast doubt on the Bible, caused a stir over the announcement of a small, newly translated Coptic manuscript fragment indicating that Jesus may have had a wife.

But what should Christians make of the new claim?

John 18:15-18, 25-27; 21:15-19; Acts 4:13;18-20: October 28—From failure to action

Simon Peter continues to intrigue us. Back in the 1950s, Lloyd C. Douglas wrote a popular book about Peter entitled The Big Fisherman. Peter was that, and more. He is always listed first by the biblical writers when they give complete listings of the apostles, as well as first among the top three of Peter, James and John. Impetuous to a fault, he nevertheless stands out as a Christian leader who left his imprint on history. We almost always gain new insights about him and his work in studies like this one. We will delve into four events in his life associated with the death of Jesus and the public inauguration of the Christian movement.

Acts 4:23-31: November 4—Pray with dependency

All too often prayer meeting becomes a report of, and prayer for, the sick and distressed. In many instances, many of those present cannot hear the words of the one praying. For churches with a portable microphone, I often direct a helper to go to the one making a prayer request and then ask for someone who would like to voice the requested prayer. We take the requests one at a time. If a need is great enough to need prayer, it is important enough for everyone to pray about. All the prayers are focused on one request, much as a radiologist can focus healing rays into the brain from various angles thus intensifying the effect at the needed location without damaging healthy tissue. Focused prayer can have a healing impact.

Crawford shares grief of wife’s death to help others on similar pilgrimage

GAINESVILLE (FBW)—Three years after Freda Crawford died following a ten-year battle with cancer, Gary Crawford has published a book telling the story of his “pilgrimage of love” in grieving the loss of his wife of 39 years.

The book, Grieving: My Pilgrimage of Love, reveals the emotional and spiritual journey Crawford took in the months following his wife’s death—a journey he admits he continues. Freda Crawford was Gary’s ministry partner for 29 years at Westside Baptist Church in Gainesville, where he has served as pastor since 1981. Three days before her death in 2009, Freda was named “Pastor’s Wife of the Year” by the Florida Baptist Pastors’ Conference.

Crossover Orlando connects churches with Central Florida communities

TAMPA (FBC)—Block parties, a basketball clinic and tournament, a youth event featuring a former Harlem Globetrotter, and a senior adult event featuring the music of “Dixie Echoes” are among activities Orlando area churches are planning with which to engage their communities with the Gospel during Crossover Orlando.

Point of View: Fearfully and wonderfully made

Our newest granddaughter Elizabeth “Ella” June made her early debut into this world early Sunday morning Oct. 14 after a sweet Mother Goose baby shower Saturday where we thanked our God who knows every child in every mother’s womb by name.

200 years later Judson’s mission still changing the world

BURMA, Asia (BP)—Most people would have written off Ko Than Byu as hopeless, but pioneer American missionary Adoniram Judson was different from most.

Point of View: Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor may not reflect the views or opinions of the Witness. Letters may be mailed, faxed or submitted using our online form. Only letters marked clearly for publication, signed with address will be considered for use. Letters are subject to editing. Please limit letters to 300 words.

Melbourne Life Chain participants pray for those honking horns

MELBOURNE (FBW)—Lifepoint Church in Palm Bay joined several other Melbourne-area churches Oct. 7 to stand in favor of life along a thoroughfare through the city. They were part of the 25th observance of Life Chain in the United States and Canada.

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