October 25, 2012 Print Edition

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Mormonism’s ‘false gospel’ does not bar evangelical votes for Mormon candidates, Mohler says

TAMPA (FBW) – Evangelical Christians face an imperfect yet “clear option” in the 2012 presidential election, Southern Baptist theologian R. Albert Mohler Jr. told Florida pastors during an Oct. 16 conference call.

‘Always powerful’ baptisms on Florida’s coasts evidence of harvest

CLEARWATER (FBW)—At Calvary Baptist Church in Clearwater and Fruit Cove Baptist in Jacksonville, it’s not unusual to see baptismal waters rising on a regular basis.

What is unusual is when folks are asked to bring their own lawn chairs and towels.

Retiring church secretary says ‘face-to-face’ communication is fading

BARTOW (FBW)—In August 1968, when Wilma Martin’s youngest child started school, she began as a volunteer in her church’s office. After 44 years working as church secretary at First Baptist Church in Bartow, she retired Sept. 30.

“When Eddie started school I experienced an empty nest. I was floundering, asking ‘What do I do with the hours the children are in school?’” she said. “When the educational secretary resigned, they asked me if I wanted to work for money, and I said yes.”

Editorial: Is a vote for Mitt Romney a sin against God?

During the 1992 presidential campaign pro-life provocateur Randall Terry infamously declared, “A vote for Bill Clinton is to sin against God,” because of Clinton’s positions on abortion and other moral issues. Four days before the election, a church Terry was associated with took out full-page ads in USA Today and The Washington Times with the same warning.

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: Perseverance of the Saints

James Arminius and his followers the Remonstrants did not directly affirm a Christian could lose salvation. Rather, they expressed a desire for additional study of Scripture on this issue. The confession of faith set forth by Arminius’ early followers stated, “But for the question whether they [Christians] are not able through sloth or negligence to forsake the beginning of their life in Christ, to embrace this present world, to depart from the holy doctrine once delivered to them … this must be the subject of more exact inquiry in the Holy Scriptures, before we can teach it with full confidence of our mind.” Calvin and his followers adamantly condemned the possibility of a Christian losing salvation and quite often being reborn again. Southern Baptists, almost uniformly, affirm the security of the believer or perseverance of the saints. Non-Calvinist Southern Baptists strongly affirm the security of the believer. A famous Baptist aphorism stated, “The faith that fizzles before the finish was faulty from the first.”

Point of View: Microbiology and morality: Limits to our sexual freedom?

In the second century, the Roman physician Galen named a common ailment whose symptoms included a burning sensation in the urinary tract and (forgive me) the release of pus. He combined the Greek word for “seed,” gonos, and “flow,” rhoia.

NOBTS trustees to begin 3 online degrees

NEW ORLEANS (BP)—In an effort to make theological education more accessible, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary trustees approved three fully online graduate degrees during their fall meeting Oct. 9.

The board also voted to launch a new master’s degree extension center, a doctoral teaching site and four certificate training sites.

Ezell envisions next generation of missionaries

CHICAGO (BP)—North American Mission Board President Kevin Ezell underscored the need to develop the next generation of Southern Baptist missionaries during NAMB’s trustee meeting Oct. 10 in Chicago.

“We have 45,000 churches, millions of Southern Baptists, and we have 600 student missionaries. That is unspeakably poor. We must do better,” Ezell told the 57-member board. “Missionaries don’t just happen. We must intentionally pray for and build the next generation of missionaries.”

Acts 4:32-35; 5:1-6; 6:1-7: November 11—Do life together

Back in the days when I used to dedicate a segment of the worship time to children, one activity revolved around the use of common sewing thread. Picking out one of the heftiest boys, I would have him hold out his arms for me to tie a single thread around them. Of course he could easily break it. As I added more strands he eventually could not break the threads. My lesson, of course, was the strength gained by numbers. All of us working together can often accomplish more than one person working alone. The need for praying as a part of a group falls into that category, as life in the early days of the gospel movement illustrates.

Acts 13:1-4; 14:21-28: November 18—Engage in kingdom building

To establish the historical contest for our study, I need to go back to the fall of 1957 when I took an evangelism class under Dr. Roland Q. Leavell at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. We used as a text book his Evangelism: Christ’s Imperative Commission. In that book he traced God’s changing the centers of outreach from Jerusalem to the present. Throughout the study, a haunting evaluation occurs. As I remember, it went something like this. God raised up Jerusalem as the base of outreach until Judaism’s teachings gained control. The refrain was, “Their evangelistic zeal was killed. Their soul-winning fervor was chilled. God moved on. He established the new base of operations at Antioch in Syria and worked through them until worldliness consumed the church. “Their evangelistic zeal was killed. Their soul-winning fervor was chilled. God moved on.” He worked through Antioch until about 100 A.D. We leave off Dr. Leavell’s analysis at this point.

SBC ethics entity joins battle against abortion mandate

WASHINGTON (BP)—The Southern Baptist Convention’s religious freedom entity has joined the legal battle against the Obama administration’s abortion/contraception mandate in the first case to reach a federal appeals court.

The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) signed on to a friend-of-the-court brief filed Oct. 12 that asked a federal appeals court to reverse the dismissal of two lawsuits against the controversial requirement under the 2010 health care law. The brief supports challenges by Wheaton College, an evangelical Christian school in suburban Chicago, and Belmont Abbey College, a Roman Catholic institution in North Carolina, to the mandate that employers provide workers with health insurance that covers contraceptives and abortion-causing drugs.

Passion Week is January Bible Study focus

NASHVILLE (BP)—The focus of the 2013 January Bible Study from LifeWay Christian Resources centers on what is known as Passion Week—the final days Jesus Christ spent on earth.

“Every year more and more churches discover January Bible Study as a great way to start the year, bringing the entire church together around one biblical topic,” said Dwayne McCrary, LifeWay’s team leader for the January Bible Study.

Hawkins: Scripture memory ‘worth the effort’

DALLAS (BP)—O.S. Hawkins remembers the day like it was yesterday. He was handed a slip of paper as a 17-year-old new Christian with the words of 1 Corinthians 10:13. “You better memorize this,” he was told, “because you will need it!”

The verse—the first but certainly not the last verse Hawkins committed to memory—says, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will make a way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

FBC Umatilla billboard promotes biblical values, stirs controversy

UMATILLA (FBW)—“Grieved” that some churches are avoiding controversial moral issues out of concern of being labeled “political,” a Lake County church has rented a billboard in a high traffic area to declare its commitment to life, family and freedom.

Featuring a large display of the Bible with the message, “First Baptist Church of Umatilla supports LIFE – FAMILY – FREEDOM,” the 11 feet by 26 feet billboard is located on U.S. Highway 441 between Mount Dora and Eustis in Lake County, Pastor Brooks Braswell told Florida Baptist Witness.

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