October 4, 2012 Print Edition

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HISTORIC: State Board approves regionalization plan of Convention staff

LEESBURG (FBC)—Deemed as a “historic” action, the State Board of Missions authorized the implementation of a regionalization plan of the Florida Baptist Convention staff during its Sept. 21 meeting at Lake Yale Conference Center.

Also during the meeting, the Board hired two new employees, authorized the lease-purchase of Blue Springs Baptist Conference Center in Marianna and approved a $31.6 Cooperative Program budget for 2013, which will send an additional percent—from 40.5 percent to 41.5 percent—to Southern Baptist mission causes.

Florida Baptists to consider ‘What Really Matters’ during their annual meeting

ORLANDO—President David Uth will ask Florida Baptists to discern “what really matters” so “we can determine what is excellent and be strategic and intentional in these times” when the annual Florida Baptist State Convention meets Nov. 12-13 in Orlando.

“Too much calls and competes for our attention,” Uth said. “I believe the busyness of our lives has become a distraction.”

Editorial: Please, love your pastor—and show it!

My Dad loved being a pastor, definitely not because it was always easy. Indeed, oftentimes it was difficult, especially since I’m certain that church members he pastored over 25 years of ministry oftentimes failed to reciprocate his love.

Through sins of omission in failing to show love to my Dad or by sins of commission in criticizing and undermining, too many times churches my Dad pastored failed to “esteem [Dad] very highly in love because of [his] work” (1 Thess. 5:13).

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.

Point of View: Arminianism on conditional security

One of the distinguishing features of contemporary Arminianism is the doctrine of conditional security. Conditional security denies that salvation is an unconditional gift from God and affirms that salvation is conditioned on the continuing willingness of a believer to remain in a relationship with God. Furthermore, contemporary Arminianism affirms that a believer may commit “apostasy” and forfeit the gift of salvation. Rather than affirming conditional security, James Arminius expressed humbleness regarding this issue. “Though I here openly and ingenuously affirm, I never taught that a true believer can either totally or finally fall away from the faith, and perish; yet I will not conceal, that there are passages of Scripture which seem to me to wear this aspect….”

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: Cheating and character—The need for authoritative communities

Recently, I discussed the cheating scandal at Harvard. In particular, I’m interested in what the alleged “unprecedented” cheating says about the state of our culture.

Mike Huckabee: 2012 election ‘may be most important’ in American history

PENSACOLA (FBW)—The “stark” contrast between presidential candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney on key moral concerns means the 2012 election “may be the most important in the history of the Republic,” former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said Sept. 29 in an interview with Florida Baptist Witness.

“It is because the contrast between the two candidates have never been more stark,” he said. While that’s often said of every presidential election, Huckabee said a range of positions advocated by Obama—gay marriage, abortion, Israel, wealth redistribution—amounts to “dangerous territory that we’ve never been in before.”

Tom Biles retires from Tampa Bay Association, but continues his 50-year ministry

TAMPA (FBW)—After 19 years, Tom Biles is retiring this month as director of missions of the Tampa Bay Baptist Association. However he intends to continue to add to his 50 years of ministry by serving churches as interim pastor and working on the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee. In whatever position he serves, he says he will extol the value of the Baptist association and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Seafarers ministry director moves to Port of Miami for God-ordained opportunity

MIAMI (FBW)—For 13 years, Dan Bailey, director/chaplain of the Space Coast Seafarers’ Ministry of Brevard Baptist Association, has headed a ministry to thousands of seafarers who visit Port Canaveral. This month, he will head south—back to his hometown of Miami—to start a ministry to seafarers visiting the world’s largest cruise ship port.

Growing up in Miami, Bailey said he was hardly aware of the Port of Miami, or of the thousands of international seafarers who set foot on land there. Since developing the ministry at Port Canaveral, however, he became keenly aware of the lack of an evangelical ministry to the 500,000 internationals who pass through Miami every year.

Pastors’ views on Lord’s Supper surveyed

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)—The majority of Southern Baptist churches permit anyone who has put their faith in Jesus Christ to participate in the Lord’s Supper, according to a survey by LifeWay Research. The survey also revealed that 57 percent of SBC churches observe the Lord’s Supper quarterly.

“Denominational distinctives are often evident in how the Lord’s Supper is observed,” said Scott McConnell, director of LifeWay Research. “We sought to measure two attributes of Southern Baptists’ remembrance of Jesus’ death and resurrection: who may participate in the Lord’s Supper—with five distinct options listed—and the frequency it is observed.”

IMB trustees affirm ‘Ready Reserve’ of former missionaries, prayer initiative

RIDGECREST, N.C. (BP)—Creating more opportunities for Southern Baptists to be Jesus’ heart, hands and voice to a lost and dying world—that’s the idea behind two new IMB initiatives.

IMB trustees, meeting Sept. 11-12 at LifeWay’s Ridgecrest Conference Center, affirmed a new missions service opportunity dubbed the “Ready Reserve” as well as a new “school of prayer for all nations.”

Genesis 15:4-6; 16:1-5; 17:3-6, 15-19: October 14—From failure to direction

One evidence of the inspiration of the Bible is the way it presents its heroes.

Exodus 15:19-21; Numbers 12:1-3, 8-13, 15: October 21—From failure to correction

We teach our children the story of how one Jewish family evaded the mandate issued by the Pharaoh to kill all the male Hebrew babies. We teach how the mother of Moses made an ark that would float and placed it in some reeds along a river bank. She stationed her daughter to hide herself from view to watch over the baby. The account is given in Exodus 2:1-10. Often overlooked is the omission of Miriam’s name if indeed she was the watchful sister. Her story really begins in Exodus 15, the beginning of our focus for today’s analysis.

Chaplain in Afghanistan reflects Christ’s peace

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (BP)—U.S. Air Force Chaplain (Capt.) Kevin Humphrey’s last quarterly report to the North American Mission Board’s chaplaincy group in Alpharetta, Ga., reads like the script of a Hollywood blockbuster.

But the combat incidents are real—true wartime stories of battlefield death, horrific injury, bloodshed, bravery and close calls. If it was a movie, it could be titled “A day in the life of a Southern Baptist chaplain serving in Afghanistan.”

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