May 24, 2012 Print Edition

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Jacksonville Baptists respond to proposed gay rights ordinance

JACKSONVILLE (FBW) - A bill before the Jacksonville City Council granting civil rights protections for sexual orientation and gender identity is generating opposition from most Southern Baptists in the local association, while two pastors have endorsed the measure.

Pastors react with sadness, outrage to Obama’s gay marriage stance

JACKSONVILLE (FBW) – Whether through social media, blogs or in comments to Florida Baptist Witness, Florida Baptist pastors reacted with a mix of sadness and outrage to President Barack Obama’s endorsement of gay marriage. While some explicitly said they could not vote for the president in light of his announcement, many also urged prayer for Obama.

First Baptist Naples honors Colson in memorial service

NAPLES (FBW)—Charles W. “Chuck” Colson was honored during a May 9 memorial service by his pastor, fellow members and others at First Baptist Church in Naples as “our nation’s greatest defender of the Christian faith” whose “message rings on.”

“It’s unusual that a church has the privilege and the opportunity that we have tonight,” Pastor Hayes Wicker told the congregation.

Editorial: The president’s outrageous argument for gay marriage

It’s difficult to know the most outrageous aspect of President Barack Obama’s May 9 announcement that his “constantly evolving” position on gay marriage had ended in support for the immoral practice.

Florida pro-family leader seeks to mobilize Christian voters in 2012

JACKSONVILLE (FBW)—A Florida pro-family leader is building an effort to educate and mobilize Christians to vote as never before in the 2012 election, arguing the Sunshine State is the perhaps the most pivotal of the swing states in the presidential contest.

John Stemberger, president of Florida Family Policy Council, recently held a “voter mobilization rally” in Jacksonville and has established four field offices in Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa and Naples, with plans for offices in seven other cities, to advance his “Ignite Campaign.”

Point of View: Debating and voting–key elements of democracy

I was in Cuba recently where it was my joy to preach during the Western Cuban Baptist Convention in Havana. The annual meeting is held in Calvary Baptist Church just a block or so away from the Cuban Capitol building. It was a wonderful meeting.

Asphalt basketball scores for church growth

PENSACOLA (FBW)—West Pensacola Baptist Church is attracting young families because the congregation opted to begin ministries aimed at children, according to Pastor Laddie Pierce. One of the components in its strategy is Asphalt Basketball, a children’s league the church began in 2009.

“The program is competitive, but bringing the players and their families to Christ is the main goal,” Pierce said.

June 3 set as time to ‘call out for God’s mercy’

JACKSONVILLE (FBC)—Florida Baptists are being called to a Day of Prayer for the hurricane season Sunday, June 3, to seek the Lord for a calm season and for careful preparation on the part of families, churches, and the state’s disaster relief teams, according to a state prayer specialist.

“The God who knows ‘the very hairs of your head’ and every move of every sparrow knows the needs we have, including our concern for hurricane season,” said Rick Shepherd, Florida Baptist team strategist for prayer and spiritual awakening.

Point of View: Father’s Day afresh

Need a small gift for dads on Father’s Day at your church? Create a bookmark from this article. Download it at keeponshining.

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: Calvinism on particular atonement

In the nineteenth century, Calvinists developed the acrostic T.U.L.I.P. as a tool to summarize their theological convictions. The “L” in the tulip acrostic stood for “limited atonement.” The phrase “limited atonement” is problematic for two reasons. First, Arminians also affirm the atonement of Christ is limited in that Arminians deny universalism. Second, according to Baptist Calvinist Timothy George, “limited atonement” may imply some lack or deficiency in Christ’s atoning work. A more appropriate tem to describe the Calvinistic view is “particular atonement,” the belief that Christ died only for the elect. Timothy George proposed the alternate phrase “singular redemption” and defined the term as follows: “singular in the sense of having to do with particular individuals, not just with a general class or group of people.”

Point of View: The next unreached people group: Christianity and the elites

Not all New Yorkers sleep-in on Sunday mornings. Increasing numbers of them can be found in the churches popping up all over the city.

Graduation keeps growing at BCF

GRACEVILLE (BCF)—Black caps and flowing gowns filled The Baptist College of Florida assembly center May 11, marking an historic day in the life of the college. Sixty-five seniors earned diplomas. Graduates included the recipient of a master’s degree, Michael Orr, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Chipley; the first business leadership graduates—Celia Bass, Katie Butts, Rachel Lauen and Chris Shearer; three husbands who graduated with their wives—Todd (Heather) Larson, Bryan (April) Phillips, and Michael (Stephanie, who is also the BCF registrar) Orr; and a pair of brothers—Brennen and Richard Denson.

Pensacola Church celebrates God’s blessings of past and future

PENSACOLA (FBC)–Through grace, prayer and fasting, Pensacola’s Myrtle Grove Baptist Church retired a $2 million debt in a time of economic uncertainty, burning the mortgage note on a Sunday set aside to celebrate the church’s past and future.

Under glorious blue skies, the congregation gathered April 22 for its 82nd Homecoming and to recognize Pastor Ron Lentine’s 15 years of pastoral leadership.

Homestead congregation celebrates transformed life

HOMESTEAD (FBC)—The day before Easter was filled with eggs, games, food and fun as members of Kingdom Covenant Baptist Church engaged the Homestead community with an Easter Extravaganza.

But the event quickly turned into an eternal appointment with God when Pastor Patrick Coats presented the Gospel and an altar call. Five persons accepted Christ as their Savior. After meeting with counselors, one man then asked to be baptized.

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