July 28, 2011 Print Edition

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‘The law and the facts are on our side’ in Dixie County 10 Commandments display, attorney says

GAINESVILLE (FBW) – “The law and the facts are on our side” permitting a six-ton granite Ten Commandments monument in Dixie County despite an unfavorable court ruling July 15, contends an attorney representing the county.

Florida Baptist theological classes begin soon

ORLANDO (FBC)—The Florida Baptist Theological Education, working in partnership with New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and The Baptist College of Florida, has released its course schedule for the 2011/2012 fall term.

Classes are offered in Pensacola, Graceville, Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa and through the Center of the America’s locations in Miami.

Santa Rosa county community celebrates win in ‘Consent Decree’ settlement

PACE (FBW)—In a county where many believe God has been on trial in a string of lawsuits spurred by the ACLU against Santa Rosa County Schools, litigants celebrated victory July 6 with Liberty Counsel attorneys at a community rally punctuated by prayer, music and passionate speeches.

“Friends, are you glad to be living in the land of the free tonight?” Harry Mihet asked nearly 600 gathered for the more than 2-hour event live-streamed to another 5,500. “Are we glad we still live in the most blessed nation on earth?”

Mihet, senior litigant counsel for Orlando-based Liberty Counsel, has been a familiar face for the past few years in the Panhandle-county just outside Pensacola where churches likely still outnumber bars and Southern Baptists represent roughly 10 percent of the population.

$4.75 million verdict against Idlewild Baptist Church vacated

LUTZ (FBW) – A $4.75 million judgment against Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz was vacated by a judge July 19 after he found two jurors concealed relevant information before a trial last fall about a teen injured on a youth ski trip.

‘Loving Muslims’ new resource on 10th anniversary of 9/11

RICHMOND, Va. (BP)—Cade Rutledge* used to wave his American flags and get really fired up about “getting those terrorists.”

From most people’s viewpoint, he had a right to feel that way. His brother was working in the Twin Towers nearly 10 years ago on Sept. 11, 2001. He made it out alive, but the attack was still way too close to home physically and emotionally for Rutledge to consider the idea of loving terrorists, or loving any Muslims for that matter.

Orphan’s Heart reaches Nicaraguan street children

LAKELAND (FBCH)—Children begging in the streets of Managua, Nicaragua to get food and other necessities received just that and more when Orphan’s Heart, the international childcare ministry of the Florida Baptist Children’s Homes sent mission teams there this summer to share the love of Jesus with them.

Orphan’s Heart forged a unique partnership with Bethel Baptist Church, a local congregation in Managua, to minister to the physical and spiritual needs of some of these children. Bethel Baptist started the ministry a few years ago, which currently reaches 190 children every week.

Editorial: Through Tebow’s eyes: work hard, trust God

You don’t have to be a Florida Gator to love Tim Tebow. Indeed, I’m certain many—like me—have become Gators because they were first fans of Tebow.

Before Tebow’s emergence as a college football phenom, I was a nominal Florida State Seminole fan. After all, it’s hard not love Bobby Bowden (especially as a Florida Baptist), and my daughter is a rabid Seminole.

Point of View: Why should I believe in God?

A man unknown to me came to talk to me at the church I pastor. He asked an important question. “If God exists, then His existence is the most important factor in life. Can you prove to me that God exists?” How would you answer the question? Do Christians have good reason for belief in God? In essence, here is my response to his question.

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: Unrealistic expectations—Gay ‘marriage’ and fidelity

No doubt you’ve heard friends—even Christian friends—and you hear them say, “Well, why shouldn’t gays be able to marry like anyone else? What will it hurt? It won’t affect marriage, and it will help them build stable families.”

Blind Okeechobee man ‘delights’ in preaching

OKEECHOBEE (FBW)—R.J. Sandefur has taken the words of Psalm 37:4 to heart. A member of First Baptist Church in Okeechobee, the 32-year-old blind man studies about the Lord and trusts God to give him “the delights” of his heart—which is to preach.

“God is the only one who can call somebody into the ministry, and I know He has called me,” Sandefur said.

McMahon begins as Florida Baptist Association DOM

TALLAHASSEE (FBW)—Florida Baptist Association, with offices in Tallahassee, has called Sean McMahon as director of missions. His tenure, which began July 18, follows the retirement of David Southerland who served in the position 17 years.

McMahon is a graduate of University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, and Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Mo. In a 30-year career, he served as minister of education in three Missouri churches, and pastor of McCarthy Baptist Church in St. Joseph, Mo., and Blackford Baptist Church in Hawesville, Ky., before moving to Florida.

Quarterback churches sought as Cooperative Program champs

JACKSONVILLE (FBC)—Just as a quarterback of a championship team demonstrates leadership and dedication, Florida Baptist congregations are being asked exhibit similar traits as a Quarterback Church to lead the state in a commitment to Cooperative Program giving.

“We are looking for churches that are willing to take the lead in setting an example for missions giving,” said John Sullivan, executive director-treasurer of the Florida Baptist Convention.

Southern Baptists begin engaging 3,800 people groups

RICHMOND, Va. (BP)—“Let’s get to it already. We’re ready to roll.”

Micah Fries’ sentiment echoed throughout the crowd as IMB President Tom Elliff gave an invitation during the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting June 14-15 in Phoenix. Elliff told messengers he felt like he was “holding back a dam” of Southern Baptists ready to walk forward and “embrace” the remaining 3,800 unengaged, unreached people groups around the globe.

ERLC’s Duke gives lawmakers four steps to fight religious persecution

WASHINGTON (BP)—Congress could take four steps that would work rather quickly to combat religious persecution worldwide, a Southern Baptist public policy specialist said at a July 13 conference.

Among the recommendations, the Senate and House of Representatives should approve measures that would strengthen the federal government’s ground-breaking international religious freedom law and establish a special envoy for religious minorities in a repressive region of the world, said Barrett Duke, vice president for public policy of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

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