September 20, 2012 Print Edition

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Tampa Bay Baptist Association calls Michael Kahn as DOM

TAMPA (FBW)-The executive committee of the Tampa Bay Baptist Association voted unanimously to call Michael Kahn, 54, as its new director of missions Sept. 10. Kahn currently is single adult minister at Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz, where he has served on staff 19 years.

Kahn begins Oct. 1. He follows Tom Biles who has served since 1993 the 101-year-old association of 180 Southern Baptist churches affiliated with the Florida Baptist State Convention. Biles, who will continue to serve his second term as a member of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, announced last year his intention to retire as DOM Oct. 31.

Fire at Orange Park church suspected arson

ORANGE PARK (FBW) – The education building of Island View Baptist Church in Orange Park was damaged by a suspected arsonist early Sept. 16, causing $35,000 in damages, according to several news accounts.

Theologian challenges pastors: ‘Don’t be silent’ on political issues

FLEMING ISLAND (FBW)—As the nation is in the midst of a presidential campaign and America is “changing for good or evil,” evangelical theologian Wayne Grudem challenged pastors “don’t be silent” at a Sept. 14 conference in Jacksonville.

“Will you sit on the sidelines or will you get into the game?” Grudem asked. “I urge you as pastors, you have a biblical responsibility to encourage people to seek to influence government for good.”

Point of View: Is it true Jesus never addressed same-sex marriage?

WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP)—Today it is popular among those promoting same-sex marriage to say that Jesus never addressed the issue, that He was silent on the subject.

Fishing for souls in Cuba’s waters

MARIEL, Cuba (FBC)—The youngsters perched on a wall overlooking the azure waters of Mariel Bay, Cuba, playfully listened to their teacher tell of Jesus’ promise to Peter, “I will make you fishers of men.” As if on cue, a sun weathered fisherman passed along the harbor, pushing a rugged wheelbarrow brimming with fishing nets, illustrating the claims of Christ and the persistence of men and women in the Western Cuba Baptist Convention.

From this port more than three decades ago 125,000 Cuban exiles boarded a flotilla of 1,700 boats to escape the hardships and religious persecution pressed upon them by Fidel Castro’s

Point of View: The Great American Worldview Test—The 2012 Election

American presidential elections are the world’s most public display of the democratic process. The global media follow the American elections with a fervor that is easily understood—what happens in an American presidential election matters all over the world. Our presidential campaigns are political pageants and electoral dynamos. But, as any honest, thoughtful observer will understand, our elections are also great worldview exercises. We reveal our worldview by our vote.

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: 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: American Gulag? Treatment of mentally ill prisoners

Suppose I told you that there was an institution where the mentally ill “interminably wail, scream and bang on the walls of their cells” and “mutilate their bodies with razors, [and] shards of glass?” Where inmates ... “carry on delusional conversations with voices they hear in their heads,” and no one does anything to help.

‘Eagles’ Bible conference in JAX honors Vines & other long-time preachers

JACKSONVILLE (FBW)—As different in delivery as they were in style, the four stalwart Southern Baptist preachers at “A Gathering of Eagles” Sept. 12-13 had one thing in common—each was “used by God” to speak to hearts in their own way.

Jerry Vines, Bill Stafford, Bailey Smith and Junior Hill—longtime evangelists and former pastors in their seventies—have unique approaches to preaching and different personalities and yet every one of them was “right on target” according to Keith Russell, senior pastor of Westside Baptist Church.

Tampa Bay Rays player, recording artist wife balance busy careers with family

TAMPA (FBW)—Ben Zobrist has spent most of his career bouncing around from one position to another on the baseball field.

A utility player for the Tampa Bay Rays, Zobrist has established himself as one of the game’s most versatile players, starting every position except for pitcher and catcher during his seven years with the team. From one game to the next, Zobrist has seldom known where he was going to play—only that his team needed him to fill that role.

For 54 new IMB missionaries, their stories are unique, but their call is the same

HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. (BP)—As a college student traveling abroad in Cambodia, Hope Denaham* happened upon a 4-year-old girl in an alley.

“She reached her arms out to me, and I held her for an hour,” Denaham recalled. “I wondered if she had ever been held in her life.”

In Nepal’s Himalayas, students engage Tibetans in conversation

KATHMANDU, Nepal (BP)—Elderly women walk clockwise around a Tibetan Buddhist temple in Kathmandu, Nepal. Their hands bear sculpted calluses earned from years of rolling prayer beads between their thumbs and index fingers.

Tibetans are known for their resistance to the Gospel, International Mission Board representative Tal Bratcher* tells those who’ve come to work with him.

Matthew 7:13-29: September 30—Your decision

As we complete our study of Matthew’s account of the Sermon on the Mount, we cannot miss the radical change in the mood. We are looking at nothing less, in my judgment, than the first evangelistic sermon of the new age inaugurated by Jesus. In the earlier lessons, He set forth principles for followers to practice in worshiping God. Now, He is calling for a decision to enlist new followers. No longer would adherents look to Abraham and his descendants as heirs of the promises.

John 4:7-18, 25-26, 39: October 7—From failure to salvation

The recounting of the meeting between Jesus and the Samaritan woman is memorable for several reasons. For one, He spoke to her one of the three summary statements about the nature of God. He told her that “God is a Spirit,” or simply, He is Spirit (v. 24). The other two are “God is love” (1 Jn. 4:8, 16) and “God is light” (1 Jn. 4:5). As we shall see, Jesus was also preparing the apostles for an extension of the effort of His commandment in Acts 1:8, the inclusion of Samaria as the second stage of world evangelization. Our main focus relates to His leading a sinner to confess Him as the Messiah.

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