Christmas schedule for the Florida Baptist Witness

 
The offices of the Florida Baptist Witness will be closed from Dec. 23 until Jan. 3 so that we can spend time with family and friends during the Christmas and New Years holidays. In a similar fashion, we hope that you and yours get a chance to relax and reflect during this special time of year. But that doesn't mean we are leaving you without something meaningful to read. For print-edition subscribers, the redesigned January 2017 issue—all 32 pages of it—...

War on Christmas includes Peanuts poster, Christmas tree cross

 
A poster of a Peanuts character with a Bible verse, a cross on a town Christmas tree and even the word "holiday" are among the latest battlegrounds in the so-called war against Christmas. Southern Baptist Convention President Steve Gaines told Baptist Press this year's flurry of attacks on public expressions of Christmas highlight the need to safeguard religious liberty. "Christians are not the only people in America," said Gaines, pastor of Memphis-area Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova, Tenn. "But we ...

Pastors: Enjoy Christmas with your family

 
One December I spent 22 nights away from home leading up to Christmas Day. Then I repented and never did that again! The December schedule is fast-paced for many but perhaps more so for pastors. Class Christmas parties, community events, special Christmas services at church—if you try to do it all it can become too much. While many travel to be with family on Christmas, pastors rarely do so because Christmas is too important to miss, including the traditional "...

St. Augustine church's Christmas story undaunted by hurricane

 
Michael Arnold and his family were among hundreds of St. Augustine residents who fled their homes two months ago as Hurricane Matthew trailed close behind. And while St. Augustine, the nation's oldest city, didn't take a direct hit from the hurricane, coastal flooding from its storm surge and near-hurricane-force winds wreaked havoc and destruction for many who call it home. When the bridges reopened and Arnold returned home after a mandatory evacuation he discovered his garage had been flooded and ...

Brian Hobbs: Keep the 'mas' in Christmas

 
The year 2016 offers a unique opportunity in that Christmas falls on a Sunday. Years ago, a non-denominational megachurch publicly decided to cancel its worship services when Christmas fell on a Sunday, citing families' needs to spend time together that day and the church's inability to get enough volunteers together to make services work. This move, perhaps unintentionally, showed a great misunderstanding of Christmas. You see, it not only takes Christ out of Christmas, it takes that "mas" out of Christmas. ...