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Showing posts with the label SBC

Baptist Press: 'Elevation Church withdraws from SBC cooperation'

Image Source:  Elevation Church withdraws from SBC cooperation | Baptist Press  Published June 29, 2023 NASHVILLE (BP) – After more than two decades of affiliation, Elevation Church in Matthews, N.C., says they no longer desire to cooperate with the SBC. The church informed the SBC Executive Committee of their decision by letter dated June 26. The letter shared with Baptist Press did not state a specific reason the church reached the decision. “You will find that our Statement of Beliefs on our website is very much in line with the Baptist Faith and Message – we have no intention of changing those core beliefs,” the statement said. The church said the letter posted below will be the church’s only public comments. Continue here.

Southern Baptists Put On A Show, But Emerge Remarkably Unified

 By Warren Cole Smith - Posted at Ministry Watch : The Southern Baptist Convention had its annual meeting this week in New Orleans. More than 13,000 representatives, known as messengers, attended the meeting. The headlines have been well reported by both Christian and secular media (including MinistryWatch). On Tuesday, the messengers re-elected Texas pastor Bart Barber to a second year in office. Saddleback Church was officially kicked out of the SBC, despite a media campaign by its former pastor Rick Warren. Progress was made toward sexual abuse reform. It’s worth pausing, though, to note a couple of “behind the headlines” moments from the SBC. Here they are, in no particular order: The Vote for President Wasn’t Close Much was made of the fact that Bart Barber, the sitting SBC president, was facing a challenger for reelection. It was the first time in a decade that had happened, and only the second time in the past 35 years. But it’s important to note that Barber got 68 percent of th

Baptist Press: 'Motion to amend BF&M passes, task forces approved'

Alabama pastor Jared Cornutt makes a motion to amend the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 to include the words "elder" and "overseer" as synonyms of the word "pastor."  Photo by Sonya Singh ( Baptist Press ) By Erin Roach  Published June 14, 2023 The amended article on the church now reads: “In such a congregation each member is responsible and accountable to Christ as Lord. Its two scriptural offices are that of pastor/elder/overseer and deacon. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor/elder/overseer is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.” NEW ORLEANS (BP) – Messengers voted to amend the Baptist Faith and Message 2000, the statement of faith of the Southern Baptist Convention, to clarify the role of pastor Wednesday, June 14, at the 2023 SBC Annual Meeting in New Orleans. The convention also approved the appointment of a task force to study the impact of the Great Commission Resurgence recommendations adopted

What the Philadelphia 11 can teach the SBC

 By Jesse Johnson - Posted at The Cripplegate: I recently came across TIME Magazine from the week I was born—January 7, 1976. The issue was devoted to the “Women of the Year,” and on the cover was the Rev. Alison Cheek. She broke the so-called glass ceiling by becoming the first female Episcopal priest to lead/perform the Eucharist. Cheek was part of the “The Philadelphia 11,” a group of female priests all ordained in Pennsylvania, long before that was acceptable in the Anglican church. It was immediately met with howls of protests. This was coming after the fall of Saigon, and after the zenith of the hippie movement. The “mainline denominations” were at a tipping point, one that is much more recognizable in the hindsight than I’m sure it was at the time. Many people protested such a brazen show of rebellion by the Philadelphia Episcopal church—compounded all the more because the Anglican Church had rejected calls to ordain women. While some Anglicans may have protested the Philadelph

A Resolution on Opposing Gender Transitions

 By Denny Burk Published May 30, 2023 One of the most astonishing developments of late modernity has been the mainstreaming of transgenderism. In retrospect, the path to our current moment is clear enough (see Carl Trueman’s Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self ). Nevertheless, I don’t think I’ll ever get used to seeing grown men in earnest behaving like a cartoonish caricature of an adolescent girl. And yet examples of this kind of thing are proliferating, and anyone refusing to go along with this risks all manner of social and perhaps even professional ostracism and recriminations. It is like Americans have gotten a really bad fever with no indication in sight that the fever will ever break. The worst part of this social contagion is how it has impacted minor children. The purveyors of this ideology have aggressively gone after the most immature and most impressionable among us. Your local gender clinic is all-to-ready to shoehorn your child into a transgender identity upon any expre

A Word about Spurgeon and Female Pastors

Source:  A Word about Spurgeon and Female Pastors – Denny Burk  By Dr. Denny Burk Published May 20, 2023 Earlier this week, it was announced that Rick Warren had been installed as the honorary Chancellor of Spurgeon’s College in London. After his installation, Warren took the opportunity to double-down on his support for female pastors and to claim that “ my views on ordination are identical to Spurgeon’s. ” I am no expert on Spurgeon, but I am reasonably certain that Warren’s views on ordination are not identical to Spurgeon’s—at least insofar as it relates to the ordination of female pastors. In his book Lectures to My Students, Spurgeon devotes an entire chapter to “The Call to the Ministry.”* In that chapter, I can see at least three differences between Spurgeon’s and Warren’s views on this point. 1. The Gender of “Pastor” Warren claims that the Bible permits women to serve as pastors in the church and that they should be afforded the opportunity to lead and teach as pastors. Sp

Baptist groups supporting ‘God-given rights of parents’

 By Tom Strode - Posted at Baptist Press: CHICAGO (BP)—A Southern Baptist Convention entity and a Baptist state convention have joined other organizations in defending before a federal appeals court the rights of Wisconsin parents challenging a school system’s transgender policy. The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) and the Minnesota-Wisconsin Baptist Convention (MWBC) signed onto a friend-of-the-court brief filed Monday (May 8) that urged the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago to rule parents have legal standing to contest the guidance of the Eau Claire (Wis.) Area School District. The policy permits staff to conceal from parents their child is identifying at school as a gender different than his or her biological sex. The brief marks the third time in 14 months the ERLC has joined with a Baptist state convention and other organizations to support parents challenging a school’s guidelines regarding students who identify as transgender. Among the commission’s

Charles Stanley, pivotal SBC president, TV preacher, dies

Image Source:  Charles Stanley - Wikipedia  By Art Toalston - Posted at Baptist Press: Published April 18, 2023 ATLANTA – Charles Stanley, a former Southern Baptist Convention president and one of the nation’s foremost television and radio preachers, passed away peacefully at his home today (April 18) at age 90. Stanley presided over the two largest annual meetings in SBC history — 45,531 messengers in 1985 in Dallas and 40,987 in 1986 in Atlanta — when conservatives faced the most pronounced opposition to anchoring the convention in biblical authority. As senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Atlanta, Stanley was elected in 1984 in the sixth year of the conservative advance toward majorities on the trustee boards of the convention’s seminaries and other entities. Conservatives rose to the challenge in 1985 and 1986, with Stanley receiving 52.18 percent of messengers’ vote in Dallas over two nominees and 55.3 percent of the tally in Atlanta over a single nominee. Stanley transitione

Shooting personal for at least three Kentucky Baptist churches

Westport Road Baptist Church Mural  (Baptist Press) By Chip Hutcheson/ Kentucky Today , Mark Maynard/ Kentucky Today   Posted April 11, 2023 in National News , SBC News : “We remind ourselves of the Gospel hope. Death is the last enemy to be destroyed.” LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP) – Monday morning’s bank shooting became personal for Andy Mikel, pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Danville, Ky., in a short time. One of the nine wounded in the shooting was Deana Eckert, the 57-year-old sister of Immanuel worship pastor Scott Hurst. Brother and sister grew up in Harrodsburg. Mikel said he only communicated via text with Hurst, who went to be with his grieving family. Deana was taken to the hospital with severe injuries from the shooting at the Old National Bank in downtown Louisville. She became the fifth victim to die early Monday night after several surgeries. “Our church family is grieving with them and sharing one another’s sorrows,” he said. Steven Dressens, the associational mission str

The Jesus Revolution?

Source:  Jesus Revolution   By Taigen Joos - Posted at G3 Ministries: Published February 22, 2023 The worldwide release of a new film entitled Jesus Revolution is set for Friday, February 24. The film is based on a book by the same title written by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, CA. The book and the subsequent movie tell the story of the so-called Jesus Movement of the 1960s and 1970s, which was centralized in southern California. Being rooted in the hippie culture, these young people were experimenting with all kinds of things like drugs, sex, and religious pursuits. Hippies were a counter-cultural group of adolescents and young adults looking for meaning in life in the face of what they viewed as a meaningless war in Vietnam and a frustrating American political climate. The Jesus Movement is said to have been a major spiritual working of God in these hippie sub-cultures, not only in southern California, but also around the nation. Converted hippies

Baptist Press: 'EC removes six churches from cooperation including Saddleback Church'

 By Diana Chandler - Posted at Baptist Press: NASHVILLE (BP) — In its meeting Tuesday (Feb. 21), the SBC Executive Committee deemed six churches to be not in friendly cooperation—five of whom for having a female functioning in the office of pastor—including one of the largest churches in the Convention, Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif. Saddleback hired Andy Wood and his wife Stacie as “Pastors Andy and Stacie Wood,” according to the church website, in 2022 as the megachurch’s founding pastor Rick Warren retired. The SBC Executive Committee did not name the Woods in its decision to deem the church to be not in friendly cooperation. The recommendation from the SBC Credentials Committee came “on the basis that the church has a faith and practice that does not closely identify with the Convention’s adopted statement of faith, as demonstrated by the church having a female teaching pastor functioning in the office of pastor.” Four other churches with women senior pastors were deemed

Two Churches Promoting Disgraced Pastor Johnny Hunt Face Prospect of Removal From SBC

 By Dale Chamberlain - Posted at Ministry Watch: Two Southern Baptist churches are the subject of an inquiry by the denomination’s Credentials Committee into whether they should be removed from friendly cooperation with the Southern Baptist Convention. The inquiry of the two churches—Hiland Park Baptist Church in Panama City, Florida, and New Season Church in Hiram, Georgia—centers on their affiliation with and promotion of disgraced pastor and former SBC president Johnny Hunt, who has been credibly accused of sexual abuse. The credible accusations against Hunt came to light in the Guidepost Solutions report commissioned by the SBC Executive Committee, which was released in May 2022. Along with revelations of systemic failure by the Executive Committee to properly respond to sexual abuse allegations over the course of two decades, the report also found that Hunt allegedly sexually assaulted the wife of a pastor he was mentoring toward the end of his term as SBC president in 2010. Cont

New Saddleback Pastor Labels His Wife a 'Teaching Pastor' despite SBC Resolution

 By Milton Quintanilla - Posted at Christian Headlines: The California-based megachurch Saddleback Church, which is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, has identified the new lead pastor's wife as a "teaching pastor" despite the denomination's stance on the pastoral office being limited to men. Pastor Andy Wood, the successor of former pastor and bestselling author Rick Warren, lists his wife, Stacie, as a "pastor" in his biography on the church website . "Pastors Andy and Stacie Wood started their ministry in California as church planters in the Bay Area," the biography reads, according to The Christian Post . "They began Echo Church in 2009, and it eventually became one of the fastest-growing churches in the area." Earlier this month, Stacie Wood preached at the church with a message titled "The Courage to Slow Down" and was identified as a "teaching pastor." Prior to moving to Saddleback Church, she p

Southern Baptist support for Ukraine continues; Seminary forced to meet in bomb shelter

  Though Russian strikes continue, students at Ukrainian Baptist Theological Seminary continue to meet for classes in the building’s basement. By Diana Chandler - Posted at Baptist Press: LVIV, Ukraine (BP) – Russia’s increased attacks across Ukraine forced the Ukrainian Baptist Theological Seminary to hold classes in basement bomb shelters, UBTS President Yaroslav Pyzh said in a new video . “Several days of our session, our students went in bomb shelter. We are lucky that we have basement and we are lucky that our building allows us to have sessions even when we have a raid siren,” Pyzh said in the video. “Russia is escalating conflict and bombing Ukraine all over the places.” UBTS, with a pre-war enrollment of about 1,300 students in all class levels, enrolled 450 new incoming students in fall sessions, Pyzh said, thanking supporters whose generosity has allowed UBTS to continue serving the battered nation. Continue here...

Why the SBC Should Remove Saddleback

 By Denny Burk Published October 10, 2022 Over the weekend, a friend sent me a post from one of Saddleback Church’s social media accounts announcing that their new female teaching pastor would be delivering her first sermon on Sunday, October 9. Her sermon streamed live yesterday on YouTube, and I took some time to watch it myself last night. If you are interested in watching it, this link is cued up to her husband’s introduction to her message, and her message follows immediately after. I don’t know either of them personally, but if you take time to watch the message, you are going to see a husband and a wife that seem as sweet as they can be. You are also going to find a topical message geared toward self-help that includes no mention of the gospel. I’m certain that she and her husband believe in the gospel and share it elsewhere, but for whatever reason it was not part of this particular message. But my focus in this post is not on the message itself but on the issue that came be

DOJ Launches Investigation into SBC Sex Abuse

By Milton Quintanilla - Posted at Christian Headlines: Published August 15, 2022 Leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention announced on Friday that the Department of Justice is conducting an investigation into sexual abuse within the denomination. “Individually and collectively, each SBC entity is resolved to fully and completely cooperate with the investigation,” a statement released by the SBC said . “While we continue to grieve and lament past mistakes related to sexual abuse, current leaders across the SBC have demonstrated a firm conviction to address those issues of the past and are implementing measures to ensure they are never repeated in the future.” According to Religion News Service , the statement was signed by the SBC’s newly elected president, Texas pastor Bart Barber, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Al Mohler and other seminary presidents, the Executive Committee, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, and leaders of the SBC’s International Missi

5 Key Takeaways from Southern Baptists' Annual Convention

 By Michael Foust - Posted at Christian Headlines: Southern Baptists elected a new president, passed recommendations from a sexual abuse task force, and commissioned more than 50 new missionaries during their annual meeting, which was held this week in Anaheim, California. All total, the convention drew 8,133 messengers, representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia, according to the Baptist Press , the news service of the Southern Baptist Convention. It was the highest-attended annual meeting in a western state since 1998 when the convention was held in Salt Lake City. Meetings in Phoenix in 2017 and 2011 drew less than 5,500 messengers. Here are five key takeaways from the convention: 1. A NEW PRESIDENT WAS ELECTED Bart Barber, the pastor of First Baptist Church of Farmersville, Texas, was elected the new president of the SBC in a runoff, receiving 60 percent of the vote to 38 percent by Tom Ascol, the pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, Florida. Ascol was endo

Guidepost tweet in support of Pride stirs controversy

 By Scott Barkley - Posted at Baptist Press: NASHVILLE (BP) – A Twitter post by Guidepost Solutions in support of LGBTQ+ causes brought controversy among Southern Baptists as well as discussion on the merits of a working relationship between a secular company and faith-based institution. On June 6 the Guidepost Global account tweeted its commitment “to strengthening diversity, equity and inclusion” as an organization that welcomes employees to “bring their authentic selves to work.” It further positioned the company as “an ally to our LGBTQ+ community” accompanied by the image of a rainbow flag. Guidepost Solutions was contracted by the Sexual Abuse Task Force (SATF) last year to investigate allegations that SBC Executive Committee leadership mishandled sexual abuse claims during a 20-year span. The group delivered a 288-page report on May 22 that included correspondence among EC leadership disregarding or stonewalling sexual abuse advocates. The report also revealed new allegations of

SBC leaders express lament, ‘broken hearts’ over Guidepost report

 Posted at The Baptist Paper: As Southern Baptists process a nearly 300-page report released May 22 by the SBC’s Sexual Abuse Task Force outlining the SBC Executive Committee’s handling of sexual abuse cases between the years 2000 and mid-2021, many Southern Baptist leaders are expressing grief over the findings of the independent investigation conducted by Guidepost Solutions. The task force opened the extensive report with a statement, which reads in part: “As the task force, we grieve for what has been revealed in this report,” the task force said in opening comments. “We lament on behalf of survivors for how they have not been protected and cared for as they deserve and as God demands. “With broken hearts, we want to lead the way by publicly repenting for what has happened in our convention. We implore our Southern Baptist family to respond to this report with deep repentance and a commitment to the ongoing moral demands of the gospel as it relates to sexual abuse. “We must resolve

Baptist Press: An Interview with Tom Ascol

By Jonathan Howe and Brandon Porter CAPE CORAL, Fla. (BP) – For more than 30 years Tom Ascol has been known as a leader with deep theological convictions through his work at Grace Baptist Church and Founders Ministries. While Ascol, 65, has never held an office as a trustee or board member of the Southern Baptist Convention, he has been an influencer, and his name is one of the most well-known in Southern Baptist life. “You’d have to ask the people who didn’t ask me,” Ascol joked when asked why he’s never served as an entity trustee or SBC committee member. “It’s never something I aspired to. I’ve always had plenty to do.” But Ascol’s name has been put forward by a number of people to be nominated as president of the SBC in Anaheim this summer. Over the last few years as debates over issues such as Critical Race Theory, the work of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, and claims of liberal drift have permeated the SBC, and Ascol’s voice has been prominent—sometimes preeminen