Posts

Showing posts from May, 2017

When the Ku Klux Klan Tried to Shut Down Religious Schools

Image
Written by:Thomas S. KiddOn June 1, 1925, the Supreme Court issued one of its most important rulings ever on education and religious liberty. In its unanimous decision in Pierce v. Society of Sisters, the Supreme Court struck down one of the most obnoxious state laws in American history, a 1922 Oregon statute that would have forced all children between the ages of eight and sixteen to attend public schools.What makes that Oregon state law especially strange is that it was the brainchild of the Ku Klux Klan.We might be puzzled at the Klan’s involvement – wasn’t the Klan just a southern thing? And didn’t they just target African Americans?Well, the Klan was certainly strong in the white South. In its manifestations during Reconstruction (1860s-1870s) and during the Civil Rights era of the 1950s and 1960s, the Klan’s terroristic tactics in the South were typically directed toward outspoken or politically active African Americans. But the 1920s saw a different kind of Ku Klux Klan which, …

When the Ku Klux Klan Tried to Shut Down Religious Schools

Image
Written by:Thomas S. KiddOn June 1, 1925, the Supreme Court issued one of its most important rulings ever on education and religious liberty. In its unanimous decision in Pierce v. Society of Sisters, the Supreme Court struck down one of the most obnoxious state laws in American history, a 1922 Oregon statute that would have forced all children between the ages of eight and sixteen to attend public schools.What makes that Oregon state law especially strange is that it was the brainchild of the Ku Klux Klan.We might be puzzled at the Klan’s involvement – wasn’t the Klan just a southern thing? And didn’t they just target African Americans?Well, the Klan was certainly strong in the white South. In its manifestations during Reconstruction (1860s-1870s) and during the Civil Rights era of the 1950s and 1960s, the Klan’s terroristic tactics in the South were typically directed toward outspoken or politically active African Americans. But the 1920s saw a different kind of Ku Klux Klan which, …

How was Christ Administered in the Old Testament? Introduction

Was the saving work of Christ somehow administered mystically, with no specific words, sacraments, or structures, as if Christ were applied to the saints of old in spite of the Old Covenant, without them even really knowing, placing their hope in merely ethnic, national, and earthly covenantal promises? In short, how do those who reject the one Covenant of Grace in Christ, for all time, under two Administrations (the Old and the New) explain this?After reading through some modern works defending alternative “covenant theologies” (Denault and the like), I am always left wondering how the saving work of Christ was administered or dispensed to the saints of the Old Testament on these alternative terms?We all agree, I presume, that there were many saved saints in the Old Testament. We would also agree that all who ever have been or will be saved, were saved by the work of Christ through faith.  We read in the New Testament:For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are ju…

Wise and Innocent

Because Jesus has sent us out, our place is indeed, “in the world,” and even among the “wolves.” Christians must not withdraw from public space and public dialogue, but their presence is to be wise and innocent. Sometimes Christian engagement in the public sphere is less than wise; at other times it is far from innocent. Wise engagement is required lest we be ravaged; innocence is necessary lest we give ground for accusation or inflame existing tensions.A newspaper article a few weeks ago reported on a federal inquiry into the status of religious freedom in Australia (see Rebecca Urban, “Christians Under Seige” The Australian May 6, 2017). Urban detailed several instances in which Christians have faced social pressure on account of their convictions:A Melbourne IT specialist engaged to work on the Safe Schools program was sacked after privately expressing concerns about the contentious initiative during a staff meeting, with his employer later accusing him of “creating an unsafe work …

Seattle Reboot: Life After Mars Hill

Many quit Mars Hill; some quit church or Christianity altogether. Hundreds limped into other area churches, asking about church bylaws and pastoral pay structures before even introducing themselves. “We had some serious trust issues,” said Neil Huck, who started attending Mars Hill in 2004. He spent a decade growing from “a baby Christian to a less baby Christian” under Driscoll’s leadership. “It’s like your dad left, and your family is broken,” he said. “There is nothing healthy about that. You get through it, and your faith strengthens, and good has come from it. But it wasn’t healthy.”Four years ago, Mars Hill Church in Seattle seemed too big to fail.Just 17 years old, the church was drawing an average weekly attendance of 12,329 to 15 locations. In fiscal year 2013 alone, Mars Hill baptized more than 1,000 people, planted 53 churches in India, and supported 20 church planters and evangelists in Ethiopia. It released 50 new worship songs, gave away more than 3,000 Bibles in the Uni…

5 Verses Used to Justify Abortion

Image
The abortionist sees himself as doing good for the world—living out his faith in the midst of a society that finds his work appalling and immoral. To the abortionist, Christians who oppose abortion are the “faith without out works” people, and the abortion doctor is the “faith with deeds” person. But this mangles the scriptures terribly. The faith of the abortion doctor is no faith at all.Four years ago Dr. Kermit Gosnell began serving his life-sentence for the murders he committed as an abortion doctor in Philadelphia. Gosnell was one of the most well-known abortion doctors in the country. He is also the most prolific serial killer in American history, and his abortion clinic provided the perfect cover for his crimes.But what you probably don’t know is that Gosnell considers himself a Christian. He strongly believes the Bible allows abortion, and that as an abortion doctor he was serving society in a way that would please God.To demonstrate this, from jail Gosnell wrote a biblical de…

What’s Wrong with Women’s Bible Studies?

Here is where our study failed to teach the Word of God. The stories and verses were taken from the Bible, for sure, but the stories were not understood in light of Christ. In an effort to speak to women, the story began and ended with women. The words were ripped from their Christocentric purpose and simply placed over the mess of my own life. Ultimately, this Bible study only pointed to me. I was responsible for making a good change. I was the one who must learn how to act righteous. I was master of my own perfection. Even if our stories gave lip service to Jesus, this was not a study about Him. This was all about me.It was the first week of our new little mom’s group. Blankets on the floor, snacks in the baggies, coffee cups set high on the table. While the babies crawled around our feet, I looked around at my tired mama friends trying to think of something else (besides our kids) to talk about. We tossed around some ideas, but eventually decided to begin a Bible study together. It…

11 Years Old, a Mom, and Pushed to Marry Her Rapist in Florida

Johnson, the former 11-year-old unwitting bride who is now fighting for Florida to set a minimum marriage age (there is none now), says that her family attended a conservative Pentecostal church and that other girls of a similar age periodically also married. Often, she says, this was to hide rapes by church elders. She says she was raped by both a minister and a parishioner and gave birth to a daughter when she was just 10 (the birth certificate confirms that). A judge approved the marriage to end the rape investigation, she says, telling her, “What we want is for you to get married.”When she was a scrawny 11-year-old, Sherry Johnson found out one day that she was about to be married to a 20-year-old member of her church who had raped her.“It was forced on me,” she recalls. She had become pregnant, she says, and child welfare authorities were investigating — so her family and church officials decided the simplest way to avoid a messy criminal case was to organize a wedding.“My mom as…

The Godly Commissioner

A serious problem arises, however, when networks and partnerships constituted of PCA teaching and ruling elders go beyond public and transparent ministry to private meetings and ecclesiastical intrigues for the purpose of winning votes and transforming the denomination. If a real time, vote-by-vote, running conversation on the assembly floor becomes a regular practice by denominational networks, then men will inevitably vote their “party” rather than their conscience. This, of course, cannot be healthy for the future of the PCA. And, in time, it would create a party system inimical to biblical unity.“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” The well-known opening line from Dickens’ classic 19th-century novel, A Tale of Two Cities, might also be applied to the Presbyterian Church in America’s (PCA) annual General Assembly. In many ways, the annual gathering is the best of times. Friendships are renewed and made, unity is fostered, truth is championed, and Christ is exalted…

Are The Remonstrants Heretics? (1)

It is not possible to reject the doctrine of the ecumenical doctrine of the Trinity and be saved nor is it possible to reject the ecumenical doctrine of the two natures of Christ and be saved. The ecumenical faith is summarized by the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed (325, 381), the Definition of Chalcedon (451), and the Athanasian. What, however, should we say about the doctrine of salvation (soteriology)? Is there an ecumenical orthodoxy on salvation? Yes.This question comes over the transom regularly. I think most confessional Reformed pastors would probably say that, though they disagree strongly with Arminianism, it is not heresy. Somewhere I read (or heard) that William Ames (1576–1633),   who served as an advisor at the Synod of Dort, regarded Arminianism as an error tending to heresy but not heresy itself. Whether Ames actually said that—he wrote treatises against the Remonstrants, which have not been translated—it all comes down to the definition of heresy.Defining Heresy
Th…

3 Challenges for the Church Planting Wife

In 2008, my husband and I prepared to move our little family away from the only culture we’d ever known, with one mission before us—we hoped to plant a church where the gospel would be preached, known, and lived. We packed our years of ministry and life experience alongside the dishes and the baby crib in the moving van, but we didn’t then know how much we didn’t yet know.Everyone cheered us on and told us they were proud of us for following God’s call, but some also warned us of the obstacles and difficulties ahead. We tried to wrap our minds around the challenges we might face, but we were full of zeal and youthful energy, and I imagined going toe-to-toe with those yet unseen difficulties and forcing them into submission.Then we encountered the reality of church planting. In our new culture, which was so foreign to us, no one much cared that we’d arrived to save the day. Neighbors shrugged, fellow laborers said we weren’t needed, and we experienced the wariness, even opposition, of …

His mind on golf, Stoops talks a little football in Tulsa - Norman Transcript

Image
Norman Transcript
His mind on golf, Stoops talks a little football in Tulsa
Norman Transcript
The brothers reported they'd received scholarship offers Wednesday — Drake Stoops' from Ohio, Isaac Stoops' from Oklahoma Baptist. “I'm a dad and adviser more than anything. That's what I am to them,” Bob Stoops said. “My wife has [made recruiting ...

and more »

Posted by Jeff Brown

From Oklahoma Southern Baptists - Google News
via http://ift.tt/2rr7yBh

From Source: Oklahoma Southern Baptists - Google News
via http://ift.tt/2q2qCVE

Grady Cothen, former president of two SBC entities, dies - Western Recorder

Image
Western Recorder
Grady Cothen, former president of two SBC entities, dies
Western Recorder
RIDGELAND, Miss.—Grady Cothen—the former chief executive of a state convention, a Southern Baptist university and two Southern Baptist Convention entities—died May 19 at The Orchard retirement home in Ridgeland, Miss. He was 96. Among his service ...



Posted by Jeff Brown

From Southern Baptists - Google News
via http://ift.tt/2rqZ8tJ

From Source: Southern Baptists - Google News
via http://ift.tt/2qUr6y7

Grady Cothen, former president of two SBC entities, dies - Western Recorder

Image
Western Recorder
Grady Cothen, former president of two SBC entities, dies
Western Recorder
Among his service to Southern Baptists, Cothen was executive secretary of the Southern Baptist General Convention of California (1961-66), president of Oklahoma Baptist University (1966-70), president of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary ...



Posted by Jeff Brown

From Oklahoma Southern Baptists - Google News
via http://ift.tt/2rqY9cU

From Source: Oklahoma Southern Baptists - Google News
via http://ift.tt/2q2qCVE

Grady Cothen, former president of two SBC entities, dies - Western Recorder

Grady Cothen, former president of two SBC entities, dies
Western Recorder
RIDGELAND, Miss.—Grady Cothen—the former chief executive of a state convention, a Southern Baptist university and two Southern Baptist Convention entities—died May 19 at The Orchard retirement home in Ridgeland, Miss. He was 96. Among his service ...



Posted by Jeff Brown

From "Southern Baptist Convention" - Google News
via http://ift.tt/2spmdtT

From Source: "Southern Baptist Convention" - Google News
via http://ift.tt/2pxgFMX

His mind on golf, Stoops talks a little football in Tulsa - Norman Transcript

Image
Norman Transcript
His mind on golf, Stoops talks a little football in Tulsa
Norman Transcript
The brothers reported they'd received scholarship offers Wednesday — Drake Stoops' from Ohio, Isaac Stoops' from Oklahoma Baptist. “I'm a dad and adviser more than anything. That's what I am to them,” Bob Stoops said. “My wife has [made recruiting ...

and more »

Posted by Jeff Brown

From Oklahoma Baptists - Google News
via http://ift.tt/2rqXeJy

From Source: Oklahoma Baptists - Google News
via http://ift.tt/2ptqOcP

The Only Solution to Spiritual Blindness // Ask Pastor John

The Faith That Magnifies Grace

Image
I do not nullify the grace of God. (Galatians 2:21)When I lost my footing as a little boy in the undertow at the beach, I felt as if I were going to be dragged to the middle of the ocean in an instant.It was a terrifying thing. I tried to get my bearings and figure out which way was up. But I couldn’t get my feet on the ground and the current was too strong to swim. I wasn’t a good swimmer anyway.In my panic I thought of only one thing: Could someone help me? But I couldn’t even call out from under the water.When I felt my father’s hand take hold of my upper arm like a mighty vice grip, it was the sweetest feeling in the world. I yielded entirely to being overpowered by his strength. I reveled in being picked up at his will. I did not resist.The thought did not enter my mind that I should try to show that things aren’t so bad; or that I should add my strength to my dad’s arm. All I thought was, Yes! I need you! I thank you! I love your strength! I love your initiative! I love your gri…

Never Blame God

Image
You are not the first Christian to have felt angry at God. And you will not be the last to feel the urge to blame him.We Christians can be prone, in our pain, to point a finger and raise a fist at heaven. If we believe in God at all, we should believe he is bigger and stronger than we can even fathom. Our Bibles are filled with what we might call “big God” verses. We’re told God does whatever he pleases (Psalm 115:3; 135:6), nothing happens outside his control (Lamentations 3:37–38; Job 2:10; Proverbs 16:33; Matthew 10:29), he will accomplish all his plans (Job 42:2; Isaiah 46:10; Daniel 4:35), and not even a rebellious human will can thwart him (Proverbs 21:1; Revelation 17:17). Even when others mean evil against us, God means it for good (Genesis 50:20). He is stronger than any threat against his children, and whatever he lovingly allows into our lives, he does so for our full and final good, even as it is indeed painful, not pleasant (Hebrews 12:11).We talk about God bringing trial…

Never Blame God

Image
You are not the first Christian to have felt angry at God. And you will not be the last to feel the urge to blame him.We Christians can be prone, in our pain, to point a finger and raise a fist at heaven. If we believe in God at all, we should believe he is bigger and stronger than we can even fathom. Our Bibles are filled with what we might call “big God” verses. We’re told God does whatever he pleases (Psalm 115:3; 135:6), nothing happens outside his control (Lamentations 3:37–38; Job 2:10; Proverbs 16:33; Matthew 10:29), he will accomplish all his plans (Job 42:2; Isaiah 46:10; Daniel 4:35), and not even a rebellious human will can thwart him (Proverbs 21:1; Revelation 17:17). Even when others mean evil against us, God means it for good (Genesis 50:20). He is stronger than any threat against his children, and whatever he lovingly allows into our lives, he does so for our full and final good, even as it is indeed painful, not pleasant (Hebrews 12:11).We talk about God bringing trial…

Never Blame God

Image
You are not the first Christian to have felt angry at God. And you will not be the last to feel the urge to blame him.We Christians can be prone, in our pain, to point a finger and raise a fist at heaven. If we believe in God at all, we should believe he is bigger and stronger than we can even fathom. Our Bibles are filled with what we might call “big God” verses. We’re told God does whatever he pleases (Psalm 115:3; 135:6), nothing happens outside his control (Lamentations 3:37–38; Job 2:10; Proverbs 16:33; Matthew 10:29), he will accomplish all his plans (Job 42:2; Isaiah 46:10; Daniel 4:35), and not even a rebellious human will can thwart him (Proverbs 21:1; Revelation 17:17). Even when others mean evil against us, God means it for good (Genesis 50:20). He is stronger than any threat against his children, and whatever he lovingly allows into our lives, he does so for our full and final good, even as it is indeed painful, not pleasant (Hebrews 12:11).We talk about God bringing trial…