SBC President Luter visits Springfield this week

Meredith Flynn —  April 16, 2013

Luter_blogTHE BRIEFING | Meredith Flynn

Southern Baptist Convention President Fred Luter is in Springfield today to meet with Illinois Baptist pastors and leaders at the Illinois Baptist State Association building. Luter also is preaching a three-day “Festival of Hope” at Union Baptist Church, a congregation affiliated with National Baptists. David Howard, director of missions for the Capital City Baptist Association invited Luter to Springfield in an effort to build bridges with African American churches in the city. The SBC president will engage in a Q&A time later today, and speak in the IBSA chapel service tomorrow morning. Check back here and on Facebook.com/IllinoisBaptist for more throughout the day.

Warren shares grief, faith on Twitter
In the days following his son’s death, Rick Warren’s personal Twitter feed told at least part of the story of how he and his family dealt with their grief. “Kay and I are overwhelmed by your love, prayers, and kind words. You are all encouraging our #brokenhearts,” Warren tweeted April 7, two days after Matthew Warren, 27, committed suicide.

He also responded to comments from Christians and non-Christians alike who took to social media to criticize and speculate about the Warren family. “Grieving is hard. Grieving as public figures, harder. Grieving while haters celebrate your pain, hardest. Your notes sustained us,” Warren wrote April 8.

He also offered forgiveness to the person who sold his son an unregistered gun, citing Matthew 6:15, and wrote about God’s faithfulness in trouble. Citing Psalm 34:1, Warren wrote, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those crushed in spirit.”

Read more about Warren’s Twitter reflections on BPNews.net.

Pro-life advocates use tweets to force media’s hand on Gosnell trial
U.S. Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, Florida Governor Jeb Bush, and actress Patricia Heaton were among those who participated in a TweetFest last week to force the media to cover the trial of Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia abortionist charged with killing seven babies after delivery. He also is charged in the death of Karnamaya Monger, who died after she was given a Demerol overdose at Gosnell’s West Philadelphia Women’s Medical Society.

The trial has received virtually no media coverage from many major outlets, so pro-life activists Bryan Kemper and Andy Moore decided to use social media to get the word out. Read the full story at ChristianPost.com.

Pope Francis speaks out against church’s hypocrisy
A month into his papacy, Pope Francis called out the Catholic Church on the inconsistencies between what is taught and what is lived. “Let us all remember this: one cannot proclaim the Gospel of Jesus without the intangible witness of one’s life,” he said at a Mass at St. Paul’s Basilica in Rome on April 14. “Those who listen to us and observe us must be able to see in our actions what they from our lips, and so give glory to God!” Read more at ChristianPost.com.

‘Not Today’ movie sheds light on human trafficking
A new feature film, released Friday, April 12, tells the tragic story of human trafficking. “Not Today,” produced by Friends Church in Yorba Linda, Ca., chronicles a young man’s struggle to rescue a girl sold into slavery, and to overcome his own apathy. The movie was filmed on location in India, but producer Brent Martz told Baptist Press that human trafficking is an issue everywhere. “I wish we could say that it didn’t exist here. It is easy maybe to put our head in the sand and say, that’s a problem that is halfway around the world, but it is happening here.” Read more about the movie at BPNews.net, and check the film’s website to find out where it’s showing near you.

Meredith Flynn

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Meredith is managing editor of the Illinois Baptist newspaper.