At the Southern Baptist Convention in Houston earlier this month, messengers responded to policy changes made by Boy Scouts of America this spring. (The Scouts voted to allow gay-identifying youth as members, but stopped short of lifting a ban on gay troop leaders.)
Baptists meeting in Houston approved a resolution urging the removal of those who “sought to change both the membership and the leadership policy of the Scouts without seeking input from the full range of the Scouting family.” But the resolution stopped short of prescribing specific action by SBC churches. Rather, it affirmed “the right of all families and churches prayerfully to assess their continued relationship with the BSA,” and encouraged churches who choose to sever ties with Boy Scouts to consider Royal Ambassadors (RA’s), a Southern Baptist missions education program for boys, as a ministry alternative.
SBC President Fred Luter recently announced his church will cut ties with Boy Scouts because of the organization’s policy change. Luter told Alabama news site AL.com, “We’ll be pulling out of Boy Scouts,” at Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, which has hosted a troop. Luter, once a Scout himself, also said the Scouts were trying to be “politically correct” by making the policy change, but, “There’s nothing that can be politically right if it’s biblically wrong.”
What could a Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage mean?
The Illinois General Assembly didn’t take up the same-sex marriage issue during a recently called summer session, but the U.S. Supreme Court could rule on two pieces of legislation – the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8 – this week. The Washington Post has an interactive graphic that details what could happen depending on the Court’s decision.
Frank Page on finding comfort in the wake of a loved one’s suicide
Southern Baptist Executive Committee President Frank Page spoke to the Christian Post during the convention’s annual meeting in Houston about some things that have given him comfort after his daughter’s suicide. Page’s new book, “Melissa: how parents struggling with a child’s suicide can find comfort. “Melissa: A Father’s Lessons from a Daughter’s Suicide,” was released in June. Watch the video at ChristianPost.com.
GuideStone announces support for Church Health Plan Act
Baptist Press reports GuideStone Financial Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention is encouraging pastors to contact their senators and urge them to sign on as co-sponsors of the Church Health Plan Act. The legislation, S.B. 1164, is in response to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which will allow premium tax credits beginning in 2014 for people who purchase coverage from commercial health care exchanges, but not pastors and others who get their health care coverage from church health plans. “If Congress fails to act, they will be disadvantaging church plans as compared to commercial, secular plans,” said GuideStone President O.S. Hawkins. Read GuideStone’s statement on BPNews.net.
Prodigal son gets modern-day movie treatment
The American Bible Society (ABS) is working on a series of films that update familiar parables from the Bible. The first, based on the story of the prodigal son, isn’t fully funded yet, but already has a trailer viewable here. ABS is utilizing Kickstarter, a website that allows people to help fund creative projects they believe in, to produce the films.