THE BRIEFING | Dozens of people came to faith in Christ at the August 2 funeral for 15-year-old Braxton Caner, according to reports on social media.
“Dozens saved today @ Brax’s funeral. We wanted the Gospel given,” tweeted Braxton’s father, Ergun Caner, president of Brewton-Parker College in Georgia. Caner also re-tweeted a photo of his son’s football teammates kneeling and praying after the service for Braxton, whose death was reported July 29 as a suicide.
On July 30, Ergun Caner wrote, “No words. No sermon. No funny quotes. No answers. No note. Nothing but excruciating pain & the assurance that I’ll see him in Glory.” The next day, he posted a photo of himself baptizing then-6-year-old Braxton.
Pastor Rick Warren, who lost his 27-year-old son to suicide last year, was one of many Christian leaders who reached out to Caner and his wife over Twitter. “I am weeping with you @erguncaner and Jill.”
‘Third way’ church could be removed from fellowship with Baptist association
The executive board of the Los Angeles Southern Baptist Association has recommended that messengers from New Heart Community Church not be seated at the association’s annual meeting in October. Danny Cortez, pastor of the La Mirada congregation, announced earlier this year that he no longer believes same-sex relationships are sinful. The church voted to become a “third way” church that neither condemns nor affirms homosexuality. Read more at BPNews.net.
Missionary doctor recovering from Ebola virus in U.S.
The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Aug. 3 that Dr. Kent Brantley is “improving” after contracting the Ebola virus. Brantley, an aid worker in Liberia with Samaritan’s Purse, was flown to Atlanta for treatment Aug. 2. Fellow American Nancy Writebol is expected to join him today. Both doctors contracted the Ebola virus while treating patients in a region where hundreds have died from a recent outbreak. Read more at SamaritansPurse.org.
IMB worker reports on ‘invisible war’ with Ebola
The Southern Baptist International Mission Board says it is monitoring the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, and medical coordinators “have been in touch with Southern Baptist missionaries in the region to keep them informed of the changing situation,” Baptist Press reports. The IMB has personnel in Guinea and Liberia, two of the countries affected by the outbreak.
A Christian worker in Liberia shared her account of what it’s like to live in a country where people are fighting an “invisible” enemy like the virus. Read it at BPNews.net.
Praying for peace in Jerusalem
Southern Baptist Convention leader Roger S. Oldham gives several specific ways to pray for the conflict between Israel and Hamas. “On the political front, the ‘peace of Jerusalem’ seems to be an elusive dream,” Oldham wrote. “But on the spiritual front, those who know the Prince of Peace have learned that peace is a gift the Lord gives (John 14:27).”