THE BRIEFING | Meredith Flynn
Brighton Presbyterian Church in Rochester, N.Y., is the first church to leave the Presbyterian Church (USA) after a majority of the denomination’s districts voted to change its definition of marriage. The amendment to the group’s constitution, which will become official this summer, alters the marriage definition from “a man and a woman” to “two people, traditionally a man and a woman.”
“Our reason for leaving is centered on the status of biblical interpretation within the PC(USA),” Brighton spokeswoman Kerry Luddy told The Christian Post. “We believe that Scripture’s meaning and intent should not be altered to fit a current culture.”
“Heaven visitation resources” like Don Piper’s book “90 Minutes in Heaven” are no longer available from LifeWay Christian Resources. Spokesman Marty King told Baptist Press LifeWay stopped ordering “experiential testimonies about heaven” last summer, and has pulled the remaining products from stores and its website.
LifeWay’s decision followed the adoption of a resolution on “the sufficiency of Scripture regarding the afterlife” by messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting last summer.
Legislators introduced this month a bill that would allow adoption and foster care agencies to operate within their religious convictions concerning placing children with same-sex couples. “This commonsense bill simply ensures that these child welfare providers can keep doing what they do best and are treated the same as the rest,” said Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), according to a WORLD News Service report.
Illinois is one of four states where agencies have discontinued adoption and foster care services because they would have been required to place children with same-sex couples.
More than 83,000 Bibles were shipped to Cuba this month through a partnership between Southern Baptist agencies, churches and individual donors. The Eastern Cuba Baptist Convention, which will receive 32,000 Bibles, reported more than 29,000 professions of faith last year, said Kurt Urbanek, International Mission Board strategy leader for Cuba. “The growth is so incredible, that’s why Bibles are so important.”
“If it wasn’t for the Baptists, I don’t know what I would do,” said one homeowner whose basement was repaired after severe flood damage wrought by Hurricane Sandy. More than two years after the storm devastated parts of New York and New Jersey, volunteers working through Southern Baptist Disaster Relief are still rebuilding and repairing homes in the region.