Archives For creationism

DallasThe Briefing Chief Brown relies on his faith
In the wake of the July 7 ambush that killed five Dallas police officers and throughout his life, Police Chief David Brown believes in bedrock Christian doctrine — faithful submission to God’s plan followed by an eternal reward. He sees his job as a “divine assignment” and brings a Biblical perspective to all his decision-making, said his pastor, the Rev. Tony Evans of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship.

Iowa claims it won’t muzzle pastors
The Iowa Civil Rights Commission, in a “clarification,” says it will not muzzle churches that teach on matters of biblical sexuality, nor force them to open single-sex restrooms to members of the opposite sex. The commission said it has revised its brochure on “Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity” to state that churches generally are exempt from certain provisions of the state’s civil rights law.

Is Trump the end of the Religious Right?
The evangelical divide over Trump has been widening for months, but it was only in recent weeks that the pro- and anti-Trump camps definitively split, with an increasing number of conservative evangelicals coming out forcefully against the candidate. The breaking point came on June 21, when Trump—ironically in an effort to appease the religious right—met with nearly a thousand evangelical leaders and announced a 25-person “evangelical advisory board” to help him reach conservative Christian voters.

Perry Noble fired
NewSpring Church, a multi-campus megachurch based in Anderson, S.C., announced Sunday that the church’s board of directors and pastor advisory team fired Senior Pastor Perry Noble for alcoholism, marital problems, and other “unfortunate” choices. Noble served as pastor of the Southern Baptist Convention–affiliated church since its founding in 2000.

Bill Nye tours Ark Encounter
When evolutionist Bill Nye “the science guy” visited a life-size replica of Noah’s Ark in northern Kentucky, he wanted to learn how children were reacting to what he has called a danger to science education. By the time he left the Ark Encounter theme park, he had also learned the story of Christ’s atoning death on the cross for humanity’s sins, Ark Encounter’s chief executive Ken Ham said, underscoring the park’s value as an evangelistic tool.

Sources: Dallas Morning News, Daily Signal, Politico, World Magazine, Baptist Press

Tuesday_BriefingTHE BRIEFING | Meredith Flynn

“The reason I am here is because I don’t want to have to rescue you.” 

Tajuan McCarty stood in front of more than 100 teenage girls and their leaders in November, pulling no punches as she told her story. Speaking in short, unflinching sentences, she explained how she was pushed into prostitution at age 15, and trafficked into every state except Hawaii and Alaska over the next 11 years.

“I am a survivor of trafficking.”

McCarty is founder and director of The Wellhouse, a ministry that rescues women trapped in the same kind of life that once enslaved her. Headquartered in Birmingham, The Wellhouse is in a prime location to fight trafficking along I-20, known as the sex trafficking superhighway. She also helps raise awareness about the global problem that is deeply entrenched in the United States.

McCarty has been a Christian for four years, so her message begins with this: All women are beautiful, because they’re made in God’s image.

“If you walk away from here thinking prostitution is a choice and/or she’s doing it because she’s on drugs, I have not done my job,” McCarty told a captivated audience at AWSOM, an annual missions event for young women in Illinois. Drugs are only a symptom of the problem, she added.

“At The Wellhouse, what we try to do is reach the core of the problem. And yes, we introduce them to Jesus because that is the only way to heal people.”

Read more in the new Illinois Baptist, online at http://ibonline.IBSA.org.

Other news:

New missions housing opens in Chicagoland
The new home of the Chicago Metro Baptist Association also has room for volunteers serving in the city. The Rockwell Street building’s 9,000 square feet on three floors have been remodeled into several large spaces for mission teams to stay, plus a chapel/meeting space, and in the basement a large dining hall and full commercial kitchen. And nine showers. At $15 per mission tripper per night, “it’s a clean, affordable, functional place,” said Jay Noh, “and I am prayerfully optimistic that many more churches will be able to bring groups to minister in the city.” Read more here, and check out page 6 of the newest Illinois Baptist for information about another mission housing opportunity in the Chicago suburb of Plainfield.

Rainer blogs 14 trends for 2014
LifeWay President Thom Rainer’s predictions for 2014 include more megachurches, downsized denominations, smaller worship centers and a stronger focus on small groups. Read more of his 14 predictions for churches at ThomRainer.com. (Note: Predictions are split into two posts.)

Creation Museum president vs. Science Guy in evolution debate
The president of a museum dedicated to creationism will soon debate Bill “the Science Guy” Nye on evolution. Ken Ham, president of the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky., and Nye will engage in a sold-out public debate at the museum on Feb. 4. “It is an important debate to have as we deal with the question, ‘Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific era?'” Ham posted on his blog.

Nye, host of TV’s “Bill Nye the Science Guy” in the mid-1990s, made headlines last year with a YouTube video calling creationism inappropriate for kids. A recent study by Pew Research found 60% of Americans believe in evolution. Read more about the survey here, and go to anwersingenesis.org for more about the debate, which also will be live streamed.

Most popular Scripture passages of 2013
According to analysis shared on ChristianityToday.com, Philippians 4:13 was the most popular verse on the YouVersion Bible app last year, followed by Isaiah 40:31, Matthew 6:13, Joshua 1:9, and Philippians 4:6. Read YouVersion’s top 10 shared verses of 2013 at ChristianityToday.com.

Tuesday_BriefingTHE BRIEFING | Meredith Flynn

Jerry and Michelle Burwell don’t get very far into telling their story before their eyes fill with tears and their voices break. The owners of Way of the Cross Ranch are overcome with emotion at how they see God using their 71 acres in Mt. Vernon.

“We’re nobody special, we really aren’t,” Jerry says as he watches a handful of horses and riders walk slowly around the outdoor arena in his backyard. “Why we got to do this, I have no idea.”

Horses_tease boxThe Burwells host an equestrian clinic at the ranch every month, with the help of an army of volunteers that operates more like a close-knit family. They invite kids from Southern Thirty, a local adolescent emergency shelter, and from the Baptist Children’s Home in Carmi.

Guests can fish in the pond, participate in craft time around a picnic table, or ride one of several horses donated for the day by the Burwells’ friends. No one has to ride if they don’t want to. But most eventually do.

“Some of the inner city kids we get, they’ve never even been around horses before, so that’s fun,” Jason Billings says. He points out David,* a young teen riding a chestnut horse around and around the arena, led by a ranch volunteer. Every so often, David smiles and waves to the camera.

As recreation director for Illinois’ Baptist Children’s Home, Billings has been bringing kids like David to the ranch for a few years. But there’s something bigger at stake than introducing kids to horses: Over the past few years, four or five of the kids have accepted Christ at the ranch. They attend church with Children’s Home staffers, Billings says, “but it’s nice to see someone from the outside actually cares, too.”

Each clinic includes at least two devotion times, and volunteers also talk one-on-one with kids about Jesus. Since the Burwells started their ministry, 38 kids have accepted Christ.

“I always tell them, ‘I don’t care if you know one end of the horse from the other when you leave, but you’ll know about Christ,’ Jerry says. “That’s really all we care about.”

Read more about Way of the Cross Ranch in the new issue of the Illinois Baptist, online this Friday at http://ibonline.ibsa.org.

Other news:

FInancial aid forms reflect marriage debate
The U.S. Department of Education has announced student financial aid forms will begin using the terms “Parent 1” and “Parent 2,” rather than the gender-specific terms “mother” and “father.” The new forms also will provide an option for applicants to describe their parents’ marital status as “unmarried and both parents living together.” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said, “All students should be able to apply for federal student aid within a system that incorporates their unique family dynamics. Read more at BPNews.net.

School faces criticism over creationism
A Christian school in South Carolina has received support from around the world after facing ridicule for teaching Young Earth Creationism. After a fourth-grade science quiz used by Blue Ridge Christian Academy in Landrum, S.C., was posted on an atheist page of the website Reddit, several user comments were unsurprisingly negative, The Christian Post reports. Some even made threats to teachers and administrators.

But the school, which is struggling financially and considering closing, reaped unexpected benefits, said teacher Angie Dentler. “Donations have been given ranging in amounts from $1 – $1,000. Encouraging notes and emails have poured in from around world…” Read more at ChristianPost.com.