Archives For LifeWay

The BriefingIllinois to stop accepting Syrian refugees

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has temporarily suspended programs to resettle Syrian refugees in the state. Rauner cited the recent terror attacks in Paris as the reason for his action. In a statement he said,” We must find a way to balance our tradition as a state welcoming of refugees while ensuring the safety and security of our citizens.”


Pastor Saeed’s wife halts public advocacy, cites marital woes and abuse

Naghmeh Abedini appeared at the 2015 Southern Baptist Convention Pastors’ Conference where she urged prayer for the release of her husband Saeed, an Iranian-American imprisoned in Iran for his Christian beliefs. Abedini recently shocked supporters announcing she was stepping back from her public advocacy due to “physical, emotional, psychological, and sexual abuse (through Saeed’s addiction to pornography).” Abedini said she will withdraw from public life for a time of prayer and rest.


‘Death, pain & terror’ in Paris met by prayer, hope

“Are the French people hurting? Without a doubt,” Michael Harrington, a Baptist worker in France, said after the Nov. 13 terror attacks in Paris. “Many will find their loved ones home and safe, but there are over 300 people that are not home, nor safe. Our hearts hurt. Our colleagues in the French Baptist Federation expressed solidarity in the face of hurt, pleading adherence to 1 Timothy 2:1-8, which calls for petitions, prayers and intercession.”


Mattel features boy in Barbie ad

In a new Mattel commercial, a mohawk wearing boy places a purse on the arm of a Barbie doll while sounding like a fashionista saying, “Moschino Barbie is so fierce!” Progressives are hailing the commercial for the designer doll as a step forward, while others are saying the commercial is over the top and wondering if it is real.


LifeWay reopens search for new headquarters

LifeWay Christian Resources is stepping away from the purchase of a 1.5-acre site in downtown Nashville, President Thom Rainer said Nov. 16. Rainer stated the entity has come to the conclusion there are “other potential downtown properties that are a better fit for LifeWay’s future.” LifeWay does intend to complete the sale of its 14.5-acre campus, also located in downtown Nashville.

Sources: Baptist Press. CBS Chicago, Christianity Today, New York Post

THE BRIEFING | Meredith Flynn

Joining Filipino Baptists at work, IMB representative Mark Moses handed out packs of rice, noodles, canned sardines and water to Typhoon Haiyan victims on Panay island Monday, Nov. 11. “We listened to their horrifying stories of pounding winds and walls of sea water sweeping away their earthly belongings,” Moses said. “We prayed and grieved with the people. We made assessments of priority needs.” (IMB Photo by Mark Moses)

Joining Filipino Baptists at work, IMB representative Mark Moses handed out food and water to Typhoon Haiyan victims on Panay island Monday, Nov. 11. “We prayed and grieved with the people,” Moses said. “We made assessments of priority needs.” IMB photo by Mark Moses; from IMB.org

As officials assess the damage from Typhoon Haiyan, Southern Baptist workers in the Philippines are distributing food and evaluating how best to meet immediate and long-term needs. Officials estimate 10,000 people could have died in the storm. International Mission Board representative Dottie Smith said, “Pray for strength for those who are still stranded, low on food and water and are feeling helpless.” Read more at IMB.org.

LifeWay apologizes for stereotypes in ‘Rickshaw Rally’

The Southern Baptist Convention’s publishing arm, LifeWay Christian Resources, apologized last week for the use of racial stereotypes in “Rickshaw Rally,” its 10-year-old Vacation Bible School curriculum.

“I agree with those who have helped us understand the offensive nature of that material,” LifeWay President Thom Rainer said in the video apology presented at the Mosaix conference in California. “And I agree evangelical church and ministry leaders — particularly those of us who are white — need to commit to assuring, as best we can, these offenses stop.”

Rainer became LifeWay’s president in 2006. Read more at BPNews.net.

Coming soon to a theater near you
The producers behind History Channel’s “The Bible” miniseries are repackaging the parts of the story that focus on Jesus for a new feature film. “Son of God” will be released February 28, 2014 by 20th Century Fox. “This is a big story. It deserves a big presentation,” Roma Downey told The Christian Post. The star of “Touched by an Angel” produced “The BIble” with her husband, Mark Burnett, and also starred as Mary, the mother of Jesus. “The stand-alone opportunity of two hours and 15 minutes to follow the birth, the life, the mission, the miracles, the death, the resurrection, the ascension, the Great Commission, the entire Jesus narrative.” Read more at ChristianPost.com.

IBSA Annual Meeting starts Nov. 13
Follow along here and at Facebook.com/IllinoisBaptist or Twitter.com/IllinoisBaptist. The IBSA Pastors’ Conference starts today, with panel discussions and messages by Bobby Boyles, Jerry Cain, Micah Fries, Chuck Kelley, Eric Mason and Jason Strother. For more information, go to IBSA.org/meeting2013.

Writer lists five phrases that are too ‘churchy’ for Millenials
Blogger and author Addie Zierman once left the church, and now she’s back. She shares on The Washington Post’s On Faith blog five church cliches that are “maddening and alienating” to Millenials like her. Read the list here and then tell us how you agree or disagree.

LifeWay_storeTHE BRIEFING | Meredith Flynn

LifeWay Christian Stores opened its third Illinois location August 1 and will celebrate with grand opening festivities throughout the month. The Wheaton store, located in the Town Square Wheaton on South Naperville Road, is formerly a Johnsen & Taylor Bookstore operated by Tyndale House Publishers.

“I’ve heard from many individuals and churches who are excited about LifeWay Christian Stores being here,” said store manager . “We are grateful to see the continuation of the ministry started by Johnsen & Taylor.”

LifeWay also operates stores on the campus of Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and in Carterville, Ill.

Other news:

‘Wrath of God’ too much for hymnal
The Presbyterian Church USA chose not to include the song “In Christ Alone” in their new hymnal, all because the song mentions the “wrath of God.” On ChristianCentury.org Mary Louis Bringle, chair of the committee that made the decision, wrote that the song propagates “the view that the cross is primarily about God’s need to assuage God’s anger,” and that view could be harmful to future generations of worshippers.

Southern Baptist leaders, including Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission President Russell Moore, have weighed in on the decision. Read his commentary on The Washington Post’s On Faith blog here.

Most churches still do VBS
A Barna study found 68% of churches held a Vacation Bible School last year, including 91% of Southern Baptist churches. The research also found that churches in the South are most likely to host VBS, along with churches with larger budgets and more adult worship attenders. And churches with “Buster” pastors, those aged 30-48, are the most likely to participate in VBS, according to Barna. Read more findings here.

Street preaching resumes on Bourbon St.
The city of New Orleans has revised an ordinance that prohibited street preaching on Bourbon Street, ChristianPost.com reports. The ban, enacted in 2011, controlled preaching from sunset to sunrise and forbade individuals or groups from gathering “for the purpose of disseminating any social, political or religious message…” Several preachers are suing the city after being arrested or threatened with arrest for preaching during last year’s Southern Decadence Festival, an annual pro-gay event. Read the full story at ChristianPost.com.

Graham calls for prayer for Abedini

Franklin Graham is urging people to pray for Pastor Saeed Abedini (right), an American imprisoned in Iran since last September. Graham, the son of evangelist Billy Graham and president of Samaritan’s Purse, spoke to FOX News about Abedini’s plight and the prayer vigil scheduled for Sept. 26 – the one-year anniversary of his captivity. He also questioned President Obama’s response: “President Obama has been silent on the issue as an American Christian endures the horrors of Evin Prison,” Graham said.

“Many in the international community are expressing outrage over this blatant example of religious intolerance,” he said. “I ask that our government do the same and demand that Pastor Saeed Abedini be released and allowed to return home to his wife and family in the United States.” Read more on reporter Todd Starnes’ FOX News page.

 

Cynthia Barbee from Maplewood Park Baptist Church in Cahokia, Ill., washes dishes in a Disaster Relief kitchen trailer stationed on Staten Island, N.Y.

THE BRIEFING | Southern Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers deployed after Hurricane Sandy have prepared more than 1.2 million meals for families affected by the super storm. The volunteers also have assisted with chainsaw and mudout jobs, and have reported 56 individuals who have made professions of faith in Christ as a result of SBDR ministry. Next on the horizon: The North American Mission Board will coordinate church-to-church partnerships in the region and will mobilize student volunteers for long-term ministry and service in the Northeast. Read more at BPNews.net.

Other news:

84 new missionaries commissioned by IMB
The International Mission Board appointed 84 new missionaries Nov. 15 at Second Baptist Church in Springfield, Mo. Among them: a former deer meat processor, a doctor, a nanny and a nurse. They’re going to the ends of the earth not to settle down, but to press forward to the ends of the earth, said IMB President Tom Elliff. Read more at BPNews.net.

Most voters support traditional marriage
Despite victories by gay marriage supporters in Maine, Maryland, Washington and Minnesota on Election Day, a majority of voters nationwide still believe marriage is between one man and one woman, according to a new survey by the Polling Company. The research found that 60% of voters in this year’s election agreed that “marriage is between one man and one woman.” Of those surveyed, 34% disagreed with the statement. Read more about the survey at BPNews.net.

Barna launches Hispanic research division
Barna Research has launched a new division and web page to focus on trends among Hispanics. The site, Hispanics.barna.org, currently includes articles and infographics specifically related to the Hispanic population’s views on marriage, family and youth. For example, Barna found 66% of Hispanics agree with a traditional definition of marriage, and 60% agree that sex should take place within the context of marriage. For more findings, go to Hispanics.barna.org.

LifeWay launches new digital resources
To keep up with the growing demand for digital content and mobile-ready resources, LifeWay Christian Resources has launched a new ebookstore and mobile ebook reader app. The free LifeWay Reader app allows users to build a digital library, access some previously purchased LifeWay content, and link quickly to Bible references in their books. The app also comes with a free pre-loaded copy of the Holman Christian Standard Bible. Read more at LifeWay.com.