Archives For protest

White common daisy flower isolatedAs warm weather descended on San Francisco that year, so did the hippies, as many as 100,000 of them. The Haight-Ashbury District became ground zero for a festival that lasted for weeks: young people with flowers in their tresses singing and dancing and cavorting in public spaces, doing a little protesting of the Vietnam War, and smoking a lot of what their mothers wouldn’t approve.

They called it the ‘summer of love.’

Ironically, that summer in 1967 was also marked by fear and terror and rioting, as large sections of Detroit went up in flames just as Watts in Los Angeles had two years earlier. In Detroit, the violence that started after police raided an unlicensed bar ended with 2,000 buildings destroyed, more than 7,000 people arrested, over 1,000 injured, and 43 deaths. Free love on the West Coast, and unrestrained hate in the Midwest.

Here, 50 years later, we have witnessed another season of dichotomy, a tense summer of issues—and people—in conflict. The political tensions and threats of nuclear attack were topped by violent marches in Charlottesville that killed one young woman and revealed the breadth of a racial rift in America that few imagined existed.

As is 1967, the summer of 2017 was on some fronts a summer of hate. But from our vantage point, we can say, too, it was a summer of love.

There were stories in our pages that attested that: mission trips around the world where the love of Christ was shared. In downstate Cairo and Brazil and many other places, people received Christ as Savior. We saw children learn about Jesus at IBSA camps and Vacation Bible Schools everywhere.

And to cap it all, the eclipse. Carbondale was epicenter this time as millions from Oregon to South Carolina looked upward, many seeming to search for something beyond themselves. A famed Chicago weatherman wept on air for the beauty of nature. More important, Baptists in southern Illinois shared Christ, and lost people came to faith.

When they look back on the summer of 2017 to give it a name, no one will look at the protests and nuclear threats and political martial arts and call it ‘the summer of love.’ But seeing the totality of our Christian outreach this season, and the genuine outpouring from God’s heart, maybe we will.

-Eric Reed

THE BRIEFING | Meredith Flynn

The Supreme Court’s decision Oct. 6 to let stand lower-court rulings on same-sex marriage combined with a subsequent appeals court ruling could mean 35 states will soon have legal same-sex marriage, Baptist Press reported.

The effort to “redefine marriage is perhaps the fastest, most effective social change in our nation’s history,” said Andrew Walker of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. “The furthered erosion or deinstitutionalization of marriage that comes by redefining it will re-wire or re-circuit how we understand family arrangements.”

The_BriefingBefore the courts’ rulings, 19 states allowed same-sex marriage, including Illinois. The Supreme Court’s action legalized same-sex unions in Virginia, Indiana, Wisconsin, Oklahoma and Utah, and put Colorado, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Wyoming on the same path. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down laws marriage laws in Idaho and Nevada on Oct. 7, a decision that will likely affect Alaska, Arizona and Montana.

Walker will be part of this week’s “Elevate Marriage” conference at the Illinois Baptist State Association in Springfield, Ill. For more information and to register, go to

Hong Kong protestors include Christians
Some churches in Hong Kong are supporting protestors in the city this week, Christianity Today reports, and some Christians are actively objecting to the Chinese government’s control over Hong Kong’s 2017 election. CT and other media outlets explain how tensions between China’s Communist government and a growing church movement could be at the root of the protests.

Ebola survivor urges greater response
“…The reality on the ground in West Africa is worse than the worst report you’ve seen,” Dr. Kent Brantley told an audience at Abilene Christian University this month. Brantley, the missionary doctor who contracted Ebola and was successfully treated in the U.S., expressed sympathy for the family of now-deceased Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, The Christian Post reported. He also urged listeners to avoid panic. “Let’s stop talking about that highly improbable thing and focus on saving people’s lives and stopping the outbreak where it is.”

YouVersion reaches 1,030 versions, 721 languages
A Bible app developed by a media-savvy Oklahoma church is now available in 1,030 versions and 721 languages. And counting. A ticker on tracks key metrics like versions, languages and installs—currently at more than 156 million. The app, developed by’s Bobby Gruenewald, reached the 1,000-version mark earlier this month, but there are still more than 1,800 languages that do not have a Bible translation in progress, according to YouVersion.

Care line offers help for pastors
A new telephone care line opened Oct. 1 for pastors dealing with crises in their personal lives, families, or congregations. 1-844-PASTOR1 is co-sponsored by the North American Mission Board (NAMB) and Focus on the Family. “Because [pastors] have always been there for others, it’s our privilege to be there for them,” said Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family, in a NAMB article about the care line. Workers from the ministry’s Family Help Center answer the confidential calls, pray with pastors, and refer the call to a counseling team as needed. The care line, open weekdays between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. Eastern time, offers help in English and Spanish.