Archives For The Briefing

The BriefingTHE BRIEFING | Southern Baptist leaders including Thom Rainer and Ed Stetzer are taking notice of the repercussions that have followed the release by hackers of names of subscribers to the Ashley Madison website, which boasts the tagline, “Life is short. Have an affair.” Rainer, president of LifewWay wrote about the revelations on his blog, ThomRainer.com. “As the list of names on the Ashley Madison list began to unfold, pastors and other church leaders received word that some of their own members were on the list,” he said. “Some of the names included elders, deacons, pastors, church staff, and laypersons in the church.”

Rainer said the pastors he spoke with “were struggling with how they were going to respond to the families impacted, other church leaders, and the congregation as a whole.” He offered some ways church leaders and members could deal with the scandal if it touches their church.

Stetzer, LifeWay Research President, used his blog, The Exchange, to blame the culture for the Ashley Madison site and the behavior that supported it. “Many are reaping what they have sown individually, but we are also reaping what we have sown culturally…Though what was in the dark is now in the light, and though those who share our faith face utter embarrassment, our place is not to gloat. Perhaps, rather, we should grieve at what sexuality has become in our culture.”

Stetzer went on in another post to estimate a wave of up to 400 ministry resignations due to the hackers’ list. He noted however, “Not everyone on the list signed themselves up. Among those who did, the sin and circumstances will be different. Many likely signed themselves up and didn’t actually go through with adultery. Regardless, though, trust has been shattered and hearts have been broken. But before we assume a name on a list means adultery has taken place, we must confirm all things and seek the full truth.”

Late Monday (Aug. 31) night, the news broke that theologian RC Sproul, Jr, had admitted that in a “moment of weakness, pain, and from an unhealthy curiosity” he left an old e-mail address on the site.


Supreme Court rules against Kentucky clerk in gay marriage case

The Supreme Court ruled Aug. 31 against the Kentucky county clerk who has refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses, and today, Sept. 1, the clerk has refused to issue licenses to same-sex couples who have arrived at her office.

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis may now be found in contempt of court and face fines or be ordered to go to jail.

Morehead County Sheriff Matt Clark told the couples there was nothing he could do, saying the matter was in the hands of the federal courts.

“She will likely be found in contempt, as we know,” the sheriff said.


42 IMB missionaries appointed; Platt addresses trustees

Even as the International Mission Board prepared to announce a reduction of up to 15% of its staff and missionaries, the organization held an appointment service Aug. 26 for 42 new missionaries. IMB President David Platt addressed the missionaries and attendees, speaking on Matthew 4:18-22, where Jesus is calling His first disciples, and particularly verse 19: “And he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men’” (ESV). Read about the appointment service at BPNews.net.

SBC President Ronnie Floyd addressed the announced staff reduction on his blog, writing, “Regardless of our thoughts or feelings on the International Mission Board’s budget announcement, now is the time to go to the Lord in prayer about it more than ever before. We are a people that believe in our powerful and providing God, and no one is more committed to reaching the nations than the Lord Himself. When His people fasten their eyes to joining Him in this eternal task, God will move powerfully and provide generously. He always has and will do so again.”


Christianity Today cover highlights ERLC’s Moore

Russell Moore’s five meetings with President Obama and a personal objection to displaying the Confederate battle flag that predates Moore’s public stance on the issue are among the highlights of a Christianity Today cover article profiling the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission president.


Same-sex marriage ruling used to defend polygamy

We knew it was coming. The stars of the reality television show “Sister Wives” used the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent same-sex marriage ruling to support their case against Utah’s polygamy ban, court records show.

The filing with the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals by Kody Brown and the four women he considers his wives – Meri Brown, Janelle Brown, Christine Brown and Robyn Sullivan – came in response the Utah Attorney General’s appeal of a lower court’s ruling in their favor.

Sources: Baptist Press, Christianity Today, Fox News, Reuters, ThomRainer.com, USA Today, Washington Post

The_BriefingTHE BRIEFING | Meredith Flynn

Leading up to the Supreme Court’s expected ruling on a case involving Hobby Lobby, culture writer Jonathan Merritt took issue with calling the craft retailer a “Christian business” because of its dealings with China, one of the world’s worst offenders of human rights.

Hobby Lobby currently is fighting for an exemption to the government’s requirement that for-profit companies cover some abortion-inducing drugs in their employee health care plans. The Supreme Court’s ruling is expected this week.

The things Hobby Lobby claims to stand for, Merritt wrote for The Week magazine, including sanctity of life and religious liberty, are grossly undervalued in China.

“Hobby Lobby reminds us why for-profit businesses should resist calling themselves ‘Christian,’” he wrote. “The free market is messy and complicated and riddled with hypocrisy. Conducting business in today’s complex global economy almost ensures one will engage in behavior that is at least morally suspect from a Biblical standpoint.”

Merritt invited Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, to respond to his article. Moore recently presented the Green family with the John Leland Award for Religious Liberty.

Forsaking business in China, Moore wrote, likely won’t help improve human rights there. Historically, he said, “open trade, in most cases, tends to help the development of political rights rather than hinder them.” If the Greens believed boycotting Chinese business would turn the nation’s government toward improved human rights, Moore said, they would.

But, “The Greens cannot control the decisions made by the Chinese government. They can, however, direct their own actions. And, as Americans, they can participate in a democratic republic in which the people are ultimately accountable for the decisions of their government.

“Buying products from companies that operate in a country that aborts children is not the same as being forced by the United States government to purchase directly insurance that does the same.”

Meriam Ibrahim released from prison, then rearrested
A 27-year-old mother of two imprisoned for her Christian faith was released June 23, but rearrested just hours later, The Christian Post reported this morning. Meriam Yahia Ibrahim, a Sudanese doctor, had been imprisoned with her young son and newborn daughter after she was found guilty of apostasy and adultery. (Because Ibrahim’s husband, Daniel Wani, is a Christian, their government does not recognize their marriage.) Her death sentence was to be carried out in two years. After Ibrahim was freed and her sentence commuted Monday, she was rearrested with her husband and children as they prepared to leave Sudan. Ibrahim’s case has drawn attention internationally and in the U.S., 38 members of Congress signed a letter asking the government to intervene on her behalf. Read more at ChristianPost.com.

Benched basketball star says ‘I know God has a plan!’
Isaiah Austin, a center for the Baylor University basketball team, was expected to be a first-round pick in the June 26 NBA draft. Instead, a diagnosis of Marfan syndrome will end his career, reported The Christian Post. He sat down for an emotional interview with ESPN, but was hopeful on Twitter and Instagram, using social media to talk about his faith in God.

“I know God has a plan!” Austin posted as part of a message on Instagram, with the hashtag #NewBeginnings. “I would love to thank EVERYONE who has reached out to me,” he tweeted under the handle God’s Child. “Toughest days of my life. But not the last! Life goes on. GOD IS STILL GREAT!”

Mohler: PCUSA marriage vote helps establish ‘clear divide’
When the General Assembly of The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted to allow pastors to conduct same-sex marriages, their decision set a dividing line in culture and in Christianity, said Southern Seminary President Albert Mohler.

“That very clear divide puts on one side those who stand with 2,000 years of Christian witness and on the very clear statements of Scripture, and, on the other side, those who stand with the moral revolution of the era…,” Mohler said on his daily podcast.

The Presbyterian denomination not only voted on the policy change for pastors, but also to amend their constitution to define marriage as between “two people” instead of “a man and a woman.” A majority of the PCUSA’s presbyteries must approve the amendment for it take effect, Baptist Press reported, but the departure of many conservative congregations makes the change a likely prospect.

THE BRIEFING | Meredith Flynn

Barna reports the same percentage of Americans are Bible-engaged as are Bible-skeptical. The annual State of Bible study, produced with the American Bible Society, found 19% of people say they read the Bible at least four times a week and believe it is the actual or inspired Word of God. And 19% say the Bible is “just another book of teaching written by men that contains stories and advice.” The number of skeptics has almost doubled over the past three years, according to a summary at Barna.com.

Baptists may meet with gay author
Southern Baptist leaders who authored a response to Matthew Vines’ book “God and the Gay Christian,” said they’re willing to meet with the author in person. Vines’ book was released April 22, the same day Southern Seminary President Albert Mohler and a group of professors released an e-book to respond to Vines’ belief that Scripture allows monogamous same-sex relationships.

“I will be very glad to meet you in person and not merely in print. I am thankful for a respectful exchange of beliefs,” Mohler tweeted in response to a message from Vines thanking him for engaging in a Religion News Service Q&A about the book. Read more at BPNews.net.

‘Family Talk’ wins in court
A ministry run by Focus on the Family founder James Dobson was issued a temporary injunction against the federal government, meaning the organization does not have to provide abortion-inducing drugs in its employee health care plans. Dobson’s “Family Talk” radio program, newsletter and website has 28 full-time employees, according to an Associated Press report. The U.S. Supreme Court currently is considering a similar case involving Hobby Lobby. Get the full story at ChristianPost.com.

Midwest leaders meet to pray
Around 100 Baptist leaders and church planters from the Midwest gathered in Wisconsin for an April prayer summit hosted by the North American Mission Board. “It was a wonderful time of focused prayer for our personal life, in a small group, and corporately in a large group setting,” said IBSA President Odis Weaver. “We prayed for personal holiness, for the Midwest Send cities, and for revival and spiritual awakening.”

Coach denies proselytizing charges
Clemson University football coach Dabo Swinney, an outspoken Christian, defended his program’s policies after the Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a letter of complaint detailing “several serious constitutional concerns.” FFRF’s concerns include Swinney’s appointment of a chaplain for the team, scheduled devotionals, and the team’s attendance at a 2011 Fellowship of Christian Athletes breakfast.

“Players of any faith or no faith at all are welcome in our program. All we require in the recruitment of any player is that he must be a great player at his position, meet the academic requirements, and have good character,” Swinney responded in a statement. CBS News reported the coach said in a teleconference he would continue to run the program like he always has. Read more at

Frank Page, president of the SBC Executive Committee, wrote a book about his daughter, Melissa, his grief after her suicide, and how church leaders can help people living with the deep pain of mental illness.

Frank Page, president of the SBC Executive Committee, wrote a book about his daughter, Melissa, his grief after her suicide, and how church leaders can help people living with the deep pain of mental illness.

THE BRIEFING | Meredith Flynn

Editor’s note: This article is excerpted from the September 30 issue of the Illinois Baptist. The first part of the article headlined The Briefing last Tuesday, but this section takes a closer look at how the church, and specifically church leaders, can minister to individuals and families struggling with mental illness and suicide.

At the Southern Baptist Convention this summer in Houston, mental health and the church was a much-discussed topic, with messengers approving a resolution to “oppose all stigmatization and prejudice against those who are suffering from mental health concerns.” The resolution also called on churches to “look for and create opportunities to love and minister to, and develop methods and resources to care for, those who struggle with mental health concerns and their families.”

When it comes to mental health, “the church has had a tendency to say we’re going to leave that up to the professionals,” said Pastor Hal Trovillion, pastor of First Baptist, Manteno, Ill., and a former youth and family counselor. The problem is that for the most part, those professionals don’t take God into account.

Melissa_book_coverThe church has an opportunity to engage in the critical ministry of offering spiritual help to those in deep pain.

Jesus’ ministry did just that, Pastor James Shannon says. His church, People’s Community Church in Glen Ellyn, has sponsored several support groups (grief, divorce, substance abuse, etc.) and plans to do more in the future. An experienced and degreed counselor, Shannon is dedicated to helping hurting people find wholeness. His mission is to help people transition from “walking wounded” to “wounded healers” so that they can minister effectively to others.

“The point where a person is hurt the most is the point where God can equip them to do ministry, and I think that’s so vital for people to understand.”

The potential for those who have struggled with mental illness to be used in ministry to others with similar stories is encouraging, but the need to alleviate pain is often more pressing. What can churches do now to help people who are depressed and possibly contemplating suicide, and their families?

Frank Page has clear advice for pastors who likely are ministering or will minister to people in deep pain. Teach good theology, help people learn how to control their thoughts, and steer clear of trite advice, he counsels in his book “Melissa: A Father’s Lessons from a Daughter’s Suicide.”

“Stay quick with Scripture but sparing with human philosophy,” writes Page, whose oldest daughter took her own life almost four years ago. Currently serving as president of the Southern Baptist Executive Committee, Page was a pastor for many years and he and his wife, Dayle, raised their three daughters in the church. In the book, which includes a letter at the end of each chapter to those contemplating suicide, he says, “We were not a family whose daughter kills herself.”

Page is using his national platform to help Christian leaders understand the complexity of suicide and mental health issues. First, “be a learner,” he writes. “No one on this side of eternity can fully understand or articulate the complex nature and theological mysteries surrounding the horrible act of suicide nor of the loss of rational thought that typically leads up to it.

“Grow your observations, increase your insights, but don’t place pressure on yourself to grasp it all or to promise the absolute answer to every question.”

At the same time, Page writes, pastors should make themselves more knowledgeable about mental illness. “The church many times has been woefully inadequate in reaching out to persons who either experience mental illness themselves or are dealing with it in their families. …And when we as pastors, not in dismissiveness perhaps but at least in ignorance, give them ‘snap out of it’ advice (or something in that family of faulty counsel), we do more harm than good.

“More than ever – if you intend to serve your congregation well – you need a working knowledge of what causes mental illness and depression and how to assist its sufferers with the best kind of loving assistance.”

Read Religion News Service’s interview with Frank Page here, or watch his interview with LifeWay’s Ed Stetzer.

Senate chaplain likens government shutdown to ‘madness’
In a prayer in the U.S. Senate chamber last week, Senate Chaplain Barry Black asked God to “save us from the madness” of the ongoing government shutdown. Black, a Seventh-day Adventist minister who has served as chaplain of the Senate since 2003, also used words from Psalm 51 in his prayer. “We acknowledge our transgressions, our shortcomings, our smugness, our selfishness, and our pride,” he said. “Create in us clean hearts, oh God, and renew a right spirit within us. Deliver us from the hypocrisy of attempting to sound reasonable while being unreasonable.”

The Washington Post’s On Faith blog ran an article yesterday about the role pride is playing in the federal government’s shutdown. Read it here.

Leaders, scholars remember Chuck Smith“His impact can be seen in every church service that has electric guitar-driven worship, hip casually-dressed pastors, and 40-minute sermons consisting of verse-by-verse Bible expositions peppered with pop-culture references and counterculture slang,” sociologist Brad Christerson said of California pastor Chuck Smith, who died last week. Read Christianity Today’s story on Smith, who helped a generation of “Jesus People” find their faith.

Mississippi church apologizes for racial discrimination
First Baptist Church of Oxford, Miss., decided it’s never too late to right a wrong. This summer, the church nullified a 1968 decision to deny African Americans use of its building facilities and resources. The policy hadn’t been enacted for many years at the church, but it also had never been officially overturned. Pastor Eric Hankins and deacons wrote a resolution to repeal the earlier decision and apologize for it, and Hankins preached on corporate repentance. Read the full story at BPNews.net.

Chris Davis seeks godliness above stats
The Baltimore Orioles missed this year’s playoffs, but first baseman Chris Davis celebrated several individual achievements, winning 2013’s homerun and RBI crowns. “I just want to be known as a godly man,” he said in story on BPNews.net. “That’s more important than any legacy on the field or numbers you leave behind. Read Joshua Cooley’s profile of Davis here.

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.

Tuesday_BriefingTHE BRIEFING | Lisa Sergent and Meredith Flynn

Exactly three months ago, the Illinois Senate passed the “Religious Freedom and Marriage Equality Act.” On February 14, the state seemed poised to become the tenth to legalize same-sex marriage. But today, the bill is still awaiting a vote on the Illinois House floor.

The hold-up could be due in part to the efforts of religious leaders and groups like the Illinois Family Institute (IFI), who have made known their opposition to the bill. IFI has organized recent rallies in front of the offices of state representatives, and a coalition of African-American pastors in the Chicago area are using automated phone calls to urge voters around the state to contact their local representatives and tell them to vote no. The calls are voiced by Rev. James Meeks, a former state representative and influential Chicago area pastor. In the calls he states, “In my view, same-sex marriage should not be the law of the state of Illinois.”

Reports in March and April indicated the bill was as many as 12 “yes” votes short. But Rep. Greg Harris, the bill’s sponsor, told Chicago’s ABC News last week that proponents of same-sex marriage are “very close” to passing the legislation.  According to a Sunday Chicago Tribune editorial, “Harris needs 60 votes, and we’re told he’s a mere three to five short, with plenty of fence-sitters.”

Governor Pat Quinn has expressed his impatience with the House’s failure to vote on the bill. “It’s time to vote,” he said last week. “Illinois passing marriage equality in to law, I think, sends a great signal to the people of our state and the people of America. So it’s important to Illinois (that) the House of Representatives get going.”

The Illinois General Assembly’s session ends May 31.

Just last week, legislators in Rhode Island and Delaware voted to legalize same-sex marriage in their states, and yesterday, Minnesota became the 12th state to legalize same-sex marriage. Governor Mark Dayton is expected to sign the bill into law today.

Other news:

Bill would change state’s abstinence-focused curriculum
A bill that would change sex education curriculum in Illinois is awaiting a vote by the Senate. Heather Steans, a Democratic Senator from Chicago, is sponsoring the bill that would replace the state’s abstinence-based model of sex-ed with curriculum that would also emphasize contraception and awareness of sexually transmitted diseases. Opponents, including the Illinois Family Institute (IFI), say the legislation would subject young children to “graphic sexual information to which most parents would find highly objectionable and inappropriate.” According to an IFI press release, “If the ‘comprehensive’ sex education bill, HB 2675, is passed, it will establish a one-size-fits-all approach to sex education and remove local community control over choosing true ‘age- appropriate’ curriculum, another term used in the bill.” Read a Chicago Tribune story about the issue here, or visit the Illinois Family Institute’s website.

After guilty verdict, Gosnell could face death penalty
Notorious abortion provider Dr. Kermit Gosnell was convicted on three counts of first degree murder Monday, and could face the death penalty. Gosnell, 72, was charged with ending the lives of babies born alive at his Philadelphia clinic. He also was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of 41-year-old Karnamaya Mongar. During the trial, pro-life advocates waged a “Tweet Fest” to raise awareness about the charges against Gosnell, which had gone unmentioned by most mainstream media outlets. Read more at ChristianPost.com.

Politics plays a role in pastors’ environmental views
Pastors’ views on the environment are largely linked to the political party they identify with, according to a new study by LifeWay Research. The survey of 1,000 Protestant pastors found 43% agree with the statement, “I believe global warming is real and man made,” while 54% disagree. But the numbers are more extreme along political party lines: 76% of pastors that are Democrats strongly agree with the validity of man-made global warming, but only 7% of pastors identifying as Republicans express the same belief. Pastors also weighed in on whether their churches are actively taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint; read more at LifeWayResearch.com.

Barna study explores mass exodus of Millenials from the church
Barna’s extensive research on the Millenial generation has resulted in some alarming statistics, like the fact that 43% of church-going Millenials drop out of church sometime between high school and turning 30. The research also generated some interesting distinguishing characteristics of these “spiritually homeless youth.” Read about Barna’s three categories for Millenials who have left the church – nomads, prodigals, and exiles – at Barna.org.

Luter_blogTHE BRIEFING | Meredith Flynn

Southern Baptist Convention President Fred Luter is in Springfield today to meet with Illinois Baptist pastors and leaders at the Illinois Baptist State Association building. Luter also is preaching a three-day “Festival of Hope” at Union Baptist Church, a congregation affiliated with National Baptists. David Howard, director of missions for the Capital City Baptist Association invited Luter to Springfield in an effort to build bridges with African American churches in the city. The SBC president will engage in a Q&A time later today, and speak in the IBSA chapel service tomorrow morning. Check back here and on Facebook.com/IllinoisBaptist for more throughout the day.

Warren shares grief, faith on Twitter
In the days following his son’s death, Rick Warren’s personal Twitter feed told at least part of the story of how he and his family dealt with their grief. “Kay and I are overwhelmed by your love, prayers, and kind words. You are all encouraging our #brokenhearts,” Warren tweeted April 7, two days after Matthew Warren, 27, committed suicide.

He also responded to comments from Christians and non-Christians alike who took to social media to criticize and speculate about the Warren family. “Grieving is hard. Grieving as public figures, harder. Grieving while haters celebrate your pain, hardest. Your notes sustained us,” Warren wrote April 8.

He also offered forgiveness to the person who sold his son an unregistered gun, citing Matthew 6:15, and wrote about God’s faithfulness in trouble. Citing Psalm 34:1, Warren wrote, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those crushed in spirit.”

Read more about Warren’s Twitter reflections on BPNews.net.

Pro-life advocates use tweets to force media’s hand on Gosnell trial
U.S. Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, Florida Governor Jeb Bush, and actress Patricia Heaton were among those who participated in a TweetFest last week to force the media to cover the trial of Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia abortionist charged with killing seven babies after delivery. He also is charged in the death of Karnamaya Monger, who died after she was given a Demerol overdose at Gosnell’s West Philadelphia Women’s Medical Society.

The trial has received virtually no media coverage from many major outlets, so pro-life activists Bryan Kemper and Andy Moore decided to use social media to get the word out. Read the full story at ChristianPost.com.

Pope Francis speaks out against church’s hypocrisy
A month into his papacy, Pope Francis called out the Catholic Church on the inconsistencies between what is taught and what is lived. “Let us all remember this: one cannot proclaim the Gospel of Jesus without the intangible witness of one’s life,” he said at a Mass at St. Paul’s Basilica in Rome on April 14. “Those who listen to us and observe us must be able to see in our actions what they from our lips, and so give glory to God!” Read more at ChristianPost.com.

‘Not Today’ movie sheds light on human trafficking
A new feature film, released Friday, April 12, tells the tragic story of human trafficking. “Not Today,” produced by Friends Church in Yorba Linda, Ca., chronicles a young man’s struggle to rescue a girl sold into slavery, and to overcome his own apathy. The movie was filmed on location in India, but producer Brent Martz told Baptist Press that human trafficking is an issue everywhere. “I wish we could say that it didn’t exist here. It is easy maybe to put our head in the sand and say, that’s a problem that is halfway around the world, but it is happening here.” Read more about the movie at BPNews.net, and check the film’s website to find out where it’s showing near you.