BALTIMORE – Southern Baptists have taken aim at the theology behind afterlife experiences like the one described in the bestseller book and Hollywood film Heaven is for Real by stating that such accounts "cannot be corroborated" and are not in line with biblical accounts of from the apostles.
The Southern Baptist Convention adopted a resolution Tuesday stating messengers representing its 46,125 churches "reaffirm the sufficiency of biblical revelation over subjective experiential explanations to guide one's understand of the truth about heaven and hell."
While the resolution did not single out Heaven is for Real – Committee on Resolutions member Chris Osborne told an inquiring messenger "We did not want to single out anyone" – a motion raised by Community Church Pastor Tom McCracken did. more >>
BALTIMORE – Cultural trends show that America is next in line to become a secular nation, said Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Al Molher in his Southern Baptist Convention 2014 report.
"America, it turns out, is not the exception to secularization, it's just behind Europe," stated Mohler in his report given on Wednesday.
Quoting national statistics from Pew Research Center, Mohler said 1 in 5 Americans now identify their religious denomination as unaffiliated. As the number of "nones" rises, Mohler said seminaries must be prepared to address to this culture. more >>
Following criticism of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary's decision to admit a Muslim Palestinian student to its archeology doctoral program in 2012, President Paige Patterson offered a teary-eyed apology on Wednesday.
I owe the convention an apology, particularly to those of you to whom I have caused sorrow, heartache, disillusionment or any other kind of sorrow," said Patterson, as reported by The Associated Press.
After apologizing, the president suggested that the student, Ghassan Nagagreh, was a "cultural Muslim," and could potentially convert to Christianity in the future as the student was "very open to the Gospel of Jesus Christ." more >>
Pastor Saeed Abedini, who is imprisoned in Iraq for practicing his Christian faith, and the Green family, the Hobby Lobby owners who are fighting the Obama administration for the right to run their business according to their religious beliefs, were honored Wednesday at the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting.
Naghmeh Abedini, Saeed's wife, was there to accept the Richard Land Distinguished Service Award on her husband's behalf.
Russell Moore, president of the SBC's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, praised Saeed Abedini as a "joyful Cross-bearer" who "has stirred the Church to stand up and speak out" and "will leave a legacy for generations to come." Moore also praised the "heroic response" of Naghmeh Abedini "to the heartbreaking imprisonment of her husband." more >>
BALTIMORE – Southern Baptist Convention members discussed a diverse collection of subjects in the 2014 SBC business meeting this week, ranging from a motion about worship music to another about the name of the NFL team Washington Redskins. During the business sessions, 5,240 registered "messengers" representing many of the convention's member churches had the opportunity to bring up issues – from cultural topics to theological discussion – for the SBC committees and the body of Southern Baptists to consider, discuss and address.
Here are seven of the most controversial, strange and heart-warming motions brought to the SBC floor.
Impeach President Barack Obama – Wiley Drake, pastor of First Southern Baptist in Buena Park, California, asked the Committee on Resolutions to join Operation American Spring's efforts to impeach Barack Obama. more >>
Pastor Ronnie Floyd, who was elected as the Southern Baptist Convention's new president during the denomination's annual meeting held in Baltimore this week, has been instrumental in encouraging members to take a leadership role in addressing an array of mental health concerns.
Last year, Floyd, senior pastor of Cross Church in Springdale, Arkansas, spoke boldly and passionately at the convention about passing a resolution on "Mental Health Concerns and the Heart of God," and the need for Southern Baptist churches to care for and bring healing to all who feel isolated and stigmatized by mental health concerns.
"We can no longer be silent about this issue," Floyd said on the convention floor in Houston on June 11, 2013. "It's time that the SBC be on the front lines of mental health challenges." more >>