NEW ORLEANS – James MacDonald, pastor of the six-campus Harvest Bible Chapel in the Greater Chicago area and a prostate cancer survivor, told participants at the 2012 Southern Baptist Convention Pastors' Conference on Monday that they need to have "active faith" if they want to experience the miracles that God wants to do for them.
MacDonald experienced a miracle in his fight with cancer, but he said he did his own part before God worked. In 2008, the prominent pastor was diagnosed with prostate cancer at the age of 48. He underwent 45 radiation treatments before his PSA levels dropped. At the pastor's conference, he was happy to announce that he will be cancer free for three years as of Friday.
Going to the doctor, said MacDonald, was part of showing active faith. more >>
America's largest Protestant denomination, which remained predominantly white and endorsed racial segregation for over a century, is posed to elect its first African-American president, a pastor from Louisiana, at its two-day annual meeting that begins Tuesday.
Even just a day before the Southern Baptist Convention's meeting in New Orleans, La., the Rev. Fred Luter Jr. remained the only candidate for the office of the denomination's president.
"It's going to be historical because there's never been an African-American president in the Southern Baptist Convention, so it's going to be a historical day," WDSU News quoted Pastor Luter of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans as saying. "I am still the only announced candidate in this convention which is amazing to me." more >>
LifeWay Christian Bookstores will be pulling the film "The Blind Side" from their shelves in response to a complaint from a Florida pastor.
Pastor Rodney L. Baker of Hopeful Baptist Church of Lake City submitted a resolution to the Southern Baptist Convention, demanding that LifeWay pull the PG-13 film over its language content.
"BE IT RESOLVED that the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in annual session June 17- 20, 2012, in New Orleans, Louisiana expresses dissatisfaction with 'The Blindside' and any product that contains explicit profanity, God's name in vain, and racial slur," reads the resolution in part. more >>
A Southern Baptist college will soon be opening its doors in New England, a region known for having some of the least churched communities in the United States.
Northeastern Baptist College, located in a former Ramada Inn hotel building in Bennington, Vt., intends to begin training church planters in August 2013.
Mark Ballard, president of NEBC, told The Christian Post that for years he had sought to found a Christian college in the American Northeast for the sake of training evangelists. more >>
Membership in the Southern Baptist Convention dropped again over the last year, according to a new report. The largest Protestant denomination in the country now counts less than 16 million members.
This marks the fifth straight year the SBC has lost members. Primary worship attendance has also dropped by 0.65 percent to around 6.16 million.
One Southern Baptist and researcher lamented that the denomination is not only experiencing decline but an acceleration of decline. more >>
As I write this, news reports tell us that we just might see, by the time you read this, the election of the first African-American president of the Southern Baptist Convention. This is significant for all sorts of reasons: one being, of course, that the SBC was founded, partly, to protect the "right" of slaveholders to be missionaries. It's important also because it's a test for whether the SBC will go forward with the gospel and mission we say we believe.
One of my earliest memories is of a substitute Sunday school teacher in my Southern Baptist church chastening me for putting a coin in my mouth. "That's filthy," she said. "Why, you don't know if a colored man might have held that." It might just be my imagination playing tricks on me, but it seems as though she immediately followed this up with, "Alright children, let's sing 'Jesus Loves the Little Children, All the Children of the World.'"
Now, this lady probably didn't consciously think of herself as a white supremacist. She almost certainly didn't think of herself as subversive of the gospel itself. She never thought about the hypocrisy of holding the two contradictory worldviews together in her mind. She probably didn't see how her dehumanizing of African-Americans was a twisted form of Darwinism rather than biblical Christianity. more >>