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letters

Letters: National healing; CBF and biblical authority

Letters this week deal with Baptist response to racial discrimination in America and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship's stand on biblical authority.

       
letters

Letter: Little hope for SBC awakening

A letter writer questions how the Southern Baptist Convention can achieve "awakening" without self-examination.

       
letters

Letters: Confederate flag, Old North/Union Church, awakening

This week's letters focus on the Confederate battle flag, the name of a church and the Southern Baptist Convention's plea for "awakening"

       
letters

Letters: Confederate flag, evolution

Readers oppose the Southern Baptist Convention's resolution against the Confederate battle flag.

       
letters

Letters: Briles, Trump, Starr, handguns, Muslims

Letters this week focus on Art Briles, who was fired as Baylor University's football coach; Donald Trump, whose followers include some Southern Baptists; Ken Starr, who was fired as Baylor's president; and handguns

       
letters

Letters: Tributes to Lynn Craft, Golden Gate Seminary

Writers express gratitude for the life and ministry of Lynn Craft and for the ministry-training platform of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary

       
letters

Letter: Vote to “further God’s purpose”

"Social injustice and immigration reform can only be addressed when the lives of the most innocent are protected first."

       
letters

Letters: Baylor, voting, education

Letters this week include commentary on the sexual abuse scandal at Baylor University, as well as editorials on Texas' school-funding system and Christian voting.

       
Letter: Need to tell the whole story

Letter: Need to know the whole story

Reader challenges editor to examine "what's even more immoral" about public education and the Texas Legislature.

       
letters

Letters: Politics, politics, politics, politics, pope

Loud on Trump; quiet on Clinton

I'm pretty tired of the apparently liberal Baptist Standard feeling that this anything negative about Trump is worthy of news is worthy of news but how very quiet you have been concerning our president that lies continually and Hillary Clinton that feels she is above the law of the land.

Maybe you just need to report on the mission of the church and what is going on for the good of the gospel, however boring you may think that is.

Mickey Lofton

Beeville

Biblical principles counter Democratic platform

I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but in your editorial asking which map does a Christian follow, I think we could agree that we both know Christians who are Democrats. I strongly agree with Samuel Rodriguez of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Council, “America will not be saved by an elephant or a donkey; it will be saved by a Lamb.”

However, there are clear and unambiguous biblical principles that run counter to the Democratic party platform. For example, protecting gay rights, same-sex marriage and a woman's right to have an abortion are not subject to biblical interpretation.

No interpretation needed!

Anson Nash

Corpus Christi

Seeking attention

Regarding Russell Moore’s Twitter comment about Donald Trump: When you’re president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s do-nothing Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, you have to say something to get some attention.

I can hardly wait for his twitters about Obama and the Clintons.

C.C. Risenhoover

Granbury

No Huckabee, so Trump

When a rare diamond of political candidate appears who is a near-genius (four-year degree in two and one-half years with a 4.0 GPA), integrity, 10 years successfully governing and earning two landslide victories, cleaned up corruption, took Arkansas from debt to a surplus, where were the Southern Baptists cheering for such an ideal Christian candidate like Gov. Mike Huckabee? We heard stunning silence with a handful of exceptions!

However, when politicians do their dirt- tricks campaigning to earn the Iowa caucus, and the voters reject Huckabee, there was again stunning silence. When America narrows the candidates to two—Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump—then we hear many Baptists loudly sound their dismay that Trump ends up being America’s candidate of choice!  

Why the stunning silence about the long-questionable events in the career of Hillary Clinton, who tells Baptists our "deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed," including abortion, same-sex marriage and transgender bathrooms. This violates our Bill of Rights, which gives us the freedom to preach the gospel! Clinton wants to appoint maybe as many as up to 5 Supreme Court Justices  to complement her agenda that will destroy our Bill of Rights !

I do not understand it.

I’m frankly more afraid of Hillary Clinton than I am of Donald Trump as president! Trump wants to rebuild the greatness of America we have lost. Trump is not as strong on the social issues as I would like, but is far stronger than Clinton! I like the sound of restoring the greatness of America and many things he advocates !

The reality is the American voters have spoken! We had the opportunity to vote for our first choice, but we were out-voted. Our ballots will contain either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump! 

Richard Land said, “I’m not voting for Donald Trump! I’m voting against Hillary Clinton” when he casts his vote for President Donald Trump!

Voice it any way you like, but I like the sound of President Donald Trump far better than President Hillary Clinton! However, I’ll respect my brothers in Christ who disagree with me!

Jerry Woods

Finger, Tenn.

Equality for women

Pope Francis is thinking about starting a commission that would study whether or not women can become deacons in the Roman Catholic Church.

Catholic deacons are like ministers, but they are not priests. This is a small step in the right direction, but it doesn't go far enough.

Every Catholic woman should have the right to become a priest, bishop, cardinal or pope. Women should have the exact same legal, political and religious rights as men.

I wonder if the Mormon Church will think about allowing women to become deacons as well. 

Chuck Mann

Greensboro, N.C.

       
letters

Letter: “Flags are not racist; people are”

I have prayed about responding to the Southern Baptist Convention condemning the Confederate Flag.

Does the SBC think this symbolic gesture will actually bring healing to the SBC and our brothers in Christ? Flags are not racist; people are.

The removal of the flag is very much like the cleaning of the outside of the cup and platter in Matthew 23:26. Jesus admonished the Pharisees their “insides” were what was dirty. Removal of a what is perceived as a symbol of sin does not remove the sin, as it is still in the heart.

Likewise, racism is a sin of the heart, not of the skin. All men are guilty of sin. All men, if we are man enough to admit it, sin in the area of racism—white or black or brown. It is one of Satan’s best tools. Even if it is a small first impression when we meet those of different races, it is racism. It is sin ,and only faith in Jesus Christ can remove that sin. It has to be from the inside out, not the outside in by thinking that a mere flag causes racism. It does not. It is much deeper rooted.

I am Southern Baptist to the bone, but I am very disheartened by the SBC dependency on the removal of a flag to cure the convention’s sin of racism. It is not even a good start.

Maybe we should try loving one another just like we are. Jesus did it.

Donald Kimbell

Ruston, La.

       
letterstoed

Letters: The challenge of same-sex weddings to religious freedom

Regarding “A conversation about ‘religious liberty’ laws and freedom”: Thank you for diving deep into the confusing and nuanced layers of these issues.

While I agree with your opinions for the most part, may I suggest yet another option for the Christian baker? Bake the cake for the same-sex customers, but draw the line at decorating it in a way that violates the baker’s faith. This would mean the customer might have to go elsewhere for the same-sex cake topper or have another vendor personalize the message in the icing. All customers should be treated the same in a public place of business, but no business can be required to stock every item a customer might want.

I think the line between these conflicting rights appears at the point of participation. Yes, the florist, baker, photographer, etc. should provide the goods purchased—and deliver them if that is their practice. But to force anyone to attend a religious service, which is what a wedding is, crosses the line if that violates their religious beliefs.

Many of these occupations are artistic in nature, and to coerce an artist to make art that violates the artist’s conscience seems to me to violate their freedom of expression.

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Colossians 3:23-24).

David Hammons

Dallas

 

Requiring a baker to produce cake decorations depicting homosexual unions is quite different from selling goods. That not only puts the government in position of defining religion—establishing religion—it also forces speech in the form of artistic expression. 

It is one thing to say the baker has to sell to whomever comes in the door, although it certainly infringes the free exercise of religion. It is another thing to say the baker has to design and produce a morally objectionable work of art.  Shall actors be required to perform in nude scenes? Shall artists who paint commissioned pieces be required to paint immorality? The First Amendment means that the government must not define what my religion demands without a compelling reason.

It is precisely the mainstreaming of presentations of homosexuality in positive light that has led to the reversal of moral judgment on the issue in the last 10 years. Forcing people to cooperate in that kind of presentation leads to exactly the kind of immorality they would wish to oppose.

Concerning your assurances that ministers and churches will not be required to perform services that they find objectionable, a few years ago most people would have judged "homosexual marriage" a blatant oxymoron and impossible.  When popular culture and the Supreme Court play fast and loose with language itself, very little is impossible. 

Rick Johnson

Marshall

       
letters

Christian persecution; immoral behavior

Forcing a Christian to participate in a gay wedding or lose his business is akin to forcing a Kosher or Halal deli to sell bacon, ,,,

       
letters

Baylor alumni urged to oppose settlement

Letter to the editor: "While the settlement between Baylor University and the Baylor Alumni Association is better than the previous transition agreement, that is not saying a lot."

       
letters

Letters: Fear not and capital punishment

Stand with Jesus or follow the fearful?

The editorial “Fear not—why we need Easter this year” is much-needed at this time. Marv Knox addresses fear, but other emotions are in play as well, such as hate and bigotry.

I don't believe our nation has been this divided since the start of the Civil War 155 years ago.

In 1861, Texas was blessed to have as its governor one of the most experienced politicians in America's history. Sam Houston was a military hero, as well, and was the only governor of a state that would become a part of the Confederacy who opposed secession and refused to sign an oath of allegiance to the Confederate States of America. Houston was forced from office, and the people followed a hothead named Jefferson Davis, who once vowed to drink every drop of Confederate blood shed south of the Mason-Dixon line.

Some of today's political figures are depending on hate, fear and bigotry to gain a following, no matter how much damage it does to America.

The day before the attack in Belgium, Ted Cruz was bragging that he would tear “to shreds” the treaty with Iran, which was negotiated with many of our allies. After the attack, Cruz and Donald Trump were spreading hate and fear even before all the body parts had been collected.

The really sad thing to see is so many prominent religious figures flocking to support these two. Will Christians choose to make a difference today by standing for the teachings of Jesus or follow the fearful?

Carl Hess

Ozark, Ala.

 

Capital punishment is biblical

Rev. Jeff Hood is hardly credible.

For 2,000 years, all major Christian denominations, their leadership, biblical scholars and theologians provided support for the death penalty, which overwhelms any teachings to the contrary and still does.

Did biblical instruction and basic theology suddenly change?

Of course not, which confirms the profound weakness of these anti-death penalty positions, which, most often, have chosen the secular over the eternal or have, atomistically, wrongly proof-texted biblical passages, without looking at the full message.

As biblical scholar Lloyd Bailey states: "All interpretations, contrary to the biblical support of capital punishment, are false. Interpreters ought to listen to the Bible’s own agenda, rather than to squeeze from it implications for their own agenda. As the ancient rabbis taught, ‘Do not seek to be more righteous than your Creator.’”

Dudley Sharp

Houston

       
 
 
 
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