Editorial: A conversation about “religious liberty” laws and freedom

People of goodwill can benefit by discussing all sides of the issues generated by homosexual rights, same-sex marriage and religious liberty.


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, ,,,

Wales: Taking the long look

Wales: Taking the long look

Student Missions Blog: It pays to step back from time to time and regain some perspective on what's happening across in our little country, and what role the Lord is asking me to play.


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."


Guest Editorial: Tocqueville would worry about U.S. character

America's urgent, long-term task is to revitalize our national character by restoring widespread, genuine respect for the ethical principles of all religions that support freedom. While Alexis de Tocqueville warned meeting this challenge would be difficult, he cautioned us never to lose heart.

South Africa: Running the race

South Africa: Running the race

Student Missions Blog: Recently, I was involved in a six-kilometer obstacle race that involved five of us from the orphanage where I am serving. God used that obstacle race to teach me about his unconditional love and grace.


BGCT President: Together

We are missing something when we choose not to come together. We are busy and life is full, but God created us to be together.


2nd Opinion: How covenants make us

New York Times columnist David Brooks contrasts the national importance of forging covenants, which protect relationships, versus drafting contracts, which protect interests. (New York Times


Editorial: The flaws in “religious liberty” laws

What does it mean when “freedom” becomes the banner of groups with opposing viewpoints?


BGCT president: Christ goes ahead of us

Now that we have celebrated a wonderful Holy Week, what does Christ expect us to do next?

rene maciel headshot130René MacielHe was crucified on the cross, buried and laid in the tomb for three days, and then he rose from the dead. Then the Scripture says, “He is not here; he has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you.”

It was a beautiful celebration. The weather was perfect, cool and comfortable. The worship service was diligently directed and thoughtful. And being around my family was a blessing. The whole day was a gift from God.

Now what? What is our next step? The Scriptures say the disciples went to Galilee to see him and meet with him, and he went ahead of them.

texas baptist voices right120The imperfect disciples, 11 of them, obeyed, and they saw him and worshipped him, and then Matthew 28:7 also says “some doubted.” Like me at times, they doubted it was him. They doubted his power. They doubted his existence. Maybe they doubted their own eyes.

This wasn’t the first time they doubted him. On the lake, they thought he was a ghost, and they doubted he could calm the waves. Peter doubted and began to sink. I have doubted him many times, and he still proves himself to be the risen One, and yet he still goes before me.

He goes before us, and he tells us like he told them even in spite of our doubting ­to go—go and make disciples, baptizing and teaching them to obey everything he commanded. Then the wonderful promise, “and surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Even in our doubting and imperfection, he has called us to be disciples, to be followers, and to go and make other followers. That is our next step: “Go”—an action word. We are called to move forward in the building of the church, and he goes before us. He is in front. He is with us. We have a mission, even in our doubt and struggles, even in our little faith, even when we become discouraged and feel like Christ is dead and in the tomb. He has risen, and he goes before us.

It is the body of believers that has been called to go and make disciples. I know many churches struggle and have lost their vision for Christ, but the church is his bride, and the church is the way he has called all nations to come and worship him.

The purpose of the Texas Baptist convention is to care and support the local church body—to strengthen and build, to plant and grow more churches, to go and make disciples. I ask you to continue to pray for our convention to move forward in supporting the body of Christ and that even in our imperfection and doubting, we will go to meet him and worship him.

What's next? It's time to go. He is going ahead of us.

René Maciel is president of the Baptist General Convention of Texas and Baptist University of the Américas in San Antonio.


2nd Opinion: The 20-Year Rule

Adopt the 20-Year Rule for churches and clergy.  When someone looks at a painful situation in your congregation and asks you if you think all is lost, just respond by saying: “I don’t know. Ask me in 20 years.”

UT Dallas: Celebrating an addition to God’s family

UT Dallas: Celebrating an addition to God’s family

Student Missions Blog: For the past year, I read the Bible with Ana, discussing its meaning, answering her questions, and sharing the gospel.


Editorial: What kind of president do you want?

We need empathy now, more than ever: In our next president. In all our leaders. May empathy begin in our own lives, in our own thoughts, in our own behaviors.


Guest editorial: The unexamined life is worth living

If God gives you the ability to enjoy what has been given, to see purpose in toil, and to skirt the distraction of constant brooding over what has been or is to come, then you can find gladness of heart.


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



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