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


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


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.


In Touch: Churches, Congreso, golf, floods, BaptistWay, leadership

Kathleen and I had a great time at Blue Ridge Baptist Church near Marlin as the congregation celebrated its annual May Day. This annual singing has been going on since 1887. Thanks to Pastor Darin Davis for the invitation.

david hardage 130David HardageI also had a great time preaching at First Baptist Church in Denton. Pastor Jeff Williams was a gracious host. I enjoyed attending the groundbreaking ceremony for an adult conference center at Latham Springs Camp and the fund-raising banquet at the University of North Texas Baptist Student Ministry

I also had the privilege of attending Congreso, where more than 300 professions of faith in Jesus were made in just one night alone. Thanks to Joshua del Riscio for his great leadership and to our Great Commission Team, led by Delvin Atchison, and to everyone who had a part in this time of evangelism and discipleship.

texas baptist voices right120Our 2016 Texas Baptist Golf Classic was a great success. We had 262 golfers show up on a beautiful day to play at the Dallas Athletic Club. This tournament would not be possible without the help of all our sponsors. Funds raised will go to our Texas Baptist Counseling Services. Special thanks to our sponsors:

• Title: BCFS

• Platinum: Baptist Credit Union

• Gold: HighGround Advisors

• Silver: Dallas Baptist University, East Texas Baptist University, Truett Theological Seminary, Bruner Auto Family, Austin Baptist Association and Saville, Dodgen and Company

Thanks also to all our hole sponsors and to everyone who played! 

In recent days, spring floods affected a number of communities in Southeast Texas. Texas Baptist Disaster Recovery will be looking to assist with long-term recovery efforts in the area. You can support the work by donating to Texas Baptist Disaster Recovery at our website.

Faith > Fear is the newest Connect 360 Bible study from BaptistWay Press. This study explores the causes and consequences of fear and suggests remedies for defeating fear through faith in God and his word.

We are in the process of recruiting cohort No. 2 for Leadership Texas Baptists. The first cohort has been a great success for both us and the participants. The link to participate is now live and can be found on its website. Please share this with your networks, and let me know if you have a good candidate. The focus this time is 21- to 35-year-olds to strengthen up-and-coming leaders. 

Every June, Texas Baptists honor two individuals who have left a legacy and are continuing to leave one through their everyday lives. This year, we are pleased to present Sam W. Prestidge Jr., founder of Singing Men of Texas, and Tillie Burgin, founder of Mission Arlington, with Texas Baptist Legacy Awards. These outstanding individuals will be honored Sunday, June 5, at Independence Baptist Church near Brenham at 10 a.m., with a lunch to follow.  If you wish to attend the ceremony and lunch, contact Becky Brown at (214) 828-5301.

David Hardage is executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas Executive Board.


Ray: Don’t miss the 30th Small Church Conference

To those serving on the small-church mission field, I invite you and your church to attend two wonderful events on the campus of Dallas Baptist University July 15-16.

richard ray130Richard RayOn July 15, we invite pastor and their congregations to a banquet honoring Texas Baptist small churches and those called to serve on the small-church mission field. The evening begins at 6 p.m. with a catered meal, followed by the gospel sounds of The Hubbards.

Our keynote speaker will be author Terry Caffey, who will share his story of the brutal Texas murders that destroyed his family and restored his faith, while shocking the nation. His story will encourage you and your church, while strengthening your faith in Christ. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13) will take on a completely new meaning in your life.

texas baptist voices right120On July 16, we invite pastors and their servant leaders to attend the 30th annual Texas Baptist Small Church Conference. You and your servant leaders will have the opportunity to be encouraged, engaged and educated in the following areas:

• “Biblical Interpretation of Both the Old and New Testament”

• “How to Reach Youth for Christ”

• “Sermon Preparation From Text to Sermon”

• “Certificate of Ministry Program”

• “Small Church/Big Worship”

• “Launching a Children’s Program in Your Church”

• “Minister’s Wife Engaged”

During the Saturday lunch, you will receive a cater meal along with entertainment by Christian humorist Lyndy Phillips, “Laugh with Lyndy.”

I encourage you to mark these dates on your calendar. You do not want to miss this special gathering of those who have been called to serve on the small-church mission field.

Registration is open. Click here to register and to view the complete conference schedule.

Free on-campus housing is available.

If you would like any additional promotional material, please contact us. We are here to serve you as you serve the Lord. Remember, the Lord has called you to serve, but he has not called you to serve alone. Visit our website for more information on how the Bivocational/Small Church Association can minister to and serve you. For more information, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Richard Ray is executive director of the Bivocational/Small Church Association and director of missions for Tri-Rivers Baptist Area.


Maciel: Mother provides example of God’s love

This year is moving along so fast. It seems like only yesterday that 2016 was beginning. Now it’s May! Where did those four months go?

rene maciel headshot130René MacielI have been extremely busy at work, attending convention meetings, teaching at my church, training for running events and trying to take care of my big yard. One addition to my calendar is preaching at different churches throughout our convention, which I thoroughly enjoy much more than taking care of my yard. I guess the year is moving fast because I am moving fast.

I thank God he made me a high-energy person, always on the go. I like being busy, but I also realize I really do take life and all God has given me for granted at times. There are also times God has to slow us down—to take some time, to enjoy the moments, to stop and smell the roses. And when we finally do take those moments to focus and be still and be quiet, then we understand he is watching over our every step, like a mother cares for us.

texas baptist voices right120The Apostle Paul gave us a wonderful picture of a mother who cares for her children. It’s an example of how we are to care for others, with tenderness and compassion. It’s a picture of God's care for us. He wrote these words: “Instead, we were like young children among you. Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, so we cared for you” (1 Thessalonians 2:7-8).

In spite of all of our busyness, God cares for us and watches over us. Even when we take life for granted and our lives are moving fast, he holds me and comforts me and reminds me I am his child. For me, he has shown his care and reminded me of his love by the incredible mother he gave me. She has shown me how to care for others, how to nurture and watch over them, how to hold them and feed them, how to listen and speak to them, and, most importantly, how to teach them about God's great love.

I can think of no greater way God has cared for me than with the mother he has given me. It was my mom who first took me to church. She was the one who brought the church into my life, and therefore opened my life to God and his care. Even as she is about to turn 92, she still wants to cook my favorite meal and cake when I go see her. She still is caring and still a constant reminder that even in my fast-paced life, God cares for me.

I love you, Mom. Thank you for your example of God's care for me.

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


Guest editorial: Four spiritual essentials for surviving election season

Mystery, generosity, empathy and humility—four spiritual essentials—can make God’s kingdom present, especially in an election year in our divided nation.(BNG)


Editorial: How do Americans find their way?

Americans agree we’ve lost our way. But we can’t concur on where we are, much less how to get where we’re going and which map to follow. So, what do we do?


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.


2nd Opinion: In supporting Trump, do evangelicals reap what they’ve sown?

"I do not have much patience for evangelical leaders who are shocked and surprised so many people support Donald Trump. We have reaped what we have sown. We evangelicals can, and must, do better."

Tarleton State University: The power of prayer

Tarleton State University: The power of prayer

The leader of the freshman Bible study asked the students who had come to faith in Christ, “Who are some people you know aren’t believers who are living in the same darkness you were just saved from?”

Wales: Flipping the world upside-down

Wales: Flipping the world upside-down

Humility and voluntary submission are foundational for Christian living, and that’s exactly what we’ve found in language learning.


Editorial: Honor mothers by loving foster children

What if Texas Baptists decided we would follow Jesus (who said, “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me”) and honor our mothers by declaring we will care for Texas’ neediest children?


Analysis: Can America’s largest Protestant denomination stop Trump?

Russell Moore and some other Southern Baptist Convention leaders are speaking out against Donald Trump’s presidential campaign—but to the consternation of others, such as Robert Jeffress of Dallas. (Slate)

West Texas A&M: Here or there

West Texas A&M: Here or there

It is still really hard for me to believe I’m back from East Asia. Partly because it is still a battle to be here—all here—and to want to be here, find joy in being here and in this life.


Mount Fuji, a "fall to grace" and a miracle

"As I prayed, I died. Those in the station covered my face and radioed down that I had passed away. However, God had another plan."


DBU’s Cook reflects on 28-year “sacred trust”

"All of us at Dallas Baptist University are so pleased to be a part of the Baptist family. Our trustees, faculty and staff are committed in the years ahead to serve our Lord faithfully alongside our Baptist brothers and sisters around the world."


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