Conservative Christians show growing acceptance of divorce

Posted: 11/30/07

Conservative Christians show
growing acceptance of divorce

By Adelle M. Banks

Religion News Service

WASHINGTON (RNS)—When Pentecostal power couple Randy and Paula White recently announced they were headed to divorce court, the most remarkable part of the reaction was that there wasn’t much reaction at all among their supporters.

For increasing numbers of clergy, a divorce no longer generates the kind of career-killing hue and cry of decades ago, in part because plenty of people in the pews have experienced divorce themselves.


DOWN HOME: Children of Zacapa: God bless them all

Posted: 11/30/07

Children of Zacapa: God bless them all

Pichi grabbed my attention. Alex fired my imagination. Manuel warmed and broke my heart.

They live in an orphanage in Zacapa, Guatemala. I met them when a group from my church, First Baptist in Lewisville, spent most of a week there. We’ll send three mission teams per year for at least three years to Zacapa, working in cooperation with Buckner International.

Pichi came up to me as we entered the compound. She didn’t say a word, but she spoke with the biggest, brownest 4-year-old eyes I’ve ever seen. She smiled; I got weak in the knees.

Later, Pichi nestled into my lap as we listened to a Bible story delivered in English and translated into Spanish. She didn’t squirm, but leaned into my chest and traced the outline of my fingers with her own. If the laws of two countries didn’t prohibit it, I’m sure I could’ve been convinced to buy an airline ticket and bring her home to Texas.


EDITORIAL: A view from both sides of the pulpit

Posted: 11/30/07

A view from both sides of the pulpit

Preaching is a lot like playing shortstop.

When I was a young man, Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith mesmerized me with the way he played shortstop for the St. Louis Cardinals. With Ozzie, grace defied gravity. He turned baseball into ballet, equal parts beauty and power. Most amazingly, he made it all look so simple and easy. I wanted to be like Ozzie; I wanted to play shortstop.

Then, just once, the manager of our church-league softball team moved me from right field to short. I was thrilled. Then humiliated. When I tried to field grounders, somebody in the stands wondered why I wore cinder blocks instead of cleats. And when I tried to throw a runner out at first, the second baseman ducked. It was a long night.


Like playing shortstop, preaching is a lot harder than it looks. In this issue, we’re examining this divine craft. Preaching, not shortstop. I spend most Sundays in a pew, listening to someone else preach a sermon. So, I resonate with Baptist laypeople the world over. But my job sometimes affords me the opportunity to stand behind a pulpit and seek to deliver a message from God. So, I empathize with preachers. From that vantage point, I’d like to offer a few words to both groups.


Engage conferences designed to inspire, equip for evangelism

Posted: 11/30/07

Engage conferences designed
to inspire, equip for evangelism

By John Hall

Texas Baptist Communications

DALLAS—Engage and Radical Engage—conferences designed to inspire and equip Texas Baptists to evangelize the state—are scheduled Jan. 13-15 at LakePointe Church in Rockwall and feature speakers from around the nation.

The events continue a long tradition of bringing Texas Baptists together to focus on what God has called them to do—share the gospel, said Jon Randles, director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas Evangelism Team.


Faith Digest

Posted: 11/30/07

Faith Digest

Christian groups commit to cooperation. More than 240 Christian leaders said they left an international summit in Kenya committed to building closer ties among the world’s Christian denominations. The Global Christian Forum, meeting near Nairobi, brought together Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, and Pentecostal and charismatic Christian leaders. It also assembled groups that had sometimes been at odds, including the World Council of Churches and the more conservative World Evangelical Alliance.

Oral Roberts University president resigns. The embattled president of Oral Roberts University resigned amid intense scrutiny over allegations of financial, political and other wrongdoing at the charismatic Christian university in Tulsa, Okla. Richard Roberts, son of the university’s namesake founder, submitted a resignation letter to ORU’s board of regents Nov. 23. The resignation came just days before the board was scheduled to hear the results of an outside investigation of allegations against him and his wife, Lindsay. Roberts, chairman and CEO of Oral Roberts Ministries, had placed himself on an indefinite leave of absence Oct. 17 as university president. But he had said he expected to return to the post in “God’s timing.” He was the second president in the 42-year history of the 4,000-student university, succeeding his father, Oral Roberts, in 1993. The allegations that sparked the turmoil over Richard Roberts’ presidency were raised in a lawsuit filed Oct. 2 by three former ORU professors who claim efforts to act as whistleblowers cost them their jobs. The lawsuit in Tulsa County District Court alleges illegal political activity and lavish, unchecked spending by Richard Roberts and his family.

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