National

Measuring church planting success

March 30 2015 by Kevin Ezell, NAMB

Recently the North American Mission Board shared good news that Southern Baptist church plants were up 5 percent in 2014. There is a lot of catching up to do because church planting efforts lost pace with population growth decades ago, but hopefully last year’s increase will begin a new trend.

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Charges against chaplain called ‘overt attack’

March 27 2015 by Ken Walker, Baptist Press

The attorney who represents 65 former chaplains suing the Navy for discrimination says the possible dismissal of a chaplain for giving traditional biblical counsel is evidence of a continuing attack against evangelicals. The cases continue to be waged in various courts alleging instances of discrimination dating back to the mid-1970s.

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New health insurance tax law may affect churches

March 26 2015 by Baptist Press staff

Despite a new tax rule in conjunction with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act which may affect many churches, GuideStone Financial Resources assures its health plan participants they will not notice any impact. GuideStone has resources available on its website to help churches navigate the Affordable Care Act.

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The public square: Christian setbacks & victories

March 26 2015 by Rebecca Wolford, SBCLIFE

As culture changes and those opposed to biblical values become more vocal, it becomes increasingly difficult to express religious beliefs without being socially ostracized or legally penalized. The following compilation by SBCLIFE lists many of the political and cultural junctures that have affected religious liberty and biblical faith in America.

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Cruz begins GOP bid; social issues percolate

March 24 2015 by David Roach, Baptist Press

With Ted Cruz becoming the first Republican to officially announce his candidacy for the White House in 2016, social conservatives are beginning to assess potential candidates’ stands on abortion, gay marriage and other social issues.

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New bill defends faith-based adoption agencies

March 24 2015 by Kiley Crossland, WORLD News Service

The Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act, introduced in Congress earlier this month would prohibit government discrimination against faith-based adoption and foster care organizations that are not willing to place children with same-sex couples. The bill was submitted last year, but it never made it out of committee.

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March Madness wagers, critics say, not harmless

March 23 2015 by David Roach, Baptist Press

The FBI estimates that more than $2.5 billion is wagered on March Madness each year, exceeding the amount bet on the Super Bowl. The American Gaming Association estimated that Americans have filled out 70 million brackets this year. That’s more than the amount of votes cast in the last presidential election …

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Family Christian Stores drops bankruptcy plan

March 20 2015 by Lynde Langdon, World News Service

Family Christian Stores (FCS) has withdrawn a bankruptcy plan criticized by debtors for ties between the seller and buyer that were too close for comfort. FCS President and CEO Chuck Bengochea told Christianity Today, “The stewards of the ministry have done this out of love for the mission of [FCS].

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Marijuana dangers can’t be ignored, critic says

March 20 2015 by Tom Strode, Baptist Press

The growing support for legalizing marijuana among Americans and their lawmakers remains unwise but not unexpected, Southern Baptist ethicists say. Marijuana’s inroads have been demonstrated already in March by a new public opinion poll that shows for the first time a majority in the United States favors legalization of the drug.

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Trustees: Make 2015 ‘year of efficiency’

March 19 2015 by Timothy E. Head, GuideStone Financial Resources

GuideStone Financial Resources President O.S. Hawkins told trustees during their meeting in Dallas that the organization is challenging its employees to make 2015 a “year of efficiency.” Trustees also heard reports from chief operating Officer John R. Jones who updated trustees on the program areas of GuideStone ...

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