The Biblical Recorder features dozens of great guest columns each year. BR staff chose the top opinion pieces of 2016 based on content, quality and relevance. Here are the BR staff’s top picks from this year’s guest columns.
Weeping with those who weep
By J. Josh Smith
It wasn’t until I returned home and turned on the TV that I began to fully understand the reality of what had taken place in this city that I love.
It’s truly overwhelming. I feel a sense of the gut-wrenching compassion that Jesus felt as He looked out over the multitudes and saw them as sheep without a shepherd. I feel it for the families of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling. I feel it for the black community as they try to make sense of the last few days. I feel it for the 12 officers shot last night and their families. … I feel it for our nation that seems to have somehow reverted back to the racial tension of a previous generation.
The breathtaking hypocrisy of the NCAA
By Paul “Skip” Stam
The hypocrisy of the NCAA’s “commitment” is breathtaking. The organization selectively boycotts North Carolina for policies it claims are unique to our state – but actually are common throughout the nation – and for daring to disagree with a sweeping federal mandate by the Obama Administration – a mandate that is currently being challenged in court by 24 other states. The NCAA is in violation itself of the civil rights provision of Title IX as interpreted by the Obama Administration. Let’s look at the facts …
Feeble prayers in a chaotic world
By Greg Mathias
Living in a new normal doesn’t feel so normal. … Istanbul, Brussels, Paris, Boston – the list could go on. We live in a chaotic and fallen world. In a world where the new normal is one tragedy followed by another tragedy followed by yet another. It can be overwhelming. Strike that, it is overwhelming. … No matter the tragedy, the most immediate response ought to be prayer. Often, though, prayer feels small compared to the massive tragedy in front of us. Even so, we should pray. We need to pray. The question is, how are we supposed to pray in the midst of chaos when our prayers seem so feeble?
Reporting on the SBC
By Gary Ledbetter
What is the legitimate role of the denominational press, the Baptist state publications, as the leaders of our work and the constituent churches attempt to communicate with one another? … the publications pass information to and from both parties in various ways. … I believe newsmakers and news reporters have distinct and important roles within the Kingdom of God. We each have responsibilities, and we can provoke one another to fully live up to our Great Commission ideals.
An appeal to young Southern Baptists
By Keelan Cook
I remember growing up in church, sitting through business meetings, and thinking that we were wasting God’s time. I can remember arguments over pastoral benefits and carpet color. Our generation does not like that. In fact, most of us are fed up with that, and rightly so. However, I fear we can make an error that is at least as egregious when we think the solution is avoiding the business meeting altogether. The solution to bad business meetings is not to avoid them, it is to change them. That takes participation.