ERLC’s Year in Review & What Will Be Our Response?
The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission is celebrating God’s faithful work through The Psalm 139 Project in 2022. And, Chris Turner with the Tennessee Baptist Convention hopes churches will mark four distinctives as they begin a new year.
The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission is celebrating God’s faithful work through The Psalm 139 Project in 2022. The ERLC’s ministry to provide ultrasound technology to pregnancy centers and train staff members in its use – placed, or committed to be placed, 27 machines in nine states in 2022, surpassing the previous annual high of 25 in 2021. The total of 52 exceeded the goal of 50 placements established leading to January 2023, which would have been the 50th anniversary of the Roe decision had it not been overruled. The ERLC partnered with Baptist state conventions in Alabama, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia in making placements, as well as former pro football player Benjamin Watson and his wife Kirsten, the North American Mission Board and the Tennessee state government.
The group also focused on digital media in 2022. The Digital Public Square provided multiple resources intended to help churches, as well as government and business leaders, to respond to technological challenges in ways that support religious freedom and free expression. The project’s production in its inaugural year included a book, as well as a weekly podcast and newsletter, with more books and other resources on the way.
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Chris Turner with the Tennessee Baptist Convention hopes churches will mark four distinctives as they begin a new year.
He says after studying God’s Word, he comes back to these four traits that are necessary for a healthy church. Humility, repentance, prayer and proclamation are the four traits.
Humility is the first step in approaching God and the Bible talks incessantly about God’s expectation that we be humble.
Genuine humility produces genuine repentance. Each perpetually produces the other.
Theologian E.M. Bounds said, “Four things let us ever keep in mind: God hears prayer, God heeds prayer, God answers prayer, and God delivers by prayer.” Prayer produces humility and repentance, but also produces clarity of purpose and understanding of direction.
In II Chronicles 6:32-33, it is the sanctity of the temple and the holiness of God’s people that is a proclamation of salvation to those who don’t know God. In 7:19-22, it is the disobedience of God’s people and the destruction of the temple that is a proclamation of the sinfulness of God’s people to those who don’t know God.
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