Episode 471

SBC Chaplains Train in Evangelism, Ukraine’s Courts to Outlaw Orthodox Churches & Examining Social Media as Pastors

Nov 2, 2023

With many of their colleagues on alert for potential deployment to growing hot spots near Israel, more than 365 chaplains and spouses gathered to train in evangelism and pray for peace in the Middle East. A bill that would allow Ukraine’s courts to outlaw Orthodox churches that maintain ties with Russia does not threaten religious freedom in Ukraine, a key Baptist leader there told Baptist Press. And, In a piece in the Baptist Press Toolbox, Mark Dance asks about your motives behind your use of social media.

Transcript

With many of their colleagues on alert for potential deployment to growing hot spots near Israel, more than 365 chaplains and spouses gathered to train in evangelism and pray for peace in the Middle East.

Those gathered, including chaplains serving in the military, public safety, disaster relief, health care, prisons and private corporations attended the three-day training conference at Ridgecrest Conference Center in North Carolina. The training event focused on religious liberty and its impact on evangelism.

Andrew Walker, associate professor of Christian ethics and public theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., led four sessions and participated in a question-and-answer session on religious liberty.

Carver and his team chose the topic because many chaplains encounter religious liberty issues as they share the Gospel in secular situations.

The Great Commission, Walker said, is at the heart of the understanding of religious liberty.
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A bill that would allow Ukraine’s courts to outlaw Orthodox churches that maintain ties with Russia does not threaten religious freedom in Ukraine, a key Baptist leader there told Baptist Press.

Rather, the law would provide a system for Ukraine’s government, as well as lay members of Orthodox churches, to learn whether any church leaders are covertly supporting Russia’s war efforts, Igor Bandura, vice president of the All-Ukrainian Union of Associations of Evangelical Christian-Baptist, told Baptist Press.

At issue is a bill that would allow Ukraine to forbid any religious organization that maintains its spiritual or administrative center in a country of aggression, in this case Russia. The bill passed Oct. 19 the first of two required procedural votes in Ukraine’s lower house of parliament, and is subject to a second draft, which must also pass Parliament and be signed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky before coming law.
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Good News for Today is sponsored by The Voice of the Martyrs

Good News for Today is made possible through our friends at The Voice of the Martyrs, a nonprofit organization that serves persecuted Christians around the world. Founded in 1967 by Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, VOM is dedicated to inspiring believers to deepen their commitment to Christ and to fulfill His Great Commission — no matter the cost. Find out more and sign up for their free monthly magazine at vom.org/goodnews.
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In a piece in the Baptist Press Toolbox, Mark Dance asks about your motives behind your use of social media.

Are you are overexposing your ‘acts of righteousness?

I started writing this post on an airplane after my wife Janet and I spoke at a ministry marriage retreat. That event went well, yet no one posted or tagged any pictures of it on social media. Last week, I spoke at three events in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, and again, no pictures or tags were to be found on the social channels I use.

Did these events even happen if there was no evidence of it on social media? More importantly, why should I even care?

Jesus warned the religious leaders of His day, “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. Otherwise, you have no reward with your Father in heaven” (Matthew 6:1 CSB).

Are you overconnecting to the point of not being present?

I find it ironic when older adults with Apple watches get annoyed by younger people who stare constantly at their phones, because I experience more interruptions from watch alerts than I do phones. I am not suggesting you shut everything down. Just consider dialing back your notification settings a few notches and see if it improves your conversations and thought life.

Are you overly concerned about what others think about you?

Everyone likes to be liked, but the Pharisees were putting on a show as they prayed, gave, and fasted. Preachers become posers when we go out of our way to draw the attention and applause of people.

“Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don’t make a performance out of it. It might be good theater, but the God who made you won’t be applauding” (Matthew 6:1 MSG).

You can read the full piece and learn more about our daily emails at Baptist Press.com.

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