Episode 555

DR Teams Respond to Panhandle Wildfires, Evangelicals Back Immigration Reform & Pastoring Through an Election Year

Feb 29, 2024

In the wake of devastating wildfires that sweeping through the Texas Panhandle, Governor Gregg Abbott declared a state of disaster for 60 counties. American evangelicals have complex perspectives on immigration and want a nuanced political response, but most want Congress to act soon. And, in the Baptist Press Toolbox, Rick Harrington, a pastor in Massachusetts offers guidance for believers in an election year.

Transcript

In the wake of devastating wildfires that sweeping through the Texas Panhandle, Governor Gregg Abbott declared a state of disaster for 60 counties. This rapid escalation of the fires, which doubled in size in just a day, prompted an immediate and ongoing response from the Southern Baptists of Texas Disaster Relief (SBTC DR) teams.

One such response team, a Quick Response Unit (QRU) based in Pampa, Texas, and led by James Greer from the Top O’ Texas Baptist Association, quickly sprang into action. They set up their operations at the association office in Pampa, dedicating themselves to preparing meals for the first responders battling the fires. Despite facing threats to their own homes, the volunteers managed to prepare both lunches and dinners before temporarily leaving for the evening.

Active Panhandle blazes currently cover a combined area of some 374,000 acres.
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American evangelicals have complex perspectives on immigration and want a nuanced political response, but most want Congress to act soon.

A Lifeway Research study sponsored by the Evangelical Immigration Table found evangelicals are increasingly concerned about the number of recent immigrants to the U.S. but still believe Christians have a responsibility to care for those who are in the country illegally. While most want to secure the border to prevent additional illegal immigration, evangelicals also advocate for a path to citizenship for those already in the country.
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Every day, hundreds of thousands of people die without the hope of Jesus. Your faithful prayers will make a difference. That’s why the IMB created a free 18-month calendar, called “Impacting Lostness Through Prayer”. It provides guidance, reminders and encouragement as you pray for individuals and communities who have yet to hear the gospel. Learn more about this free resource at IMB.org/prayercalendar.
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In the Baptist Press Toolbox, Rick Harrington, a pastor in Massachusetts offers guidance for believers in an election year.

Political ads make it sound like the future is entirely in our hands, as though it’s all up to us as citizens and every election is the most important one in the history of humanity. If the opposing candidate wins, it will be the end of the republic! That is a sure recipe for anxiety, and for roughly half of Americans, a severe disappointment. As spiritual leaders, we have the opportunity to encourage people that a Sovereign God sits on His throne who raises up kings and brings them down. Remember God’s words in Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God”.

He also reminds believers to pray.

The one thing we as Christians are commanded to do when it comes to politics is pray. Even if two Christians have vastly different opinions on candidates, they should be able to pray together. Pointing to a passages in 1 Timothy that says “I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way,” Harrington says, “Let us pray.”

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