Relief workers continue to bring gospel hope to people dealing with grief and trauma in the wake of war. Religious freedom advocates lamented the loss of civilian lives in the Israel-Hamas war, antisemitism and Islamophobia on the 25th anniversary of the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) Oct. 23. And, why does God allow suffering in the world? If you’ve wondered this, a Lifeway Bible Study challenges you to make sure you’re asking the right question.
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary President Danny Akin has been “vitally interested” in Israel his entire ministry. And, In the Baptist Press Toolbox, Kie Bowman asks if what the Bible says about prayer and worry is still applicable today. His answer is yes.
Mike Johnson Elected Speaker of US House, Meta Sued Over Accusations of Harming Kids & Ways to Pray for the Middle East
The newly-elected Speaker of the House of Representatives is a Southern Baptist and served as a trustee of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) was elected to the speakership on Wednesday. Meta’s social media platforms including Facebook and Instagram intentionally target children and teens with features that harm mental health, attorneys general in 42 states and Washington D.C. said in lawsuits Oct. 24. And, in the Baptist Press Toolbox, there’s a prayer guide you can use as you think about the conflict in the Middle East.
Albert Mohler, Jr. 30th Anniversary, Prayers for Church Planters to Reach Portland & a Burden for Lost Souls
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary celebrated Albert Mohler, Jr.’s 30th Anniversary as President last week. Home to both hipsters and the homeless, Portland is recognized as the least religious city in America by the Public Religion Research Institute’s American Values Atlas. And, in a piece in the Baptist Press Toolbox, church leader Todd Gray writes, “I remember hearing someone describe Adrian Rogers, former pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, as a “weeper.”
Even as daily bombing raids continue, Send Relief is providing resources to Israelis and Palestinians affected by the conflict. The growth of the Hispanic population in North America has accelerated tremendously in the past decade. And, Jesus said faith the size of a mustard seed could move a mountain, but He was also known to pray through the night (Luke 6:12), for hours in the early morning (Mark 1:35-6), and sometimes for days at a time (Matthew 4: 1-2).
Pres. Biden Calls for $100 Billion to Stop Aggressors, Send Relief Helps War Survivors & Praying in an Anxious Society
President Biden is asking Congress for an aid package to send more than $100 billion to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan as they battle aggressors and to help strengthen security at U.S. borders. Send Relief has mobilized through local, Christian partners to provide housing, food, medical supplies, bomb shelters and trauma counseling for more than 20,000 displaced and hurting people in Israel and the region. And, anxiety in America is real. In fact, the number of prescriptions for anxiety medications jumped with an unprecedented spike around the time Covid-19 was declared an pandemic.
Christians Sheltering in Gaza Churches, Duck Dynasty’s Family Spurs Drug Dealer to Faith & Experiencing New Birth
Christians are sheltering in two churches in North Gaza where Israel has threatened a ground offensive in the Israeli-Hamas war, International Christian Concern (ICC) told Baptist Press. Recording artist Bryan Rucker was living a life of drugs and alcohol on a path to destruction. And, a Lifeway Bible study talks about the interaction between Jesus and a Jewish priest named Nicodemus in John 3.
Maui Churches Continue Amid Slow Recovery, Online Worshipers Lead in Frequent Bible Reading & the Secret to Loving Your Wife Better
It has been 10 weeks since flames whipped over and through Maui, taking nearly 100 lives while destroying homes and historical markers. That latest release from the State of the Bible delved into how many people read the Bible at least weekly outside of normal church services and certain descriptive characteristics concerning them. And, New England pastor Tim Counts says that if a man wants to love his wife better…he should love Jesus better. Even more, Counts encourages men to love their wives like Christ loves the church.
Homeschooling Family Grated Delay of Deportation, Value in Ministry to Women & a Christian Response to Tragedy
A homeschooling Tennessee family facing imminent deportation back to their home country of Germany was granted a year-long delay by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials last Wednesday (Oct. 11). Ministry leaders and women churchgoers believe ministry to women is working in their congregations, but both feel there’s room for improvement. And, in a First Person piece on Baptist Press, Jeff Iorg acknowledges it is complicated to deal with global terrorism. However, he offers four things believers can do.
Now in its second year, a program for pastors of small churches is looking to expand not only as an academic setting, but one that grows relationships and establishes a place of encouragement. Bible users who worship God online are most likely to read the Bible at least weekly apart from church service, the American Bible Society (ABS) said in its latest 2023 State of the Bible release. And, a Lifeway study on Mark 3 notes that Jesus says a house cannot be plundered until the strong man is bound by a stronger man.
Ministry Teams Serve in Israel, Families Came for NASA but Stayed to Spread the Gospel & Expressing Appreciation to Pastors
Texas Baptist Men distributed nearly 5,000 meals in Ashkelon, Israel, the coastal city near the Gaza border. Families who moved to the Clear Lake community of southeast Houston to start the U.S. space program more than five decades ago started something else that continues to impact the world: Clear Lake Baptist Church. And, one of Mark Marshall’s greatest keepsakes is a notebook filled with letters from church members expressing their love and appreciation for him and his wife.
Israel Statement Well Received, SBTS Panel on Events in Holy Land & Jesus Strengthens Our Faith in Him
Well over 1,000 people have signed a statement in support of Israel released by the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. Four leading biblical thinkers took the platform for a panel discussion at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary to consider how Christians should think upon the recent attacks in Israel. And, sickness. Addiction. Financial dilemmas. At some point, everyone struggles to believe life’s circumstances can change.
A statement has been released by the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission called the Evangelical Statement in Support of Israel condemning the attacks on Israel, calling on Christians to pray for Israelis and Palestinians and urging policymakers to use their power to protect innocent life in the Middle East. And, as churches continue to navigate economic challenges in the United States, many pastors say the economy is still harming their churches as giving fails to keep up with inflation.
Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, GuideStone Offers Financial Education & Ways to Show Appreciation to Pastors
The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is asking the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to remove abortion-related language from the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act regulations. To mark the start of Pastor Appreciation Month, GuideStone announced the launch of its free, online Ministerial Resources Center, which provides assistance to ministers and church decision makers on how to enhance their financial security and resilience. And, in the Baptist Press Toolbox, Denise George offers ideas for encouraging pastors.
Church Members Stranded in Israel, Send Relief Working With Israel & Prayer for Safety and Peace in the Middle East
Christian believers across the globe lifted up prayers for Israel as they the grieve hundreds who were killed in terrorist attacks near Gaza on Saturday. SendRelief is working to get aid to Israelis dealing with deep grief and sorrow in the midst of the attacks. And, an Texas based ministry group set up to help Israelis deal with turmoil and attack says they are ready to help.
Gospel workers continue to help Ukrainians as they struggle to face the dire circumstances of war. It was Sept. 28, 1923. First Baptist Church of Greer, S.C., was building a new sanctuary. The miscellaneous tidbits are among memories the congregation sought to preserve in a copper box concealed in the cornerstone’s masonry. And, Daniel lived a life of faithfulness, and he had seen and experienced incredible things.
Israelis are increasingly skeptical that Israel and Palestine can peacefully coexist as envisioned since the Oslo Accords in 1993, Pew Research found. Ticket sales for The Blind have topped $5 million at the box office. And, a 2021 study from Lifeway Research showed fear was the most common feeling Americans sought to avoid.
The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission wants believers to remember their students have religious freedoms in the school. And, if you live alone, maybe you struggle to share the gifts God has given you with others. The New Testament teaches us that every believer receives spiritual gifts from God.
Send Relief has encouraged Christians to support those around the world who experience both desperate material and spiritual need. Revive Church in Arvada, Colorado is stepping outside the box when it comes to impacting their community. And, Praising God is an aspect of prayer that is found throughout the Scriptures.
Temporary Relief From Transgender School Policy, Carson-Newman U Participates in Archeological Dig, Growing a Small Group Class
Iowa parents have temporarily blocked a public school policy requiring their children to use the preferred pronouns of their transgender classmates and share bathrooms with them or face expulsion. A child-sized ring, measuring only about 1 cm. in diameter, tells the story of a distant past, but also the future of a university program. And, in a Baptist Press Toolbox article, small group consultant Ken Allen offers some tips on way to grow or strengthen a small group or Sunday School class.