October 3, 2019 www.mbcb.org
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BRIEFS COURT RULING HALTS AXING OF CONTRACT
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M i s s i s s i ppi B a pt i s t C on v e n t i on
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Baptists finalize Bahamas plans
LANSING, Mich. (BP) — Chief Judge Robert Jonker of the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan issued a preliminary injunction Sept. 26 blocking the State of Michigan from canceling a contract with St. Vincent Catholic Charities to provide foster care and adoption services. The agency declines to place children with same sex couples due to its belief that marriage is only between a man and a woman. Jonker wrote the state’s action “strongly suggests [Michigan’s] real goal is not to promote non-discriminatory child placements, but to stamp out St. Vincent’s religious belief and replace it with the State’s own.”
BAPTIST COLLEGE BEGINS COMPENSATED PROGRAM WALNUT RIDGE, Ar. (BP) – “Williams Works,” an initiative announced Sept. 16 by Williams Baptist University (WBU) in Walnut Ridge, Ar., has the goal of making “an academically excellent, Christ-centered university education affordable for all families — with a real possibility of students graduating debt-free,” said school President Stan Norman. In exchange for working at a job assigned by WBU, students will be compensated in the form of the cost of their education — including tuition and fees. WBU is affiliated with the Arkansas Baptist State Convention.
ERLC RELEASES REPORT ON FOSTERING CIVILITY NASHVILLE (BP) — A report examining how evangelical Christians can help in healing America’s political and cultural divides was issued Sept. 26 by the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) in Nashville. The report, titled Faith and Healthy Democracy, is an account of what an ERLC-led research team learned from interviews with nearly 50 evangelical thought leaders and a LifeWay Research survey of more than 1,300 evangelicals. For more information, visit tinyurl.com/ faith-democracy.
DOWN BUT NOT OUT — Freddie Laing, pastor of St. Matthew’s Church in Pelican Cove on the island of Grand Bahama, surveys damage to the church caused when Hurricane Dorian roared across the Caribbean on Aug. 24. (Photo by Shane McGivney)
Team commits to help rebuild, expand ministry in community FREEPORT, Bahamas (BP and local reports) — After three days surveying the damage from Hurricane Dorian, an eight-member team of Southern Baptists returned to the United States with a keen appreciation of the Bahamian people and a commitment to partner with Baptist churches on the Grand Bahama island to help them re-
build and expand their ministry in the community. Representatives of Baptist Global Response (BGR), Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (SBDR), the International Mission Board, and two state Baptist conventions toured the island last week to scout out ways for Southern Baptists to support Baptist churches on the islands.
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“The island is recovering quite quickly,” said Shane McGivney, coordinator of the Mississippi Baptist Disaster Relief Task Force and director of men’s ministry at the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board, after he returned to the state on Sept. 26. “The Bahamians are an amazing people,” he noted. “They are a very spiritual people. They love the Lord. From what I understand, a couple of weeks ago when our team was there, they see BAHAMAS on p. 9
Abortionist kept fetal remains in Ill. home WILL COUNTY, Ill. (BP and local reports) — Law enforcement officials have disclosed the discovery of 2,246 medically-preserved fetal remains at the Illinois home of a deceased abortionist. Ulrich “George” Klopfer, a German-born physician who worked at abortion clinics in Indiana but eventually saw his medical license revoked, died Sept. 2 at the age of 75. His KLOPFER family discovered the babies’ remains in his garage in Will County, Il., and contacted the local sheriff’s office. There is reportedly no evidence he performed abortions at his home, but authorities have opened an investigation. “We are horrified,” said Mike Fichter, the president of Indiana Right to Life. He called for Indiana authorities to determine whether the remains have any connection to abortion operations in the state. The abortionist started see ABORTIONIST on p. 9
How will you spend eternity?
his week brings to a close the second year we have existed without a “hero” of American culture. Hugh Marston Hefner, unabashed pornographer who raised the objectification of women to a high art, passed away in 2007 at the age of 91 at his Los Angeles estate. Hefner was known worldwide as the creator of Playboy magazine in 1953. He built an empire around the nudity-filled publication that was eventually known as Playboy Enterprises, Inc. His company not only included the magazine but also Playboyowned mansions that constantly hosted wild parties and reputed sex orgies in Chicago, where he was born, and at the Los Angeles estate where he took his last breath; his own private commercial-sized aircraft that also had a reputation for immoral conduct while in flight; a salacious television series; a chain of raunchy nightclubs; and other sex-related investments — “sex-related” being the apparent common thread. Nothing in Hefner’s background indicated that he would turn into a dirty old man at such a young age. He was the first child of a teacher and an accountant. He was raised Methodist. He did a stint in the U.S. Army and after that received an undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana. He did earn a minor in creative writing at the university, however, and dove into his first job in the magazine business as a copywriter for Esquire magazine in New York City — then known as one of the raciest “men’s magazines” in the country by the moral standards of that day. After he was denied a five-dollar raise by the magazine, he left to start up Playboy in 1953. His mother was one of his earliest investors. The first issue of Playboy included a body-length nude shot of a young actress named Marilyn Monroe. The photograph had been purchased from the owner of a 1949 calendar in which Monroe, who was little known at the time, had appeared. Both Monroe and Playboy were catapulted into cultural fame. Hefner, by the way, never met Monroe before her death but purchased the vacant crypt beside her crypt in a Los Angeles cemetery in 1992 for a reported $75,000. “Spending eternity next to Marilyn
is an opportunity too sweet to pass up,” Hefner told the Los Angeles Times. Hefner’s death brought praise for his life from the usual hedonistic quarters. “Hef changed my life. I couldn’t be more thankful for our friendship and our time together,” said Kendra Wilkinson, who appeared nude in Playboy and, despite a huge age gap, dated Hefner for five years. “Hugh Hefner was a GIANT in publishing, journalism, free speech & civil rights. He was a true original, and he was my friend. Rest well Hef,” tweeted retired radio and television talk show host Larry King. “RIP to the legendary Hugh Hefner! I’m so honored to have been a part of the Playboy team! You will be greatly missed! Love you Hef!” tweeted Kim Kardashian West, who herself appears nude at every opportunity. “We’ve lost a true explorer, a man who had a keen sense of the future,” said television creator and producer Norman Lear. “Thank you for being a revolutionary and changing so many people’s lives, especially mine. I hope I made you proud,” tweeted actress Jenny McCarthy, who got her start in the entertainment business by posing nude for Playboy. Rehashing all that history on his page and posting the worldly commendations for a man who made this country a much cruder place is not meant to laud him. It is meant to show how tragically misguided our lives can be when Jesus is not at the center. It is meant to show, even after a promising start in life, just how easily Satan can invade our hearts and minds and, with the help of the endless material blandishments at his disposal, can make us believe that we are our own god. It is meant to show how thoroughly we can be led away from God by ungodly people. It is meant to show how helpless we will find ourselves in the clutches of the Evil One, and how much we need Jesus to save us. Hugh Hefner’s idea of how to “spend eternity” is wrong of course, but characteristic of how he lived a perverse life centered primarily on satisfying his voracious appetite for worldly pleasure. We have been called to a higher priority. Let us always live out that truth. Let us always follow Jesus. That’s the way to send eternity.
any younger pastors often feel two interesting and competing impulses. First, there is a growing sense that denominations aren’t that important. Secondly, there is a strong desire for relationships with others in ministry and a willingness to participate in affinity-based networks. Traditional denominational membership and involvement have declined over the past few years, and yet at the same time new networks have emerged and grown quickly. I think this reveals both young leaders’ eagerness to connect with other pastors and churches and also their desire for those networks to be meaningful and effective. In other words, young leaders are willing to participate in denominations and networks so long as they see the value in them. Here are five reasons why denominations, conventions, associations, cooperatives, collectives, networks, and other affiliations matter: n Theological identity. Denominations are inherently confessional. There is something powerful when a group of churches say together in unity, “This we believe.” Denominations are a way identifying the beliefs of a certain group of churches. Theological commitments distinguish groups of churches from one another. Clear confessional statements are also helpful for churches and pastors because they make it easier to identify with other churches and pastors of like faith and practice. n Missiological partnership. As a Southern Baptist, it is a privilege to partner with over 47,000 other churches across the country. We pool our resources in a giving system known as the Cooperative Program. This allows us to plant new churches around the world, fully fund thousands of North American and international missionaries through our mission entities, and train thousands of future pastors and ministers through our seminaries. n Ministerial training. In the Southern Baptist Convention, training is available through denominational colleges and seminaries, national entities, and state conventions. Personally, I benefited from attending a college affiliated with my state convention and then a Southern Baptist seminary. I have found training
Guest opinion with Andrew Hébert provided through my state convention and other national entities to be just as helpful. Taken together, my denomination has been a tremendous source of training both for me as a pastor and for the laypeople in the congregations I have served. n Pastoral accountability. Denominations have the ability to provide a broad-based network of support and accountability for churches and pastors. This sometimes takes place through formal means, such as when a denomination disassociates from a church for a theological or functional reason. More commonly, denominational accountability takes place informally. If a pastor is erring theologically or personally, the pastors around him can admonish, rebuke, challenge, encourage, pray for and approach him both with a level of concern and agreed-upon intentionality that would not be there without a mutual commitment to be bonded together in a relationship. n Ecclesiastical fellowship. Denominations allow pastors and churches to have an avenue of fellowship that often doesn’t exist otherwise. Pastors can draw strength and encouragement from one another. Churches can enjoy the broader unity we share in Christ as we fellowship together. Whether it’s a group of local pastors meeting for lunch every month or larger groups of churches or pastors meeting together for annual gatherings and meetings, God often uses these opportunities for fellowship to renew, refresh and reinvigorate us. Together, churches that come together demonstrate to a watching world the power of the Gospel to reconcile and see HEBERT on p. 11
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VOLUME 143 • NUMBER 39 • ISSN-0005-5778 Published weekly except weeks of July 4 and Christmas by the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board, 515 Mississippi Street, Jackson, MS 39201. Subscription $11.99 per year payable in advance. Economy plans available for cooperating Mississippi churches. Periodicals postage paid at Jackson, MS. Member, Association of State Baptist Papers. Deadlines: News items — one calendar week prior to requested publication date. Advertising — two calendar weeks prior to requested publication date. All submissions are subject to editing.
2 October 3, 2019 The Baptist Record
Excavation could bring 2 Kings 17 into focus TEL HADID, Israel (BP and local reports) — Nestled between accounts of Israel’s defeat at the hands of the Assyrian army and the rise of Hezekiah’s kingship in Judea, the importance of 2 Kings 17:24-40 can be easy to overlook. The verses speak of the people groups the Assyrians sent to the region of Samaria in Israel after the fall of the Northern Kingdom and the deportation of the Israelite elites. The passage in 2 Kings states that the Assyrians relocated people from “Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sepharvaim” to Samaria. Many scholars believe these newcomers later intermarried with the remnant of Israelites and ultimately formed the religious sect known as the Samaritans. The Moskau Institute for Archaeology at New Orleans Seminary (NOBTS) is partnering with Tel Aviv University (TAU) to excavate the site of Tel Hadid in search of answers regarding the peoples who were placed in the region by the Assyrians. A “tel” is defined as an area of land that has accumulated layers of civilizations built one on top of the other over long periods of time. “Hadid” is the name of the settlement. This summer marked the first full excavation season at Tel Hadid. A year earlier, a small team from the two schools conducted a three-week site survey and dug exploratory probes in preparation for the full excavation. In 2018, NOBTS completed a nineyear excavation project exploring the ancient water system at Tel Gezer and a smaller excavation of two water cisterns at Sepphoris. Previous NOBTS-sponsored digs include Timnah in the Sorek Valley and Tel Aphek. The Tel Hadid excavation is being led by: n Dan Warner, NOBTS associate professor of Old Testament and archaeology. n Jim Parker, executive director of the Michael and Sara Moskau Institute of Archaeology at NOBTS. n Ido Koch, senior lecturer in archaeology at Tel Aviv University. n Pottery expert Eli Yannai of the Israel Antiquities Authority.
The account in 2 Kings raises intriguing questions about the nature of the area’s inhabitants during the Iron Age II Period (1200–539 BC). How did the influx of people from different backgrounds impact the region? How visible would their impact be in the material remains? What can be learned from these remains? Even with such important questions, the site remained uninvestigated until the late 1990s. When the Israeli government decided to build a major north-south highway (Road #6), the proposed path went through Tel Hadid. The original plan was to cut a wide gap into the bedrock and build the fourlane highway just west of the tel’s highest point. As with any construction project in Israel, a salvage excavation was needed to assess the ancient remains located in the area that would be removed. A team from TAU conducting the
RICH IN HISTORY — Volunteers and staff members search for Iron Age pottery and artifacts at Tel Hadid, Israel, in a new archaeological partnership between New Orleans Seminary and Tel Aviv University that may yield information on a lesserknown but important Bible passage. (BP photo)
LOOKING FOR CLUES — Erika Spengler, a volunteer from Norco, La., loads a wheel barrow with excavation debris from Tel Hadid, nine miles from Tel Aviv, in an archaeological dig being sponsored by New Orleans Seminary and Tel Aviv University that is seeking to add to the knowledge about an ancient Israelite diaspora. (BP photo) salvage dig discovered rich material remains — so rich that the Israeli government scratched the plan to cut a gap through the site and opted for the more expensive endeavor of tunneling below the site. The most important finds in the salvage excavation relate directly to the influx of outsiders sent by the Assyrians. Excavators found two cuneiform tablets dating to the seventh century BC. The clay tablets, both legal documents, were written mostly in Akkadian and included both local (Hebrew) and non-local names. The NOBTS/TAU dig will build on and expand the research started with the salvage excavation through broader exposure of the site. The dig team opened three primary areas of excavation during the fourweek 2019 dig season — two areas on the
northwest edge of the site and one near the tel’s summit. TAU also opened a fourth area in a Byzantine-era wine press as a community archaeology project. Through the community project, local school children and residents of the surrounding towns can gain “real-world” archaeology experience and contribute to the research into the site’s rich history.
About the site Tel Hadid sits about 3.5 miles southeast of the Ben Gurion Airport and approximately nine miles from Tel Aviv. The park that encompasses the site is owned and managed by the Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael Jewish National Fund (KKL). In addition to numerous pine trees planted by KKL, Hadid is home to a
working olive plantation. Known periods of habitation at the site include: n Late Bronze Age (1550–1200 BC). n Iron Age II (1200–539 BC). n Persian (539–332 BC). n Hellenistic (332–63 BC). n Roman (63 BC–330 AD). n Byzantine (330–638 AD). n Modern times. Some archaeologists believe the site was also home to a Middle Bronze Age (2000–1550 BC) settlement. The site has long been identified as Hadid and the modern village, destroyed during Israel’s 1948 war of independence, bore the name “Haditheh.” The site is identified on the Madaba Map, a famous sixth-century A.D. mosaic in the Church of Saint George in Madaba, Jordan. The name on the map — “Adithaim now Aditha” in Greek — reveals an earlier misidentification of the site. At one point, early church fathers believed the site was a town mentioned in the tribal allotment of Judah (Joshua 15:36). However, Judah’s allotments were well to the south and the map corrects the site name. Though not mentioned in the biblical account regarding allotments, Hadid would have been in the tribe of Ephraim’s allotment. Hadid sat on the border between ancient Israel and ancient Judah during the days of the Divided Monarchy. The Bible mentions Hadid three times: Ezra 2:33, Nehemiah 7:37 and Nehemiah 11:34. All three references are in connection with the return of exiles from the Babylonian captivity. In the three accounts, Hadid is mentioned in connection with Lod, a site approximately three miles southwest of the tel. The dates for the three-week 2020 Tel Hadid expedition are June 14 - July 3, 2020. Volunteers are welcome. For more information on the costs and details regarding the excavation, visit hadidexpedition.org.
The Baptist Record October 3, 2019 3
he other day I was about to go through the guilt meter at Walmart. Most of you probably know Walmart carries about everything there is to carry, but you didn’t realize that they have a guilt meter. I don’t know if all of their stores have guilt meters but all of the stores in which I’ve ever been, it was on prominent display. In the past I didn’t pay any attention to it — didn’t even know it was there — but since I became aware of it I never go in the big store without passing through the guilt meter. You may be wondering where is it and what it looks like. Well, it’s the entry way to Walmart. When you enter the store through the two sliding doors at the front, one of the doors will have over the top the word, “Enter.” The other door will be marked, “Exit.” If you are like I used to be, you don’t pay a bit of attention to it. You just walk up to one of those sliding doors and it slides open. Fact is, you can walk in the exit door and walk out the enter door. The reason for enter and exit doors is to create a flow pattern of human beings coming in and out so we won’t run over each other — especially if somebody is coming out with a load of groceries or goods and can’t see you when you’re going in the exit door. You may be run over and forgotten about. The door markings are there, bigger than life, telling you what you need to do for your own good. The reason I call it the guilt meter is because the Bible teaches us that as citizens in this world, we are to obey the directions and guidelines of the government and institutions as well as the laws of God. The Apostle Paul wrote to Titus, the young preacher: “Instruct the people.” In Titus 3:1, he said, “Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work.” You and I are to be mindful of the laws, instructions, and guidance provided in places where we go. For example, you go into the hospital and think that you have free run of the place and you can go in any door you want. No! In fact, there are many places off limits to everyone except the people taking care of the people who need to be taken care of. You and I need to follow
right there before their eyes, even if it’s just an entrance or an exit sign, the more we become desensitized to paying any attention to any of it. There’s good guilt and bad guilt. I would describe good guilt as being the kind of guilt that you are sensitive enough to avoid taking that step and going that direction you know is not proper. It’s helping you stay on track, doing the right thing, pressing on. Bad guilt I would describe as the kind of guilt that you committed a sin that has been hurtful to you, hurtful to others, hurtful to God, and it festers in the pit of your soul like an abscessed tooth or an arthritic knee. Like those ailments, it sometimes doesn’t seem to be there — but to move is to suddenly realize it’s still there. the directions for that organization and done that. In fact, when I was about to The burden and pain of guilt is an institution. We are not allowed to go go in the guilt meter the other day, that’s awesome and awful thing. You can wandering around the emergency room what caught my attention. The door had receive forgiveness for sin. When Jesus or up and down the halls of certain areas opened and I was about to walk right died on the cross, He took all of our sin or just breeze through the surgical suite. through the exit side. I stopped, moved upon Himself. Paid for our sins and all Not on your life. over about five feet, and went through of its pain and manifestation in guilt. We Those instructions at the hospital the entrance side and, oh, did I feel good can be forgiven and the load of guilt can don’t necessarily come from Washingabout myself. Some of you may think, be gone. You do not have to walk around ton, D.C. The U.S. Congress didn’t pass “Good grief. If that’s all you’ve got to all your life feeling like you’re a fourthlaws directed specifically at that, but worry about, you need to get a life.” I class citizen of the human race and livwhatever need is there you are supposed think you’re right, but it’s not all I have ing in fear that somebody’s going to put to find your place and do the right thing. to worry about. The reason I’m pointing you on the six o’clock news dramatically It’s true wherever you might be, includ- it out is because I’ve learned if your guilt showing you walking through the exit ing church. Even there, we need to be sensitivity is at a threshold where going door when you’re supposed to be on the mindful of where we should be and not through the wrong door at Walmart other side. be so there might be decency and order can get your attention, that’s probably a The freedom to walk a new path of and everyone will not have their intergood thing. life can be found only in Jesus Christ. ests and rights infringed upon — and If you pay attention to the little I think it would probably be good at neither will yours be. things, you probably won’t have to deal Walmart’s thousands and thousands of Whenever you don’t do what you’re as much with the big things. The same stores to put up a little sign that says, supposed to do in any of those setapproach of spiritual sensitivity and “If you’re entering at the exit, you need tings and especially before God, one desire to follow the Lord or what He has to know Jesus. He can fix you and help of the things you can feel is guilt. Guilt asked us to do will take place in your you feel right about yourself and lift is the feeling of doing wrong. It could heart and life on the major things. I have your guilt.” be breaking one of the Ten Commandlived long enough and watched long I’m not making light of their signs. I ments, or violating a huge moral law in enough that when we begin to ignore the think it would help all of us if we paid atour society under God, or going in the little things, we begin to have creeping tention to the direction signs in life. One exit side or coming out the entrance insensitivity about crossing the lines on thing is for sure: if you’re carrying a load side. I’ve been in Walmart enough the big things, too. of guilt and your life is burdened down times that I know people don’t pay any Guilt is an interesting item in the with the wrong you did that you cannot attention to how the doors are marked. Bible and everyday life. References to let go of and others may not let you turn There are people coming and going out guilt or being guilty are found less than loose, find your way to Jesus today and of a door they’re not supposed to use 100 times in the Bible, yet the reality of hear Him say, “Neither do I condemn that way. guilt can be found on almost every page you; go and sin no more.” I’ve done it myself. I’m confessing. If in the Bible. It can be seen all around us The author can be contacted at direcyou are mad at me, upset, perturbed that all the time. The less sensitivity people firstname.lastname@example.org. I would dare come in the exit side, I have have to crossing the lines marked out
The Guilt Meter
College News MISSISSIPPI COLLEGE will honor long-time history professor and provost emeritus Ron Howard with the Award of Excellence for his service to the university spanning more than four decades, at an awards dinner Oct. 25 beginning at 6:15 p.m. in Anderson Hall. He is current serving as interim director of the school’s Leland Speed library. For more information, call (601) 9253317 or e-mail email@example.com.
BLUE MOUNTAIN COLLEGE golfer Garrett Moore (left) of Southaven fired a four under par 66 to win the 2019 Riley Moore Collegiate Cup Sept. 26 at Centerville Golf Course in Centerville, Tn. Fellow BMC student Denver Russell (right) of Pontotoc took second place with a one over par 71. BMC in Blue Mountain is affiliated with the Mississippi Baptist Convention.
MISSISSIPPI COLLEGE will honor Mike Walters as the university’s 2019 Alumnus of the Year at an awards dinner Oct. 25 beginning at 6:15 p.m. in Anderson Hall. A football player during his time at MC, Walters is a former superintendent of the Tupelo public schools and founder/CEO of Jackson-based JBHM Education Group. For more information, call (601) 925-3809 or e-mail mcole@ mc.edu. MC, based in Clinton, is affiliated with the Mississippi Baptist Convention.
BLUE MOUNTAIN COLLEGE Cross Country team members Elle Hamilton of Shannon and Braden Hardy of Blue Mountain were named the Southern States Athletic Conference’s Runners of the Week for last week. This is Hamilton’s sixth overall SSAC Runner of the Week award in her career at BMC.
In other College News:
➤ Blue Mountain College has been named to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Champions of Character Five-Star Institution at the Gold Medal level for the 2018-19 academic year. For a college to earn the Gold Medal Level Award, it must earn 90 total points or more on the NAIA Champions of Character Scorecard for the academic year.
October 3, 2019 The Baptist Record
VOL. 3 | ISSUE 10 | WWW.CHRISTIANACTION.COM
he first syllable is “gos.” What a difference the second syllable makes. One word is good news — the best news. The other word is bad news. We need more of one, and we need less of the other. In a game of scrabble, “gospel” should earn a higher score than “gossip.” One should be easy to talk about, and the other should be easy to avoid. And yet, the opposite seems apparent among many Baptists today. Paul said in Romans 7:19, “For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do,” KJV. This seems to be true of gossip and gospel. Obviously, we should share the gospel. I do mean the real gospel in I Corinthians 15:3-4, “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures,” KJV. I am not talking about the “social justice gospel,” but the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Now, how do we respond to the other word — gossip? Number one —
“SIP” to “PEL” Don’t repeat it. Never, never add to the problem. Exodus 20:16 says, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor,” KJV. Even the truth can be gossip, if there is no need to repeat it for the wrong reason. Number two — Don’t believe it. Many don’t repeat gossip, but they believe it. The accused has no opportunity to answer the allegations. What happened to “innocent until proven guilty”? Smoke does not mean fire — check out dry ice. Number three — Don’t listen to it. We should not listen to a dirty joke. We should not listen to irreverent talk or crude language. We should not listen to gossip. Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise,
think on these things, “ KJV. Number four — Stop it. Intervene in a Christian, courteous way. If I hear gossip on someone I love, I will not just walk away. I will intervene. When someone tries to share with me gossip on another person, I make the following request. When can I get the three of us together? Mediation requires three parties. “Two’s company, three’s a crowd,” may be true in courtship, but is useless in meaningful mediation. Some gossipers claim, “I would say this, even if they were here.” Well, let’s get both parties together. Let’s get them here. On a few occasions, (and I do mean very few), I was able to get both parties together, in the same room, at the same table — good things happened. On one occasion, a lawsuit disappeared. But on most occasions, the one shar-
ing the info rejects my offer. I then tell them that if I hear the rumor again from anyone, I will go to the accused and let them know the source of the gossip. It’s amazing how quickly gossip dries up. You may say, “Kenny, no one will confide in you.” Well, if I can’t do something constructive with the information, I don’t want confidential info. Give it a try. “When can I get the three of us together?” This strategy served me well for over 18 years in Alcorn Baptist Association. It has served me well for three years at the Christian Action Commission. I highly recommend it — a simple question. When we change from “sip” to “pel” — from gossip to gospel, the same simple question still applies. Whether shunning gossip or sharing the gospel, three parties must come together — the witness, the lost soul, and Jesus. When can I get the three of us together? Digby is executive director-treasurer of the Christian Action Commission. He can be reached at (601) 292-3329/ office, (662) 284-9163/cell, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Just for the Record In other Church News:
➤ First Church, Morton, will host the Bibletones Quartet Oct. 6, 6 p.m. BEULAH CHURCH, DECATUR, presented Sunday School Perfect Attendance Pins for 2019 to the following: Front row left to right is Mary Ann Kelly-8 years; Laverne Chaney – 42 years; Barbara J. Harrison – 37 years. Top row left to right is Alan Kelly – 2 years and Elton Bryan – 26 years. Not pictured is Will Motley – 42 years and Neal Motley – 50 years.
HOLLY CHURCH, ALCORN, recognized long-standing members, Milton & Betty Davis. Betty has served has teacher, singer, cook & more. Milton has served as Training and Sunday School Directors, softball manager, men’s brotherhood cook for over 40 years, and was ordained as a deacon in 1976. Pictured are Milton & Betty Davis with pastor, Thomas Magers, II and Associate Pastor/Youth, Justin Watson.
COLLEGE HILL CHURCH, VARDAMAN, held Vacation Bible School recently.
NEW LIBERTY CHURCH recognized four members for their many years of faithful service. Shown are Emogene Cummings, Joan Hudson, Bobby Kennedy and Betty Adams.
VICTORY CHURCH, BROOKHAVEN, welcomed Jim and Janet Everette and the Revelations to help celebrate their 17th year homecoming anniversary Sept. 8.
The youth from VICTORY CHURCH, BROOKHAVEN, attended See You at the Pole at Easthaven Church, Brookhaven, Sept. 25. BLUFF SPRINGS CHURCH, MAGNOLIA, held a baby dedication service Sept. 8. Shown are pastor John Alexander; Danyelle Jones, Addley Ann, Izabella, and Emma & Jesse Jones.
WEST HEIGHTS CHURCH, PONTOTOC, presented Josh Tutor with a certificate and Bible Sept. 22 for 30 years of perfect Sunday School attendance. David Hamilton, pastor.
MONTICELLO CHURCH, MONTICELLO, licensed Derek Chance to the ministry Sept. 15. Shown with Chance are Zach Polk, Youth/Associate Pastor and John Pace, interim pastor.
INGOMAR CHURCH, UNION COUNTY, broke ground on a new children’s wing July 31. Shown is the building committee. Terry Cutrer, pastor.
6 October 3, 2019 The Baptist Record
Gender-fluid Mattel dolls will confuse children, experts say
First Church, Jacksonville, Fl.
First Church in Jacksonville, Florida, downsizes property JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (BP and local reports) — First Church in Jacksonville, Fl., one of the best-known churches in the Southern Baptist Convention, plans to downsize its sprawling 10-block campus to just one block to cut expenses and more effectively serve the city in the name of Jesus Christ. The congregation approved a plan Sept. 8 to borrow $30 million to finance the project that is expected to take between 18 and 24 months to complete. The project will center on restoring Hobson Auditorium as the church’s main worship facility. Also approved was the sale of the remaining property downtown which covers six full blocks and portions of three other blocks. Asking price for the property and
timeline for the sale haven’t yet been determined. Money from the sale will ultimately be used to pay off the loan financing the project. Spiraling maintenance costs and years of decline in attendance prompted senior pastor Keith Lambert to urge the church to take action, according to The Florida TimesUnion newspaper in Jacksonville. LAMBERT “When I became senior pastor of First Baptist I expressed a dual desire to stop our church’s yearslong decline in membership and to be a better neighbor to our city,” Lambert said in his statement. “The initiatives I
announced and our church approved on Sunday, September 8 helps to accomplish both of these desires.” The church plans to launch satellite campuses to bring the church near the city. “Instead of asking Jacksonville to come to one, large campus of First Baptist in downtown Jacksonville, we will take our church to them in smaller facilities throughout the region,” Lambert said in his statement. John Sullivan, the church’s pastor of education for senior adults, told the congregation First Church “must continue to be the Gospel preaching center of downtown Jacksonville,” reported the Florida Times-Union. Sullivan said the plan will preserve the church and move it forward in its ministry.
SBC president Greear prays in U.S. House of Representatives
Image captured from PBS video
Southern Baptist Convention President J.D. Greear, senior pastor of multi-campus The Summit Church in Durham, N .C., opened the Sept. 25 afternoon session of the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C. Greear was invited to lead the session in prayer at the request of Rep. Mark Walker (R-N .C.), a member of Mercy Hill Church in Greensboro, N .C., and a former Southern Baptist pastor. Greear’s trip to the U.S. Capitol included meetings with multiple legislators including Walker, Rep. David Price (D-N .C.), Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N .C.), Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), and others.
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (BP) — Mattel’s new gender-fluid Creatable World doll can be harmful to children confused about their gender and will likely flop on the market, Christian experts told Baptist Press (BP). “These are dolls created by adults for adults to make them feel good about their radical gender theories,” Focus on the Family’s (FOTF) Glenn Stanton told BP. “You’re going to be able to find these toys on the discount table in about four months, after Christmas.” Stanton, FOTF’s director of family formation studies, noted that “parents are not clamoring for this. Kids are not clamoring for this.” Bob Stith, a Southern Baptist gender issues expert and founder of Family and Gender Issues Ministries in Southlake, Texas, told BP the dolls are irresponsible. “Children can be notoriously fluid in many of their choices,” he said. “Think foods for instance, so why would we blur the boundaries on something so significant? That is the height of irresponsibility.” God’s creation of two sexes is undeniable and is confirmed in both the Old and New Testaments, he pointed out. “Certainly in a fallen world those lines can get blurred,” said Stith, who has served the Southern Baptist Convention as national strategist for gender issues, “but the compassionate response is not to promote the blurring of the lines but to lovingly help our fallen culture to move back towards God’s creative intent.” Mattel released its Creatable World line of dolls Sept. 25, describing the six dolls in the series as gender-neutral. The dolls come with short and long wigs and male, female, and gender-neutral attire. At play, children can dress the dolls as male, female, or combinations of both, according to Mattel. The dolls retail for $29.99 and
“Certainly in a fallen world those lines can get blurred, but the compassionate response is not to promote the blurring of the lines but to lovingly help our fallen culture to move back towards God’s creative intent.” Bob Stith Founder of Family and Gender Issues Ministries are intended to allow “all kids to express themselves freely,” Mattel said in a press release. Stith noted, “This is especially tragic when many are starting children on drug therapy leading to sex change operations. For Christians the bottom line is what God says, not the culture.” Stanton made similar assessments. “That’s very concerning, because it makes those kids feel like what they believe they are is actually true. The vast majority of kids that show gender dysphoria — that they are ‘non-binary,’ which is just silly. This kind of thing plays to their illusions and they’re dangerous illusions.” No research or science exists to validate that children suffer from gender dysphoria, Stanton said. “It exists primarily as their own self-understanding. Research is very clear that the majority — up to 98% — of ‘gender-dysphoric’ kids revert to their natal or natural sex by the time they hit puberty. … The research is just very clear on that point. “Gender theory that we are seeing today, it’s just a creation. It doesn’t exist in nature. They’re a total creation. They’re just simply made up by adults who want the world to be that way.”
BP photo courtesy of Mattel
The Baptist Record October 3, 2019 7
Arizona Supreme Court rules in favor of artists’ religious liberty
HEUCKS RETREAT BAPTIST CHURCH, BROOKHAVEN, MS, IS SEEKING A BIVOCATIONAL PIANIST. Persons interested may email resume to Andrew Different at email@example.com or mail to Heucks Retreat Baptist Church, 2167 Heucks Retreat Rd NE, Brookhaven, MS 39601, Attention: Andrew Different. Position description available upon request. Deadline to apply is October 31, 2019. STILL SEEKING OUR FULL-TIME PASTOR - BETHANY BAPTIST CHURCH, WHYNOT COMMUNITY IN LAUDERDALE COUNTY. We have a new search committee and ask that resumes be submitted. Even if you have already submitted one, we ask that you resubmit. Email resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to 4475 Ponds Road, Meridian, MS 39301.
MUSIC MINISTER NEEDED. BOND BAPTIST CHURCH (JUST NORTH OF WIGGINS, MS). PART TIME. Direct inquiries and resumes to Dale - 601-528-0121; email: email@example.com. SEEKING A FULL-TIME PASTOR – FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF RUNNELSTOWN. Located east of Petal, MS in northern Perry county. Please submit resumes by mail to First Baptist Church Runnelstown, ATTN: Pastor Search Committee, 9211 Hwy 42 East, Petal, MS 39465. MARS HILL BAPTIST CHURCH IN SMITHDALE, MS SEEKING PART-TIME YOUTH/ CHILDREN MINISTER. Please email resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 601-248-1925
Koski (left) and Duka today is good for everyone,” he said, following the announcement of the ruling. “Americans disagree about many issues, but we should agree on the freedom to disagree.” Scruggs said courts hearing similar disputes have already cited the Arizona decision, including the case of Hands On Originals in Louisville, Ky., a print shop that declined to design and print T-shirts for a gay pride festival. That case is pending before the Kentucky Supreme Court. Attorneys have also cited the decision in the appeal of florist Barronelle Stutzman’s Washinton State case to the U.S Su-
preme Court, and a third lawsuit involving Colorado baker Jack Phillips. “Duka and Koski’s beliefs about same sex marriage may seem old-fashioned, or even offensive to some,” Gould wrote in his ruling “But the guarantees of free speech and freedom of religion are not only for those who are deemed sufficiently enlightened, advanced, or progressive. They are for everyone.” Courtesy of WORLD Digital, a division of WORLD Magazine (wng.org) based in Asheville, NC. Used by permission. Edited for style and inclusion of additional information.
HOPPER STAINED GLASS: Custom windows, restoration and repairs, safety and insulated glass, custom aluminum and wood frames. Statewide 601-502-0202, www. hopperglass.net FBC MOULTRIE, GEORGIA, IS SEEKING A PRESCHOOL/CHILDREN’S MINISTER TO JOIN AN ALREADY STRONG MINISTRY TEAM. An established church in the county seat of Colquitt County, we are a multigenerational church family that continues to connect with young families in our community. You can submit a resume or recommendation to email@example.com. WWW.SEBRENHOMEIMPROVEMENT. COM. Christian owned Don & Rita Sebren. 601-992-2092. All home improvements, siding, energy efficient windows, metal & shingle roofs, screen & sunrooms, patio covers, decks, room additions, kitchen & bath upgrades. PULPIT SUPPLY AVAILABLE: Retired Southern Baptist Navy chaplain available for Sunday pulpit supply on short notice (pastor illness, vacation, rest, etc.). 100 mile radius of Hattiesburg. Deacon of Hardy Street Baptist Church. Graduate of New Orleans Baptist and Fuller Theological Seminaries. References available. Compensation unimportant. Contact him at 601-408-4608 or bennyhornsby.com
CHURCH PEW UPHOLSTERY, FREE ESTIMATES: Davis Upholstery, Quitman, Miss., phone 601-776-6617. FULL TIME LIVE-IN HOUSEPARENT MISSIONARY POSITIONS AVAILABLE AT THE BAPTIST CHILDREN’S VILLAGE. Seeking Christian adults in good physical, mental and emotional health, with good personal integrity and character to care for children ages 1-20. To apply go to baptistchildrensvillage.com and download the application or contact Tom Prather at firstname.lastname@example.org or 601-613-1077. WINDOW AND SCREEN SHOP — Windows and storm windows built to fit your opening. Plus new window screens and rescreen old screens. Call Tom Cook 601-709-4879. GET THE BEST RATES ON: Health Insurance and Medicare Supplements. Call 1-800-541-8196 or visit www.TurnerInsuranceOnline.com. HEIDELBERG STAINED GLASS, MERIDAN. DESIGN, FABRICATION, REPAIR. Heidelbergstainedglass.com or call wk 601-483-7958 or cell 601-616-1390. NORRIS BOOKBINDING COMPANY, INC., OLD BIBLES REBOUND. Also, church bulletins and hymnals. For more information call 662-453-7424 or visit www.norrisbookbinding.com
Revivals & Homecomings
DORBNY-IXEQ: XY PNEE PU OUTAUO HZU BREFUX YC YIO ENJX. ZYXUR CYIOHUUT: HPY Clue: F = B Have fun with cryptography and exercise your Bible knowledge. A King James Version Bible verse has been encoded by letter substitution. The same letter is substituted throughout the puzzle. Solve by trial and error. Answer to last week’s puzzle: Isaiah 39:8 By Charles Marx, 1932–2004, © 2005
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Hurt, guest accompanist; Charles Moore, pastor. Moselle Memorial Church, Moselle: Homecoming, Oct. 6, 10 a.m., followed by potluck lunch; Michael Street, speaker; Richard Thames, music. New Hope Church, Foxworth: Homecoming, Oct. 6; worship, 10:30 a.m., followed by covered dish lunch; Michael Barnett, speaker; Brooke McKenzie and the New Hope Quartet, music. Trinity Church, West Point: Revival, Oct. 6 -9; Sun., 10:30 a.m. and 6 p.m.; Mon. – Wed., 7 p.m.; Dan Robertson, speaker; Buddy Johnston, music. Trinity Church, Laurel: Revival, Oct. 6 – 9; Sun., 10:30 a.m. and 6 p.m.; Mon. – Wed., 7 p.m.; Bill Britt, speaker; Jared Meyers, music.
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HRVU PNHZ QYI PYOAX, RTA HIOT HY
First Church, Lauderdale: Celebration Sunday, Oct. 6; Sunday School, 9:30 a.m.; worship, 10:45 a.m., followed by lunch. Galilee Church, Rockport: Homecoming, Oct. 6, 10 a.m., followed by meal; Walt Grayson, speaker; Ronnie Cottingham, music; Larry Hendricks, pastor. Shady Grove Church, Lucedale: Revival, Oct. 13 – 16; Sun., 10:30 a.m. and 6 p.m.; Mon. – Wed., 7 p.m.; speakers, Don Boone (Sun.); Fred Luter (Mon.); Dean Register (Tues.); and Tommy Mitchell (Wed.). Jerry Watts, worship leader. Benton Church, Benton: Harvest homecoming and 65th year, Oct. 6; Sunday School, 9:30 a.m.; worship, 10:30 a.m.; Don Lum, speaker; Shari
PHOENIX, Ar. (BP and local reports) — The Arizona Supreme Court last week rebuked states and municipalities that overzealously enforce antidiscrimination laws, ruling the City of Phoenix cannot apply a nondiscrimination ordinance to the designers of custom wedding invitations. In a 5-3 decision, the court found Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski, owners of Brush and Nib Studio, have the right to decline to create custom invitations for same sex weddings. Justice Andrew Gould, nominated to the high court by Republican Governor Douglas Ducey, wrote for the majority and put forward a sweeping defense of free speech and religious liberty. “The rights of free speech and free exercise, so precious to this nation since its founding, are not limited to soft murmurings behind the doors of a person’s home or church, or private conversations with like-minded friends and family. These guarantees protect the right of every American to express their beliefs in public,” he wrote. Duka and Koski, both Christians, have clients sign a contract with language noting that the calligraphers will not do work “that communicates ideas or messages… that contradict Biblical truth, demean others, endorse racism, incite violence, or promote any marriage besides marriage between one man and one woman, such as same sex marriage.” In 2016, the pair filed a preemptive lawsuit against the Phoenix ordinance, which levies jail time and fines to places of public accommodation for violating a nondiscrimination mandate that includes sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes. Gould dismissed attempts to portray the case as primarily about discrimination, but dissenting justices compared Duka and Koski’s concern to historic examples of prejudice, from the Jim Crow laws of the South to Phoenix shopkeepers posting “No Mexicans allowed” signs Gould called such arguments “a one-sided analysis that effectively deprives plaintiffs of their fundamental right to express their beliefs,” and added, “No law, including a public accommodations law, is immune from the protections of free speech and free exercise.” The decision offers persuasive reasoning to other courts, said Alliance Defending Freedom’s Jonathan Scruggs, who represented Duka and Koski. “The freedom the court upheld for Joanna and Breanna
8 October 3, 2019 The Baptist Record
ABORTIONIST cont. from p.1
terminating pregnancies in 1974, shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling the year before that legalized abortion nationwide throughout all nine months of gestation. He worked at three Indiana facilities and performed thousands of abortions in multiple counties over the decades, the South Bend Tribune reported. The state’s medical board suspended his license in 2016 for violations such as submitting erroneous state-mandated terminated pregnancy reports, waiting too long to report abortions on girls age 13 or younger – including a ten-year-old — and having unqualified staff members provide pre-abortion information and counseling to patients, according to the Tribune. Kermit Gosnell was convicted in 2013 of killing three infants born alive and one
mother undergoing an abortion in his filthy abortion clinic in Philadelphia, Pa. For unknown reasons, he preserved and stored the feet of infants he aborted. Gosnell was also convicted of 21 felony counts of illegal late-term abortion and 211 counts of violating the 24hour informed consent law. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. In 2015, abortionist Michael Roth was found to be carrying 15 aborted fetuses in the trunk of his car, along with medications stolen from the abortion clinic where he worked, after the vehicle was impounded when he struck a pedestrian in West Bloomfield Township, Mi. Courtesy of WORLD Digital, a division of WORLD Magazine (wng.org) based in Asheville, NC. Used by permission. Edited for style and inclusion of additional information.
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BAHAMAS cont. from p.1
weren’t quite smiling. They were still in shock but when we were there this past week, they were smiling and laughing. “This is a very resilient people. They understand that their hope is in the Lord, and they are loving on their church families and their communities.” Mississippi Baptists and Louisiana Baptists are going to be partnering together to rebuild St. Matthew’s Church on Pelican Point, Grand Bahama, McGivney said, adding that the church’s pastor, Freddie Laing, is working on getting permits and updated building codes. “We will be putting together a bill of material. Hopefully, we can get a container shipment in soon with supplies, tools, and building materials. “We will also try to help the residents of the community to rebuild. There are about 35 families in the community. The area had total devastation. “We are sending in teams to train the locals in mold remediation across the island. We are also sending in trauma counselors and counselor trainers beginning next week.” Building teams will be needed to help rebuild the church and local homes, according to McGivney. “Other states will be partnering with 11 other churches in the Bahamas. This will be a long term project. Prayers, finances, and workers are needed.” During the team’s time in the Bahamas, they finalized partnerships between a total of 13 state Baptist conventions and 10 area churches. Several state conventions, like Mississippi and Louisiana, will work together on some of the most intense projects. Through the partnerships, the state SBDR teams will help rebuild the churches and support opportunities to minister in the community.
CHURCH SPARED — Members of the Southern Baptist survey team pause to pray with Elvis Burrows, senior pastor of Central Zion Church in Freeport on Grand Bahama island. Central Zion Church did not sustain major damage when Hurricane Dorian hit the Caribbean nation on Aug. 25, but many other churches were heavily damaged or destroyed. (Photo by Shane McGivney) Jeff Palmer, BGR chief executive officer, wrote in a report after the team’s return last week that the availability of local services, food supplies, and other goods are returning to normal on the island. “Some homes and structures can be rebuilt. Others will simply need to be leveled and rebuilt,” Palmer wrote. “There is much water damage in many areas that will require specialized cleaning and sanitizing.” BGR is leading and coordinating Southern Baptist engagement in the Bahamas. According to the organization’s web site, “BGR undergirds the work of Southern Baptists worldwide and partners with others who are like-minded. “BGR is not an official entity of the Southern Baptist Convention, but it is rooted in the soil of Southern Baptist life and committed to helping Southern Baptists who care connect with people in need around the world.” Sam Porter, national director of Southern Baptist Disaster Relief at the North American Mis-
sion Board in Alpharetta, Ga., said the most urgent need communicated to him by Bahamian Baptists was for help in trauma counseling. Many area pastors in particular are facing massive personal and ministry challenges. Porter recommends that churches and individuals who want to support these ministry opportunities give through their state Baptist conventions. SBDR is asking state conventions to make their churches aware of the needs of churches in the Bahamas and how their people can help. For more information on the Bahamas relief effort, contact McGivney at (601) 292-3335. Email: email@example.com. The ministry of the Mississippi Baptist Disaster Relief Task Force is supported by gifts to the Mississippi Cooperative Program and the Margaret Lackey State Mission Offering. William H. Perkins, Jr., editor of The Baptist Record, contributed to this article.
Truth is not relative. Find it in the One who is the way, truth, and life. Simply share the following prayer with God in your own words: 1. Lord, I admit that I need you. (I have sinned.) 2. I want forgiveness for my sins and freedom from eternal death. (I repent.) 3. I believe Jesus died and rose from the grave to forgive my sins and to restore my relationship with you. (I believe in Jesus.) 4. By faith, I invite Jesus Christ into my life. From this time on, I want to live in a loving relationship with Him. (I receive Christ as my Savior and Lord.)
“But as many as received him, to them he gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in his name.” (John 1:12) If you make a decision for Christ today, contact a local Southern Baptist church for spiritual guidance.
The Baptist Record October 3, 2019 9
SEPTEMBER 1-15 HONORS Mr. Jerry L. Barber Mr. and Mrs. Cade M. Calcote Emmanuel BC Mr. and Mrs. Danny (Deb) Young Ms. Carolyn Gorton Ms. Johnnie R. DePoyster SEPTEMBER 1-15 MEMORIALS Mr. James Davis “Pat” Arnold Mrs. Lora E. Mapp Mississippi State University Foundation Mr. and Mrs. Agnue (Marie) Austin Mr. and Mrs. Raymond A. Austin Mrs. Claire Barlow Mr. and Mrs. Gerald (Dottie) Buchanan Mr. Joe Lee Bassie Mr. and Mrs. Mike (Brenda) Dean Mr. Henry “Bubba” Bass, Sr. Mrs. Hortense Bass Mr. Virgil R. Bowman Jan and Jo Ann Lewis Mr. and Mrs. Billy (Mary) Pannell Mr. and Mrs. Terrell (Pam) Hughes Mrs. Mary Lee Breeland Siloam BC Mrs. Jahazel Buckley Mr. Ted Buckley Marguerite Butler Mr. Charles W. Holmes Mr. Don Cabrol Mr. and Mrs. Mike (Brenda)
Dean Mrs. Marilyn Castle Mr. and Mrs. Mike (Brenda) Dean Mrs. Edna Clotie Collins Mrs. Carol M. Daniel Mr. William Delma Covington Mr. and Mrs. Wayne (Elizabeth) Stevens Mrs. Mary Lynn Covington Mr. and Mrs. Gary Grubbs Ms. Lasonia McIlwain Ms. Carolyn A. Roberts Mr. and Mrs. Wayne (Elizabeth) Stevens Friends of Chyrl Covington Grubbs Mr. Donald Crawley Mr. and Mrs. Arthur E. Bishop Mr. Joseph “Joe” Hugh DeBlanc Glenn and Jennifer Sanders Mrs. Ethel B. Dempsey Mr. and Mrs. Mike (Brenda) Dean Mr. Percy Ellington Mr. and Mrs. Robert Alexander Mrs. Frenchie Feather Mr. and Mrs. Jim (Carol) Brents Mr. Preston Gough, Jr. Mr. and Mrs. David (Debbie) Ingram Mrs. Marylon Green Hall Mr. and Mrs. Doug Sills Mr. Raymond Hamilton Mr. and Mrs. Mike (Brenda) Dean Mr. Charles Hannah Mr. and Mrs. Jim (Carol) Brents Mr. Jerry Lynn Hardin, Sr. Mr. and Mrs. Mike (Brenda) Dean Mr. James G. Harris, Jr. Ms. Judy H. Lacy Ms. Wendy Champion Hood Mr. and Mrs. Terry E. Champion
Mr. James W. House, Jr. Mr. and Mrs. Mike (Brenda) Dean Mr. Brett Hutchison Mr. and Mrs. Mike (Brenda) Dean Mr. Grover Jackson Mr. and Mrs. Stanley (Carolyn) Downs Mrs. Evelyn James Mr. and Mrs. David (Debbie) Ingram Ms. Beulah Keyes Mr. and Mrs. David (Debbie) Ingram Mr. Alton Wayne Lassett Mr. and Mrs. Robert (Lorraine) Bagley Lacey Claire Lee Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell (Christine) Blount Hasselman/Wilder SSC Dr. and Mrs. Rory (Janet) Lee Mrs. Mary Alice Mashburn Mr. and Mrs. Clyde (Kitty) Revette Dr. Louise McCommons Ms. Janice M. Thames Mrs. Ann Meek Mrs. Billie L. Arthur Mrs. Katherine Miller Mr. and Mrs. Stanley (Carolyn) Downs Ms. Jenell Mitchel Mr. and Mrs. Mike (Brenda) Dean Mrs. Billie Faye Nail Mr. and Mrs. Mike (Brenda) Dean Ms. Betty Neeley Dr. and Mrs. Bernard (Beverly) Taylor Mr. and Mrs. J.V. (Mary K) Parker Mr. and Mrs. Michael W. Parker Mr. Mike Parker Mr. and Mrs. Mike (Brenda) Dean Mrs. Gertrude Pierce Mr. and Mrs. Carl R. Woolery Mr. and Mrs. Leo (Bonnie) Polk Mr. and Mrs. Carroll (Sandra) Polk Mr. Ralph Prestridge Buddy Russell’s SSC Mr. Bern Prewitt, Sr. Mr. and Mrs. Mike (Brenda) Dean Mr. R. B. Pritchard Mr. and Mrs. Stanley (Carolyn) Downs Mr. Elza “Shorty” Pulliam Mr. and Mrs. Melvin (Earline) Burdine Mr. Wayne Rabb Stanton BC Mr. Gary Rankin Friends ‘n Faith SSC Mr. Kinney Richardson Ms. Carole U. Byram Ms. Marnee Rumowicz Mrs. Hortense Bass Mr. Larry Sistrunk Mr. and Mrs. Carl R. Woolery Mrs. Shirley Stockett Mrs. Lyn Falkenheiner Ms. Sue Sutton Mr. and Mrs. Kevin (Pam) Mask Mr. Donald Swafford Mr. and Mrs. Mike (Brenda) Dean Mr. Billy Dan Tabb Rev. and Mrs. Harold (Charlotte) Scott Mrs. Edra Tolar “E.C.H.O.” SSC Mrs. Nancy Wansley Mr. and Mrs. Billy (Ethel) Whitten Mrs. Jimmie Watson Sue French
We had a need and the Lord used these great people to meet it. We are thankful for Tom Mims, left, with Gulf Coast Rescue Mission for the new dryer for our Deanash Campus in Wiggins. Big thanks, also, to Glenn Deitrick from Parkway Baptist Church, Biloxi for delivering the dryer. The Lord always provides.
Sunday School Lessons for October 6, 2019 Residence • Ephesians 3:14-21 When I was a know-it-all teen, my daddy used to tell me that standing in a garage does not make me a car. He said this to impress upon me that merely sitting in a church did not make me a Christian. He wanted to make sure that I clearly understood I was not joining a club to have fun with my friends, but I was surrendering my will for an internal life-change brought about by Christ taking residence in my heart. It is a serious commitment. Those words ring true and I seldom walk into our garage now without remembering what daddy said. I wonder if we really believe that today. So often church is about our preferences and whether or not we like what is going on. We fight over music, dress, and carpet colors. It has become a place where our desires are utmost in importance. What we should be focusing on is what Christ wants. That focus doesn’t come naturally, it comes when we have Christ dwelling in our hearts as Lord and King. What does it mean to be indwelt with Christ? Simply put, it means to have the Holy Spirit living in you, guiding and directing. Jesus told His disciples before he left that He would send another. “However, the helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name,
will teach you everything” (John 14:26 n Strengthen us with His power. CSB). Often, we view the Holy Spirit as n Fill our hearts (desires) with Christ. that little angel sitting on one shoulder n To strongly root us in His love. trying to persuade us to do good while n Give comprehension of how He the little devil is sitting on the other loves us. tempting us the other way. That is not n Fill us with the fullness of God. the idea of Christ dwelling in us. The This is a wonderful and powerful Apostle Paul described the true defini- prayer. To know that the Holy Spirit will tion: “I have been crucified with Christ, give strength to endure this life is monuand I no longer live, but Christ lives in mental, but I want to focus on a particume. The life I now live in the body, I live lar point Paul mentioned twice in this by faith in prayer: to be the Son of filled with God, who Christ and loved me filled with and gave the fullness himself for of God. me” (GalaWe all with Cyndi Grace tians 2:20 are searchCSB). My ing for fuldesires bow fillment down to His. in life. We It is no lonare acutely ger my riding the fence but fully surren- aware of an emptiness inside, and often dering. we try to fill that empty space with famTo many that might sound scary but ily, church, jobs, or relationships. If we Paul knew differently. He ended this are married, we might expect our spouse section of his letter as he had begun — to know and fulfill our deepest needs. with a prayer. This prayer requested for We might look to our work or friends for the Ephesians the benefits of what the a sense of importance but one by one, we indwelling of Christ can do in our lives discover these things fail to fulfill us and including: we either turn away angry or cling even
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more desperately to make them fill that empty spot. The problem with depending on things like this is that they were never meant to fulfill us. Paul understood this; he had used religion and his position as a Pharisee to fill that empty place in his soul. He discovered, however, the true secret of life: his heart must be the residence where Christ reigns supreme. Merely going to church cannot fill us. Neither can singing in the choir or serving on several committees. Being filled with Christ and being led by the Holy Spirit is the only way to true fulfillment. So, are you merely sitting in a seat in church or are you being empowered by the Christ who lives in you? Christ is able. Christ is enough. He is all we need. Chapter three ends with these words: “Now to him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us—to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3:2021 CSB) Believe it! Grace is a conference speaker, author, and member of First Church, Clinton.
Uncomplicated Relationships • 1 Thessalonians 4:3-12 One of the popular social networks has a category for relationships called, “It’s complicated.” The term is intentionally vague to avoid a clear definition or existence of a relationship. In contrast, the Word of God gives us clear guidance for uncomplicated relationships. Simplify your relationships with holiness (1 Thess. 4:3-5). Verse three plainly declares God’s will for our lives: our sanctification, or holiness. Simply put, we are to set our relationship with God through Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit above all other relationships. Considering the price Jesus paid to establish our relationship with God, it is not simple as in shallow or cheap. Instead, it is unfathomably deep, immeasurably high, broad, and long (Eph. 3:17-19). God has set the believer apart from the world in a supernatural relationship filled with His love, peace, joy, and goodness. Out of the abundance of that relationship flows the fruit of the Spirit into other relationships such as with family, friends, church, and co-workers. Sin complicates relationships. David’s sin with Bathsheba complicated his relationships with his sons, with tragic consequences for him and them. His sin complicated his relationship with a most trusted advisor and friend, Ahithophel. The probable relationship of Ahithophel as Bathsheba’s grandfather by his son Eliam (2 Samuel 11:3, 23:34) may explain why David’s wise counsellor turned
HEBERT cont. from p.2
unify people and churches. Denominations can be a source
into David’s most dangerous enemy. guard our hearts against transgressions Sin shattered their relationship, and sin against God, we should likewise guard wrecks relationships daily. our hearts against transgressions against Far worse, sin complicates our rela- others. tionship with God. Psalm 51 exposes the In a previous lesson’s comments, I damage that sexual immorality caused mentioned the Philippian jailer and his David in his primary relationship with salvation. That incident displays great God. The spiritual damage grieved David acts of kindness. First, the Apostle Paul worst, as should be the case with any be- and Silas were remarkably kind to a jailer liever. Only after David’s humble repen- who had thrown them in the inner prison tance did God restore the joy of His sal- and subjected them to locking their feet vation. Nevertheless, sin’s consequences in stocks. They prevented his suicide remained. The sin of sexual immoral- when the jailer assumed the prisoners ity especially had escaped, impacts reand they led lationships him to the with the Lord. SecLord, family, ondly, the friends, and jailer demthe church. onstrated with Don Schuman Small wonkindness der that after his right after conversion Jesus warns by bringagainst lust ing them as the equivalent in God’s sight to adul- into his house, feeding them a meal, and tery, He declares that losing an eye or washing their stripes from their beatings. hand to avoid such sin is better than the Kindness established relationships bewhole body being thrown into hell (Matt. tween the jailer, his household, Paul, and 5:27-30). May we simplify our relation- Silas. How might such kindness establish ships with God and others by holy living. new relationships for us? Simplify your relationships with Not only is godliness with contentkindness (1 Thess. 4:6-8). Our relation- ment priceless (September 22 lesson), ship of holiness in Christ should produce but 2 Peter 1:7 instructs us to add kindan attitude of kindness that flows into ness to our godliness. Of course, kindother relationships. If we continuously ness is an element of holiness, and kind-
Bible Studies for Life
of frustration at times, but they also can be a tremendous blessing. They allow us to embody the spirit of Ecclesiastes 4:9-12: Two are better than one because they have a good
reward for the efforts. For if either falls, his companion can lift him up; but pity the one who falls without another to lift him up. Also, if two lie down together, they can keep warm;
ness should be in the forefront in our relationships. Simplify your relationships with quietness (1 Thess. 4:9-12). Our relationship of holiness in Christ should also produce an example of quietness. Quietness in this context applies more to our choice of words than a lack of words. Christians have Good News to share and Christ has commissioned us to share it. In that sense, we cannot be silent. However, we can be quietly confident in our tone and expression. One area of our lives that might need more quietness, according to this passage, is meddling in other lives. Verse 11 strongly directs us to mind our own business. Meddling complicates relationships. Intervention is necessary sometimes, but manipulation and fault-finding have no place in a Christian’s relationships. Instead of poking our nose in someone else’s business, we are to put our hands to our own business. Focusing on what we ought to do, instead of what everyone else is doing, makes us more productive servants of the Lord. May we simplify (or uncomplicate) our relationships with God and others through holiness, kindness, and quietness. These three aspects sum up the beatitudes of Matthew 5 and the Great Commandment. Schuman is pastor of Temple Church, Myrtle.
but how can one person alone keep warm? And if someone overpowers one person, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not easily broken.” We are truly better together.
Hébert is lead pastor of Paramount Church in Amarillo, Texas. This column first appeared at The Hobbs Blog (hobbsblog. okbu.edu) and is reprinted here courtesy of Baptist Press.
The Baptist Record October 3, 2019 11
A crowd clusters around Wade Rock as pastors Blaine Stafford, at left in pool, and Ellis Hollingswsorth get ready to baptize Kim Hollingsworth. The pool is located near Mount Pleasant Baptist Church northeast of Gloster. (Photo courtesy of Ernest Herndon/Enterprise-Journal)
Crowd gathers for deep-woods baptism By Ernest Herndon Enterprise-Journal Shall we gather at the river, Where bright angel feet have trod, With its crystal tide forever Flowing by the throne of God? — traditional hymn
Before they gathered at the river, members of Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, Gloster, gathered in the church parking lot. The river — actually a small creek with a pool called Wade Rock — was a far piece back in the woods, and the church was providing shuttle service to a mass baptism on the evening of Sept. 1. Virgie Steele Knight, 80, believes she was the last person alive who was baptized at Wade Rock, back when such events took place outdoors and the church had no indoor baptistry. “Bro. McCool said, ‘Keep your feet under,’” recalled Knight, who was a teenager at the time. “I had trouble keeping my feet under the water.” Most church members have never seen the secluded site, which is located on hunting club property. “I’ve been here for years and years. I’ve never even been to Wade Rock,” said Angie Bateman. “Certain people started talking about wanting to be baptized in a creek or river, and Bro. Stafford took it from there,” she said, referring to Pastor Blaine Stafford. “This church has a baptistry.” A church bus and pickup trucks carried people up the road to the parsonage and down a bumpy gravel lane deep into the woods. They reached a grassy clearing where other trucks were parked, and people climbed into side-by-side utility vehicles for the last long descent to the pool. A wading-size creek ran between chest-high banks, then spilled over clay rocks into a spacious pool. Church members had laid sheets of plywood on the ground on one side to support folding chairs. “It was bigger than that,” Knight said of the pool. “That hole seemed like it was back over here.” The Rev. Ellis Hollingsworth agreed. “The hole used to be farther out,” he said as utility vehicles ferried people to the site. “People used to dive off there and swim.” He pointed to a high bank. Rev. Stafford, who originally hails from Livingston Parish, La., expressed a deep appreciation for the legacy of Wade Rock. “It’s a tradition of over 128 years for sure,” he told the crowd of some 75 people once they assembled. “It was before the church officially organized. They would come down to this hole and sing praises and be baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. “This water doesn’t change anybody,” he said. “This creek doesn’t change anybody. It’s only the blood of the
Lord Jesus Christ. It doesn’t matter if I dip you if you don’t give your heart to Jesus.” He prayed, reminiscing about the old days. “They rode down here on mules and wagons just like we did on fourwheelers.” Accompanied by guitarists Eddie Forman and Jack Sullivan, music director Raymond Steele led the crowd in Shall We Gather at the River, Amazing Grace, and I’ll Fly Away. Then Stafford and Hollingsworth waded tentatively out into the chest-deep water. “Oh, thank you, Jesus, it’s cool enough!” Stafford quipped. He invited people who wanted to be baptized to line up at the lower end of the pool. His first taker was Darron Wilkinson, who had made a profession of faith that morning in church. Stafford and Hollingsworth stood on either side of Wilkinson as Stafford instructed him how to hold his hands “I was baptized over his face. in the church. “Upon your profession of Jesus Christ as your Lord and I always wanted I baptize you in the to be baptized in Savior, name of the Father, Son, and Wade Rock like Holy Ghost,” Stafford said, and the old ones did.” he and Hollingsworth ducked Wilkinson under. Gary Forman Wilkinson came up streaming with water and made his way to shore. Next up were brothers Eddie and Gary Forman, both of whom had been baptized before, but not here. “I was baptized in the church,” said Gary, 83. “I always wanted to be baptized in Wade Rock like the old ones did. When I was 13 or 14, I knew what I was doing, but over the years when you grow as a Christian, you learn more what it’s about.” He added, “This is where I learned to swim.” The folks kept coming, from teenagers to senior citizens, singly, in couples, as siblings — 11 people in all. When it was over, Stafford closed the ceremony with a prayer, and the utility vehicles began ferrying people out of the deep dark hollow back into the light of day. Stafford has served numerous churches and baptized people in all sorts of settings. “I’ve done creeks, lakes, ponds,” he said. “I tell people, if there’s water, I’ll baptize them.” “As I went down in the river to pray Studying about that good old way And who shall wear the starry crown, Good Lord, show me the way!” — Alison Krauss, “Down To The River To Pray” Herndon is a staff writer who covers religion and the outdoors for the Enterprise-Journal newspaper in McComb. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Rev. Stafford, center, and Rev. Hollingsworth, right, prepare to immerse Eddie Forman after already baptizing his brother Gary, left. Below, they get ready to baptize Skyla Porshakin and her brother Tristan. At bottom they dunk Earlene Morrison in the waters of Wade Rock, muddied after previous baptisms. (Photos courtesy of Ernest Herndon/Enterprise-Journal)