SBC LIFE

sbclife logo

Articles by Dwayne Hastings

Found 23 Articles by Dwayne Hastings

Showing page 1 results of 3 total pages


A Ferocious Dog; A Roaring Lion

Our nation, our churches, and our homes have a problem. A big problem. Satan has unlocked an area of sin in many of our lives, opening a door only God can shut!

The problem? Pornography. It is ruining lives, tearing apart marriages, and destroying families.

Every day, millions willingly stride into the putrid quagmire that is pornography—and not just non-Christians. Research shows that Christians and non-Christians alike are into pornography. 1

We are not being pushed or pulled. Like the one who lacks sense described in Proverbs 9, we are waltzing into this treacherous place believing the lie that says, Stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten secretly is tasty! (Proverbs 9:17).

I imagine most adults at some level know that viewing pornography is unhealthy. And it seems reasonable that most Christian men and women know that pornography is a perversion of God’s design for human sexuality. We have no excuses. How desperately we need to realize, as Solomon wrote so l...

Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Southern Baptists have a rich and storied history of looking to God's Word for a response to the pressing moral and ethical issues of the day.

In 1913, the Southern Baptist Convention established the Social Service Commission, which sought to address the rampant use of alcohol in American society. On the foundation of the Convention's prophetic stand for civic righteousness on this and other moral issues, the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) continues to serve local Southern Baptist churches and speak to policy makers in the area of applied Christian ethics.

ERLC President Richard Land is known across the country, if not around the world, as a credible, authoritative voice on matters related to ethical issues, public policy and the Christian faith. Well before Time magazine identified him as one of the twenty-five most influential evangelicals in the nation, Southern Baptists recognized Land as a reasoned and bold voice for biblical truth and righteo...

A Cooperative Effort Calling Southern Baptists to Prayer

While many Americans claim to pray on a daily basis (nearly as many don't), the bigger question is who are they praying to and are they getting a response?

With the results of a recent study by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life now available, it is estimated that 58 percent of Americans pray on a daily basis but only 19 percent say they receive an answer "at least once a week."

Among evangelical church members polled in the Forum's Religious Landscape Survey, 78 percent say they pray daily, but only 29 percent hear from God. Nearly 40 percent (38 percent) of evangelicals told the researchers they received answers to their prayers only "several times a year" or "seldom or never."

While these statistics may indicate we are a praying people, Richard Land believes that for some of us there is a disconnect between our lips and God's ears.

We know that God is faithful to respond when believers come to Him w...

By the time the polls closed on Election Day 2000, over 75 million American adults who had the right to vote had not voted — 40 percent of those eligible to vote. According to Census Bureau numbers, three-quarters of those individuals (56.8 million) hadn't even bothered to register to vote.

Those numbers concerned Richard Land and were the impetus behind the development of iVoteValues.com, an initiative to register and educate voters launched by the SBC's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission in 2004. Land is president of the ERLC.

The goal of the "grassroots voter mobilization and education effort" again this year is to register previously unregistered but eligible Americans for the 2008 election cycle. The initiative also will work to promote an awareness of the immediate and long-term importance of "values-based voting." The effort's linchpin: the iVoteValues.com Web site.

While voter turnout among reg...

The Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Southern Baptists have a long and storied history of speaking to the culture from a biblical perspective.

In 1907, the Southern Baptist Convention established the Committee on Civic Righteousness, "to consider and counsel together as to what may best be done by Christian men and ministers, especially Baptists, for creating a more wholesome public opinion; for making the criminal laws more certain, more prompt, and more effective; so as to take away the reproach resting on civilization and religion by the prevalence of crimes and lynchings."

That initial endeavor to engage the culture has evolved, if we dare use that word, into the Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, which today addresses a wide range of social, moral, and public policy issues — from human needs to the need for racial reconciliation to the necessity to safeguard our right of religious expression.

Messengers to the 1907 Southern Baptist Convention in Richmond,...

The Southern Baptist Convention opened a new chapter in the denomination's outreach to homosexuals on June 12.

James T. Draper Jr., former president of LifeWay Christian Resources, joined Richard Land, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, on the platform at the annual meeting in San Antonio to announce Bob Stith as the Convention's National Strategist for Gender Issues.

Stith, who will work with the Convention's Ministry to Homosexuals Task Force, officially assumed the new position on June 1. He recently stepped down as pastor of Carroll Baptist Church in Southlake, Texas, after serving at the church for thirty-seven years.

It was Stith who introduced the motion at the 2001 Southern Baptist Convention meeting that called on the SBC to "establish a task force to inform, educate, and encourage our people to be proactive and redemptive in reaching out to those who struggle with unwanted same-sex attractions."

I...

The Southern Baptist Convention did not change its stance on homosexuality or homosexuals during its annual meeting in Nashville, SBC ethicist Richard Land said.

Some national media sources reported that Southern Baptists modified their stance on homosexuality during their June 21-22 sessions. "Baptists change approach on gays" was the headline in a front page article in the Nashville Tennessean. The article opened by suggesting the SBC "appears to have taken a step back from its hard-line stance on homosexuality."

The media speculation may have stemmed from such factors as:

• Messengers in Nashville dropping the SBC's boycott of The Disney Company, eight years after calling for the economic action in describing the entertainment conglomerate as "increasingly promoting immoral ideologies such as homosexuality, infidelity, and adultery."

• A resolution calling on parents and churches to "investiga...

Not an Option, But a Scriptural Mandate

By the time the polls closed on Election Day 2000, 56 million American adults with the right to vote had not. Over half of those individuals (37.3 million) hadn't even bothered to register to vote.

Those numbers concerned Richard Land and were the impetus behind the development of iVoteValues.com, an initiative to register and educate voters launched by the SBC's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. Land is president of the ERLC.

The goal of the "grassroots voter mobilization and education effort" is to register two million previously unregistered but qualified Americans for the 2004 election cycle. The initiative also will work to promote an awareness of the immediate and long-term importance of "values-based voting." The effort's linchpin: www.iVoteValues.com.

While voter turnout among registered voters in 2000 bounced back from a modern-day low of 82 percent in the presidential contest between Clinton and Dole in 1996 (86 ...

Christians and Churches Alike Have a Role to Play in Electoral Process

Every election year thousands of churches are frozen into inaction because they are deathly afraid the federal government is going to swoop into their church and take away their tax-exempt status. Their perspective: Better to do nothing than risk the loss of our 501(c)(3) status. Here's good news: You can safely keep your tax-exempt status and still speak to the issues that are destroying families across our nation. Here's the even better news: It is legal and it's perfectly proper.

The line is very clear. A church and its leadership can be fully obedient to the scriptural command to be "salt" and "light" and come nowhere near the line stipulated in the federal tax code.

The bottom line: Churches, as tax-exempt organizations, cannot be involved in partisan politics. Partisan is the operative word. Yet there is nothing in the U.S. tax code, in federal election law, or the Bible that prohibits churches from being involved in the civic processes...

A recent study reveals what many have known for some time: abortion has a negative long-term psychological impact.

However, the study in the September issue of the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry also reports that these effects extend beyond the women who have an abortion. The findings indicate that women who have had abortions tend to provide their children less emotional support and their children tend to have more behavioral problems.

Richard Land, President of the SBC Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, observed, "This study did not focus on the immediate damage done to a woman and her unborn child. That is well substantiated. Yet there has been real suppression in the secular media over the clear and present link between abortion and the impact on the mental health of...