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January 2000 Issue

An Unborn Child - and His Mother - Saved Through Adoption

With trembling hands Sandra* dialed the number of the Pregnancy Care Center in Cobb County, Ga. Afraid she might lose her nerve, she rushed into her incredible story.

The twenty-year-old former college student feared she was pregnant. With a new life beginning inside her, Sandra began to reevaluate her life - and her lifestyle.

The child of devoted Christian parents, she reveled in the independence an out-of-state college in a metropolitan city offered. But Sandra possessed a fierce streak of pride. When money ran out, she made a tragic choice. Instead of turning to her parents, she turned to the nightlife of Atlanta - and prostitution - to fill the void.

Beth Stedman happened to be the counselor on the other end of the phone that day. She scheduled an appointment for Sandra and hung up the phone shaking her head.

"I can't do this," she said to a fellow volunteer. "I'm just not prepared."

Stedman had been working as...

Counting the Economic Cost

Abortion advocates have pointed to the economic advantages stemming from abortion as justification for the heinous act. However, an article in the February 1999 edition of The Family in America, reported that the 1973 Supreme Court decision in the case of Roe v. Wade has not been as economically advantageous for the American economy as it may appear at first.

In "Worse Than Black Friday," Holden Jones (the pseudonym for a stockbroker residing in Massachusetts) reported U.S. taxpayers have spent $10 billion since 1973 to fund abortion providing agencies that have performed more than 35 million abortions in that time period. Further, it costs approximately $250,000 dollars to provide a child with food, housing, clothing, and education during the years he or she is still unprepared to contribute to society's economic wellbeing. In addition to that cost, federal, state, and local governments incur $170,000 in public obligations for each child. When the $420,000 t...

The Southern Baptist Convention, in its 1982 session, clearly stated its opposition to abortion and called upon Southern Baptists to "work for appropriate legislation and/or constitutional amendments which will prohibit abortions except to save the physical life of the mother, and that we also support and will work for legislation which will prohibit the practice of infanticide."

The 1984 Southern Baptist Convention passed a resolution on abortion and referred to the Home Mission Board a motion "calling for establishment of additional crisis pregnancy centers."

The Home Mission Board established the position of director for Alternatives to Abortion Ministries in 1987. In 1998, the ministry name was changed to Alternatives for Life Ministries. These ministries provide help for those wanting to take long term positive steps to deal with the abortion issue. Through the director, the newly formed North American Mission Board (NAMB) offers p...

Missouri Ruling

In Missouri, there's been a major court victory for pro-life forces, and a setback for Planned Parenthood. A judge has ruled that two Planned Parenthood organizations in Missouri must repay the state more than $105,000 for family planning money they received in July and August of last year. At the center of the ruling is a state law aimed at stopping taxpayer funding for groups affiliated with abortion providers. According to the Jefferson City Tribune, the judgment also means the two Planned Parenthood organizations will not get almost $700,000 in state funding that was headed their way before the end of this fiscal year. Jordan Cherrick is the St. Louis attorney who sought to block the payments. He says the judge clearly agreed with the argument that Planned Parenthood has been using state funds to subsidize abortions, refer patients to abortion clinics and market abortions, which is illegal under Missouri law. A spokesma...

Baby Parts for Sale

A recently reported commerce in baby body parts is "driving the abortion industry's almost frantic defense of partial-birth abortion," says the head of an activist pro-life organization that revealed the secretive market.

Fetal-tissue marketing "is the father of partial-birth abortion," said Mark Crutcher, president of Life Dynamics Inc., a Texas-based pro-life group. "There is simply no other plausible explanation why a physician would intentionally create a breech delivery, and to contend that it is done for the well-being of the woman is utterly ridiculous. Any way you cut it, the hidden agenda behind partial-birth abortion is the wholesaling of dead babies.

"Of all the late-term abortion procedures, partial-birth is the only one that leaves you with a body that can be dissected and sold for parts," said Crutcher, who is a Southern Baptist.

His charge on a video produced by Life Dynamics resulted, at least partly, from...

A Review of SpiritWorks: Charismatic Practices and the Bible by Jerry Vines

The rise of the Charismatic movement is one of the most remarkable developments of the twentieth century. From modest beginnings in the Azusa Street revival, the modern-day Charismatic movement has been transformed into the fastest-growing segment of Christianity in America and throughout much of the world. Some experts estimate that the movement includes almost a half-billion adherents worldwide.

The Charismatic movement now spans much of the globe, incorporating traditional Pentecostals, the Assemblies of God, the Vineyard movement, and new-wave phenomena including purported "prophets" and "apostles." Central to the movement is the claim that a new visitation of the Holy Spirit has brought back the apostolic gifts and manifestations of the New Testament. With an emphasis on a "second blessing" after conversion, the movement is calling all Christians to "catch the wave."

Charismatic preachers and ministries dominate religious tele...

From Coast to Coast Local Pastors Declare: "We are Partners in the Harvest"
January marks the beginning of the year-long recognition of the 75th Anniversary Celebration of the Cooperative Program. Southern Baptists' are celebrating under the theme, Partners in the Harvest. The goals for the celebration include: • Baptizing 1 million people this year • Record numbers of our members involved in volunteer mission projects • Giving $750 million in Cooperative Program (CP) and other mission gifts (Lottie Moon, Annie Armstrong, state offerings, etc.) Since the announcement of the celebration during the SBC in Atlanta last June, churches across the convention have been signing up to participate in this monumental missions celebration. The pastors and churches featured in this article are representative of thousands of churches across the convention who are participating in this emphasis.

More than 2,000 people - including Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, and other well-known figures from the world of professional golf - filled the auditorium of First Baptist Church, Orlando, Fla., Oct. 29 to celebrate the life and faith of Payne Stewart. The forty-two-year-old, two-time U.S. Open championship winner was killed with five others in the Oct. 25 crash of a small jet.

Stewart was described by friends and colleagues as a man "comfortable in his own skin" with "the common touch," one who took time for his wife and children, who cared about others, and whose life was dramatically changed when he got serious about his relationship with Jesus Christ.

Among those offering eulogies was fellow golfer Paul Azinger, whose faith in the face of cancer inspired Stewart to move - in Stewart's words - "in a more spiritual direction."

Azinger brought both laughter and tears to those attending the memorial service, appearing in a tam-o&...

On October 25th, the First Baptist Family lost two of our own. They were, in most respects, regular guys. But the Lord allowed them to have an impact on our community, our nation, and our world that most of us will never have. That's the way the world (and the Lord) sometimes work.

Many of us stood by holding our breaths as we waited to hear the news we so desperately did not want to hear ... that the runaway plane, which riveted the attention of the country, did in fact carry our dear friends and part of our church family, Payne Stewart and Van Ardan.

But the amazement of that emotional week had only begun as the attention of the world was focused not only on a famous professional golfer, but also on a man's personal spiritual walk with Christ. It became evident that the joy in this tragedy was going to be the miraculous way that the Lord would use Payne's faith to literally touch the world.

As the week progressed, those of us involved in the unbelie...

Being seeker-sensitive does not mean watering down the message," said Rick Warren, pastor of one of the Southern Baptist Convention's largest churches, on the national Bible Answer Man radio program.

"It does not change what you say. It changes how you say it," said Warren, pastor of Saddleback Valley Community Church, Mission Viejo, Calif., which averages nearly 15,000 people in its seeker-sensitive worship services and will celebrate its twentieth anniversary in January 2000.

Warren was interviewed by Hank Hanegraaff, host of the Bible Answer Man program, on Oct. 12-13.

Hanegraaff also is president of the Christian Research Institute International, a self-declared "parachurch organization committed to defending historic Christianity against theological heresy." He wrote an article in 1996 challenging the seeker-sensitive approach to church outreach.

Hanegraaff, on the Oct. 12-13 broadcast, said he "lit...

My mother was born in 1900. It seems a long time ago, even to me (born in 1936). She was born in Guthrie, Indian Territory (later Oklahoma), and she was destined to live for most of the final century of the second Christian Millennium. I sensed in her a continual "what will they think of next?" amazement. There is a certain wonderment in a phrase used by all who lived the length of the same century.

I once wrote that Christianity was born in a "what's next?" context. Imagine the early church meeting and reporting all the things that were happening in Acts 2-12 - cripples healed, the dead raised, and thousands converted at single rallies. They knew they were a column of people set on fire for an age that was dry as a tinderbox. The world was powder-dry and ready for a firestorm. God moved. The fire came. The faith grew. Empires toppled. Jesus marched! It was the beginning of the first Christian millennium.

Now the third begins. The world is again powd...

Healthy Sex Education

An editorial in the October issue of the Postgraduate Medical Association of the British Medical Association indicates that the effectiveness of sex education has been dangerously exaggerated by the media. Professor Trevor Stammers of St. George's Hospital Medical School in the UK suggests that enabling parents to be more involved in sex education is preferable to professionals taking over that role completely. Stammers notes that concentrating on preventing conception is treating a symptom rather than a cause. Studies indicate that much teenage sexual activity is part of a search for love and meaning, and may be a way of expressing anger or frustration, acting out, or a cry for attention. Stammers notes that deterrents of delayed first intercourse include high self-esteem, good performance and motivation in education, having a father at home, and sex-ed input from parents.

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When a golfer was asked why he bought a new putter, he said, "The old one didn't float." We live in what some people call the "age of rage." What about your anger? Do they call you "Old Faithful" at work - not because you show up everyday but because you blow up every week? Do you want to be known for your anger? It started to thunder and lightening during the funeral of a woman known for her temper. Her husband said to his son, "Your mother just arrived in heaven."

You may say, "Charles, I really don't have a problem with anger." Are you sure? Sometimes the stoic, silent people are the ones that have the most trouble with anger. They stuff it on the inside. You may substitute the word "hurt" for "anger." Some people handle anger like a turtle; they just pull their head in and go pout. Others handle it like skunks; they stink up the entire place. Both are inappropriate and both will get you into trouble or...