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May 2004 Issue

Reaching Beyond the City Limits

Southern Baptists planning to attend Crossover Indiana prior to the June 15-16 annual convention meeting will have no shortage of evangelistic events from which to choose.

From staffing about thirty block parties to conducting neighborhood surveys to teaching in Backyard Bible clubs, volunteers will have plenty of choices to be personally involved in helping to bring residents to Christ. One of those block parties will take on a distinctive Indianapolis theme with a Kindness Explosion, offering free low-impact auto maintenance.

"Indianapolis is famed for its racing events, so we thought we would pattern our Kindness Explosion around that theme," explained NAMB Crossover Coordinator Don Smith. The weekend for the Explosion, as well as most of the other events, is June 12-13.

"In past years we have given out free bottles of water in high-traffic areas of town. This year we are offering a 'pit stop' at an inner-city ...

What does EKG have to do with the local church? Everything!

We must not make the mistake of identifying the church as the Kingdom. The Kingdom of God is certainly larger and consists of much more than the local church, but the church is the primary instrument for Kingdom advance on earth. The EKG emphasis in Southern Baptist life has as its primary goal the encouragement and revitalization of the local church. It is our prayer that the focus in local churches will be set on God's agenda rather than human agendas. We must remember that the church was not created to satisfy our whims, but to advance God's Kingdom.

Biblical Background

When Peter first proclaimed his conviction that Jesus was the Messiah, Jesus declared His intention to esta...

The Seventh Pillar of a Kingdom Family

What is the single characteristic that most distinguishes those who are members of God's Kingdom Family? To put it into the words of the Kingdom Family commitment, they are, above all, characterized by a "passion for fulfilling the Great Commission." They view life with an eye for sharing the gospel.

Bob and Peggy Oxford live in Denver, Colorado, where they are members of the dynamic Applewood Baptist Church. Bob is a petroleum engineer, a businessman, and founder of Industrial Gas Services, a nationwide consulting firm. For the past few years Peggy has worked beside him in this family owned and operated business. But while that is the Oxfords' "business," it is not their "life." Their life is consumed with a passion to use everything God has provided to them as a means for sharing the gospel and encouraging others to do the same.

Several times a year the Oxfords participate in short-term overseas mission projects where they have bee...

Forty years from now will our children celebrate Rosie O'Donnell as the Rosa Parks of the early 21st century?

After all, it is easy now to identify the heroes and villains of the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. We all can agree that when Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of the bus, she was challenging a set of unjust and oppressive laws. Now the same-sex "marriage" movement is seeking to cast itself as the heirs of the civil rights movement. Ms. O'Donnell and her lesbian partner, along with scores of less famous same-sex couples, have "married" in San Francisco and across the country. The activists sang We Shall Overcome and cast their opponents as the heirs of George Wallace standing in the wedding chapel door. And, although they might never admit it, some evangelicals secretly fear they may be right. Are we on the wrong side of history?

The problem with the homosexual rights movement is not just that they don't...

The primary reason Fremont Bible Fellowship is part of the Southern Baptist Convention is the Cooperative Program.

It's not just because Cooperative Program dollars helped start the church in 1988, but because of what the CP Missions endeavor stands for, pastor Horatio Jones noted.

"We try to make a difference in our community and around the world," Jones said. "The Cooperative Program is a way in which we can fulfill the biblical mandate. It's a way in which our resources - regardless of the sizes of our churches-can accomplish a common goal — of going into all the world and preaching the Good News that God loves all people.

"The Cooperative Program is the very essence of the reason for the existence of the church," Jones said.

Fremont Bible Fellowship gives more to CP Missions than any other predominantly African American church in California, said Tom Kelly, recently retired strategist with African American c...

Tuesday Morning, June 15

Hallelujah, What a Savior!
Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith - to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen. ~ Romans 16:25-27

8:00 Inspirational Music - Prestonwood Choir and Orchestra, Prestonwood Baptist Church, Plano, TX, R. Todd Bell, Convention music director, minister of music and worship

8:10 Congregational Prai...

Pastors' Conference
June 13-14, 2004
Indiana Convention Center, Indianapolis

Jesus Came Preaching
Mark 1:14

Sunday Evening, June 13
Jesus Came Preaching The Gospel

5:45 Pre-Session Praise - Celebration Choir, Praise Team and Orchestra, Olive Baptist Church, Pensacola, FL

6:15 Welcome and Prayer

6:25 Song of Praise - Luke Garrett

6:30 Congregational Praise - Rick Stone

6:35 Song of Praise - OBC Choir and Orchestra

6:38 Message - Paul Negrut, Emmanuel Baptist Church, Oradea, Romania

7:10 Message - Ronnie Floyd, FBC, Springdale, AR

7:40 Song of Dedication - Rick Stone<...

The Southern Baptist Convention's impending withdrawal from the Baptist World Alliance could have been avoided, according to a letter circulated by the vice chairman of the BWA's membership committee.

The SBC should not be faulted alone for a possible parting of the ways between it and the BWA, wrote Albert W. Wardin, a retired college history professor who has served on the BWA membership committee since 1995.

Wardin noted that there are others contributing to the current rift, including:

• The administrative staff of the BWA.

• The BWA membership committee.

• Various Baptist officials from Europe.

• The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, a breakaway movement from the SBC which, in seeking BWA membership, sparked the SBC review of its BWA membership.

"If there had been more Christian charity and sensitivity on all sides, the division would not have occurred," Wardin wrote in his letter, dat...

The adoption of "sole membership" legal language likely would have prevented five breakaway entities from declaring their independence from the Missouri Baptist Convention, the lead attorney for the convention says.

In an e-mail interview, Mike Whitehead told Baptist Press that placing the words "sole member" in the entities' charters would have drastically changed the legal landscape. Last year a state judge ruled that the convention is not the sole member of one of the entities, Missouri Baptist College. If that ruling stands, the college would be able to continue electing its own trustees and its independence would be affirmed.

Convention attorneys believe the convention is the sole member of all five entities, although Whitehead says specific language in the charters would have clarified the legal issues.

"If the words 'sole member' had been properly placed in the corporate charters, I think the risk of an agency try...

The following story is from Randy Ray, pastor of Temple Baptist Church, in Tallahassee, Florida.

Robbie Yost was a FAITH fanatic! That's what I call the people in our church who are truly sold on the FAITH strategy for ministry. Robbie was definitely sold on FAITH — and for good reason. She was the first person saved through the FAITH ministry of our church. Before telling you more about her, you should understand why we started FAITH.

As it is in so many places, we had become comfortable with who we were, where we were, and what we were doing. We were that way because I was that way. If the pastor is complacent, the church is happy to follow. To equate it to suburban life, we were like those church members who have a comfortable house, multiple automobiles, and enough cash flow to do whatever they wish. It's easy to get the rich fool syndrome from this state of life. I knew this wasn't right, and God continued dealing with my heart about getting o...

Would you define "pastor" as someone who talks while someone else sleeps? Can you relate to the story about a couple that went to see the doctor because the wife complained about her husband snoring? The doctor asked if he kept her awake at night. "Me?" she exclaimed. "He keeps the whole church awake."

If no one is listening, it doesn't matter how great the sermon. Maybe it is time to add some humor to homiletics. One pastor told me that he had tried humor and it didn't work. I told him his delivery belonged on a truck. Before you tell the one about the guy who walked into church with a duck on his head, let me give you some hints.

First, humor begins with you. Charles Spurgeon was talking to some young preachers about facial expressions when they preach. He said, "When you preach on Heaven you ought to have a smile. Joy ought to radiate from your face." Then one of the young whippersnappers in the front said, "Well, Dr....

Abortion Doctor Has "No Idea"

A doctor who challenged the Partial-birth Abortion Ban Act told a federal judge March 31 he never thinks about whether an unborn child feels pain during an abortion.

Judge Richard C. Casey questioned Timothy Johnson of the University of Michigan Health System after cross-examination in the Southern District Court of New York. A trial notebook by American Center for Law and Justice chief counsel Jay Sekulow, who is attending the proceedings daily, recounted the exchange between the judge and doctor on the ACLJ's website.

"Does the fetus feel pain?" Casey asked Johnson, referring to a dismemberment procedure in the second trimester.

"I have no idea," Johnson answered.

"Are you aware that there are studies indicating that the fetus feels pain?" Casey asked.

"No, I have not seen those...