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September 2008 Issue

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...

If we want America to be a more righteous nation, there's only one way to do it — win more of her citizens to faith in Christ. We must help people find Jesus and understand that once they have been born-again they should have a different value system, one based on biblical truth.

Their new biblically-informed worldview should impact every area of their lives. Among the many things that should be influenced is how and for what reasons they cast their ballots. Yet as Christians, our ultimate allegiance is to Jesus Christ alone, not to any political party or philosophy or special interest. Christians should vote their values, convictions, and beliefs as guided by Holy Scripture and the Holy Spirit.

I deal with both Republicans and Democrats most days of the week, and I can tell you both parties can use more help than all the Christians in the country can give them. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could live to see the day when abortion is no longer a partisan is...

As Election Day approaches, we as Christians know we need to be committed to praying for the outcome and for those who will be elected to lead us. But even more importantly, milestone moments like this in our history should remind us of the importance of asking God for spiritual awakening in our land.

It has been a great privilege for me this past year to travel much of North America, meeting and interacting with all types of people. Yes, they are concerned about who will lead our nation in the years to come. Yes, they worry about the weak economy and high gasoline prices. But there is also a deep concern about the spiritual life of North America.

On our own, we can't do anything about our nation's spiritual health. Unless God sends revival and unless He sends renewal, we are not going to see the changes in North America that we long for.

That is why the North American Mission Board (NAMB) is partnering with the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (...

First Baptist North Mobile

For First Baptist Church of North Mobile, Alabama, the Cooperative Program simply undergirds its heavy emphasis on missions and outreach.

This is a church where more than 1,300 people attend Sunday morning worship, where about 175 people last year went on one of seventeen overseas missions assignments, and where last year 10.6 percent of undesignated offerings was given to cooperative missions and ministries through the Cooperative Program.

This is a church with a focus on people, a call from God to reach the world, and a commitment to obedience.

"I tell people I'm a missionary to rednecks; we look upon that term fondly," said Ed Litton, pastor of the church, which is l...

If standing ovations are any indication, the makers of Facing the Giants probably have another hit on their hands.

Sherwood Pictures' latest film, Fireproof, won't release in theaters until September 26, but it's been screened for pastors and Christian leaders all summer, and often to enthusiastic crowds. At the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Indianapolis, between three to four thousand people saw the film, with many standing during the closing credits, applauding the movie's focus on a biblical view of marriage.

The plot focuses on the struggling marriage of a firefighter named Caleb (played by Kirk Cameron) and his wife, Catherine (Erin Bethea), both of whom are seeking a divorce after having fallen "out of lo...

In the Baptist Faith and Message, Southern Baptists confess that God is all of these things: "all powerful, all knowing, all loving, and all wise."
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary is a relatively young school with a singular goal of seeking to glorify Christ by equipping men and women to serve the church and fulfill the Great Commission.

The Wake Forest, North Carolina, seminary has been a strong force in the development of Great Commission-minded ministers since its founding in 1950. Today, the institution stands poised and ready to continue taking the Gospel message to people across the nation and across the world.

Where It Is Now

When Daniel Akin became the sixth president of Southeastern in January of 2004, he continued to lead the growing Southern Baptist seminary in becoming a force for God by training up men and women, just as his predecessors had done.

In the fall of 2007, during the Building Bridges Conference in Ridgecrest, North Carolina, Akin addressed the need for Southeastern, and for the Southern Baptist Convention as a w...

Where They Stand on Key Social Issues

When Barack Obama became the presumptive Democratic Party nominee in June, it set up a general election contest with Republican John McCain that will offer socially conservative voters two very different choices on a host of cultural issues.

A senator from Illinois, Obama is the first African-American to lead a major political party, and if elected would serve during the 150th anniversary of both the Emancipation Proclamation and the beginning of the Civil War, the war that freed the slaves.

When Obama presumably clinched the Democratic Party nomination in June, Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, observed, "I think we should pause to give our country a round of applause for having nominated the first African-American candidate for president. Whether or not we can support this particular African-American candidate, I think it says something pretty great about our country, that we have nominated someone who at leas...

It's that time again. Summer is fading, and travelers are returning. Sunday School and church programs are back in swing, and the kids are back in school. (Do I hear an "amen" from all the moms?) The best part is that so many churches are beginning evangelism training classes. People all over this nation will be asked to join a team or a class and they will, but many with trembling hearts and anxious thoughts. But guess what? Jesus excels where we think we just cannot do it. He will bless, encourage, and give you peace when you are following Him and doing His work to reach out to a lost and dying world — as you can see in this testimony from Bill Muench, a member of Great Hills Baptist Church in Round Rock, Texas, where Michael Lewis is pastor.

I have been involved in FAITH at our church since it was introduced by Pastor Michael Lewis. This unique program has been a blessing from God for the lost and a call to the church to come and go — come to Jesu...

It astounded me to hear of the many different ways people wrecked their lives during my years in private practice. They always told me what they had done and then wondered why their lives were such a mess. I wanted to tell them that given their current behavior, they were a country music song waiting to happen. In my best Forrest Gump impression I would just say, "Stupid is as stupid does." Eat a box of chocolates every day and you are going to get fat. Welcome to Life 101. To understand how crooked behavior occurs, read about crooks. Not only are they in trouble morally, but most of them are just dumb.

In a San Diego courtroom two men were on trial for robbery. The prosecuting attorney was examining the witness to the crime. You know how it goes!

"Were you at the scene when the robbery took place?"

"Yes."

"And did you observe the two robbers?"

"Yes"

"Are those two men present in ...

Finishing Well After Katrina

Thousands of Baptist volunteers have come and gone from the Mississippi Gulf Coast since Hurricane Katrina's onslaught in late August 2005, and Mississippi Baptists prepare to wind down their record-setting relief, recovery, and rebuilding effort — but there's still work to be done and time to get involved, noted David Baldwin, construction coordinator for Gulf Coast Baptist Association in Gulfport.

"We have set a goal of wrapping up by the first of October," Baldwin said. "Between now and then, we still need volunteers to finish fourteen new homes that are in various stages of completion," such as the installation of roofing, insulation panels, and siding.

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