Perspectives

One of the easiest things to find for many people is fault.  There’s always a critic.  In fact, criticism is the one thing many believe is more blessed to give than to receive.

In Bible times, the name was more than a label, but was given to communicate character or designate mission. When the angel told Mary she would bear a son and call his name Jesus (Luke 1:31), he told her how great Jesus would be. Philippians 2:9 says His name is a name above every name, the most important name in all the earth.

Only a few decades ago, the Bugkalot people were one of the fiercest tribes in the Philippines, known for beheading their enemies. No outsider who contacted the tribe survived, and the people around them lived terrified of them. Then, in the 1950s, the gospel slowly took root in the tribe after some of the leaders met believers and came to faith.

NAKURU, Kenya – If you are looking for an example of humility, you can find it in Pastor David Mwangi. He was the Provincial Education Officer for the Rift Valley Province of Kenya and the pastor of the African Inland Church in Nakuru, perhaps the most prestigious church in Kenya where the second president of the nation was often in attendance.

Commentary: Getting beyond the storm

Hurricane Ian, the fifth strongest hurricane to hit the U.S., made landfall September 28 with sustained winds of 150 mph, almost category 5 status. Over a hundred people died, over one thousand were …

The Christian Index has had nearly a quarter of a million people log in to read articles so far this year. Google analytics track that for us, and I’m encouraged by the trends that suggest the nation’s oldest religious newspaper remains relevant to our Georgia Baptist community. Newspapers across the country have been in decline for several decades. Subscriptions and advertising have been in free fall, and industry executives have been at a loss as to what do about it. We’ve taken a number of steps to ensure the Index remains strong.

As Hispanic Heritage Month draws to a close, it seems fitting to reflect on some of the victories and opportunities we have seen in terms of reaching the lost among the Hispanic communities, both inside and outside the U.S.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. – In God’s remarkable plan of creation He made man in his own image. Every person has the privilege of daily writing a new chapter of his/her life on beautiful parchment pages provided by God. Unfortunately, we live in a fallen world where sin abounds. Consequently, our lives are scarred by sin, failure, guilt, heartache, disappointment, pain, sorrow, loss, and death; and as we daily write the chapters of our lives, the pages are often tattered and torn by those experiences that cause us to stumble and fail.

God specializes in taking our broken lives, shattered dreams and colossal failures and puts us back together again.

Commentary: Bipolar disorder is a 'beast'

MARIETTA, Ga. – As a pastor for over 40 years I encountered several people who were suffering from bipolar disorder. My heart went out to them because I could tell that they were in a merciless struggle for survival. They seemed to live at the mercy of their impulses. They were easily agitated and irritable. Their minds catastrophized everything that went slightly awry. I discovered that people who are beleaguered with bipolar have major manic and depressive episodes that are frighteningly alarming, and the whispering voice inside often insists that the only way of escape is suicide.

There’s just something about this place called Pinnacle. From the moment I first stepped foot on these grounds, I recognized that Pinnacle is a hallowed place – a place we regard as holy because of our personal encounters with the Living God on this hallowed ground, a place that belongs to God, and not to us.  We simply steward His gift. It is a place where God consistently meets our needs abundantly beyond all we ask or imagine.

It is the people that we put in office that ultimately are responsible for good or bad legislation. This is why it is important that you should know as much as possible about the candidate’s position on issues before you vote.

In a remote location outside of Richmond, Va., missionaries appointed with the International Mission Board undergo a season of training before embarking on their first term of mission service. Within the next three years, IMB hopes to have increased its missionary force by an additional 500 personnel carrying the gospel to some of the least reached people in the world. Just prior to leaving American soil, these will come through this International Learning Center, and many of these will come from Georgia Baptist churches.

Since my first well remembered awareness as a young child was the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, this born and bred Londoner has been  inspired by a monarch who has lived a longer-than-long life that included many trials and tribulations such as the “annus horribilis.” 

The Georgia Baptist Mission Board has a mission. That mission is to support pastors, strengthen churches, and reach the lost with the Gospel. One of the most visible ways in which the board uses contributions to the Cooperative Program to further those goals is the Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief program.

In 2 Chronicles 34, we read about the recovery of a hidden treasure. In his eighteenth year as king of Judah, Josiah began repairing the temple in Jerusalem. In the process, a priest found the Book of the Law in the temple.

It was Edmund Burke who once said, “All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” The first responsibility of a person living in a republic is to participate. And nothing characterizes our responsibility to participate more than voting for our elected officials.

Walk through the doors of Beaverdam Baptist Church on Sunday mornings and you’ll feel the love. You can’t escape the smiles, the handshakes, the hugs. Pastor Chuck Cook says that’s why Beaverdam is going great guns right now. Since Cook became pastor less than three years ago, the 200-year-old church in rural Georgia, an hour northeast of Atlanta, has seen a resurgence in attendance, memberships, and baptisms. The sanctuary and parking lot have been filled with an average of about 130 people, forcing Beaverdam’s leadership to start a second Sunday morning service to better accommodate the crowds.

It’s great to see Georgia Baptist churches getting behind the Mission Georgia offering in a big way this year. And why not? The Mission Georgia offering provides churches a means to make a huge gospel impact in our state. With the pandemic subsiding and worship attendance on the rise, churches are poised to potentially top the $1.25 million given last year through the Mission Georgia  offering.

In as little as two weeks, the U.S. Senate could vote on the deceptively named “Respect for Marriage Act.” This proposed bill threatens Americans who follow the biblical definition of marriage, and it should be of concern to every pastor and person of faith. This legislation enshrines same-sex marriage into federal law and jeopardizes the religious freedom of millions of Americans who follow the biblical definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman.

Most older Baptists can recall being a part of local church revivals, tent revivals, brush arbor revivals, camp meetings, simultaneous revivals, and city-wide crusades. Many of those dear souls were …

Commentary: Be kind when you drive

I witnessed another near miss. Driving to the office, I was eastbound on the two-lane road with a double-yellow line and a 35 MPH speed limit. I was safely behind a car and met another car going west when, suddenly, a driver flew up behind the westbound vehicle and passed, nearly hitting the car in front of me head-on. It barely missed clipping both cars as the driver whipped around and continued his frenzied journey, vastly exceeding the speed limit.

As we consider the fact that Roe v. Wade has been overturned, how should the Church act in a post-Roe environment? The church is now going to be called upon like never before for help in caring for mothers and babies. It must be understood that caring for mothers and babies should have never been an “extracurricular activity,” but rather it should have always been the “core” of what we're called to do.

As conversations about the overturn of Roe vs. Wade have swirled, Christ followers must ask themselves how they can become active not only in word, but deed. Rather than being known for what we speak against, we must seek the Lord and ask what we can do. In my opinion, churches should have an overarching Pro-Life Ministry as a part of their mission’s focus. This Pro-Life Ministry could include foster care and adoption, pre- and post-natal care, caring for vulnerable families, single moms, and many others.

As we prepare for the 2023 Georgia legislative session, issues like sports gambling are being discussed especially since it’s an election year. And, once again, there is not anything truly good about legalizing gambling! Sports gambling, while it is being done illegally in our state now, will be exponentially worse if made legal, especially in terms of addiction.

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