But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.  1 Peter 3: 14-16

SBC Voices - Apologetic Report

I have revised this because my original question was answered. I am told that the automatic weapons that Paddock had were already illegal and were likely illegally modified. Fine.

I am going to take my question one step further.

image I have heard most of the arguments about the Second Amendment (armed...

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Monday, 02 October 2017 03:20

When the Serpent Rages: Pray for Las Vegas

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What do you say on a day like today?

  • image Predictably, many are calling for stricter gun control in America – that is a given every time there is a shooting like this. Why does anyone need the firepower to cause this kind of damage?
  • Others will be talking about mental illness. Stephen Paddock must...

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Joel Rainey is the lead pastor of Covenant Church in Shepherdstown, WV.

Yesterday, I officiated at the funeral of a Korean War veteran.  He was 90 years old.

When we arrived at the graveside, a young sergeant from the US Army honor guard approached me to beg an indulgence.  He and his...

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Thursday, 28 September 2017 22:43

Some SBC fall items

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Cooperative Program escrowing is rare, but evidently highly leveraged. Earlier in the year a prominent megapastor and megachurch announced that they were escrowing CP gifts over statements coming out of the ERLC. This was resolved but while the Executive Committee’s attention was on the...

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Wednesday, 27 September 2017 07:20

Demonization, Empathy, and the National Anthem Debate

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When one points to the admonitions of 1 Corinthians 13 and other passages that enjoin love, unity, gentleness, and peace, he is often met with disdain. Those who are discerning, theological types find all that hippie-dippie, touchy-feely stuff annoying. Talking about those things evidences a lack...

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Wednesday, 27 September 2017 01:08

Messes to Blessings: Walking by Faith and Not by Sight

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image It was a terrifying moment, so I did what any self-respecting 21st Century man would do. I picked up my phone and started rolling Live on Facebook. June 29 had been a warm, sunny day, but as the afternoon wore on, ominous clouds gathered and it was clear we were in for a storm. The TV stations...

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Do you know how many people the Southern Baptist Convention baptized last year?

I am guessing that in this knowledgeable, astute group, most know the correct answer.

ZERO.

Churches baptize. Conventions don’t. We are a convention of independent churches who fellowship and cooperate to do Great...

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A new study from LifeWay Research indicates that while most pastor’s wives (PWs) love the ministry, loneliness and isolation are also part of their experience. It’s not a surprising finding. My answers to the survey questions would have been in line with most of the answers given by the...

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I began this series before I headed to Africa. I brought some kind of bacterial infection home (at first, we thought it might be malaria, then a parasite, now the thinking is a bacterial infection) that gave me a pretty miserable week, which I will not describe. I hope to get back to writing...

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Monday, 18 September 2017 20:28

Is God Judging America?

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image I hear there is another hurricane brewing in the Atlantic.

That means there will also be another bevy of voices pronouncing God’s judgment on this sinful nation. It happens every time there’s a hurricane, tornado, earthquake, snowpocalypse, or any other natural or man-made disaster....

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Thursday, 14 September 2017 23:00

Our IMB and conservative fiscal management

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The IMB’s report of their recent trustee meeting included information about their budget for the coming fiscal year, October 1, 2017 through September 30, 2018. The total budget is $262 million. The Board’s budget is by far the largest of all Southern Baptist entities and is slightly...

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Monday, 11 September 2017 22:20

A post-Labor Day SBC smorgasbord

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My church had a big anniversary celebration this past Sunday. In what was likely the SBC culinary outrage of the year, there was not a single piece of fried chicken available but there was plenty of bbq.

Here’s a smorgasbord of SBC items of interest:

Southern Baptist Disaster Relief is going...

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Monday, 11 September 2017 02:44

Tell Your 9/11 Story

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I am back from Africa with a souvenir virus/bacteria/parasite that my doctor will try to ID today. I hope to add some real stuff soon.

But I was reading social media posts where people were giving their 9/11 stories. I remember exactly what I was doing when I heard about JFK.

On September 11, 2001, i...

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Friday, 01 September 2017 10:17

Baptist in the Spirit, Part 2: Overview

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We Baptists have some genuine strengths. We tend to love and (in theory, at least) be moored to the word of God. We have programs, curricula, and ministry resources that are unmatched in the denominational or parachurch world. Our Sunday Schools, VBS ministries, youth and discipleship ministries...

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Wednesday, 30 August 2017 01:53

Natural Disasters, God’s Judgment, and Our Response

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My heart has been breaking over the scenes that have come out of Houston and the surrounding areas in Southeast Texas from Hurricane Harvey. I’ve kept up with friends there on social media and have prayed as flood waters have risen around their neighborhoods. I praise God for the thousands of...

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As much as I love humor, I generally avoid any kind of joke involving the Divine. God’s glory inspires many emotions, but amusement does not seem to be an appropriate one. However, there is a corny old joke that makes a valuable point.

A man was trapped in a flood on top of a barn. He prayed,...

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Saturday, 26 August 2017 07:06

Blinded

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“I KNEW it!” she crowed, as if she had found a discarded scrap of paper containing coded instructions from LBJ to Lee Harvey Oswald.

She was, by all appearances, a lovely lady. Tall and slender, dressed beautifully, with a meticulously groomed head of white hair framing a face befitting...

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Friday, 25 August 2017 05:49

False Criticisms of Large Churches

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I attend a smaller SBC church. Up until recently, I was pastoring a smaller membership church. Throughout my time in ministry, though, I’ve found myself being an apologist for the large churches in the areas where I serve. In Northwest Indiana, where I live now, there are a number of large,...

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Did you read the Baptist Press story on the survey of local Baptist associations?  Survey Weighs Value of Baptist Associations.

Perhaps the most salient quote coming out of this recent study might be this one,

“When asked to describe the most exciting aspect of their local Baptist...

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Once again, I heard disturbing news today. Immigrant Dreamers (those brought here illegally as children who have previously had certain protections under the DACA program) are going to lose their protections in the near future and become susceptible to deportation. But, even more than that,...

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I hear it all the time.

During the election, when I expressed my angst or my disgust about the actions of my former political party, the GOP (technically, due to laziness, I haven’t taken the time to officially change my registration), I would immediately and consistently be met with a chorus...

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Last night in Arlington, TX, Cornerstone Baptist Church hosted a joint worship service with churches of various races/ethnicities the region and featuring local and national leaders in “A Kingdom Conversation on Race and the Alt-Right.” The service was quickly put together in response...

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Thursday, 17 August 2017 20:44

Confederate Monument Mayhem

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In the early 21st Century a paroxysm of rage and indignation arose against the symbols and statues of the Confederacy that was expressed by the defacing of graves, widespread destruction and vandalism of Confederate monuments on both public and private property, in parks, on battlefields and even...

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Most southerners my generation go back four or five generations to get to their ancestors who served in the Civil War. With a half century of genealogy as a hobby, I can say with some confidence that most Americans would be at a loss to name even a single great-great grandparent much less convey...

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We had a discussion today on our private “editorial board forum.”  That’s a fancy term for our private Facebook group that started out as our Pastors’ Conference advisory board. Now it’s where we gather to solve the world’s problems, talk about sports, and...

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