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Southwestern

Russ Rankin

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Survey: Mature Christians unashamed of faith

NASHVILLE (BP) -- While not all churchgoers are particularly transparent or open about their faith, mature Christians are consistent in character and identity around non-believers, LifeWay research reveals.       The survey of Protestant churchgoers identifies "unashamed" as one of eight attributes of discipleship that consistently show up in the lives of maturing Christians. ...

Survey: ‘Loving’ is most favored parental trait

NASHVILLE (BP) -- Most Americans believe good mothers and fathers must be loving, supportive and protecting, but fewer see the necessity of parents having a commitment to Christianity or religion, according to a LifeWay Research survey released May 7.

Survey: Many at church not helping others grow

NASHVILLE (BP) -- Almost three out of every four churchgoers say they have significant relationships with people at church, but less than half are intentionally helping other believers grow in their faith, according to a study by LifeWay Research.

Most pastors doubt global warming, but recycle

NASHVILLE (BP) -- While many churches are acting "green," the majority of pastors disagree that global warming is real and manmade. The percentage of skeptics has dropped since 2010, but the percentage is still higher than in 2008, according to a survey by LifeWay Research.

Bible Studies for Life offers preview lessons

NASHVILLE (BP) -- As LifeWay Christian Resources prepares to launch a new and improved Bible Studies for Life curriculum series in the fall, individuals and churches can preview three of the sessions through free online downloads.

Survey: Doctrine remains a struggle in churches

NASHVILLE (BP) -- While many Christians have a grasp of important doctrinal positions, some church-goers struggle with basic truths about salvation, the Bible and the nature of God.       A LifeWay Research study on "Doctrinal Positions," released April 5, shows 81 percent of churchgoers agree, in regard to salvation, that "When you die, you will go to heaven because you have confessed your sins and accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior."

Survey: Many undecided on Easter attendance

NASHVILLE (BP) -- Attending church on Easter Sunday is not a cut-and-dry decision for everyone -- even for self-identified Christians. While similar numbers of Americans plan on attending (41 percent) as are not planning to attend (39 percent) an Easter worship service, 20 percent say they are undecided.

State ACP reps discuss data’s value

NASHVILLE (BP) -- People involved in compiling denominational data have a desire "to serve our churches and be good stewards," Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research, told Baptist state statistical representatives during a two-day meeting in Nashville.

Americans say homosexuality a civil rights issue

NASHVILLE (BP) -- As public policy continues to change on the issue, a LifeWay Research poll shows 58 percent of American adults believe homosexuality is a civil rights issue and 64 percent say it is inevitable same-sex marriage will become legal throughout the United States.

Orphan care is more than adoption, author says in book

NASHVILLE (BP) -- For too long there has been a disconnect between the church and issues surrounding orphan care, according to Johnny Carr, national director of church partnerships at Bethany Christian Services. Carr addresses the issues in "Orphan Justice: How to Care for Orphans Beyond Adopting," a book from B&H Publishing Group designed to provide education about and action plans to care for the estimated 153 million orphaned and vulnerable children in the world. "Many churches have started orphan ministries, but this movement among churches is still very much in its infancy," Carr said in an interview. "It is my hope that this book challenges churches to take their involvement further." Carr said he wrote Orphan Justice based on his own journey in understanding the instruction for "pure religion" defined in James 1:27, which calls believers to care for orphans. As a former pastor, Carr said he believes the church -- not government programs or social service agencies -- has the most potential and the mandate to take the lead in addressing the world's orphan crisis. Adoption is only part of orphan care, he said. HIV/AIDS, human trafficking and poverty are all in the picture. [QUOTE@left@180="I hope to see adoption move from being 'something some people do' to 'it's what we do as the church.'"
-- Johnny Carr]"We (the church) honestly have not done well in the past with orphan ministry, just like HIV/AIDS ministries haven't done well (through the church)," he said. "But it's all tied together. It's all related. We can't care about orphans without caring about AIDS." Carr, who has three children who were adopted, weaves first-hand stories throughout Orphan Justice to explain data on the needs of orphaned and vulnerable children and to connect what many consider "liberal issues" together as critical aspects of orphan care. His overall theme throughout the book is to help the church discover its role in meeting these needs and to help develop an action plan using worldwide partnerships. "I wanted to write about the complex issues and put them in terms that are simple to understand, [so] that we can make a difference -- whether it's something very small that an individual can do or something large that a church can take on," Carr said. The disconnect between orphan care and the church grew as evangelical churches distanced themselves from the social gospel movement, Carr said. "Churches grew to interpret the social gospel as 'liberal' and for people who don't witness," Carr said. "But it's not either/or. It's both/and. We can't witness and leave people starving.