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Baptists respond to pope’s endorsement of same-sex civil unions

NASHVILLE (BP) – In response to Pope Francis’ endorsement of same-sex civil unions for the first time as pope, Southern Baptist leaders reiterated their commitment to the authority of the Bible’s teaching regarding sexuality and marriage.

TRUSTEES: MBTS elects faculty, celebrates enrollment gains

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP) – Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s fall trustee meeting focused on gratitude for enrollment gains amid difficult circumstances as well as celebration of faculty elections and reelections.

Four overdose deaths, dozen-plus relapses at Celebrate Recovery site during COVID-19

ARABI, La. (BP) – Donnie Broussard had been sober more than four years from heroin and crack cocaine when the COVID-19 pandemic shot his daily routine. He didn't feel worthy to continue as Celebrate Recovery leader at the Arabi campus of Celebration Church in greater New Orleans.

ERLC brief urges court to rehear ‘ministerial exception’ case

WASHINGTON (BP) – The Southern Baptist Convention’s religious freedom entity and other faith organizations have urged a federal appeals court to reconsider its application of the “ministerial exception” rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court in cases involving employment decisions by churches and other religious institutions.

FIRST-PERSON: Reclaiming your childlike joy

CATOOSA, Okla. (BP) – Several times in Scripture we see Jesus use children as an example of what the kingdom of heaven is like. I love these examples because it reminds me there are no grown-ups in heaven.

SBC DIGEST: ERLC condemns Chinese Communist Party; GuideStone aids Georgia pastors

During the current 45th session of the U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, the ERLC advocated for the religious freedom of children in China. While acknowledging no minister of the Gospel ever truly retires from service to the Lord, every pastor should consider how to prepare for his vocational retirement and the ministry God may have in his latter years.

James MacDonald, Harvest Bible Chapel reach agreement

CHICAGO (AP/RNS) – The Chicago-area megachurch Harvest Bible Chapel has reached a multimillion-dollar agreement with its former pastor James MacDonald, who was fired last year for insulting his critics who had written unfavorably about his leadership style.

Hearing set for SWBTS, Riley Foundation lawsuit

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) – A temporary injunction hearing in a lawsuit filed by Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Baylor University against a charitable foundation is scheduled for Dec. 2 after a judge granted the plaintiffs’ motion for expedited discovery. Additionally, two Southwestern trustees have been suspended in connection with their involvement with the charitable foundation.

FIRST-PERSON: How to bring joy to your pastor

A pastor’s work is never finished. When he goes to bed Sunday evening, the last thoughts on his mind are the things that he will need to attend to the following week. Even on his days off, the pastor is never off. A simple trip to the hardware store usually leads to a ministry encounter or two.

TRUSTEES: SWBTS sees enrollment and revenue growth, affirms legal steps

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) – The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary board of trustees heard enrollment and financial reports, elected two scholars to the institution’s faculty, approved a new degree program and affirmed the school's recent legal actions during its Oct. 19 meeting.