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2016 National Election

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Seminary prof reflects on pleas to flip vote

NEW ORLEANS (BP) -- A raucous presidential election year turned personal for Lloyd Harsch, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary history professor, when his seminary inbox filled with more than 90,000 emails from distraught voters. Harsch is a member of this year's Electoral College. As Harsch, with wife Jill, travel this week to attend the presidential inauguration and ceremony festivities in Washington, D.C., emails and letters continue to come in. The nature of the emails gave Harsch pause.

Open letter: cooperation needed amid SBC tensions

NASHVILLE (BP) -- Controversy surrounding ethicist Russell Moore's past comments on President-elect Donald Trump has led three Tennessee Baptists -- all under the age of 40 -- to issue an open letter calling "the [conservative] resurgence generation and their protégés" to "be the statesmen we need them to be in this season of denominational tension." Jonathan Akin, Nathan Finn and Micah Fries wrote in a Dec. 21 open letter provided to Baptist Press, "Now isn't the time for acrimonious debates over secondary and tertiary doctrinal matters," such as the extent of the atonement, church polity, methodology and the appropriate means of cultural engagement.

Moore clarifies comments on Trump supporters

NASHVILLE (BP) -- Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission President Russell Moore has clarified that he never intended to criticize all evangelical supporters of President-elect Donald Trump, noting many were motivated by "biblical convictions" and "voted their conscience." In a Monday (Dec. 19) blog post, Moore acknowledged “pointed conversations in my denominational family about the election" over the past month, "some of them ... directed at me."

Protests at FBC Dallas draw spotlight

DALLAS (BP) -- Protesters picketing First Baptist Church in Dallas will have no effect, pastor Robert Jeffress said Nov. 15 on national TV. "Look, these people, these protesters, aren't opposing me or our church," Jeffress said of the 50 or so protesters who picketed the church for a second night Nov. 14 because of the pastor's apparent public support of Trump during the contentious presidential campaign. "When I see these protesters, it kind of reminds me of a flea striking its hind leg against Mount Everest, saying I'm going to topple you over.

Gaines: 10 things Christians can do after election

SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (BP) -- Following the recent election of a new U.S. president, Southern Baptist Convention leader Steve Gaines challenged American Christians to once again ask, "What can I do for my country?" In his Nov. 13 message to Tennessee Baptists, Gaines shared a well-known quote from John F. Kennedy's inaugural address in January of 1961: "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country?" An estimated 1,600 Tennessee Baptists from across the state gathered Nov. 13 at the Sevierville Convention Center for a worship service on the opening night of their annual ...

Trump rebukes alleged racism among supporters

WASHINGTON (BP) -- In his first major interview since Election Day, President-elect Donald Trump said he is "saddened" by reported incidents of racial harassment committed in his name and urged perpetrators to "stop it." Trump also commented on potential Supreme Court nominees, abortion and same-sex marriage among other social issues. When interviewer Lesley Stahl of CBS's "60 Minutes" asked Trump about reports of African Americans, Latinos and homosexuals being harassed in his name, Trump ...

Presidential transition prompts calls for prayer

WASHINGTON (BP) -- Prayer for a smooth presidential transition and thankfulness for the American tradition of peaceful leadership transfer are among Southern Baptists' prescriptions for the 73 days between Election Day and Donald Trump's inauguration as America's 45th president. "Through history, transitioning political power has usually been bloody [and] involved great social upheaval, destruction of property and personal uncertainty," said Daniel Heimbach, a Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary professor who served in the George H.W. Bush administration. "And those who lose power have usually been killed, banished or at least ostracized.

With election over, prayer & grace urged

WASHINGTON (BP) -- Donald Trump pulled off a startling victory with the support of four in five white voters who identified themselves as evangelical Christians, and Southern Baptist leaders called for prayer for the president-elect and grace toward others. Trump -- the billionaire, celebrity businessman -- completed his unexpected rise through the Republican Party and the American electorate to defeat Democratic favorite Hillary Clinton Tuesday (Nov. 8), surprising pollsters and most observers in the process.

After election: The Christian response

Southern Baptist Convention leaders Steve Gaines and Frank S. Page issued separate articles on how Christians should respond to the Nov. 8 presidential election. "The world is watching us," Gaines writes. "May they see Jesus in us."

Election Day: God’s leadership in voting considered

NASHVILLE (BP) -- God can and does lead believers to vote for particular candidates. But that doesn't mean Spirit-filled believers all will vote for the same candidate. That's the Election Day conclusion of several pastors who have devoted themselves to prayer and seeking spiritual awakening through the years. "Christians have to really decide: In this election, do I really believe God can give me wisdom?" Arkansas pastor Bill Elliff told Baptist Press. "He says in James 1, 'If you lack wisdom' -- we could add 'about which candidate to vote for' -- 'then ask God and He will give it to you.'"