News of Note: “Southern Baptist Convention Releases Joint Statement Related to Christian Soldiers Proselytizing in the Military”

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1. “Is proselytizing outlawed in the U.S. military?” – Denny Burk on the joint Southern Baptist Statement in response to the controversy related to possible punishment due to prostelytizing in the military. (DennyBurk.com); Here is the joint Southern Baptist Statemnt (North American Mission Board and Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission Southern Baptist Convention) that Denny is referring to: “Joint statement of Southern Baptist concern on religious liberty and the United States military” . (The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission)

“These reports have prompted a time of intense investigation by our respective organizations, as we seek to ascertain clarity about the factual basis and the larger meaning of these reports. The North American Mission Board (NAMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention is assigned with ministering to our military through our function as the endorsing agency for Southern Baptist chaplains. The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) of the Southern Baptist Convention is tasked with advocating our cherished Baptist commitment to a free church in a free state. We have no interest in fomenting conspiracy theories or faux outrage, seeing that such will serve neither the gospel of Jesus Christ nor our mission to minister to our neighbors with this gospel. We have no interest in misrepresenting our military leaders or their civilian command. The Bible calls on us to pray for and to honor our government leaders (Rom. 13:1-7; 1 Pet. 2:13-17). At the same time, we do not want to ignore potential threats to religious liberty. The First Amendment guarantees of the free exercise of religion and the freedom from an established state religion are grounded in a natural right—the right to a free conscience under God. This right is not granted by the state, or by the state’s armed services, but is to be recognized and protected. Our Baptist forebears, from Thomas Helwys to Roger Williams to John Leland and beyond, were often irritants to the powers-that-be, precisely because they knew religious liberty is too important to be left to the whims of kings or presidents or bureaucrats.” (“Joint statement of Southern Baptist concern on religious liberty and the United States military”, The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission)

2. “UK Minister Blasts Bell’s Affirmation of Homosexuality, Outlines ‘Being New Creation’ in Christ” – Andrew Wilson of King’s Church in Eastbourne, East Sussex debates Rob Bell in a radio interview over Christianity and homosexuality. (Christian News); Here is Wilson and Bell’s debate on YouTube:

3. “Obama Admin Gives Up Forcing Bible Publisher to Obey HHS Mandate” – Obama Administration gives up fight against Tyndale House to obey HHS mandate. (Life Site News)

“Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing Tyndale House Publishers say the (Obama) administration is apparently nervous about trying to defend its position that a Bible publisher is not religious enough for a religious exemption to the mandate.”

4. “Debating hymns” – Story of why Keith and Kristin Getty’s popular hymn “In Christ Alone” was not addded to the PCUSA hymnal. (The Christian Century)

5. “Tenth Presbyterian: A Phila. and theological fixture” – Philly.com’s tribute to Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia which was pastored by Donald Grey Barnhouse, James Montgomery Boice, and Leyland G. Ryken. (Philly.com)

“With that focus on the City of God, Tenth Church remains a hidden jewel that indirectly keeps Philadelphia the best-kept secret in America.” – Robert W. Patterson

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