Check out this week’s Top 10 in Baptist life.
1. Prominent Black Southern Baptist pastor Dwight McKissic penned a defense of Herman Cain this week over at the popular blog SBCVoices.com. McKissic writes, “The liberal media, conservative Republicans who support rival candidates and African-American civil rights leaders who strongly support the Democratic Party and liberal causes, have unwittingly formed an unholy trinity to defeat and destroy the presidential aspiration of Herman Cain.”
McKissic explains that Herman Cain “could be the second coming of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Ronald Wilson Reagan all wrapped into one. The Texas pastor concludes, “LEAVE HERMAN CAIN ALONE! STOP THE MADNESS!.” Later in the comment thread, McKissic warns that “If no evidence comes forth that points toward Cain’s guilt, he will become the 21st century Emitt Till, if he loses.”
2. Several Southern Baptist leaders from Lifeway’s Thom Rainer to Southern Seminary’s Albert Mohler have weighed in on the Penn State scandal involving beloved coach Joe Paterno. Rainer and Mohler both called on ministers to not follow the example of JoePa and instead report all allegations to the police.
Most notably, Rainer, Mohler and other Southern Baptist leaders have stayed silent on a similar controversy involving Southern Baptist megachurch pastor Jack Graham and Prestonwood Baptist Church. As this ABP article notes, Graham and Prestonwood fired a minister in 1989 accused of sexual abuse but – like JoePa – failed to call the police.
3. North Carolina Baptist adopted a resolution this week endorsing an amendment to the state’s constitution that would ban same-sex marriage. Surprise Surprise.
4. Former Baptist Press reporter turned Fox News personality launched this week “Fox News and Commentary with Todd Starnes.” Starnes’ three-times-daily one-minute segments air Monday through Friday on Fox News Radio. If good ole-fashioned fair & balanced journalism Fox-style is your thing, check out Todd.
5. Baptist Women in Ministry is back in Kentucky. The state group has been resurrected after ten years thanks to a group of women led by Becky Caswell-Speight of Louisville’s Broadway Baptist Church.
6. Religion reporter Bob Smietana recently profiled the Baptist Center for Ethics’ new immigration documentary Gospel without Borders. The article reveals that the film has received a positive reaction so far and has been sent out from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to every diocese in the United States.
7. The SBC’s chief ethicist Richard Land has come to the defense of Texas Governor Rick Perry who has been attacked by his GOP opponents for allowing undocumented Texas high school students to pay the in-state tuition rate at Texas public colleges and universities. Land said he thinks this arrangement is correct. Now, if Land could only help Perry remember his lines at the next GOP debate…
8. Myers Park Baptist Church has gone solar. The progressive Baptist congregation in Charlotte, North Carolina has installed 20 solar panels on its roof. The cost for the church? Nothing.
9. The search committee which will decide who will succeed Daniel Vestal as Coordinator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship has been named. The committee appears quite diverse and is being chaired by George Mason, pastor of Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas.
10. A team representing the Baptist World Alliance just concluded exploratory talks with the Orthodox Church about the possibility of a formal international dialogue. According to the report, participants left the talks “with the understanding that the Ecumenical Patriarch would examine the proposal developed…and determine whether to remit it to the Orthodox Churches with a view to securing their participation in the proposed Baptist/Orthodox international dialogue.”