Evangelist and humanitarian Franklin Graham isn't new to controversy, and Baptists aren't new to the idea of boycotting things. But now it appears some Baptists are actually boycotting Franklin Graham.
Multiple news sourcesreport that Baptists in Puerto Rico are withdrawing their support for Franklin Graham’s "Festival of Hope" evangelistic rally scheduled for later this month in San Juan, PR.
The group is protesting what they consider Graham's endorsement of recent U.S. anti-immigration policies they consider “contrary to the values of the Kingdom.”
The group's leaders said in the statement (as translated by Baptist Global News):
From the Old Testament to the New Testament, God continually calls us to justice, to love, peace and mercy and, above all, to accompany the marginalized, foreigners, widows and orphans.
According to the statement from Baptist Churches of Puerto Rico, which is affiliated with the traditionally left-leaning American Baptist Churches USA, they're not supporting Graham's rally for “for reasons of conscience.”
As Baptists, though, the group doesn't necessarily have influence over individual churches, which may or may not participate in the Festival of Hope. Discuss
A major discovery may have just been uncovered in Israel.
According to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, a research team has found what it believes is a 12th “Dead Sea Scroll” cave. A team from Liberty University assisted in the expedition. No scroll was found, and the team believes that the cave was looted a century ago. However, it’s still a major find and provides evidence that more scrolls may exist.
The director of the excavation said in a statement:
This exciting excavation is the closest we’ve come to discovering new Dead Sea scrolls in 60 years. Until now, it was accepted that Dead Sea scrolls were found only in 11 caves at Qumran, but now there is no doubt that this is the 12th cave. …
Although at the end of the day no scroll was found, and instead we ‘only’ found a piece of parchment rolled up in a jug that was being processed for writing, the findings indicate beyond any doubt that the cave contained scrolls that were stolen.
The Dead Sea Scrolls are ancient documents discovered in the caves of Qumran (in Israel) during the 1940s and 1950s. For Jews and Christians, the scrolls are significant because they represent the oldest known documentary fragments with connections to Old Testament texts. Their discovery went a long way in the scholarly world in verifying the historicity of the OT. Discuss
Back in July, the South Carolina megachurch NewSpring Church announced that their pastor and founder Perry Noble had been fired. They told the congregation that he had made "unfortunate choices” and had been abusing alcohol. Perry went on to seek professional help and treatment.
In a recent Facebook video, Perry defended coming back so soon after the fall out:
Peter denied Christ, and 50 days later he preached the Gospel to Jerusalem. Paul, who was murdering Christians, comes to Christ and in Acts 9 immediately starts preaching the Gospel. If God has put something in your heart, don't sit around and wait for the approval of people who don't believe in you in the first place. You stay up too late, and you do what God called you to do.
Over the course of the last several months, Noble has posted on Facebook how his struggle not only effected his ministry, but also his marriage. He wrote:
Let me beg married couples...please don't cease fighting for your marriage by investing your time and attention into other things. Maybe it's not alcohol, maybe it's a hobby, or porn, or friendships...or even your kids. Take it from me - the temporary feeling of relief is not worth the long term pain of the consequences.
The YouTube channel “Pope Video,” which is “a global initiative of the Pope’s World Prayer Network (Apostleship of Prayer) to spread the Holy Father’s monthly prayer intentions related to the challenges facing humanity, has released a new video that encourages Christians to pray for and care for refugees.
In the clip, the Pope says,
Don’t abandon them. Pray with me for those who are weighed down, especially the poor, refugees and marginalized, that they might find welcome and support in our communities.