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Stories tagged with: erlc

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  • ERLC: Church's internal discourse needs protection

    by Tom Strode, posted Friday, June 29, 2018 (22 days ago)

    WASHINGTON (BP) -- An effort by Texas abortion providers to obtain a church's internal communications would violate the First Amendment and a federal law protecting religious freedom if successful, according to the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

    The ERLC filed a friend-of-the-court brief June 25 urging the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans to overturn a federal judge's order requiring the Roman Catholic bishops and archbishops of Texas to turn over their private deliberations on what they describe as doctrinal and moral issues. While the current case involves the Catholic Church, a failure to vacate the order also would threaten the religious liberty of Southern Baptist and other congregationally governed churches, the brief says. Read More

  • ERLC: New initiatives on women, abuse

    by Tom Strode, posted Thursday, June 14, 2018 (one month ago)

    Photo by Kathleen Murray
    DALLAS (BP) -- Russell Moore announced new initiatives on women and abuse during the report of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission Wednesday (June 13) at the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention.

    Moore, the ERLC's president, said the entity will convene a women's summit as a major part of its work in the year ahead. He also told messengers the ERLC is partnering with LifeWay Research in commissioning a full-scale study on the extent of abuse in churches. Read More

  • Sex abuse news 'wake-up call' for pastors, ERLC panel says

    by Tom Strode, posted Tuesday, June 12, 2018 (one month ago)

    Photo by Matt Miller
    DALLAS (BP) -- The revelations of sexual abuse of women and mishandling of it by Christian leaders offer a "divine opportunity" for the Southern Baptist Convention and its pastors to take a stand, attendees were told at a Monday evening (June 11) panel discussion sponsored by the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

    The event -- "Gospel Sexuality in a #MeToo Culture" -- was held on the eve of the SBC's annual meeting in Dallas and followed months of revelations of sexual harassment, abuse and misconduct by male leaders in Southern Baptist and other evangelical churches and institutions, as well as in the culture. Panels also addressed the issue in discussions earlier in the day in the SBC exhibit hall, and a rally to protest abuse in the convention was held Tuesday (June 12) outside the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. Read More

  • Speakers: Gospel is solution for church's future

    by Tom Strode, posted Monday, June 11, 2018 (one month ago)

    Photo by Amber Dion
    DALLAS (BP) -- The Gospel of Jesus will remain the answer to the church's challenges into the future, speakers said at a conference June 8-9 prior to the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting in Dallas.

    Southern Baptist pastors and other leaders addressed how the Gospel should shape the church's ministries and outreach during keynote messages and panel discussions at the event, which was titled "The Gospel and the Future of the Church." The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) and The Village Church co-hosted the pre-conference in partnership with Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. The event was held at The Village Church's Flower Mound campus in metro Dallas. Read More

  • ERLC: Make religious freedom a priority in Africa

    by Tom Strode, posted Thursday, May 10, 2018 (2 months ago)

    Photo courtesy of U.S. House of Representatives
    WASHINGTON (BP) -- Religious freedom should be a priority for U.S. relations with autocratic regimes in Sub-Saharan Africa, a Southern Baptist policy specialist told members of Congress Wednesday (May 9).

    Steven Harris, a policy director for the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, called for the focus on religious liberty during his testimony to a House of Representatives subcommittee of the Foreign Affairs Committee. The hearing addressed the federal government's response to the increasing restrictions on religious groups, journalists and other sectors of civil society in countries such as Sudan, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Burundi. Read More

  • Evangelicalism needs to focus on cross, Moore says

    by Tom Strode, posted Wednesday, May 09, 2018 (2 months ago)

    James Madison Program, Princeton, screen capture
    PRINCETON, N.J. (BP) -- American evangelical Christianity needs to be born again to an embrace of the cross of Christ, Southern Baptist ethicist Russell Moore said in a lecture on the Princeton University campus.

    The president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) told an April 17 audience in Princeton, N.J., "Any evangelicalism that is worthy to face the future must be cross-shaped, must call all people everywhere to repent and believe in Christ, must call all people everywhere to demonstrate love of God and neighbor in our various communities and callings, but most importantly, evangelicalism must ... Read More

  • GuideStone, ERLC defend ministerial housing allowance

    by Tom Strode, posted Monday, April 30, 2018 (2 months ago)

    Image: iStock/license purchase required.
    WASHINGTON (BP) -- Two Southern Baptist entities have urged a federal appeals court to uphold the constitutionality of the ministerial housing allowance.

    GuideStone Financial Resources and the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) signed on to a friend-of-the-court brief filed April 26 that asks the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago to reverse a lower court decision invalidating the exemption. Read More

  • 'Second chances' urged for re-entering prisoners

    by Tom Strode, posted Friday, April 27, 2018 (2 months ago)

    Image: iStock/license purchase required.
    WASHINGTON (BP) -- A broad and diverse coalition that includes the Southern Baptist Convention's ethics entity is pushing reforms in America's justice system to foster the rehabilitation and societal re-entry of prisoners.

    Prison Fellowship, the well-known Christian ministry to prisoners and their families, has spearheaded the effort in April through its Second Chance Month initiative. President Trump issued a proclamation declaring April as Second Chance Month, and the U.S. Senate approved a resolution to the same effect. Read More

  • Calif. bill could bar Bible's teaching on sexuality

    by Tom Strode, posted Wednesday, April 25, 2018 (2 months ago)

    WASHINGTON (BP) -- Southern Baptists and other religious conservatives are warning a bill making its way through the California legislature would violate free speech and religious freedom protections by prohibiting biblical teaching on sexuality.

    The California Assembly passed in a 50-18 vote April 19 an amendment that adds "sexual orientation change efforts" to the categories of activities barred by the state's consumer protection law. The proposal, Assembly Bill (AB) 2943, still needs to gain approval in the Senate before it goes to Gov. Jerry Brown for his signature. Read More

  • GOP exodus raises questions about life, liberty

    by Tom Strode, posted Tuesday, April 24, 2018 (3 months ago)

    Photo from
    WASHINGTON (BP) -- The record number of Republicans leaving Congress not only raises questions about control of the House of Representatives after November's elections but the fate of such issues as the sanctity of human life and religious freedom.

    When Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, 48, announced April 11 he would retire at the end of this term, his decision brought to 38 the number of GOP members who have said they will not run for re-election, according to the Pew Research Center. The Senate's April 19 confirmation of Rep. Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma increases that total to 39. More Republicans could still announce their retirements. In addition, the seats of two other GOP members who resigned this term will be filled by special election before November, Pew reported. Read More