Some news roundups:
A major election was held in Israel today. Unlike in the US where we vote for a person from a party, in Israel, they vote for a party and then select the front person of that party to be Prime Minister. In the election today, current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party stunningly pulled ahead and appears to have won a very close match against the Zionist Union Party. Interesting,y at the eve of the election, Netanyahu reversed his stand on whether he supports a Palestinian State alongside a Jewish State, and said he did not. The Zionist Union supports two states and wanted to work with the Palestinians.
The opposition and its front man, Isaac Herzog, have refused to concede, and indeed, the election is still very close. However it seems that at the last moment, Netanyahu and his party may have won. In any case, it seems, as the NY Times puts it, the closeness of the race “promising a protracted and messy process of forming the next governing coalition.”
|Current PM Netanyahu giving election day victory speech to supporters|
Meanwhile, a 6.6 quake has just occurred in Indonesia at the Molucca Sea. The blue dot is the quake. It had initially been rated as a 7.3, which is why the editor of Breaking News referred to it that way. Here is the Editor’s note:
Editor’s note: According to data we are monitoring from the USGS, Indonesia is still experiencing several aftershocks dozens of miles off the coast of Kota Ternate after a 7.3 quake earlier. None of these have reached an intensity to trigger a tsunami warning, but we will continue to watch data from the area. – Aaron
Apostasy is running apace, at a shocking level. In this example, once considered the most conservative denomination, the Baptists of the Southern Baptist Convention have recently been giving evidence of internal rot leading to collapse. The denomination’s acceptance of the different gospels of Rick Warren, Beth Moore, the non-remarking of President of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission Russell Moore’s visit to the Vatican in a partnership in an ecumenical pursuit of social justice (marriage issues), the Convention’s demonstrable divisiveness against its Reformed brothers, and more, it seems that the issues in the once-conservative Baptist denomination are percolating to the top.
What makes all this so interesting is that the Baptists, especially the Southern Baptists (16 million Americans enrolled) are thought to be the most conservative, sticking closest to living out the principles in the Word, which they state to be the unerring word of God. Richard Dudley wrote in Baptist Why and Why Not:
The fundamental principle of the Baptists is their belief in the supreme authority and absolute sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures; and their separate existence is the practical and logical result of their attempt to apply this principle in all matters of religion. (source)
Witness the recent news from the Baptist News of the Harrisonburg Baptist Church of VA, a Southern Baptist Convention affiliated church, in this article from several days ago discussing the acceptance of pregnant pastors in the pulpit.
The first time around as a pregnant Baptist minister, Stacy Cochran Nowell harbored worries few other moms-to-be are likely to share. Chief among them was that older church members might object to the sight of an expectant mother in the pulpit. It never happened, said Nowell, the associate pastor at Harrisonburg Baptist Church in Virginia. “I just never received any negative feedback,” she said of the pregnancy that produced her now 3-year-old daughter. “I anticipated them, but they never materialized.”
Note that the opposition they expected was the fact that the female pastors were working while pregnant, NOT that the church had installed a woman minister. Yet the bible says,
But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet, 13 For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve.” (1 Tim. 2:12-13).
|Pr. Nowell of Harrisonburg Baptist Church|
Interestingly, the SBC states that it does not support female clergy. In 1998, Richard Melick wrote in the SBC Life, the Journal of the Southern Baptist Convention, “Summary: Should Women Be Pastors? We have seen that the explicit texts of Scripture forbid women to serve as pastors.” Their current FAQ still states the same.
Six months ago, the SBC cut ties with a SBC-affilated church that voted to retain a pastor who declared that same-sex unions can be blessed by God, and had performed a “marriage” of his own gay son in the church. To my knowledge, no disciplinary action has been lodged against Harrisonburg Baptist Church for its installation of female pastor, pregnant or not.
Here is news from a few days ago, from Baptist News again.
Though not Indiana’s first openly gay college president, Thomas Minar is the first for Franklin College, a small-town college 20 minutes from Indianapolis historically rooted in the American Baptist Churches USA. While one Baptist college in Tennessee defended inviting a lesbian to speak on campus, another in Indiana with little fanfare recently elected a president who is openly gay. Franklin College, a small liberal-arts college in “voluntary association” with the American Baptist Churches USA, announced Jan. 23 the selection of American University administrator Thomas Minar as the school’s 16th president effective July 1.
I am sure that the homosexual lobby will hail this as a “victory”, but we know what true victory is. It is as Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 15:57,
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; 57but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus gives us victory OVER sin, sins such as homosexuality, not victory in submitting TO sin.