The Newnan Times-Herald


Religion Briefs

  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • Feb. 06, 2017 - 9:05 PM

Central Baptist Church is holding its annual Chancel Choir Composer Workshop Weekend.

The three-day event began Friday. There will be special music at the 10:55 a.m. service on Sunday that will be a culmination of the activities.

Dr. Jerry Warren is guest director this year. Warren taught Anne Cronic, music director at Central, in college. She also played for the Belmont Chorale under his direction.

Warren is former dean of the School of Music at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn.

* * *

Winterfest will start at Westside Baptist Church, 762 Smokey Road, on Feb. 10.

Winterfest is an event with gospel preaching and singing. Mike Holcombe will be the preacher for Winterfest this year, and the Westside Baptist Choir will be featured.

Services will be held Feb. 10-11 at 7 p.m. and Feb. 12 at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.

* * *

Elim Baptist Church, 9 Elim Church Road recently celebrated the first pastoral anniversary of Dentez D. Orr.

Orr, the youngest pastor in Coweta, was recognized at an afternoon service at the historic church. The service took place on Jan. 22.

* * *

Dr. Jim Compton led a study on “Cultivating Spirituality Thru Mindfulness” at Central Baptist Church on Jan. 25.

The program was held in the fellowship hall. Compton demonstrated how to put thoughts, feelings and sensations under the microscope of mindfulness.

Compton and his wife, Maggie, live in Douglasville. He meets clients and practices psychotherapy in an outpatient mental health center in Austell.

* * *

A group including representatives of several faith-based organizations protested Pres. Donald Trump’s immigration ban executive order at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport on Jan. 29.

The executive order applies to Legal Permanent Citizens as well as visa holders of designated Muslim countries as well as refugees. The order’s implementation led to the detention of at least 11 people including a 10-year-old child and a grandmother at the airport recently.

The executive order has since been partially blocked by a federal judge allowing those detained at airports and in transit not to be sent back.

* * *

As America enters a new era with Donald Trump as president, The Denison Forum on Truth and Culture, a non-denominational and non-partisan Christian think tank, is publishing a pamphlet, "How Does God See America?"

Dr. Jim Denison, founder and CEO of the Denison Forum, is the author of the pamphlet. Denison said America is changing in unprecedented ways and the church is no longer considered the moral gatekeeper of the culture. He cited research which shows:

• A growing number of Americans view religion as dangerous, citing radical Islam, sexual abuse scandals and homophobia as examples.

• Most Americans say it is not necessary to believe in God to be moral.

• Our postmodern culture says there's no such thing as "absolute truth," only "your truth" and "my truth.”

• Many ethical patterns, such as the use of pornography, are the same inside and outside the church today.

Denison writes a daily column that is distributed to more than 114,000 subscribers in 203 countries. His articles also are published by media outlets such as The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Dallas Morning News. He is the author of eight books.

* * *

The American Pastors Network is watching to see if Pres. Donald Trump will revoke federal rules that currently prevent churches from endorsing political candidates.

Churches and other nonprofits that endorse candidates can lose their nonprofit status, which means gifts to those churches cannot be deducted by the donors. Trump made a commitment “to peel back the Johnson Amendment, which for more than 60 years has restricted the free speech of pastors and churches,” according to a news release from APN.

Stated Trump at the Republican National Convention in July, “An amendment, pushed by Lyndon Johnson many years ago, threatens religious institutions. I am going to work very hard to repeal that language and protect free speech for all Americans.” According to the Daily Caller, he echoed that sentiment at the Value Voters Summit in September: “We’re going to get rid of that law … we’re going to get rid of it so fast.”

“Pastors are charged by God to always speak biblical truth from the pulpit,” said APN president Sam Rohrer. “From abortion and marriage to tyranny in office, the Bible is very clear on social, cultural and political issues. Efforts by government to intimidate pastors on preaching biblical truth not only violate God’s direct command but are also unconstitutional.”

Churches, pastors and members may speak freely on social issues, and individuals may lobby for causes. Churches and other nonprofits are, however, restricted according to the law proposed by then-Senator Lyndon B. Johnson and passed by Congress in 1954.

“The law prohibits tax-exempt organizations – including churches and other nonprofits – from lobbying elected officials, campaigning on behalf of a political party, and supporting or opposing candidates for office,” according to an American Pastors Network news release.

APN recently launched the “We Will Stand” initiative to help mobilize and encourage pastors to preach biblical truth to all issues, as well as unite pastors in their calling to stand boldly for truth.