Baptists

12 Stories

Boy Scouts Change Policy on Gay Leaders

Religious and LGBT groups alike criticize the decision

(Newser) - The Boy Scouts of America has lifted its long-standing ban against adult leaders who are openly gay—with one big exception, the New York Times reports. Today's vote by the Scouts' national executive board will also allow religious-sponsored units to choose leaders they prefer. Yet the Mormon Church, America'... More »

Church Pulls 'Hell' Sign After Police Probe

Attleborough Baptist Church's sign was seen as 'hateful'

(Newser) - A Baptist church has agreed to take down a sign about hell after police investigated the message as a "hate incident," reports the Daily Mail . It all started when a passerby in Norfolk, England, complained about the sign, which suggested non-Christians would burn in hell, showing flames below... More »

'Hunt-a-Homo Week' Proposed by Pastor

For real. 1995 sermon comes back to haunt Baptist homophobe

(Newser) - Are you a non-homophobic person looking for something to get very, very angry about? Then check out this horrifying audio Dan Savage has dredged up of a sermon given by Pastor Jeff Owens, of the Shenandoah Bible Baptist Church in West Virginia. “In America we need to stop burning... More »

Add Kagan, and High Court Won't Have Any Protestants

Court rarely reflects country's faith mix well

(Newser) - If Elena Kagan is confirmed, the Supreme Court will have six Catholics, three Jews, and, for the first time in history, not a single Protestant. That might not seem as important as it used to, but Ed Kilgore of FiveThirtyEight decided to take a quick look at the court's historic... More »

Baptist Pastors Prayed for Obama Death on Presidents Day

Preacher: 'Ask God to make his children fatherless'

(Newser) - While a handful of Americans might have taken a few minutes to reflect favorably on George Washington and Abe Lincoln on Presidents Day, some evangelical leaders devoted their time to praying for Barack Obama's death. The "Imprecatory Prayer" is a favorite of Arizona’s Baptist preacher Steven L. Anderson... More »

Cop: Baptists Tried to Grab Haiti Kids Earlier

Group caught with a busload of 40 kids last month

(Newser) - The Baptist missionaries jailed on kidnapping charges in Haiti tried not once, but twice, to take kids out of the country, according to a Haitian police officer. The officer stopped the group last month and ordered some 40 children off their bus as they headed from Haiti to the Dominican... More »

Holy Hell: Churches Squeezed by Economy

(Newser) - The hallelujahs are strained in US churches these days as donations plunge at the same time demand for aid is skyrocketing, reports the Wall Street Journal. Congregations across the nation are slashing budgets and even laying off staff, including pastors. Churches and synagogues usually weather downturns well, but not this... More »

'Cowboy Church' Lassos New Followers

Baptists see success with services that feature rodeo riding

(Newser) - Rodeo competitions and baptisms in horse troughs are on offer at the Cowboy Church of Ellis County, Texas, part of a movement that uses an unconventional approach to draw worshippers to the flock, the AP reports. Cowboy churches have existed for 40 years but have grown in popularity in the... More »

Former Obama Pastor in Church Power Battle

Refusing to relinquish leadership

(Newser) - Barack Obama's former Chicago church is in turmoil over a battle to retain power by firebrand preacher Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Time reports. A rift has opened between Wright, who was supposed to retire from the church he nurtured for 36 years, and his hand-picked successor, whose qualifications he's now questioning. More »

Liberal Baptists Meet With Focus on Unity

Conservative SBC group absent from Carter-led gathering

(Newser) - Organized by Jimmy Carter and other leaders, thousands of Baptists begin a three-day meeting in Atlanta today to show that the denomination encompasses a broad range of viewpoints and can work together despite differences. Social issues are a focus, the Christian Science Monitor reports, though leaders of the conservative Southern... More »

Shunning Makes a Comeback in US Churches

Pastors resurrect old practice to tame black sheep in their flocks

(Newser) - In an effort to reclaim their churches' role as moral authority, many Protestant ministers have reinstated the all-but-lost practice of shunning unrepentant sinners from their congregations. And while nobody's yet had to pin a scarlet "A" to their Sunday best, the consequences of the puritanical revival have weighed heavy... More »

Gaza's Few Christians Are Fleeing

After murder, religious minority fearful under Hamas rule

(Newser) - It's a grim Christmas for Gaza's tiny Christian population of about 3,000, with celebrations muted in the Hamas-controlled territory, the AP says. Instead of decorating trees, many of the faithful are packing to leave the strip for good. After the murder of a prominent Baptist activist, many Christians say... More »

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