Georgia church initiates discipline against man accused of killing eight
The Southern Baptist congregation where Robert Aaron Long is a member has started the process to remove him from membership, the church said in a statement March 19. Long, 21, allegedly killed eight people at three Atlanta massage parlors March 16. Crabapple First Baptist Church rejected Long’s claim he was trying to eliminate sexual temptation.
“No blame can be placed upon the victims. He alone is responsible for his evil actions and desires,” the church said in the statement, later adding, “These actions do not in any way reflect the biblical character of a true follower of Jesus Christ and member of His Church. In accordance with the biblical pattern and our church bylaws, we have started the process of church discipline to remove him from membership since we can no longer affirm that he is truly a regenerate believer in Jesus Christ.”
ERA supporters revive efforts to amend Constitution
The U.S. House of Representatives narrowly approved a resolution March 17 to retroactively eliminate the deadline for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). The amendment states, “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” But that language, pro-life advocates say, would establish abortion rights in the U.S. Constitution and block restrictions on abortion and abortion funding.
Illinois lawmakers to debate sex ed for K-12 students
The state’s Responsible Education for Adolescent and Children’s Health Act (known as REACH) is touted by its supporters, including Planned Parenthood, as a bill that would “require age-appropriate, comprehensive, and inclusive personal health and safety education to be taught in public schools, grades K-12.” But many Christians worry the legislation further mainstreams LGBTQ lifestyles and introduces support for abortion in the minds of children as early as third grade.
Wheaton to remove ‘savage’ from plaque honoring missionaries
A plaque honoring missionaries martyred in Ecuador in 1956 will receive new wording that omits its original description of “savage indians.” The plaque honors a group of missionaries, including Wheaton alumni Jim Elliot and Ed McCully, who were killed as they tried to reach an indigenous group in Ecuador. Wheaton President Philip Ryken said the term “savage” is a pejorative term that “has been used historically to dehumanize and mistreat indigenous peoples around the world. Any descriptions on our campus of people or people groups should reflect the full dignity of human beings made in the image of God.”
Most pastors see gender change as immoral
LifeWay Research reports 72% of U.S. Protestant pastors say it is morally wrong for an individual to identify with a gender different from the biological sex they were born. That’s a much larger percentage than what researchers found in 2016, when 44% percent of Protestant Americans and 35% of all Americans said gender change is immoral. “While most Americans accept the biblical narrative of God designing male and female,” said Lifeway Research’s Scott McConnell, “pastors take changing that design much more seriously.”
Sources: Baptist Press, Illinois Baptist, Christianity Today, Lifeway Research