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1 NEWS SERVICE OF THE SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION 127 NINTH AVE.. N.. NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE AL W. C. Fields, Director Theo Sommerkamp, Assistant Direct...
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1 NEWS SERVICE OF THE SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION 127 NINTH AVE.. N.. NASHVILLE. TENNESSEE AL W. C. Fields, Director Theo Sornmerkamp, Assistant Direc...
1 NEWS SERVICE OF THE SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION 127 NINTH AVE., N.. NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE AL W. C. Fields, Director Theo Sommerkamp, Assistant Direct...
1 NEWS SERVICE OF THE SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION 127 NINTH AVE.. N., NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE AL W. C. Fields, Director Theo Sommerkamp, Assistant Direct...
1 (BP) -- News Service of the Southern Baptist Convention BAPTIST PRESS BUREAUS ATLANTA Martin King, Chief, 1350 Spring St., N. W., Atlanta, Ga , Tele...
1 .. e NEWS SERVICE OF THE SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION 127 NINTH AVE., N., NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE AL W. C. Fields, Director Theo Sommerkamp, Assistant D...
SBC Executive Committee 460 James Robertson Parkway Nashville, Tennessee 37219 (615) 244-2355 W. C. Fields, Director Robert J. O'Brien, News Editor Norman Jameson, Feature Editor
News Service of the Southern Baptist Convention
(BP) --FEATURES produced by Baptist Press
March 28, 1978 PubHshing House Director Has Mission In Printed Page
By Jennifer Hall
RICHMOND, Va. (BP) --Buenos Aires, El Paso, Texas, or Richmond. Wherever he is, Aldo Broda sees around him a world that is tired of hearing words. Yet Broda, the new general director of the Baptist Spanish PubHshing House in El Paso, is trying his best to get more words in print--after all, that's his business. The charm so well-identified with Latin Americans came through Broda's expressive eyes, gestures and clear voice as he made his fLrst visit to the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board home office in Richmond. Over a modest breakfast of corn flakes, Juice and coffee (he finds anything else too f11Hng), the top man at "Casa Bautista" elaborated on his work, the future of Spanish-language pubHcations and foreign missions, and the "fantastic challenge that the Spanish-speaking world offers to the gospel." Broda, a third-generation Argentine Baptist and the first Latin American Baptist to be in the general director's post, sees numerous opportunities with Spanls h-speaking people. "They are a people who are reHgiously oriented with a reHgious background," he explains through an interpreter. "But they're not correctly oriented." Asked how the pubHshing house w11l "reorient" the Spanish population, Broda humbly repHed, "It's not what we're going to do. It's a fact that the gospel itself provides an orientation toward a personal faith in Jesus Christ." 'With Broda at the helm, the pubHshing house plans to provide training and evangelism through books, Sunday School Hterature, study gUides, Bibles and other Spanish-language pubHcatlons. But because Broda beHeves the world's ears are exhausted or immune to words, he maintains that "unless people see a personal testimony, their attention's not going to be called." "Let' s say I write an article on the power of Christ," he says. "The person is not going to be impressed by the article alone unless he sees some change in my life that makes him witness the power of Christ." Broda beHeves the believer and the literature must work together. As a beginning in his part of the work, Broda has determined that pUblLshing houses need a good distribution systern. "It I s not worthwhile if I produce the greatest literature or write the best book if people don't read it," he says. "One of the best things the Foreign Mission Board very wisely did was put book deposits or warehouses throughout the world," Broda says. "What we're doing is encouraging the churches and individuals to reach into these deposits and have distribution in the areas where they live. " Combining observation with action, Broda is going through the pUblishing house--sectionby-sectLon--orienting himself, determining needs and seeing where changes might be made. "My mission," he says, "is if there's something that's well done, I'm going to try to do it better. And if it's something that's not well done, I'm going to try to at least do it well. "
Broda's Richmond visit could be interpreted as a maturation factor in the quest of foreign missions--a national Christian taking a post which, until a few months ago, traditionally was held by a North American. -moreO .......lf.. O......
1 8. C. HISTORICAL COM• • NASHV/u':E. TENNESSQ
Broda, sensitive to miss ions and emphasizing the continuing need for missionaries, foresees a day when the Foreign Mission Board may have to change its missionary sending philosophy. "I think that someday it won't be possible to find all the missionaries necessary in the United States, II he says. He also thinks the day may come when the board will give economic help to a country so it can send miss ionaries to another country. "One of the things that we as Argentine Christians feel is a deep appreciation for the Foreign Mission Board and to all Baptists in the United States who have helped in giving and sending miss ionaries to our country, II Broda says. "We feel it very deeply in our hearts and we're thankful to God. I really l1ke to say that everywhere I have the opportunity-because it's the truth."
-30(BP) Photos mailed to state Baptist newspapers by Richmond Bureau of Baptist Press.
##### Explosives for Religious Service Banned in Hawaii
Baptist Press 3/28/78
WASHINGTON (BP) --Do Chinese-Americans have a constitutional right to use powerful firecrackers in religious observances? Or can the federal government outlaw such explosives for safety reasons? Those are questions the U. S. Supreme Court will not answer. The court's refusal to hear arguments involving a Consumer Product Safety Commission ban on powerful firecrackers leaves the ban in effect. The appeal to the high court was brought by the state of Hawaii on behalf of Buddhist Chinese-Americans who use firecrackers to drive away evil spirits and to attract benign or ancestral spirits. They are also used in connection with the Chinese New Year observance and for other celebrations, including weddings, birthdays, funerals, openings of businesses, and dedications of new houses. In a written brief to the high court, Hawaii accused the Consumer Product Safety Commission with displaying a "cavalier disregard for important Chinese religious rights II and of making a "mockery of the first amendment freedom of religion." The Consumer Product Safety Commission countered by saying that while the use of firecrackers in Chinese religious observances is "sincere and necessary," an exemption for religious purposes was rejected in that any exemption "could lead to serious abuse and could create serious enforcement problems. "
-30Prison Reform In Hands Of Christians, Colson Says NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Declaring that the nation's prison system is "an abysmal failure," convicted White House aide Chuck Colson said that unless Christian people are willing to do something about prison reform, there's no hope for change in America's prison system. "No one else really cares," declared Colson. "It's up to the Christians if anything is ever going to be done to bring about change. " Colson, whose widely-reported "born again" experience has brought him national attention in contrast to conviction as a part of the Watergate coverup, spoke to more than 600 Southern Baptists attending a national Southern Baptist Christian Life Commission seminar on Christian lifestyles. He decried his national fame as a "Christian celebrity, II saying God uses the powerless more than the celebrity to bring about change. -more-
He told of meeting with Federal Bureau of Prison Director Norman Carlson, requesting permission to start a nation-wide prison ministry, which he calls Prison Fellowship. Carlson granted the permission not because of Colson's fame but because "of the prayer of a prison inmate in brown dungarees. " Carlson had attended a chapel service at a federal prison the week before, and when the chaplain asked if anyone wished to pray, one of the inmates stood and prayed specifically for Carlson. It made such an impact on the federal director of prisons, Colson said, that he granted permission for Colson's prison ministry proposal. "That's what's wrong with putting someone up on a pedestal and saying what great things he is doing," Colson said. "It's the prayer of the powerless, the weak that God can truly use." Colson said that Prison Fellowship is not a para-church organization, stressing that whenever possible all the work is done in cooperation with local churches. He said he has had several conversations with personnel from the Southern Baptist Home Mission Board and hopes to find ways of working through existing Southern Baptist structures to set up or broaden prison ministries. "My prayer and desire," he said is to be able to phase out Prison Fellowship in four or five years, leave the ongoing ministry to prisoners in the hands of local churches, and then "go out and smell the flowers and listen to the birds sing, which is all I wanted to do when I got out of prison. " Colson, whose book, "Born Again," tells of his conversion to Christianity, said one-third of all Americans say they are "born again," but that a Gallup Poll reports that religion is not greatly affecting the lives of Americans. "We've got to live out the gospel in our lives and meet human need wherever we encounter it 1£ we are to prove the Gallup Poll wrong," Colson said. He challenged Christians to get involved in prison reform and in meeting the needs of inmates on a weekly basis. "The major thing to remember is you have to keep persevering, " he said. "What we are calling you to has no glamor. You'll be rebuffed, but God can use it. " Colson, who served a seven-month sentence in Maxwell Prison in Alabama, said he still feels tension when he walks into a prison today. He described the prisons as "stinking rotten holes" with "utter pervasive bitterness and despair everywhere. " "I look into the eyes of the inmates and feel that sense of helplessness that I experienced in prison," he said. "I still see the faces of those men in prison. Their
faces are crying out for help. " The prison system has been "an abysmal failure," Colson said, because four out of five crimes in America are committed by ex-convicts. When an inmate is finally released, there is an 80 percent chance he will return to prison, he declared. Citing the biblical admonition of Jesus to visit those in prison, Colson told the Baptist group that it is their "Christian duty" to go into the prisons. "The prisons are not working, " he said. "Only Christ can transform the lives of thos in prison. If the Christians do not do something about the pri sons, there is absolutely no hope, because no one else cares," he said. Colson said he sees hope on the horizon for prison reform, citing a recent Canadian Parliament report suggesting that all Canadian prisons be closed except those housing violent criminals who threaten society. -30-
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) --Belief in man's superiority over woman was only a tradition of Bible times, not a biblical teaching itself, a theologian declared at a national seminar sponsored by the Southern Baptist ChrLstLan LLfe CommLssLon. Paul K. Jewett, professor at Fuller Theological Seminary, pasadena, Calif., rejected the traditional, hierarchical view of map. over woman in favor of II • • • the complementarity of the sexes as equal under God. II "The Old Testament world was a man's world. A daughter remained under the authority of her father until she came under the authority of her husband, and then she became his purchased possession, II Jewett said. The patriarchal, or father-dominated, assumption reflected Bible times, he said. liTo appeal to the divine right of man over woman is like appealing to a divine right of a king over his subjects, II The Presbyterian theologian carefully documented his statements with frequent refer nces to Scripture. He noted that women were seen as subordinated to men because of the story of woman being created out of man. liThe man is said to have been formed out of the ground (Gen. 2:7), but no one would suppose he is subordinated to the ground because he was taken from it," he explained. Jewett appealed to the life and teachings of Christ as a model for Christian relationship between the sexes. Christ's relationship to woman, considering the times, was "positively revolutionary, II he said. "He treated women as fully human, equal to men in every respect. II Women were last at the cross when Jesus died and first at the tomb after his resurrection and Jesus appeared to them first on the morning of his resurrection, he said. Jewett also discussed the attitude toward women of the Apostle Paul, a biblical personality often cited as a proponent of the hierarchial view of male superiority. Noting that Paul reflected both a Jewish background and Christian experience related to women, Jewett said I "There can be no male and female, declares the apostle in Galatians, the great epistle of Christian liberty--the Magna Carta of our humanity. II Jewett referred to Paul's mention of several women leaders throughout his writings in the Bible. Two of them were mentioned by name, whom he calls his "fellow workers who struggled with me in the spreading of the gospel," Jewett explained. He said the New Testament apostle treats women as having pre-eminence in the church, and implies their right to express themselves as leading members of the coogregation. Calling Paul's attitude "only a beginning in implementing this insight, II the California theologian called on the church today to press on lito the full implementation of the apostle's vision concerning the equality of the sexes in Christ. II "And thus the church will model a lifestyle that, in this respect, is truly Christian, II he concluded. -30Baker: Face Communism In Russia, Not Panama
Baptist Press 3/28/78
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--lf America is going to have a face-off with communism, it should do it with Russia and not with Panama, U. S. Sen. Howard Baker, R.-Tenn., told a national seminar exploring Christian lifestyle perspectives. "We must re solve differences (with Panama) at the bargaining table, not with them as a chattel, " he declared. -more-
Baker, who took an unpopular stand with his Tennessee constituents when he voted for ratification of the controversial Panama Canal treaties, told 600 people at the annual seminar sponsored by the Southern Baptist Christian Ufe Commission that the Soviet Union is in the midst of the greatest arms build-up since Nazi Germany in World War II. "Our Christian beliefs cannot prosper in any world where communism reaches dominance," Baker, a Presbyterian, said. At the present rate of defense spending for the Soviet Union and the United States, the Russians will meet and surpass America in the late 1970s or early 80s and become the dominant military factor, he said. In response, Americans must have a "determrnatton to keep us so undoubtedly strong, morally, economically and militarily, that we never have to reach an imbalance in that terrible equation of terror," Baker said. The Senate minority leader said that calls for an increasing share of the national economy directed to defense spending. In what may be a platform item for what many consider a likely presidential bid, Baker said additional defense spending would be no problem in an economy that could be greatly "heated up" by a reduction in the federal income tax of 20 to 30 percent. -30WMU Leader Says Ordination Not Basic Church Question
Baptist Press 3/28/78
By Jennifer Bryon
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Ordination of women is not the basic question facing churches today, the head of the Southern Baptist Woman's Missionary Union told a seminar on Christian lifestyle sponsored by the Southern Baptist Christian Life Commission. "We waste a lot of time debating the merits of the idea of ordaining women to be deacons or preachers," said Carolyn Weatherford. IlMore basic is whether or not God calls women to serve him through the church. I do not know very many women who feel called to the pastorate or the diaconate. 1 know many who feel that God has called them to significant areas of leadership which are not readily open to them. Are the women in error about their call? " Miss Weatherford believes the church has a responsibility to help women deal with their changing lifestyles and to help them find ways to fulfill their call. Women's lifestyles began to change, in a sense, she says, when a black woman named Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of a bus in Montgomery, Ala., in 1955. "American women had been struggling for a voice in the life and work of their country for years, " she said. "The modern women's movements began as a sudden, long overdue, pent-up, personal reaction to the image of women that has been painted through the years. " Miss Weatherford says she neither supports nor opposes the movement behind the Equal Rights Amendment because she cannot give full attention to all the details. "The tragedy of the ERA is that we haven It helped people evaluate what's happening in society," she said. "We 've not really looked at issues and helped people know how to respond to either side of the question. II
She believes the women's movement which started in the 1960's has now developed into several movements and has changed the lives of men and women and the ways they look at family, job, and sexual equality. Miss Weatherford sees several major results of this change. The changing lifestyle of women has given them the opportunity to choose what they will or will not do with their lives. The traditional image of the family is changing from that of two parents to one-parent families. Many people postpone marriage and parenting. More women are entering the job market, Women are becoming more visible in politics. The image of women aired by the media is changing. And there's a change in the attitudes toward housewives. I
" There's also a change in the feminine moral climate I II Miss Weatherford pointed out. "Unfortunately, many of the changing lifestyles reflect the attitude of some women who feel they now have the right to be as bad as men instead of as good as men." Changes concerning women are also being made in religious circles I but Miss Weath rford feels there are some things the church can do. "The church, a s a fellowship of believers I has a message for women today. The church has the God-given responsibility of bringing non-Christian women into this fellowship by introducing them to Jesus. II she satd , The church, she continued I can help women recognize their own personal worth in the sight of God. It can minister to women in their needs I many of which are brought on by their changing lifestyles. "Spiritual leaders can provide support for women who are thwarted in what they believe to be God's will and purpose for their lives," she said. "Does God call women today? II she asked. "I believe so. Some feel that this call involves ordination and they struggle. It is in the church that the Christian woman should find her help in discerning the difference between self-made ambition and God-given leadership. " In admonishing churches to develop women in leadership roles I Miss Weatherford cited the Inequitte s in the number of women in the denomination and in the number who hold responsible positions on decision-making boards and committees. "At the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Kansas City last year, 1,053 people were named to committees, boards, and so forth I of the SBC I " she said. "Only 114 of these were women, and Carolyn Weatherford was four of those women! With only eight of the 52 members of the committee on boards being women, it is unlikely that the percentage will change greatly in 1978 (at the SBC meeting) in Atlanta. II When asked what Southern Baptist agencies and boards are doing in employment of worn n, Miss Weatherford said I "Not much. • • •They're doing some things, but not enough. One thing being done is the Consultation on Women in Church-Related Vocations scheduled in September in Nashville for those people responsible for the employment of women in our denomination. " She said women can help by writing Foy Valentine, executive secretary of the Christian Life Commission, because the commission is on the "cutting edge" of social issues. She also suggested writing other sac agencies and state Baptist executive secretaries. Miss Weatherford was the only woman of 15 speakers on the program at this Christian Life Commission seminar on changing lifestyles, where she challenged the church to promote unity I not disunity. "The church can remove barriers that prevent oneness and unity in Christ Jesus I II she said. "We are commissioned with the same gosp~l and we fail our Lord when we fail to make full use of every gift and every opportunity to share the Good News. II liThe power of the Holy Spirit is imparted to both. He has shown us all the more excellent way. II -30Baptist Missionaries Baptist Press Return to Ethiopia 3/28/78 ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (BP)--Nine months after the last Southern Baptist missionar! s left Ethiopia because of unsettled political conditions I a Southern Baptist agriculturist and his wife have returned to resume their work. -more-
V. Lynn and Suzanne Groce, one of the last missionary couples to leave Ethiopia in June 1977, were the first to return as stability increased in Addis Ababa, the capital city. Another Southern Baptist couple is expected to join them in April. While waiting in Kenya for conditions in Ethiopia to become more favorable, Groce has served as administrator and treasurer for the Ethiopian Mission (organization of Southern Baptist missionaries). An Ethiopian was in charge of the mission affairs in Ethiopia. Th Groces reported the mission properties were in good shape when they returned March 24.
-30Joint Easter Service Offers Hope Despite Mideast Tensions
By Ruth Fowler
Baptist Press 3/28/78
JERUSALEM (BP}--Armed soldiers, children wearing new clothing, and centuries-old Easter traditions marked the resurrection celebration in the Holy Land. Amid Middle East tensions, Baptists saw hope in Easter as Hebrew and Arab Christians worshipped together in the West Jerusalem Baptist Church. Easter celebrations began on Palm Sunday with a march into the ancient section of Jerusalem. Local congregations throughout Israel had similar observances. On almost every street there were soldiers working or walking. They were armed, ready for action. The local people are accustomed to them. Israel is not the only nation with such soldiers. Throughout the area there is an undercurrent of fear. For most of the more than 3.5 million people in Israel, Easter was just another working day. Both Muslims and Jews celebrate a different day of worship. But for Baptists in this troubled part of the world I the season has special meaning. Ibrahim Sim'am is a Baptist pastor working with permission of the Israeli government helping Lebanese refugees along the border. In the past few years he has seen much death, but also, he says, much life. As his family left for a Good Friday service, he recalled a child born just minutes after he had taken the mother to the hospital. For him life, new life, is possible even amid the death of recent weeks. And through Christ he sees the hope of new life for the Middle East. "A new resurrection is possible," SimIan says, "a lasting peace." In Nazareth I the wife of Baptist deacon George Laty showed the new skirt her daughter would wear on Easter. It was Saturday, called by custom the Day of Light. Laty was a Communist activist before he became a believer and was saved from a death sentence twice during the war of 1948. Both times he was imprisoned by mistake. His testimony is that of a life changed from hate to love. Another Baptist family, in a village near the Sea of Galilee, shared in ancient Easter customs. Neighbors and relatives came to visit and were served Easter cakes. The cakes were made in the shapes of a crown of thorns and the rock at Christ's tomb entrance. Easter is an important celebration for such families--the largest Christian feast. This family would celebrate in both a Baptist and Greek Catholic church. Dozens would pas s through the home, each bearing Easter greetings ard praise that Christ is risen. As hundreds gathered for sunrise services in the garden tomb and on the Mount of Olives, the people of West Jerusalem Baptist Church worshipped with them. They had already held their church's services on Saturday so more members could come. As the sun rose choirs of Christians sang praises. The hearts of Baptists of West Jerusalem Church also rejoiced, for they saw in the joint worship of Hebrew and Arab Christians a foretaste of what true peace can be brought through Christ.
-30Ruth Fowler, staff writer-consultant for the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board, was in Israel as part of a writing tour of the Middle East and India.