The Christian Life and Public Affairs Committee of the Baptist State Convention encourages pastors and church leaders to make an intentional effort to read, pray and engage in matters of public policy in their communities. Many communities across our state are wrestling with any number of matters that impact families, schools, and sometimes even churches. Christians should not shy away from speaking into these debates and entering the public conversation.
Keeping up with the items on the agenda for a town council, county school board or county commissioners is often a straight forward process. However, to do so regarding the public policy debates that take place in the General Assembly in Raleigh requires greater effort. Tracking the introduction of bills, their movement through various committees, and the debate of issues important to North Carolina Baptists is more difficult in Raleigh simply due to the speed with which the General Assembly approaches its work today. The ability to stay informed and respond in a timely manner to matters of public policy under consideration in the General Assembly requires an individual(s) to devote a significant amount of time and effort to these matters.
It is difficult for any single church alone to give the attention needed to these matters; they need a trusted resource upon whom they can call for information and analysis. It is at this important juncture that the Christian Action League (CAL) deserves the attention, the consideration and the support of churches and individuals from across the state.
The CAL, under the capable leadership of Mark Creech, is the trusted source for so many Christians seeking to understand and interpret the impact and effect of legislation and policy being discussed by the General Assembly. The CAL staff understands the conviction of pastors, the position of churches, and the admonition of our Lord to be “salt and light” in a world that is growing darker by the day. The CAL analyzes the public policy issues of the day through the lens of a Christian worldview. While pastors are engaged in the difficult work of ministry, the staff of the CAL is working on their behalf in the General Assembly.
But it’s not just to the General Assembly in Raleigh to which the CAL is watching and listening. As matters of importance come before county commissioners and other local bodies, CAL shares this information. It’s not uncommon for an issue that is being debated in one community to surface on the agenda in another community shortly thereafter.
Because the CAL is doing such important work on behalf of Christians across our state, we’re asking that you join us in doing three things to support the CAL and introduce others to the important work of the CAL.
First, please pray for Mark Creech, the board of the directors, and the staff of the CAL. Ask that God will provide them wisdom, discernment, and favor in the eyes of the members of our General Assembly. Pray that they will stand boldly upon Biblical truth, yet communicate these truths with Christian grace, and in all things extend and express Christ’s love.
Second, invite Mark Creech to preach in your church, speak to a group in your congregation, or meet with you and your church leaders. You’ll appreciate the depth of Mark’s understanding of the legislative process, be encouraged by his testimony of how God is truly at work among of the members of the General Assembly, and better understand the mission, vision, and values of the CAL.
Third, support the work of the CAL. The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina was instrumental in founding the CAL and has always been a financial supporter of the CAL. However, the support from churches and individuals is essential. Consider leading your church to place the CAL in your annual budget. Even gifts of $100/year from pastors and other individuals, when multiplied over the 4,300 churches of our convention, will have a great impact on the ability of the CAL to fulfill its mission.
Thank you for all that you’re doing to impact your communities, make disciples, shine the light and show the love of Christ in your community.
Christian Life and Public Affairs Committee
Baptist State Convention of North Carolina
By: Rev. Johnny Henderson, CL&PA Committee Member
Is your church having an impact on your community and our culture for Christ? We all know that the Church, the Body of Christ, is called to fulfill the Great Commission and spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ into the world. We are always to be engaged in that vital disciple-making endeavor. However, many Christians and churches are unaware of the far reaching effect of the gospel. Our Lord’s Great Commission is also a cultural commission.
How does the Great Commission impact our culture? Simply the gospel impacts every facet of our culture resulting in a positive moral influence upon the culture in which we live. Christ himself called us to be “salt of the earth” and “light of the world.” (Mat 5:13-16) We accomplish this task through gospel preaching and godly influence. The gospel motivates us to confront our culture with biblical truth and to address the social and moral issues of our day.
How do we accomplish this important but seemingly overwhelming task? One of the most effective ways is to organize a Culture Impact Team (CIT) in your church. These teams have been known by different names over the years but their function is the same, to assist individual Christians and churches in fulfilling the Great Commission of being salt and light in society.
What is a CIT? It is a small group of individuals who comprise a committee, a team or task force appointed by the church to monitor social and moral issues in the community or the culture and to suggest ways the church can successfully engage such issues.
How does a CIT function? First of all, a CIT is instrumental in alerting the church on matters of concern. The team functions much like a “watchman on the wall” in the scripture and raises a voice of alarm when dangers threaten families, the church or the culture at large. The team also informs the church and Christian community with accurate and pertinent information concerning moral issues that are being debated in the public arena. Why are many Christians not involved in addressing social concerns? Unfortunately, the reason many believers are silent is because they simply are not adequately educated or informed on social and moral issues confronting our culture.
A CIT equips. Once a believer or a church is made aware of issues of concern what should be done? How should the church respond? The (CIT) provides well-researched information, resources, tools and suggestions so believers will know how to respond in an effective manner.
A CIT also has the task of mobilizing members into action. It is one thing to know that something should be done about a social issue but it is quite another to know how to respond in gospel honoring ways and to mobilize and take action. The CIT, under the direction of the pastor and church leadership, coordinates the involvement of the church in addressing and acting upon issues of concern in the community and culture in practical and tangible ways. This action could take many forms such encouraging members to write letters to editor, making phone calls to legislators, providing information about voting registration or hosting a seminar to provide education about a social or moral concern.
The Christian Life and Public Affairs Committee is encouraging churches across our state to establish a CIT in each congregation. Dr. Mark Harris, Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church, Charlotte is leading an effort to establish and train CIT’s across the state. Free training and resources are available for your church or association. If you are interested please contact Marti Tidwell First Baptist Church Charlotte, 301 South Davidson Street Charlotte, North Carolina 28231. Marti can also be contacted by phone at 704-375-1446 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Culture Impact Team Manual by Dr. Kenyon Cureton
By: Dr. Bob Garbett, CL&PA Committee Member
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you…” – Jeremiah 1:5a
One of the tenets of our Christian faith is that God has a purpose for every life. But, what about the life of those 1.2 million unborn babies who are aborted every year? Who would they become if allowed the “life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness” we enjoy? What would be their accomplishments, their passion, and contribution to our society?
We will never know; however, there is a movie which takes one of those lives and plays out a fictional, but entirely possible, course of that life. This fictional future is portrayed on screen as one Zac Ryan, a clinical oncologist whose pursuit is a cure for cancer. The movie is “Life Changes Everything.”
The movie is produced by a young man named Corey Paul, whose own story almost ended before he was born. His mother had been coerced to abort Corey’s older brother and, without the intervention of a pastor, was about to end her second pregnancy at the abortion clinic.
Corey’s mission to share the fictional story of a changed life is driven by truth and a desire to share the reality life does indeed change everything.
This movie would a tremendous resource for use on or around Sanctity of Human Life Week January 11-18, 2015. Corey is available to attend some showings if you schedule early enough.
You can view the trailer or reviews of the movie at the following sites:
Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2fawXWGldw
Reviews – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvV60by3m_s
Corey may be reached at email@example.com
** Note: Corey will be at the booth for the Christian Life & Public Affairs Committee at the Baptist State Convention