Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Christians Must Fight Terror, Culture Wars, Baptists Told

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Christians Must Fight Terror, Culture Wars, Baptists Told

Article excerpt


OCALA -- Christians must take the lead in fighting America's ongoing war against terrorists and secularists, prison minister, author and convicted Watergate co-conspirator Charles Colson told fellow Southern Baptists attending the 144th meeting of the Florida Baptist State Convention.

Islamic terrorists hate America and its values of democracy and freedom while "secular naturalists" oppose the biblical values upon which the nation was founded, Colson, 74, said Monday night.

"We Christians must stand our ground" and provide the moral resolve that "has always come from the Christian church," said Colson, the founder of Prison Fellowship Ministries.

Colson's sermon was just the encouragement some Baptist messengers needed to get through a busy day of hearing reports and voting on resolutions and recommendations, said the Rev. David McKeithen, pastor at Antioch Baptist Church in Live Oak.

Approximately 1,500 delegates, or messengers, attended the three-day convention that concluded Tuesday.

The messengers approved a $38.4 million budget for 2006, voted on nearly two dozen recommendations and resolutions, elected officers and re-elected the Rev. Hayes Wicker of Naples to a second one-year term as president of the 1 million-member state convention. They also heard a number of reports from the convention's governing body, the state Board of Missions, on topics ranging from hurricane relief to plans to boost support for the ongoing petition drive for a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

The Rev. Ben Bryant, board president, reported that Florida Baptists contributed $2.6 million to Hurricane Katrina relief efforts and even more when other hurricanes were factored in.

Wicker, Bryant and other leaders of the convention participated in a symbolic petition signing in support for the Marriage Preservation Amendment. …

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