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A respected Southern Baptist pastor and author says “wimpy” pastors and laypersons are the reason Christians are losing the culture war. Why are many Christian leaders silent when religious freedom comes under attack? That question was raised Tuesday evening by Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly and posed to Dr. Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Church Dallas and author of How Can I Know: Answers to Life’s 7 Most Important Questions. “I think one reason is a lot of Christian leaders have the wrong idea about Jesus,” Jeffress replied when asked the question. “They see Jesus as this little, wimpy guy who walked around plucking daisies and eating birdseed and saying nice things, but never doing anything controversial. The fact is, Jesus did confront his culture with truth — and he ended up being crucified because of it.” The Dallas pastor chastised pastors who shy away from controversy. “Wimpy pastors produce wimpy Christians — and that is why we are losing this culture war,” he emphasized. “I believe it’s time for pastors to say, You know, I don’t care about controversy, I don’t care whether I’m going to lose church members, I don’t care about building a big church. I’m going to stand for truth regardless of what happens.” Jeffress — who also reprimanded school districts and elected officials for caving in — contends secularists are going to take over if pastors and Christians continue to refuse to stand up and wage the necessary battle to secure their constitutional rights. via Pastor: ‘Wimpy’ won’t cut it in culture war. Thoughts? Todd

Current Events
First Baptist Church of Dallas pastor Robert Jeffress last week introduced Rick Perry at a major conference of Christian conservatives as “a genuine follower of Jesus Christ” and then walked outside and attacked Mitt Romney’s religion, calling the Mormon Church a cult and stating that Mr. Romney “is not a Christian.” The Perry campaign sought to put some distance between Mr. Perry and Mr. Jeffress, stating that the governor “does not believe Mormonism is a cult” and that Mr. Jeffress was chosen to speak by the organizers of the event, the Values Voter Summit, which was put on by the Family Research Council, the American Family Association and other evangelical Christian groups. via // OK… what do you think of this? Do most of us (and maybe I’m speaking out of turn here) view Mormonism as a cult? Was Jeffress right to call it that publicly? Was Jeffress right to say that Romney is not a Christian? Even if that’s what he thinks (and even if I might agree with him)… should he have said it? It certainly wasn’t the politically correct thing to say. So… my question to you… should he have said that?  Give a brief explanation of why you think he should have or shouldn’t have. Todd

That’s the plan at First Baptist Church of Dallas… build a $130 million church complex in the Downtown Dallas arts district. According to the Associated Baptist Press, First Baptist Church in Dallas has launched what leaders say will be the largest church-building campaign in modern history — a $130 million project that includes the congregation’s first entirely new sanctuary since the 1890s. Once considered the largest church in the Southern Baptist Convention, First Baptist Church has declined from 25,000 members under its legendary pastor of 50 years, W.A. Criswell, to about 11,000 today. Under leadership of Robert Jeffress, who took over as pastor in 2007, leaders say the church is growing again, but present facilities are inadequate for innovative ministries needed to reach today’s generation. The plans for the church campus include a high-tech, 3,000-seat worship center, which will double the church’s current worship capacity. There will also be an education center and 500-space parking garage. Several of seven major buildings currently in the church’s sprawling complex on six city blocks will be demolished to make way for construction. The current historic sanctuary will remain, with a steeple restored to its original height. It will continue to be used for weddings, funerals and special events. New landmark features include a towering stone waterfall topped with a luminescent cross. A shallow pool surrounded by green space will provide both a common area for downtown residents and guests and a place for open-air baptism services. “We’re creating what I like to call a spiritual oasis in the middle of downtown Dallas,” Jeffress said Oct. 3 on Dallas radio station KBCI. “It is going to be the most beautiful facility in downtown Dallas.” // What do you think?  A great plan or a total waste of money?  $130 million well spent or wasted?