Baptist News Global readers had a strong appetite this year for topics ranging from church-state battles over the pandemic, the link between Calvinism and racism and the painful experience of transgendered persons in the church.
BNG’s most-read articles in 2020 also included one about accusations of racism at a seminary founded by slaveholders and another about Americans’ overwhelming support for in-person worship in the pandemic, but not so much for attending in person themselves. And a piece about alternatives to Franklin Graham’s Operation Christmas Child — first published three years ago — also was highly read during the past 12 months as it has been every year since initial publication.
Presented here is BNG’s list of Top 10 most-read news and analysis stories for 2020.
- “How John MacArthur loves the Bible but not his neighbor,” July 28, 2020 — California church holds worship gatherings despite COVID rates and restrictions. This was the first of a what became a series of articles about the California pastor and his congregation.
- “Pastor reveals true identity in live-streamed Sunday sermon,” June 18, 2020 — Canadian Baptist minister June Joplin reveals her transition to female identity to a surprised congregation.
- “Six ways ‘American Gospel’ is small-minded and abusive,” Aug. 14, 2020 — Pro-Calvinist documentary reveals its narrow views on authority, other religions, sin and justice, human identity, suffering and the cosmos.
- “SBC seminary presidents are ‘complicit with evil,’ revered California pastor says,” Dec. 15, 2020 — Black denominational leader blasts conservative Southern Baptist leaders for fearing race theory more than racism itself.
- “MacArthur defies late-night court order against indoor worship,” Aug. 16, 2020 — Judge’s ruling and coronavirus outbreak can’t keep this California church closed.
- “Americans want churches open but aren’t attending when they are open,” Aug. 12, 2020 — Survey finds 70% of Americans support in-person worship but only 12% actually attend.
- “Stuffing shoe boxes for the world’s poor? Maybe you should reconsider,” March 29, 2017 — Churches can find outlets for authentic charity by leaving the bubble created by Operation Christmas Child.
- “Baptist Calvinists defend slavery of Southern Seminary founders,” Sept. 9, 2020 — Prominent Southern Baptists defend honoring institution’s slaveholding past.
- “John MacArthur retains Trump lawyer in fight over COVID restrictions,”Aug.5, 2020 — Church battling California, Los Angeles pandemic restrictions taps Thomas More Society for legal representation.
- “Church dismisses pastor who came out as transgender in Sunday sermon,” July 22, 2020 — June Joplin loses pulpit in close congregational vote following surprise coming-out sermon.
Coming tomorrow: BNG’s most-read opinion pieces of 2020.