Mississippi County Baptist Association
Thursday, July 25, 2024
Changed Lives - Caring People
 Together we can make a difference in peoples lives, sharing the help, healing
and hope of Jesus Christ!


Alarming Decline in Marriage Rates

The incessant, negative drum beats against the institution of marriage are paying dividends for the cultural elites, radical feminists, humanists, progressive academicians, and other assorted social warriors.  Their objective seems to be to destabilize the nuclear family structure by endorsing living arrangements for couples that are indefinite, transient, and devoid of any meaningful commitment capable of weathering the typical storms that inevitably arise in intimate relationships.

A just-released report by the Institute for Family Studies (“IFS”) reveals some stark figures.  The IFS found that in 2018 (the last year for complete computations), a record 35% of Americans aged 25-50, about 39 million people, had never been married.  That represented a 14-percentage point increase in unmarrieds in less than 20 years.

Since marriage rates tend to fall during recessions, the IFS anticipates that the lock down/stay at home orders and the accompanying economic downturn resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic will further depress the marriage rates.  The IFS predicts that the resultant marriage rates will set all-time low records. 

The IFS attributes the decline in the number of never-marrieds to several factors.  For one, young adults take more time before marrying.  The current average age for first time marriage is 28 for women and 30 for men.  In the 70s, the average ages were in the early 20s.  Another factor is that cohabitation – having largely shed the stigma once associated with it -- is seen by many as an appropriate alternative to marriage.

We saw this trend of declining percentages of married couples first in the Scandinavian countries a few decades ago after they had legalized same-sex marriage.  Now, here in America we too are seeing a steady and rather dramatic drop off in the percentage of our population that is married. 

As is the case in those Scandinavian countries, the acceptance of same-sex marriage in the U.S. has contributed to this decline in marriage.  The radical recasting of marriage to include same-sex couples seems to have taken the aura and majesty from that most venerable institution; it can no longer be viewed quite as special as it was when it was an exclusively opposite-sex union. 

However, it should be noted that while same-sex marriage has served to weaken the institution of marriage in America, it has only been one factor -- albeit a significant one -- and not solely responsible for the decline in the percentage of married people.  That phenomenon was occurring before the wide spread legalization of same-sex marriage in America.  It began with the “free sex” movement of the sixties and grew with the ever-encroaching secularization of our culture.

 The stability of the American family and, correspondingly, the strength, vibrancy, and resiliency of our communities, states, and the entire culture is in jeopardy.  As goes the family, so goes the nation.  Families that are not built on solid marriages and firm commitments make for a very weak foundation – one that more easily crumbles under the trials and travails that traditional marriages often weather.  Family disintegration and community decay are inevitable results of that phenomenon. 

We should be encouraging young, opposite-sex people to not short-circuit the best for the expediency and ease of temporal living arrangements that almost always end in a less-than-the-best for everyone – and especially so for children born in such circumstances.  There is a reason that God’s model for the family starts with one man and one woman for life within the bonds of marriage.  No one should add to nor subtract from that perfect configuration.  It is as simple as that. 


To everyone, thanks for allowing us to serve you.  And to those who support us with your prayers and financial gifts, we are appreciative that you have chosen to partner with us - our gratitude for you runs deep.

Larry Page, AR Faith and Ethics Committee


Smoked Marijuana is Not Medicine – It’s Bogus 

Yesterday at the state capitol, the sponsors of one of the medical marijuana initiatives turned in petitions with reportedly enough signatures of registered voters to qualify for the general election ballot in November.  Right on the heels of that development, I participated in a press conference in which I and the leader of Family Council announced our opposition to the measure and highlighted some of the reasons for that.  Below, is the essence of the statement I gave at the press conference.

Smoked marijuana is not legitimate medicine.  Modifying “marijuana” with the word “medical” does not make it a bona fide pharmaceutic.  How about “medical cocaine” or “medical LSD”?  Using the words “medical” and “methamphetamine” in tandem does not transform that harmful drug into a substance that has helpful, medical application.
If there are some valid medical applications for THC and cannibidiol, the active ingredients in marijuana (and doubt still exists about that claim), there are more efficacious and safer ways than smoking marijuana to medically deliver them.  Those means of delivering THC have and continue to be developed.
Can chronic pain be masked or blocked by smoking marijuana?  Perhaps it can.  However, the pain might also be blocked and masked by intravenous shots of heroin, by drinking alcohol to the point of intoxication, or by injecting, snorting, or ingesting any number of other drugs.  The fact that pain can be managed by a substance does not for that reason alone cause that drug to morph into a legitimate pharmaceutic.
It is important to note that the FDA has approved no medications that are smoked.  There are a number of reasons for this.  Smoking is a generally poor way to deliver a pharmaceutic; it is impossible to safely deliver precise dosages.  Also, the harmful chemicals and carcinogens that are byproducts of smoking create a whole other set of health problems – especially for long-term use.
Take morphine for example.  It has proven to be valuable as an effective drug.  However, the FDA has not approved the smoking of opium or heroin.  By using the scientific method, active ingredients have been extracted from opium and developed into effective medicines – codeine, hydrocodone, and oxycodone – in addition to morphine.
Medical science found a better way with opium, and it has and continues to do so with marijuana.  In a Journal of the American Medical Association article last year, two Yale University psychiatrists stated that legalization of medical marijuana was based on inadequate and poor-quality studies, relying too much on anecdotal evidence in the form of patients’ accounts or other nonscientific evidence.  They opined that the rush to approve medical marijuana got ahead of the research that should have been conducted first.

The above only scratches the surface of the mountain of evidence that presents a devastating case against so-called “medical marijuana.”  You’ll be hearing much from us on that during the course of the campaign to defeat the pot initiative.  Stay tuned and watch your inbox.

To everyone, thanks for allowing us to serve you.  And to those who support us with your prayers and financial gifts, we are appreciative that you have chosen to partner with us - our gratitude for you runs deep.



Seventy million or so Americans are using (often illegally, inappropriately, or unnecessarily) mind-altering drugs.  Nearly 50 million of those take prescription psychiatric drugs - some pursuant to a valid doctor's prescription - but others obtained and used "non-medically" (without a prescription from a doctor).  When the additional 58 million who abuse alcohol is included, there are about 130 million Americans who are dependent to some extent or other on drugs.

Are Baptist associations still important today?
Originally Published in Arkansas Baptist News
Associations have had a tremendous impact upon
Baptist life for more than 300 years. Through them,
regional churches meet for partnership and fellowship.
Associations enable local churches to encourage and assist
one another in reaching their region for Christ. The heart
of associational work has always been missions, whether
it is local, state, national or global.
The association is a lifeline for small and rural churches.
It allows them to participate in programs that they could
not do alone. The association is a repository for materials
and equipment that member churches can use.
It provides educational opportunities for pastors and
lay leaders. It enables children to attend Christian camps,
and it networks with area churches for various programs
(vacation Bible school, evangelism, etc.) It facilitates
partnerships for national and international mission trips.
The director of missions (DOM) or associational missionary
is a vital link between the member churches of the association.
He has a multifaceted task. He encourages pastors and
church leaders in their ministry. He facilitates churches by
providing statistics for churches and the state convention.
He trains ministers and lay people in their tasks. He promotes
a wide range of mission opportunities. He serves
as an example of what a Christian leader should be.
Modern times have not always been kind to the association.
Many churches find the association irrelevant. Mobility
and electronics have moved churches from interdependene
to independence. At times, it is easier to contact a specialist
than to find the DOM. These changes may have affected the
association, but its mission remains the same: partnership
and fellowship.
Though times have changed, the association can still be an
important and vital part of Baptist life. It is up to the member
churches to decide how important and vital it is.
LUKE 19:10 




PRAYERWALKING  March 1 - April 10

   GOSPEL DISTRIBUTION   April 11-23rd 



Plastic door hanger bag - $1.20 per 100 (1.2 cents each from associational office or order from NAMB (available at Evangelism Rally-call order in will have ready)

"Find it Here" brochure - $6.00 per 100 (6 cents each from associational office (HCSB) or order from NAMB for KJV Brochures orders will have to be placed with NAMB

Ordering information:

Online from NAMB www.nambstore.com (search for Bags) or Phone 866-407-6262

Item numbers:

Door Hanger bags - Item #22.1593124937

HCSB Brochures - Item #22.159312054

KJV Brochures - Item #22.15913125062

Spanish Brochures - Item #22.1593125070