Recently I was reading the Southern Baptist Texan and on the front-page of the March 9 edition there is a discussion about a Fort Worth church that is being looked into by the Southern Baptist executive committee. Every Baptist Church is an independent organization that at times the church may reach out to other organizations to help them in their time of trouble and that is exactly what Broadway Baptist has done. The problem became so big that they contacted the Southern Baptist convention.
What is this all about? Well the executive committee began studying the church’s affiliation last year after a messenger at the Southern Baptist convention annual meeting in June made a motion that the convention declare Broadway Baptist not to be “in friendly cooperation” with the denomination. The article went on to say that “Article III of the SBC Constitution states the churches “which act to affirm approve or endorse homosexual behavior” are not in friendly cooperation.This all came to a head when the church last February decided in a vote of 294 to 182 to publish a directory without family portraits of homosexuals but would include candid shots of members involved in various ministries. Read that last line again, “but would include candid shots of members involved in various ministries.” What ministries could a practicing homosexual be involved in at Broadway Baptist Church?
Later in the article a letter dated Jan 27 states in part: “Broadway has never taken any church action to affirm, approve or endorse homosexual behavior. Broadway Baptist Church considers itself to be in friendly cooperation with the Southern Baptist convention and has every intention of remaining so” it further stated “we extend Christian hospitality to everyone including homosexuals we do not endorse, approve, or affirm homosexual behavior.”I have a couple comments.
1. I’m not a member nor have I ever been to Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth Texas. I certainly have not “walked a mile in the shoes” of those who have been going through this agonizing and heartbreaking situation. So some of you might say that I am not in the best position to post this as I do not personally know what is going on there. I certainly am not experiencing the real-life situation that is affecting the congregation. I do not understand the dynamics of the relationships of the congregation.
2 That being said I believe the Scripture is very clear about all sin including homosexuality. The burden of proof is that homosexuality is not a “lifestyle” nor is it an inherited trait other than just being our sin nature. Sexual union was for creation, not physical enjoyment. I know that every day the Biblical position is being eroded, even by some main line denominations who are openly embracing homosexual membership in their church. Some even allow homosexuals positions of authority such as pastors, deacons and bishops. If Broadway Baptist Church has practicing homosexuals in positions of authority such as Sunday school teachers, committee members, etc. aren’t they in opposition to their statement that “we do not endorse, approve, or affirm homosexual behavior”?
As we look at the laws that God gave the Hebrews, we see that homosexuality was called an abomination. Leviticus 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
I am certainly not hostile to people who are practicing homosexuality. As a bi-vocational pastor, my civilian job had me in contact with homosexuals daily. I worked with them in that setting and I treated them as I would any other employee. But spiritually that is a different position. Jesus teachings are very clear that we are to preach the gospel to every living creature. In Matthew chapter 5 Jesus teaches that we should love one another. But there is a penalty for sin. No matter what that sin may be. Some sins are far more visible and threatening to the family unit than others. That is why I believe homosexuality is an abomination in the eyes of God. The destruction of the family unit can certainly be, to some extent, laid at the door of the homosexual movement.
Jesus knew that situations would come into the church that would have to be dealt with. Jesus gave the instructions in how to take care of the matter with love and kindness in the Gospel of Matthew. Matthew 18:15-17 “15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.” The Epistles consistently are correcting problems that creep into the church. By following the above process then, if a member was an alcoholic, a child abuser, someone practicing pornography, committing acts of fornication or adultery and would “neglect to hear” them, the church would then consider them as members not in good standing. I would include the person practicing homosexuality in this same category. Jesus taught us that the church was to be set apart.
This is not a twenty-first century problem for the churches as the Apostle Paul wrote against it in his letter to the Romans and the Corinthians in the first century. The big difference is that in the first century, they called sin a sin. Today through “political correctness” we can only call it a lifestyle decision.
How do we extend the hand of love and yet protect the sanctity of the body of Christ?
So my question to you is “What is your opinion?”