Washington, District of Columbia 2021-02-23 15:55:11 –
The Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention resolved on Tuesday to expel four churches.
The Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention resolved on Tuesday to expel four churches. Two were over policies that seemed to include LGBTQ people too much, and two were hiring a minister convicted of sex crimes.
The action was announced at a conference marked by warnings from two top leaders that SBC, the largest Protestant denomination in the United States, is hurting itself in a division over some important issues, including race. I did.
In his opening speech, SBC President JD Greer said, “We mourn when we feel that closet racists and the Neo-Confederates are more at home in our church than many colored races. You should be sad. “
The two churches exiled to include LGBTQ were the St. Matthews Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky and the Townview Baptist Church in Kennesaw, Georgia.
Pastor Jim Conrad, a townview minister, told The Associated Press last week that he would not appeal to the exiles, but at least temporarily, to partner with a Cooperative Baptist Fellowship that would allow the church to set its own LGBTQ policy.
Townview began accepting LGBTQ worshipers as members in October 2019 after asking if same-sex couples with three adopted children could attend Conrad. This is the decision he defends as the right thing to do.
“Another way would have been to say,’probably not ready for this,’ but I couldn’t do that,” said Conrad, who has been a minister there since 1994. I did.
The St. Matthews Baptist was one of more than 12 churches that lost membership in the Kentucky Baptist Convention in 2018 due to its financial contribution to the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, which recently lifted the ban on LGBTQ employees.
The Westside Baptist Church in Sharpsville, Pennsylvania was banished for “intentionally hiring registered sex offenders as ministers,” according to SBC officials, but the Antiochia Baptist Church in Sevierville, Tennessee There is a pastor convicted of statutory rape.
A two-day executive committee meeting was scheduled to take place on Monday with a speech by Glia and executive committee president Ronnie Floyd to mourn several tough divisions within the sect.
“The sound of this war in the Southern Baptist camp has to do with me, and I know it has to do with many of you,” Floyd said. “We’re listening to how American culture is out of control, but my friends, our own culture within the Southern Baptist Convention, are also out of control.”
Floyd said the division reflects national ideological, political and racial differences.
“In this enthusiastic environment, each of us needs to be very careful about what we write, speak, tweet, and post,” he said. “As SBC leaders and followers of Jesus, our public actions are important.”
Glia has addressed a long-standing problem of rekindling SBC racial tensions. Some black ministers have left SBC, others have expressed disappointment with the statements of SBC’s six seminary presidents (all white), limiting the way schools teach the subject of systematic racism. I am.
From now on, Glia said the Black Southern Baptist should be included in discussions on this topic, including SBC’s attitude towards the concept of critical racing theory denied by the president of the seminary.
“In reality, if we at SBC were as much saddened by the tragic legacy that racism and discrimination left in our country as we were passionate about blaming CRT. We probably won’t get into this mess, “Glia said.
“Do we want to be gospel people or people of southern culture? Which is the most important part of our name — Southern or Baptist?”
After two speeches, the Executive Committee unanimously adopted an expansion plan called Vision 2025. This will increase the number of full-time international missionaries of the Southern Baptist Convention from 3,700 to 4,200, increase the number of congregations by 5,000, and seek to reverse the decline in baptism. 17 years old.
Floyd said the SBC Church is baptizing teenagers 38% less than in 2000.
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