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Broadway Baptist Finds a Happy Compromise

Timothy Kincaid

February 25th, 2008

We’ve been following the drama of the membership book at Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth, TX.

The moderate church includes a number of gay members and seeks to be open to all who want to worship. But trouble arose when it came time to prepare a directory that included family pictures; two men showed up for their family shot.

Some of the more conservative members didn’t want gay couples listed as “family”. The men offered to have separate pictures taken.

But some of the more liberal members were angry that gay people were being disrespected and treated as second class members. What to do?

Well after several months, meetings, church discussions, “scholarly presentations and an in-depth look at the Scriptures”, and much anguished hand wringing, the church has found a compromise:

In a 294-182 vote, members approved a recommendation by the church’s board of deacons to publish a directory that would include member photos in “candid, small and large group pictures” but not include family portraits.

What an elegant solution. Now each group may seek to define for itself what members comprise their group (that isn’t a family, you know).

But regardless of the ridiculousness of renaming family as “a candid small or large group”, I believe that this process has been good for the church and for Christianity as a whole. As people struggle with the issue of including gay couples in communion, they have to deal with the realities of those people that they know and love. They can no longer pretend that their heterosexism is benign nor that passive anti-gay attitudes harm no one.

Church members voted after a sermon by Pastor Brett Younger in which he asked parishioners to look people in the eye and question what they see and how they react.

“If we look into the eyes of a gay Christian, we may have to rethink some of our opinions,” Mr. Younger said.

Very true, Pastor.

And give my regards to… um, your church.

See also:
Broadway’s Pastor Calls It Quits
Broadway’s Anti-Gays Vote
Broadway Baptist Finds a Happy Compromise
Broadway Baptist Punts on Gay Members’ Photos
More Baptist Controversy

Comments

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Suricou Raven
March 1st, 2008 | LINK

“If we look into the eyes of a gay Christian, we may have to rethink some of our opinions,”

A very large part of the work of anti-gay groups – as with anti-anything groups – is dedicated to making sure they never have to look a gay person in the eyes. Dehumanisation is key to any type of oppression.

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