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The Baptist Standard calls out Texas Baptists on their hypocrisy

Timothy Kincaid

November 20th, 2009

Baptists, once known for their delight in self-autonomy and individual determination of God’s direction, have become a highly exclusionary club.

As Broadway Baptist Church learned, it isn’t enough to follow the rules about gay members, you also have to demonstrate deep loathing for all things homosexual. So the Southern Baptist Convention sent them packing.

And while Broadway avoided a similar fate at the Baptist General Convention of Texas by sending visitors and not messengers (voting members), it was pretty clear that any whiff of tolerance, love, or grace would give rise to calls for expulsion.

This seems to have proved to be too much for Marv Knox, editor of the Baptist Standard. In an editorial he wonder if gays in the pews is a cause for expulsion, what other sins might qualify.

Let’s be clear: Texas Baptists have called homosexual activity sin, and that has been affirmed on this page before. But is homosexuality the only sin or the unpardonable sin?

If Texas Baptists are to be consistent, either we must offer some grace to congregations with which the majority of our convention does not agree (remembering the congregations themselves are not of one mind on this issue), or we must start removing congregations that are home to known sinners.

If we take that route, let’s begin with churches whose pastors blog about Texas Baptists—gossiping and sowing discord. They harm the BGCT far worse than has Broadway. Then, maybe we should remove churches with adulterous deacons, followed by churches with fornicating teens. And if we have any congregations left, why don’t we turn the dinner tables and deal with gluttony? Maybe gossip and gluttony don’t seem as heinous as homosexual sex, but will we blink at heterosexual sex outside of marriage?

My goodness! Mr. Knox is beginning to sound like a, well, a Baptist.

Comments

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Ben
November 21st, 2009 | LINK

“Baptists, once known for their delight in self-autonomy and individual determination of God’s direction, have become a highly exclusionary club.”

Uhhh…delighting in self-autonomy doesn’t mean that you embrace sin. In any case, you’re implying that they’ve “become” a highly exclusionary club. Was there ever a time when Baptists approved of sodomy? Is this a change, or is the Box Turltle Bulletin–once again–full of crap?

“As Broadway Baptist Church learned,it isn’t enough to follow the rules about gay members, you also have to demonstrate deep loathing for all things homosexual.”

You’re just making shit up again, Kincaid. I read the link and he said no such thing.

Some churches have been fooled into believing that homosexuality is an identity, something akin to being black, rather than a behavior, such as adultery or polygamy. If you believe such nonsense, then please go join one of those churches and leave the Southern Baptist Convention alone.

Doug
November 21st, 2009 | LINK

Thanks, Ben, for the reminder to be grateful for the freedom to associate with whomever we want. Thank you also for the reminder to be grateful that I am no longer a member of a church whose roots lie in the sin of hating black folks. I’m glad to leave them alone, thank you.

R Holmes
November 21st, 2009 | LINK

So I’m wondering, Ben… is heterosexuality also just a behaviour? When you are not literally “on the job”, are you asexual?

Emily K
November 21st, 2009 | LINK

Ben is apparently one of those people (and maybe, one of those Christians) who decides that one sin is worse than the others and fulfills the hypocritical stance the SBC has taken.

And then decides to comment on a gay blog. It always amazes me how many “not gay” people who “love gays but hate the way they express love to their equally loving partners” decide to come here and attempt to preach. I guarantee this: No converts will be made.

wackadoodle
November 21st, 2009 | LINK

“If you believe such nonsense, then please go join one of those churches and leave the Southern Baptist Convention alone.”

Yeah, its ‘nonsense’, your bigotry against homosexuals is 100% bible approved. Exactly like the bigotry against blacks was 100% bible approved, infact bigotry against blacks was so bible certified that the SBC was formed for the sole purpose of continuing to defend white supremacism as ‘biblical’.

But I’m sure your current bible-backed bigotry will always be approved of, its not like younger generations are abandoning the church in droves. This totally won’t end with the church apologizing decades from now and trying to whitewash its involvement by claiming only a small hancdful of people ‘misinterpreted’ to justify hating gays, exactly like what happened with blacks and women.

Alex
November 21st, 2009 | LINK

Ben,

Just out of curiosity — if this site is so full of crap and if you believe the writers repeatedly “make shit up,” then why do you comment here?

Priya Lynn
November 21st, 2009 | LINK

So, how about it Ben, is your heterosexuality just a behavior, or is it part of the core of who you are?

Christopher Waldrop
November 21st, 2009 | LINK

Ben’s comment about Mr. Kincaid “making sh*t up again” is interesting, in part because he doesn’t cite a specific previous instance of anyone here making shit up previously (although I’m sure he could come up with something he’ll claim is an example) but also because Ben fails reading comprehension. In spite of Ben’s claim that he read the previous article about the Broadway Baptist Church, apparently he missed the essential fact that the earlier article was about a gay-friendly minister having to give up his efforts to promote tolerance.

If you’re going to comment, Ben, learn to read as well.

Marlene
November 21st, 2009 | LINK

This has been happening in the SBC since the moderates within the faith were ousted in purge during the Reagan Regency.

They removed virtually every woman in *any* sort of authority within both the seminary, and the church as a whole.

The entire leadership for nearly two decades has acted like a dictatorship, continually throwing out *any* church who doesn’t goosestep to the party line.

Emily K
November 21st, 2009 | LINK

The problem with becoming increasingly totalitarian and fringe is that even those who were once celebrated members become pariahs to be shunned. A person whose religious commentary and leadership was once considered pious could now be considered heretical, because the group shifted so far to the right that it left said member to the left.

Mark F.
November 21st, 2009 | LINK

Schism anyone? That’s the Protestant way.

Ben
November 22nd, 2009 | LINK

I’m stil not seeing the “hypocrisy” here. Are Southern Baptists pro-gossipping? Are there Southern Baptist ministers who are telling their congregations to be “tolerant” of gosspping?

The kind of “tolerance” that homosexuals seek is for the pastor to tell them that right is wrong.

No one is saying that anyone is perfect. No one is saying that Southern Baptists are without sin. What homosexuals are saying is that what they do IS NOT sin. That’s quite a different thing.

Oh, and Emily K–no one is becoming “increasingly intolerant”. No one is being intolerant at all, mever mind “increasingly” so. They are simply standing on principle. You wouldn’t call them increasingly intolerant if they told a pastor to leave who was preaching the acceptability of adultery. Also, the Southern Baptists aren’t “moving” “so far to the right”, or anywhere else. Let me reiterate this–Southern Baptists were never pro-sodomy, at any time. This has been their consistent position since day one, and just happens to be the Biblical position. If anything, homosexuals have moved so far to the left that simple disagreement has become heretical. Actually, it’s grounds for termination at many jobs.

Robert Hammond
November 22nd, 2009 | LINK

My dear Ben,
Box turtle is a blog, it is opinion.
Mr. Kincaid’s opinion more often than not resembles my own therefore I choose to read it.
Now as to Mr. Kincaid “ making shit up” why would he need to?
Christians of the freaky fundy variety are always doing something homophobic, stupid or just down right funny. Why make shit up when the next example is only a Sunday or a news release away?

Lymis
November 22nd, 2009 | LINK

Oh and by the way, being gay is not a behavior.

But we have some lovely consolation prizes. Thank you for playing.

Ben in Oakland
November 22nd, 2009 | LINK

Ben: you might want to read this about Christians standing on what you call “principle”.

http://www.exgaywatch.com/wp/2009/11/xgw-digest-november-7-2009/#comments

from another Ben

Emily K
November 22nd, 2009 | LINK

Ben, I never said anyone was “becoming increasingly intolerant.” That is a false quote. What I *actually* said was that any group that becomes “increasingly totalitarian and fringe” runs the risk of isolating itself..from itself.

As someone else said, just schism already.

Dan L
November 22nd, 2009 | LINK

I think it would be useful for you to make the distinction between Southern Baptists and American (formerly Northern) Baptists (ABC-USA). While American Baptists have their own complicated difficulties on this issue, the situation could not be more different. Where Southern Baptists threw out Broadway Baptist for tiptoeing a little too close to the line, congregations that are fully Affirming and Welcoming remain well within the ABC-USA fold. Indeed, the Southwestern region for American Baptists pulled out of the denomination because American Baptists would not take action against those churches and the regional bodies that supported them. You paint with too broad a brush.

Richard W. Fitch
November 22nd, 2009 | LINK

Dan – You are right SBC is the best known, largely because of its consistent spewing of animus against LGBT issues and other items on the more progressive agenda. I grew up in the ABC-USA, and although it is conservative, it is not reactionary. The truth be total, there are over two dozens denominational groups that call themselves ‘Baptist'; not to mention the thousands of other independent, individual congregations that use the name. One need only think of Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka KS. One comment on the recent announcements regarding the release of the “Manhattan Declaration” is that no ABC, UCC, CCDisp, EC-USA or major Orthodox religionists are signatories of this “Christian, Jihadist Manifesto”. The Christian community in the US is no more monolithic than the LGBT community. With respect to ABC-USA, there are several outspoken, well-regarded proponents of LGBT civil rights.

Emily K
November 22nd, 2009 | LINK

There’s an American Baptist Church a few miles from where I grew up (Main Line PA) that hosts an LGBTQ “safe space” for queer teens to meet and hang out. A very good friend of mine was raised partly in ABC congregation, and comes from a very accepting family (as she herself is).

Richard Rush
November 22nd, 2009 | LINK

Emily K, as you may know, the ABC-USA headquarters is located near Philadelphia in the Valley Forge / King of Prussia area.

Emily K
November 22nd, 2009 | LINK

Richard,

I do know. Because I work in the same building they do. :D

Ray
November 22nd, 2009 | LINK

To Ben In Oakland who posted this:

http://www.exgaywatch.com/wp/2009/11/xgw-digest-november-7-2009/#comments

I’m married now but in my next life, I’m looking you up and begging you to marry me.

Ben in Oakland
November 23rd, 2009 | LINK

I’m married, too. Where were you eight years ago when I was sick nigh unto death of meeting the latest it’s-not-you-it’s-me-I-felt-that-way-yesterday-Idon’t-feel-that-way-today guy? :)

Dan L
November 23rd, 2009 | LINK

I agree Richard, though I have a small quibble: while you’re right that there are lots of different organizations that call themselves Baptist, the three most significant divisions are the Southern Baptists, the mainline American Baptists, and the predominantly African-American National Baptists. I think probably some 85% or better of Americans who call themselves Baptists fit into those three groups, so it’d be manageable to maintain the distinctions between the three of them. The rest tend to be small bodies not really worthy of notice.

JimInMa
November 23rd, 2009 | LINK

Well, I for one was born Italian-American. But now that I’m grown up and an adult, I choose to be an African-American because being white is a sin.

Timothy Kincaid
November 23rd, 2009 | LINK

My apologies for not being clearer that “Baptist” includes non-SBC Baptists.

While no Baptist organization that I know of is considered an ally to our community, there are several individual Baptist churches that see God’s revelation in the working of their own community to be inclusive of gay people and who are religious, community, and political voices for our inclusion in both the body of faith and the body of the nation.

To the best of my knowledge, the American Baptists, while officially opposed to the “sin of homosexuality” do allow those who disagree with the majority to be included in communion. Unlike Southern Baptists – who believe that simply not reviling gays at every opportunity is a sin worthy of excommunication – the American Baptists are willing to let those who find gay people to be worthy children of God (as they are) to be errant brothers with whom they can still find commonality.

And they have lost members – even entire regions – because they were unwilling to expel congregations who were not adequately condemnatory. (For many, it seems that being anti-gay is a core belief right along with the trinity, virgin birth, and resurrection of Christ).

And for their courageous inclusion, I am grateful.

Mark
November 24th, 2009 | LINK

Tim:

I suppose the American Baptist position is better than the Southern Baptist one, but would you belong to a church which officially considered interracial marriages to be sinful, but allowed individuals and congregations to dissent? Why would you want “communion” with bigots?

Timothy Kincaid
November 24th, 2009 | LINK

Mark,

I think that we all probably have in our lives some person, perhaps a relative or a neighbor or a co-worker, who has views that we find reprehensible. I know that I do.

And each of us have to decide for ourselves whether we should reprimand this person, shun them, oust them from social company, ignore them, seek to change their views, or just exactly how to interact in social settings. And for each of us, the decision is personal.

From the outside, we can declare, “Well! They should just denounce the bigots and be done with it!” And sometimes that is the right approach.

But it isn’t our call to make. I let those within the American Baptist Churches decide whether they can remain in communion with those who do not support us. They know them better than I do.

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