March 18th, 2010
The Royal Lane Baptist Church, has served congregants in North Dallas for the past five decades. Although gay member have long been a part of the church family, the board finally decided last month to go public with their welcome. They changed their website to say:
Royal Lane Baptist Church is an inclusive, multi-generational congregation joined in Christian community. We are a vibrant mosaic of varied racial identities, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and denominational backgrounds.
We affirm the sacredness, dignity, and equality of every man, woman, and child and honor each individual’s freedom to worship God and to respond to his or her unique call to ministry and service.
We celebrate worship that challenges the mind, stirs the heart, and lifts the spirit within the context of music, art, and liturgy to express what we can never fully say.
We covenant with one another to love authentically as Christ loved. We put this love into action by ministering in the world, ever alert to the voice of human need wherever it may be heard.
Royal Lane is an ecumenical Baptist congregation affiliated with The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and The Baptist General Convention of Texas.
But not for long. Either the first paragraph or the last will have to be changed.
You see, the Baptist General Convention of Texas takes objection to vibrant mosaics and most certainly does NOT affirm the sacredness, dignity, and equality of every man, woman and child. The gay folks’ freedom to worship God is not honored by them at all. (Dallas News)
The BGCT’s long-held position is that homosexuality is a sin.
The Dallas-based BGCT has decided to place in escrow any funds sent from Royal Lane. It also has asked Royal Lane to remove from church publications any reference to BGCT affiliation.
Randel Everett, executive director of the BGCT, said those conditions will remain until the church says it agrees with the stance on homosexuality.
“It is my prayer that Royal Lane Baptist Church will take the appropriate action to return to these Texas Baptist values and restore its fellowship with the BGCT,” Everett said in a prepared statement.
If Royal Lane and its members choose to continue to define itself as a vibrant mosaic, it may come with some sacrifice.
The stakes are raised in Royal Lane’s case because its membership includes BGCT employees and a BGCT executive board member. BGCT employees must belong to an affiliated church, so a split with Royal Lane could force some to choose between workplace and worship place.
Because that’s what Jesus would want, right?
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Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
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Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
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