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Another Baptist church not anti-gay enough for Texas

Timothy Kincaid

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?

Comments

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Soren456
March 18th, 2010 | LINK

I just don’t know.

I want to laugh, as usual. Christianity is the great he-said/she-said religion. Members point fingers at members, back and forth, claiming truth here. . . there . . . everywhere.

What a f***ing joke. I just want to sneer at it, make fun of it, ignore it.

Yet I have to admit that these fool quarrels, too, because they do matter to so many, have a role in cementing our ultimate freedom to be left alone.

So, more power to you, Royal Lane. Boo-yah!

Richard W. Fitch
March 18th, 2010 | LINK

I’m sure there are other large, national Baptist denominations that will joyfully accept Royal Lane into their fellowship. For those that must choose between work place and worship place, I pray they will deeply search their souls and consciences. Perhaps “Texas Baptist values” need some rethinking.

DaveM
March 18th, 2010 | LINK

Richard’s point is important to remember. Not all Baptists are part of the Southern Baptist Convention – and although the GBCT does still consider homosexual acts sin, they specifically rejected the SBC’s rewriting (in 2000) of its fundamental codes.
The CBF’ll still keep Royal Lane, and they probably can find a reaffiliation with the American Baptists (stronger in the northeast) or a similar denomination.

Gunnertec
March 19th, 2010 | LINK

As a member, I can tell you two things:

a) It will likely be the last paragraph that changes.

b) I don’t think many people care about affiliations any longer. We’ve always had a “come and see” attitude towards potential guests and visitors who ask a lot of probing questions about what we believe. I think it’s important to simply be apart of the community before judging it.

Matt
March 19th, 2010 | LINK

Heck, if homophobic Episcopalians can affiliate with AFRICAN Anglican organizations, surely this church can affiliate with an American Baptist organization that is more liberal.

customartist
March 19th, 2010 | LINK

2 Issues:

1.) Hopefully the Royal Lane Baptist Church will stand firm on their beliefs of equality, although they are surely under heavy pressure, setting a *New Standard* in a *New Age* of inclusiveness, under God, for all. Godspeed!

2.) A charge of “Religious Discrimination” would be the Correct Legal Course of Action for any Paid Employee who should find themselves being suddenly discharged, pressured, or harrassed in any way by The Baptist General Convention of Texas.

ironflange
March 19th, 2010 | LINK

Judge not, lest you yourself be judged.

ebohlman
March 20th, 2010 | LINK

customartist: The civil rights laws involving religious discrimination have exemptions for employees of religious organizations whose positions are religious in nature (i.e. don’t have secular counterparts in private industry or government). So the BGCT is probably free to put church-affiliation requirements on employees who are involved in, say, running mission-related work, whereas they wouldn’t be allowed to impose such requirements on, say, a pension-fund manager.

MS
March 21st, 2010 | LINK

There are certain things I just don’t get. Why, why, why would a gay person ever even WANT to be belong to a Baptist church? Along the same lines, why would a woman want to be Catholic priest, given the RCC’s appalling misogyny for 2 millennia? It’s almost as puzzling to me as, say, a black person wanting to join a white supremacist group. I could go on, but I’m sure you get the point…

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