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The Baptist position on marriage

Timothy Kincaid

March 20th, 2012

For the non-religious, this commentary may be meaningless. But those schooled in the minutia of denominational affiliation know that one of the pride points of being a Baptist is (or until recently has been) congregational independence.

Which makes Jimmy Carter’s position on civil marriage far more Baptist than that of the increasingly autocratic Southern Baptist Convention:

I personally think it is very fine for gay people to be married in civil ceremonies.

I draw the line, maybe arbitrarily, in requiring by law that churches must marry people. I’m a Baptist, and I believe that each congregation is autonomous and can govern its own affairs. So if a local Baptist church wants to accept gay members on an equal basis, which my church does by the way, then that is fine. If a church decides not to, then government laws shouldn’t require them to.



March 21st, 2012 | LINK

I’m confused. Is he illustrating the distinction between SBC & Independent Baptists or has the Christian-news-o-sphere has somehow convinced him that a goal of the gay rights movement is to make churches marry gay people against the congregation’s will?

March 21st, 2012 | LINK

Blake – I believe that Carter is making a reference to the anti-gay myth that we’re trying to force churches to marry us. IIRC Carter left one Baptist church that was not inclusive to join his current church, which is inclusive, so I am sure Carter is aware of the larger issue.

I do find it ironic, as Timothy does, that the original innovation of the Baptists – that one did not need a priest or minister or any intercessor in one’s relationship with God and that one could read the Bible for yourself and determine “truth” – has largely been lost in the lockstep orthodoxy demanded of Southern Baptist churches, at least.

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