The Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee voted Tuesday to disfellowship two churches from the convention, including one for its stance on homosexuality.
The Executive Committee approved recommendations from the Credentials Committee to disfellowship College Park Baptist Church in Greensboro, N.C., for “open affirmation, approval and endorsement of homosexual behavior,” and Amazing Grace Community Church in Franklinville, N.J., for its “lack of cooperation demonstrated … to resolve concerns regarding alleged discriminatory behavior.” Baptist Press, the news service of the Southern Baptist Convention, was the first to report on the vote.
“The Credentials Committee determined that these churches were outside the bounds of fellowship with Southern Baptists,” Executive Committee chairman Jared Wellman told Baptist Press. “The Executive Committee discussed that in executive session and approved [those decisions].”
College Park Baptist says on its website it is a “welcoming, LGBTQIA affirming Baptist Church.”
“Our LGBTQ-friendly church has many LGBTQ members, in addition to gay/lesbian ministers, deacons and staff members,” the website says. “... We perform same-sex weddings and welcome many that have been beaten up by the Bible at other churches.”
The SBC’s statement of belief, the Baptist Faith & Message 2000, says Christians should oppose “all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery, homosexuality, and pornography.”
SBC messengers in 2012 passed a resolution stating, “We express our love to those who struggle with same-sex attraction and who are engaged in the homosexual lifestyle. … [W]e stand against any form of gay-bashing, whether disrespectful attitudes, hateful rhetoric, or hate-incited actions toward persons who engage in acts of homosexuality. … [W]e encourage our fellow Southern Baptists to consider how they and their churches might engage in compassionate, redemptive ministry to those who struggle with homosexuality. … [W]e proclaim that Christ offers forgiveness of sin for those who turn from their sins and believe on Christ for the forgiveness of sin.”
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Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.