Regional: Baptist leaders discuss sexuality
Updated: May 22, 2014 at 4:58 pm
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Baptist leaders discuss sexuality
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A gathering of pastors met at the Southern Baptist Convention’s headquarters in April to discuss issues surrounding sexuality, NPR reported.
It seems that some clergy have soften their approach to gay sexuality.
During this conversation, pastors like Kevin Smith of Kentucky sent shock waves throughout the auditorium. He said, “If you spent 20 years and you’ve never said anything about divorce in the church culture, then shut up about gay marriage.”
Jimmy Scroggins of Florida added, “We’re all in agreement that the cultural war is over when it comes to homosexuality, especially when it comes to gay marriage.”
However, others have not given up and they still contend that marriage is based upon the model of one man and one woman. The church still contends that gay sexuality is sinful. In fact, lesbians and gays have continued to be barred from church membership unless they repent.
Still, Scroggins commented, “Let’s stop telling Adam and Steve jokes and let’s be compassionate, because these are people that are in our community. These are people that are in our churches.”
Locally, Justin Lee, activist and founder of Gay Christian Network in Raleigh, has begun to hear from Baptist leaders and is encouraged. He thinks that it’s “a wonderful step forward. I don’t think that it is where we want to end up.”
Inclusion is still divisive. And, the idea of biblical interpretation, as well as acceptance of LGBT people, is a slow burn. Emilie Townes, a lesbian who serves as dean of Vanderbilt University Divinity School, sees the “underlying position on gay issues is a reason for the ongoing slide in [Southern Baptist] church membership,” NPR shared.
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About the author: Lainey Millen is QNotes' special assignments writer, N.C. News columnist and production director. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and 704-531-9988, x205.