Wes Kenney Motion

July 9, 2010

Wes Kenney presented a motion during the convention at Orlando that was referred to the Executive Committee.  The following is the motion in full:

I move that the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Orlando, Florida, June 15-16, authorize the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention to consider any church’s affiliation with the Alliance of Baptists to constitute an action to affirm, approve, or endorse homosexual behavior.

Some may try to call this “guilt by association”, but it allows the Executive Committee the authority to make a determination during the year instead of waiting six or seven months after an incident.  Also, it keeps precious business time from being consumed on the convention floor.

The catalyst for this motion was the  DC City Council bill that was passed legalizing same sex marriage.  The bill presented to the DC City Council was based on a Declaration that was authored by Clergy United for Marriage Equality.  This group has for its members an area DC Baptist pastor the Rev.  Dr. Amy Butler. Dr. Butler is Senior Pastor of Calvary Baptist church in Washington DC.  Calvary Baptist, while not sending messengers to the convention, is sending ACP information to the Southern Baptist Convention and thus is listed as a Southern Baptist Church. Also if you scroll down to the signatories of this declaration one will find  Rev. Stan Hastey, Alliance of Baptists.  Rev. Hastey is not just a representative of the Alliance of Baptists but he is Executive Director of this group   The Alliance issued a position statement on same sex marriage back in 2004 as follows:

“Affirming that our federal and state constitutions exist to protect the rights of minorities from the tyranny of the majority and in the context of the current debate over same-sex marriage, we of the Alliance of Baptists decry the politicization of same-sex marriage in the current presidential contest and other races for public office. We specifically reject the proposed amendments to the constitution of the United States and state constitutions that would enshrine discrimination against sexual minorities and define marriage in such a way as to deny same-sex couples a legal framework in which to provide for one another and those entrusted to their care.
As Christians and as Baptists, we particularly lament the denigration of our gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender sisters and brothers in this debate by those who claim to speak for God. We affirm that the Alliance of Baptists supports the rights of all citizens to full marriage equality, and we affirm anew that the Alliance will ‘create places of refuge and renewal for those who are ignored by the church’.”

While many in the Alliance openly affirm same sex marriage the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship is not quite ready for that step, or is it?

This recent article reporting a break-out session that was attended by nearly 300 persons is one reason we see a need for the Kenney motion.  While Kenney’s motion does not identify the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship it may not be long before a motion similar in language may be needed.  Why would I say such a thing?  Notice the position one of the presenters at the 2010 Cooperative Baptist Fellowship gathering takes.  George Mason, Pastor of Wilshire Baptist in Texas presented the following  thoughts in a break-out session of approximately 300.

“I can tell you that my mind has changed and I am seeing differently on this over time.” That has disappointed some people, he said. “As a pastor, I have known the pain of people who have left the church I serve because I was too conservative about the matter – and people who have left because I was too liberal about the matter.”

“A family conversation about same-sex orientation is not necessarily about behavior,” Mason said. “Some people think different orientations don’t exist, that there is only acting gay and sinning as a result. Others say people are simply born one way or the other.”

“I’m not certain about either position,” Mason said. “It seems that people are more on a continuum about their orientation. That’s uncomfortable.”

Mason noted that the few biblical texts that mention homosexual behavior are more likely to be about specific acts like rape or pederasty, and that “the Bible seems to be silent about orientation.”

It appears that now the position of non-committal is the favored position of the CBF.  There is only one step left for this organization to take and that is the position of orientation.  Orientation is the only viable position left for those that want to say they believe the Bible but be seen as scholarly by the academy.  In the orientation position the ungodly behavior is not the fault of the person it is the fault of the Creator.  If the CBF position of non-committal prevails, I believe, within five years the position on same sex marriage of the CBF will be the same as the Alliance of Baptists.

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selahV (hariette petersen)

Wes, “In the orientation position the ungodly behavior is not the fault of the person it is the fault of the Creator.”

If ungodly behavior such as homosexuality is blamed on the Creator, then wouldn’t it follow that, eventually, pedophiles, rapists and murderers would be the fault of the Creator? All things being equal? scary thoughts. selahV

Big Daddy Weave

Tim,

A couple of days ago, you penned a post complaining about a North Carolina Baptist leader who was weighing in on a political issue and leaving the impression that he was a spokesman for North Carolina Baptists.

Now, you’re portraying George Mason as a spokesperson for the CBF. What happened to that “No Baptist Speaks For Another Baptist” mindset?

I like George Mason. It’s hard to ascertain exactly where he stands. He even admits to uncertainty on the orientation issue. Mason was simply a participant in a conversation. He was not speaking for the CBF.

There is real diversity in the CBF on homosexuality. Those views range from that of Amy Butler (who you mention above) to Ed Pettibone from BL.com. Ed and his wife, Trudy have been active in CBF for years. Ed’s wife is a pastor and Moderator-Elect of the Baptist Fellowship of Northeast. Ed’s views on homosexuality are no less conservative than your own. He recently supported the controversial decision of the Bellevue pastor concerning the lesbian softball coach. Needless to say, Butler and Pettibone are worlds apart on this issue but have found some good old fashioned unity amidst diversity in the CBF.

The CBF has long had a policy that prohibits the funding of gay-affirming organizations. The CBF also has a policy against hiring gays and lesbians. The ABP article that you cite offers more detail.

Again, it’s a mistake to portray Mason as spokesman for the CBF. The CBF’s policies concerning homosexuality should speak for themselves as far as the organization itself goes. Fellowship Baptists will always hold diverse opinions on a variety of issues. The Alliance affirmed gays and lesbians 15 years ago. 15 years later, the CBF still has the same position.

Your 5-year prediction is a bet that I’d be more than willing to take. :-)

As a side note, Hastey retired about a year ago. He’s no longer serving the Alliance as Executive-Director.

My history of the Alliance is featured on their website below:

http://www.allianceofbaptists.org/learn/about/history

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JonR

The problem with this motion is its distractive insignificance, heightened by it being regurgitated here. The Convention has a clear and Biblically defensible position on the issue. Only when this position is threatened does such a motion make sense and justify the effort.

If we really want to get after visible sin, far more of our leaders are obese or unbiblically divorced than gay.

David Worley

JonR,

The obese thing is getting a little old. Are you seriously saying that Pastors being 30 lbs overwieght is a sin? Really? Or, that you would compare someone wearing a 2XL T shirt is worse than someone committing sodomy? Really? Are you really serious?

BTW, Jon, being overwieght is not a sin. Gluttony is a sin. Being fat is not. Do you even know what gluttony is? Or, are you just regurgitating what you’ve heard from some “hip,” thin, 20 something fella that doesnt like the SBC making a big deal out of the sin of homosexuality?

David

Tim Rogers

Brother BDW,

Good point as George Mason as not being a spokesperson for CBF. I used Mason’s perspective as the example because the other perspective presented at the break-out session was completely in line with the Alliance Statement. Thus, from the outside looking in, CBF is closer to the Alliance Statement than you care to admit. Sherman was holding TheAlliance at bay. Now Hastey has no one to challenge him on his perspective.

Blessings,
Tim

peter

Oh, Tim please. You and the guys here are just full of yourselves because you have been called the “SBC News Organ”

Come back down to our level.

With that, I am…
Peter

cb scott

There are some guys in the SBC who wear XXL shirts who I would not advise JonR to tell that there is little difference in them and a Sodomite guy.

Some of those guys who wear XXL shirts do so because they have a 54 inch chest. They can dead lift 500lb 5 sets x 5 reps and then beat a hundred pound heavy bag till it cries for its momma day-after-day. Their hand speed is so fast they can jack-slap a fellow 5 times before he can ask them if they are going to “eat that second hamburger.”

Nope JonR, if I were you I would not compare every XXL guy I saw to a Sodomite. At least, I would not do it up close and personal.

Christiane

“Mason said. “Some people think different orientations don’t exist, that there is only acting gay and sinning as a result. Others say people are simply born one way or the other.”

For those who feel that different orientations don’t exist, that it is all choice . . .

there is this to think about:
The elevation in suicides among teens who perceive themselves as homosexuals can be seen in the notes they leave behind. Many have statements that cry out to God ‘Why did you do this to me?’
Strangely, many of these teens come from backgrounds where they are taught that you CANNOT be born with these ‘tendencies’, that it is your OWN CHOICE to be ‘that way’.

So why the contradiction between what they ‘were taught’ by people they trusted;
and the final testament of their cry to God before leaving this Earth?

Were they telling a lie on paper?
Were they ‘blaming God’ knowing it was their OWN FAULT for their pain?
Or were they aware of something else: and when there was no one to turn to in their life for help, they opted out?

Good questions, I think.
Maybe it’s time for people to start listening instead of judging.
At least in the Name of Christ, we can listen to our children, when they come to us in their pain for help, if this happens to them.

I have a feeling we do not yet have all the answers.
The suicides tell us that ‘our’ wisdom is not enough. Not yet enough.

David Worley

Christiane,

It is tragic that these teens deal with their guilt by committing suicide. I wish that they would come to know the Lord Jesus, and know the power of the Holy Spirit, who can give them the life and power they need to change. But alas, some people do not know about the Lord Jesus, and others refuse to listen; thus leading to a very horrible consequence. Christiane, all sin has consequences.

Also, many, many other people out there do not listen and heed the Gospel, nor the Word of God. And, the consequences of their sins are just as bad and painful. Teen girls turn to drugs, then to prostitution to feed their habit. Young men drink alcohol and smoke weed, then end up addicted and stealing from others to feed their addiction. They usually end up dead, or in prison. But, of course, the worst consequence of all…even worse than guilt, prostitution, prison, or suicide…is for them to end up in an eternal Hell… forever paying for their sins. If only they would heed the light of the Lord that’s been shed upon them and repent…and put their faith in Jesus…if only…

DAvid

greg.w.h

I’m not sure how it is anything but wise to be noncommittal on something that is more likely to be resolved by science than by religion: i.e., whether sexual orientation is essentially innate or voluntarily selected by the individual.

The Bible certainly does not speak on THAT subject while offering restrictions and comments on some kinds of same sex physical intimacy. I don’t think we are authorized by God to write between the lines that those restrictions mean that sexual orientation is lacking any basis in physiology. Yet I think it is a subject that ought to be discussed.

My first exposure to this specific situation came at a Baptist encampment where my parents were serving as camp missionaries for a group of high schoolers from churches in Wisconsin, especially from south Wisconsin. I happened in on a couple of campers who seemed strangely close to each other who found my sudden appearance a bit embarrassing. I thought for a moment they might have been kissing, but quickly dismissed that thought as impossible.

I was attracted to one of them, but the other became a close friend and pen pal for the next decade. There were some interesting stories that she wrote about that happened to her. As you might guess by the set up, they dealt with issues of sexual orientation without overtly discussing it, such as wanting to go with a girl to prom in high school.

As a good little Baptist PK and MK, I always assumed the best in each of these situations regarding her. She later attended a Baptist college (I actually went to Texas A&M, a state school of course), and married a young man she met there. After they were married, we lost touch as much as a matter of propriety (on my part) as for any other reason.

A couple of years ago I ran across a variant of her name (her first name is somewhat unusual) and was able to scare up an email address and we got back in contact. Her marriage had not worked out and she realized that it was due to what she had been denying: she was more physically attracted to females than to males.

I’m going to stop the story there, and just say that my love for her as a friend allows me to anguish with her through my memories over how those things came to be. I don’t know if I would say she was inflicted with that by biology. I certainly have my own opinion about whether she should live according to that inclination even if it is biological in origin based upon my own understanding of the Bible.

I can pray for her and do, though I’m not a particularly consistent pray-er. I tolerate the ambiguity about all of this because I’m not sure how fully we understand the situation even if we do hew precisely and correctly to biblical restrictions and explanations. That makes it SOMEWHAT a mystery that belongs to God and is up to him to reveal and explain when he’s ready to do so.

That said, I’m not particularly opposed to Kenney’s resolution. I wish that as Southern Baptists we could process through these kinds of things without appearing to be somewhere between fascistic and jingoistic about one kind of sin when there are so many different sins that in my opinion are more common among Baptist churchgoers (and sometimes our leaders) and therefore deserving of greater attention. Perhaps we should add to the resolution that churches and entities that openly allow leaders to commit adultery, create circumstances in their marriage that lead to divorce, participate in visible gluttony, or commit financial fraud should also be able to be examined between Annual Meetings by the Executive Committee as well.

I honestly think that kind of balance might have the proper effect on OUR CHURCHES rather than it looking like we being sanctimonious by focusing on one particular sin in what seems an effort to elevate it above other sins.

Anticipating that someone thinks this is just an act of politics, I’ll humbly offer that it isn’t. It’s something I’ve wrestled with since high school as a matter of deep love for a very, very good friend. As of the last time I was in contact with her, she reported she was happy, but I am not sure. So I pray for her that she would continue to seek out and appropriate God’s grace and kindness in order that she–like I need to do–can also repent of those sins that continue to ensnare me. My sins are pride of the self righteous kind, violent anger when others don’t do what I think they should, with more than a whiff of gluttony. I honestly don’t know what her sins are.

Greg Harvey

Christiane

Hi DAVID,

thank you for responding
My own feeling is that these young people perceived this earthly existence as their ‘hell’ and cried out to God in their notes.

Sometimes, when they give evidence that they had no where to turn among us for help and that is what led them to their final despair,
I wonder who is the sinner and who is the sinned-against?

I think we need to be there for our children. They are always our children, most especially when they suffer and need us.

It could be a matter of their own perception that there was no help, but Christian people can be pro-active in changing the ways that we listen to our young people, so that they do not feel so bereft of understanding among us.

David Worley

Christiane,

Homosexuality is a sin against God. The Bible teaches that people, who live in homosexual sin will not go to Heaven. They will go to Hell. The ONLY hope they have is to surrender their hearts to Jesus, in faith, and let Him change them…make them new creations…help them to overcome this temptation. If a homosexual, or a lesbian, continues to live in this sin, they will not go to Heaven. They will go to Hell. THE MOST compassionate thing that true Believers in Jesus can do is to try to win them to salvation.

David

David Worley

Greg,

Just what does gluttony look like? lol. And, what do you think gluttony is?

David

Tim Rogers

Brother Greg,

Your friend’s words betray her choice. Please do not take this as a slam because it isn’t meant to be. I just want to point something out. According to your premise she has a proclivity to same sex relations. According to your premise we are wrong to address this because the Bible is silent on the “orientation” issue. God is now responsible if it is ever “scientifically” proven that our physiological make-up is one that would bring about this desire. Let’s take that to the sin issue that has nothing to do with same sex attraction. I think you would agree that we as humans are prone to sin because it is in our orientation to sin. (If you disagree that is fine, but I believe that statement is an orthodox statement concerning original sin.) While God originally created us and said it was good we still had the proclivity to sin. That desire, while wrong, was acted upon and what did God do? He held us responsible. According to your analysis above God should not hold us responsible He should overlook it because our orientation is to sin.

One has to address the actions of homosexuality. For some they appeal to orientation, which is another way to take the fault from the person in the sin of same sex relations. For others we appeal to choice, which is clearly spelled out in Romans 1.

Blessings,
Tim

Tim Rogers

Brother Greg,

Perhaps we should add to the resolution that churches and entities that openly allow leaders to commit adultery, create circumstances in their marriage that lead to divorce, participate in visible gluttony, or commit financial fraud should also be able to be examined between Annual Meetings by the Executive Committee as well.

Your perspective is well taken. However, I believe it would not be well understood. Why? The SBC legal documents only speak about homosexuality, it says nothing about adultery, marriages being broken, participating in visible gluttony, or committing financial fraud. Some may say that these need to be included. I would agree, but then I would have to ask where the line is drawn? Dr. Dwight McKissic brought a similar proposal concerning racism that some churches seem to have no problem tolerating. I loudly seconded his motion and await with expectancy to see how the EC handles that recommendation.

I say all of this to encourage you to do the same thing Dr. McKissic did if these are your concerns.

Blessings,
Tim

Tim Rogers

Bennett,

I placed your comments in moderation. I thought you would take Brother David’s lead and stop commenting on this post about the subject you brought up. Seeing you didn’t after Brother David warned you, I removed your comments.

Blessings,
Tim

cb scott

L’s,

Please provide the data for your statement. You can’t.

You said:

“The elevation in suicides among teens who perceive themselves as homosexuals can be seen in the notes they leave behind. Many have statements that cry out to God ‘Why did you do this to me?’
Strangely, many of these teens come from backgrounds where they are taught that you CANNOT be born with these ‘tendencies’, that it is your OWN CHOICE to be ‘that way’.”

The above statement is simply not true. Most of the suicides among gay teens are from the ranks of teens who were raised in single parent homes. The majority of those homes are homes wherein the parent is a female. The teens are left to themselves and develop their own “moral code” influenced by their peers and by various mediums, such as music, TV, movies, etc, etc. These so called “notes to God” are written from a humanistic worldview of God.

Teens who live in families wherein there is a father and mother, living according to a biblical worldview and teaching their children the truth of human sexuality are very, very, unlikely to be enlisted to a Sodomite life-style or to commit suicide for any reason.

L’s you present a gross ignorance of childhood and adolescent behavior in the comment you have made. But you are, again, revealing the humanism that is part of your Voodoo theology.

cb scott

The number one factor in the rise in teen suicide and teen gay and lesbian tendencies is that most of these children grow up without a father in the home. Or they grow up in a home wherein the father is not involved in their lives or the mother dominates the father because he is a pantywaist sissy. Thus the children do not see the male role properly lived out before them.

The number one factor in teen suicide and gay-lesbian behavior among teens and the great rise in the numbers sociopaths among people between 12-21 is due to the absence of the father figure in the home.

In other words, children and teens are suffering because of so many sorry, low-life, not-fit-to-feed-guts-to-a-circus bear who leave women and children behind. Or they are just plain pantywaist, sissies who were never real men in the first place.

David Worley

Bennett,

Whenever you can talk about something else besides Dr. Caner, then you will be welcome to comment again. We have no room for bitter, angry rants in here.

Chase your whale somewhere else.

David

cb scott

Bennett Willis is a true liberal, Vol. He don’t really care about the Caner issue. He is still crying the blues over the CR.

David Worley

CB,

You’re probably correct. There seems to be some bitterness from the past going on.

David

Christiane

C.B. If you want to begin the data exchange seriously, where’s the scientific/medical/psychological ‘data’ that proves positively that homosexual tendencies are ‘chosen’? It MUST BE OUT THERE. Or fundamentalist Christian people wouldn’t dare to offend God by dropping hell-bombs onto depressed teenagers who are confused about their own sexuality. I can only imagine what that kind of treatment does to a young person who doesn’t yet have the judgment of an adult.

I ask where is this data? I ask as the sister of a pediatrician, and as the aunt of nephew is a USN doctor, and as the cousin of a child psychiatrist in Boston. If you’ve got, publish it, for goodness sake. The world is waiting. You will be famous.

As I understand it, C.B., the scientific/medical jury is still out on the ’causes’ of homosexual orientation. There are many theories, but none conclusive.

Gross ignorance of childhood and adolescent behavior?
Thank you for telling me.
I have wasted my professional life: state case-worker for Aid For Dependent Children, 20 plus years teaching in the inner-city schools and teaching at Straight and Narrow in Paterson, NJ (drug rehab residents, fourteen to eighteen in age-range, remanded by the court system) State certification from New Jersey in both education AND guidance and counseling. Four ‘internships’ in various settings including group homes for status offenders, facilities for emotionally-disturbed teenagers, and court-liason/ advocate for foster children. Two university degrees, total three state certifications in education and in agency counseling, (specializing in pre-adolescent AND adolescent counseling).

Well, C.B. it’s good to know from you that I am ignorant.

We need to get you on some school boards, man.
And for sure on to some boards that grant state certifications to professional agency counselors.

Ah, there. I feel better. :)

Tim Rogers

Christiane,

The research you have presented from the AAP is questionable at best. The reason I say that is it has for its footnotes the Kinsey report. The Kinsey Report, as I remember, was proven to have been data collected in interviewing pedophiles. While that may not be enough to debunk the report for you, it certainly is enough to call the findings of the report into question. Thus, this report on “orientation” accentuates the defense of the pedophile. His defense is that their orientation is toward young boys. Thus, his behavior should be excused because his orientation drives him in that direction.

Blessings,
Tim

Christiane

With all respect, Tim Rogers, if you have questions and concerns about the American Academy of Pediatrics, mention it to your family’s pediatrician. Perhaps his/her response will reassure you.

I can tell you that I wouldn’t post anything that I thought was not professionally accepted by the medical community. You have my word.

I know some have probably placed faith in George Rekers, who has close ties with the Christian conservative community, but I could not recommend his writings about homosexuality. And there are a number of ‘bogus’ groups out there who dispense information that is not recommended by the professional medical community.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is not a ‘bogus’ professional organization.
Your doctor can confirm that for you.

David Worley

Christiane,

The fact still remains that homosexual sex acts are sin against God. The Bible is very clear about that. Whether this behavior comes from being abused as a child, or a woman being abused by men until she turns lesbian, or whatever else may cause people to be wired this way…it’s still sin against God. And, as tragic as teen suicide is, more tragic are the people, who live in homosexual sin, and they die in their sin, and they go to Hell forever and ever and ever. Now, that’s really sad. But, the Bible is very clear about this.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

David

cb scott

L’s,

The only thing you have done is added more evidence to the reality of your hatred of biblical Christianity.

Your secular humanistic roots are growing through again. You better go and put a little more of that liberal Catholic bleach on so you can fool the theological dwarfs who take your words as truth.

You search through Internet sites to give credibility to the garbage you spew. You could have come up with something better and more current.

It seems that you would use anyone to feed your hatred of biblical Christianity. Now you use people caught up in a terrible life-style to use as a tool in your personal war of hatred with biblical Christianity.

And in all truth L’s, you have “wasted your professional life” if it is this garbage you used when dealing with children. No doubt, you have done far more harm than good.

L’s based upon the content of your comments you should take a good long look at Mark 9:42 in its full context, because if you have ever spoken the garbage to a child or teen that you speak here, you have done great spiritual, emotional, mental and possibly promoted physical harm to a child. May God have mercy on your wretched soul L’s if that is the case.

Tim Rogers

Christianne,

if you have questions and concerns about the American Academy of Pediatrics, mention it to your family’s pediatrician. Perhaps his/her response will reassure you.

Oh, but where do you think I got the information that I shared with you? I am a mere preacher with some insight, but when I saw the AAP I contacted a Pediatrician that expressed to me the concern with the statement. Of course this Pediatrician isn’t some fly-by-night good ole boy, he is a triple board certified physician whose degrees are from Duke. There are believers out there that do not buy into any statement given by an organization.

Blessings,
Tim

Christiane

Be peaceful, C.B.
My family are good and honorable people, many whom have devoted their lives to the medical profession and to children.

You know, if Wade hadn’t received that e-mail that threatened his family, I might be able to share a film that shows my niece on duty aboard the USHS Comfort in Haiti. But I wouldn’t put my family in harms way. The Christian blogosphere is not a safe world, I know now and my dear niece will be going ‘down range’ into harm’s way soon enough.

I feel sad for you. I will pray for you.

David Worley

Christiane,

CB is showing the love of Jesus by encouraging you to see the truth of the Gospel.

David

cb scott

L’s,

You may feel as sad for me as you please. It means nothing. It means no more than your humanistic efforts to please some kind of imaginary god you have devised to justify the life you have and do live.

For some reason, you hate biblical Christianity. You quote Scripture, but you do not believe it to be fully authoritative. Frankly, you are in rebellion against that which constitutes the Roman Catholicism you say you embrace so lovingly. Your true and foundational theological base is a hybrid, liberal Catholicism saturated with Liberation Theology and Mysticism with a great big dose of Humanism thrown in for good measure. You try to come off as a caring person, but you are not. You are a bitter individual. I think some of it has to do with your family situation, but I am not sure. The truth is we do not even know who you really are. But, I assure you that what you write reveals enough for some of us to see behind the “curtain” and know you are not the all knowing “Wizard of Oz” of faith that you like to portray. Lydia and Paula have seen through you as have I and a few others.
(There are some who see through you also, but are too tied up in the desire to be politically correct to challenge you. So they bite their tongue and tell you how sweet you are and how much they appreciate your heart. I must admit that I take some of the things you say as helpful. But in reality, I know it is all a facade.)

You travel through these Baptist blogs and fuel your venomous hatred of biblical Christianity on the unsuspecting hearts and minds of the biblically deprived, emotionally destitute and theologically deficient.

Matthew

Whether or not somebody chooses to be homosexual is a red herring. Quite honestly, there is some evidence that some people may be genetically predisposed to homosexuality. If this is true, it is merely an effect of the fall that men and women must surrender to God. For example, there is a genetic disease that causes men to produce too much testosterone, and studies have shown that these men are more prone to commit acts of physical violence against women. Does this effect of the fall (too much testosterone) give these men an excuse to act on their violent impulses? Of course not! If scripture speaks against homosexuality then man must follow God, not the desire of his weak and sinful body.

On a side note, while acknowledging it as sin, the church needs to pray and love those who struggle with this. The Gospel is strong enough to overcome any sin.

cb scott

In addition L’s,

What I said in comments 18 and 19 are true. BTW, one of my sons just got back from Haiti. As I understand it, he helped a lot of children. He also shared the biblical gospel. Funny, he was never all that concerned about being in “harm’s way” as you call it.

cb scott

“The Gospel is strong enough to overcome any sin.”

A-Men.

David Worley

Matthew,

Amen. You said very true words this fine day. I’ve heard it said like this,”The fall of man made all of us sinners, and our sins ooze out of us in different ways.”

David

Job

Comparing homosexuality to obesity or gluttony is a bad comparison. However, comparing homosexuality to unbiblical divorce is a very good one.

Still, I find the people who state “why do we talk so much about homosexuality and not other sins” to be more than a bit disingenuous. “Obese marriage” is not a huge cultural and political issue right now, homosexual marriage is. Further, no one is trying to use hate crimes laws to attack preachers or threaten churches with the loss of tax-exempt status over criticizing obese people or refusing to marry obese people, or using civil rights laws to sue Christian seminaries for refusing to hire or promote obese people, ok?

Also, the Bible does in fact prominently mention the sin of homosexuality, and also the dangers of what happens to a society that embraces homosexual culture. Now I am not a “family values religious right culture war” type, but equating homosexuality with obesity is bad hamartiology and bad hermeneutics.

Christians and churches HAVE to practice separation on the homosexuality issue. Period.

SSBN

Job, thanks for the insight. Good point.

David Worley

Job,

Amen.

David

Bob Cleveland

Late to the party, but we’ve been out of town. And something needs to be said, methinks (if it hasn’t, already).

Something folks discussing homosexuality and the whole genetic predisposition/choice thing don’t seem to want to talk about is that men are sort of universally attracted to women, lustful, and all that, in a non-selective way. As a heterosexual male, I had to submit that “natural” tendency to God, and live my life, in that respect, according to His rules. I know for guys, within my knowledge, that can only be done with the help of a real and active Holy Spirit.

How it is with women, and their response to stimuli, I cannot say, but I know they, too, must submit their sexuality to God and order their activities according to His instructions.

So .. why should it be different for those who see themselves as homosexual or lesbian? They cannot claim “genetic predisposition” as an excuse any more than heterosexual men or women can.

Sin is sin. Period.

Job

Bob Cleveland:

It goes deeper than that. I suppose that in certain contexts, it may be acceptable to proclaim that homosexuality is no different from adultery and fornication, and the same with the attendant desires. But the truth is that the Bible consistently, explicitly and vehemently instructs us that homosexuality, both the acts AND the desires, are inherently perverse. Romans 1:24-26 in particular calls homosexual desires the result of idolatry, and not just personal idolatry, but of an idolatrous culture. So, stating that there is a corollary between heterosexual desire to commit fornication or adultery and homosexual desire falsely creates an equality between the two desires that does not exist in scripture. And when you do that, the next logical step is to say “Well, Christian heterosexuals can express their natural desires by getting married and staying faithful, so homosexuals ought to be able to do the same with their desire … it’s not the ideal or God’s best, but God’s grace will cover my sin.” But adhere to what the Bible actually says, which is that homosexual attractions are unnatural and inherently sinful regardless of whether they are acted on or not, and that removes that false line of thinking.

Heterosexual attraction is natural and created by God. Lust and sex outside of marriage only exist because of the fall of Adam. The same is NOT TRUE about homosexuality. It is unnatural, it was never created or intended by God, and it exists because of the fall, whether we are talking about the attraction or the act.

I think that conservative evangelicals and fundamentalists are backing away from Biblical truth on this issue because of political correctness; the need to stay “revelant” and not to appear to be gay-bashers and hate-mongers. It was easier to have this stand I suppose before mainstream culture – and the political and legal system – began to embrace and glorify homosexuality, such as back when the APA declared homosexuality to be a mental illness. But who said that the Bible’s stand had to be easy?

All you have to do is speak to former homosexuals who have received salvation in Jesus Christ. They will be the first ones to tell you how unnatural it is. Even the term “gay lifestyle” is a concession, because it focuses more on the activity and the subculture while avoiding dealing with the fact that the desires themselves are unnatural.

Now as to why Romans 1:24-26 states that idolatry in a culture results in homosexuality is a good theological debate. But we know from the experiences of Israel as recorded in the Old Testament that it is 100% true. Whenever Israel turned toward idolatry, the sodomites appeared in the land.

Bob Cleveland

Job,

I am fully aware of that, and were, long before your post.

My point is that those who talk about “genetic predisposition” toward homosexuality don’t have a leg to stand on. Even if one were so disposed, he would have to repent of desires for sex in any other manner than that prescribed by God, just as heterosexuals do.

I have spoken to former homosexuals. I have helped some, even in other countries, deal with their temptations.

Kathy

Tim,

I rarely agree with you, but on this issue, you are completely correct and the proof is in the first book of the Bible. We are sinners with all kinds of proclivities toward all kinds of sin. Jesus died for the our broken condition and that didn’t exclude the homosexual. However, we are made in His image. Of that, there is no disagreement. We need to stop making excuses for sin. Our prisons are overloaded with people who made bad choices for all kinds of reasons. Most of them are there because the were raised up in brokeness. Absent fathers, or mothers, chemical addictions, sexual abuse, physical and emotional abuse/neglect. We are simply swallowed up in sin. In all of these examples, adults behaved despicably toward children. Yet… not all of these children go on to commit crimes. Some go on to profound greatness. We always have a choice. Jesus offers us all a choice.

Jesus has spoken about homosexuality specifically in the Bible. It’s not negotiable and we can’t ‘psychobabble’ it away. What does the thief say about why he stole? It’s always someone else’s fault. The homosexual cannot blame God any more than the thief can. It’s just wrong and that’s all there is to it. The reason people are trying to break the issue up into tiny pieces is because it’s easier to chip away at the objections that way.

I have left the SBC very recently because of the systemic sickness I find in its leadership, but at the heart of my decision is the constant dilution of the holy scriptures, bit by bit. I am vehemently opposed to women in the Pastorate of any church and I’m a woman. I am thrilled to be the person God made me to be and He has provided me with many opportunities to use my gifts and talents that are suited to my role as a woman. It is a joy to be my husband’s help-mate (at least he thinks so, lol). I also joyfully accept his leadership of our home. He joyfully loves me as Christ loved the church. God knew what he was doing and we should not keep looking for the ‘loopholes’ in the Bible, so we can have our way instead of God’s way.

I bring up the gender roles because it’s very easy to see where our denominations begin their descent into apostasy and it almost always starts with the ordination of women. I give you the Church of Christ, the Episcopals (what’s left of them), and now the Presbyterians are heading down the same path. In its wake we find more and more division, empty church buildings, litigation over church properties and the Gospel of Jesus Christ left behind in a vacant building that once held believers. We have Bishops who openly mock heterosexuals, deny the virgin birth, the resurrection, heaven and hell. I think Bishop Spong pulled all that off, all by himself in 25 short years. He now draws a fat pension from dead Episcopals who would not recognize the church they once loved. Then the extremists at the Metropolitan Churches. Those folks have decided that David and Jonathon were likely gay lovers and that perhaps, by using just the right definition of one greek word, they could say that Jesus would have not judged a pedophile.

I will always be a Baptist, but I do not think we should respond to any discussion regarding changing our views on homosexuality. The Bible has spoken clearly and succinctly. What we should NOT do is to treat homosexuals any differently than we would an adulterer, a thief, a liar, a prostitute, etc. Jesus loves them and we should too. They should be given full rights within the body of believers, but be denied church leadership just as we would for anyone else who could reach the Biblical bar for such roles. 1 Corinthians 5:9-13 should apply for continued immorality. We don’t even need to discuss gay marriage as there is no such thing in the Kingdom.

I have rattled on long enough. I will close only by saying we should be embracing the Bible, not the culture.

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