The issue in this case is not merely attendance but membership. The SBC’s problem is with the fact that this church is now accepting practicing gays as members of the church—which in our context means affirming sexual immorality as compatible with following Christ. This is in direct contradiction to our denomination’s statement of faith, which labels homosexuality as a sin.
The Associated Press reports on items of controversy facing Southern Baptists at the Executive Committee meeting next week. Among other things, the report states:
On the agenda [is] a recommendation that a church in Kennesaw, Georgia, be ousted from the SBC because it accepted LGBTQ people into its congregation, contravening Southern Baptist doctrine…
Jim Conrad, the pastor of Towne View Baptist Church in Kennesaw, said he’s at peace with the likelihood that his church will be “disfellowshipped” by the executive committee during its meeting Monday and Tuesday.
But Conrad sees broader challenges for the SBC as its stances on various sensitive issues are questioned from inside and outside.
“The problem the SBC is facing right now is this: In order to work with them, you’ve got to be in lockstep agreement with them on every point. Nine out of 10 won’t get you by,” Conrad said. “That’s just a shame. They’re going to limit themselves in terms of who’s able to work them”…
Towne View began welcoming LGBTQ worshippers in October 2019 after a same-sex couple with three adopted children asked Conrad if they could attend, a decision he defends as the right thing to do.
“The alternative would have been to say, ‘We’re probably not ready for this,’ but I couldn’t do that,” said Conrad, pastor there since 1994.
This AP report is not altogether clear on the true nature of the conflict. The last two sentences above imply that the SBC is planning to sanction the church simply for letting gay people attend their services. That is actually not the issue at all. The vast majority of Southern Baptist churches welcome all kinds of sinners to attend their services, and this certainly includes gay sinners.