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Southern Baptists Could Weigh President, Gays

Monday Jun 9, 2014
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The Southern Baptist Convention, the nation’s largest Protestant denomination, is in Baltimore this week for its annual meeting. Among the issues that will or are likely to come up:

THE PRESIDENCY

Two years after electing its first African-American president, the 15.7-million-member group will chose its next leader from a slate of candidates that includes the Korean-American pastor of Maryland’s largest Southern Baptist church and the white pastor of an Arkansas megachurch. Though supporters of both downplay the significance that race will play in the vote, a win for the Rev. Dennis Kim of Silver Spring, Maryland, could send a powerful message about the denomination’s commitment to diversity, which some members consider key to expanding their appeal and reversing a trend of declining membership.

GAY MEMBERSHIP

The SBC’s confession of faith states that homosexuality is immoral, but a Southern California SBC church recently decided to stop condemning homosexuality as sinful and instead become a "third way" church, agreeing to disagree on the issue.

The Rev. Albert Mohler, the influential president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kentucky, responded last week with a blog post titled "There Is No ’Third Way,’" in which he argued that the New Heart Community Church should be excluded from membership in the convention.

MUSLIMS IN SEMINARIES

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, recently accepted a Muslim student into a Ph. D. program in archaeology, causing a stir among some members who say it goes against the seminary’s admission policy. Southwestern President Paige Patterson said in a statement that his intention in accepting the young man was a desire to see him "understand the good news of Jesus Christ."

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Comments

  • Anonymous, 2014-06-09 20:37:43

    What’s the difference of allowing a Muslim and a gay person. The Muslim isn’t going to change his belief system any more than a gay person. Unless they intend to harass this port Guy like they would the gay and. Break him down by stripping him of his Denver of self worth, dignity and personal identity.


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