Alex Blaze

Baptist church breaks away because it likes LGBT people

Filed By Alex Blaze | September 15, 2010 11:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: broadway baptist, Dallas, ft. worth, LGBT, religion, Texas

Here's an interesting reversal. Instead of homophobic churches breaking away from pro-gay governing bodies, as we usually read about, this church is accepting of queer people and decided to leave the state Baptist organization:

broadway-baptist-church.pngBrent Beasley, Broadway's pastor, called the break "sad" but necessary.

"We're committed to welcoming all people here, and we would not want to do anything that would be hurtful to anyone just to please the BGCT," Beasley said.

Broadway has long had openly gay members, a reality that became widely known in 2008. That's when the church had a much-publicized internal dispute over whether same-sex couples should be included in the church's photo directory.

Beasley said the church voted "without dissent" last week to leave the state's largest Baptist group. On Monday, he delivered a letter with the news to Randel Everett, executive director of the Dallas-based BGCT.

Everett said: "It is a sad day for us that we are unable to continue this relationship. I don't know of any congregation that has been more of a strategic partner to Texas Baptists than Broadway."

The national convention already cut ties with the church, and another Dallas area pro-gay church was kicked out of the state organization. They may have just seen the writing on the wall, but still it's nice that they're taking a stand on principle instead of it always being the pro-gay church that's permissive and the homophobic ones that have to take stands on "principle."

The contrary isn't possible here since this is these are the Southern Baptists, but still, it's a reminder that no religious sect or faith is uniform in its beliefs.


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I grew up in rural Texas town that was predominately Baptist. It's nice to see that not all Baptists are fire and brimstone hatemongers. Small, but powerful, actions like this gives me a glimmer of hope that one day all LGBTQI people will be able to live equal lives here in TX.

Now, if they would part with that traditional Christian teaching/belief that homosexuality is wrong, sinful or deviant. Broadway hasn't done that. They welcome gays and lesbians (good business decision) but they don't formally renounce that belief that homosexuality is wrong.

I wanted to be able to call this clan "New Baptists," but they are just "Welcoming Baptists." So, we finally have ONE "welcoming" Baptist church. Yay! One down, 21,783 Baptists churches to go.

There are actually a number of welcoming and affirming Baptist churches throughout the country that do not consider same-sex relationships sinful - check out the homepage of the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists (rainbowbaptists.org). Baptists are certainly not the most progressive bunch of Christians on this issue, but it doesn't help anyone to mischaracterize the progress that is there.

"Welcoming and Affirming" doesn't cut it. It is still the traditional belief of "Baptists" that homosexuality is wrong, sinful and deviant. You can hang a bunch of rainbow flags and affirm all you want - Christians need to end the teaching and belief that we are wrong.

Ask Broadway Church (or the others you mention) to sign a Declaration that "homosexuality is not wrong." Broad way refused to do that a year ago. Even MCC hasn't made that simple declaration. Until that happens, it's just "marketing," which is good for business, but not good for us.

I'd like to see some "New Baptists" that aren't just "progressive" and willing to take our money, but also officially extinguish the Christian teaching/belief that has cause the majority of our difficulty.

See if you can find a Baptist Church willing to sign that Declaration. It would be a first.

"There are actually a number of welcoming and affirming Baptist churches throughout the country that do not consider same-sex relationships sinful - check out the homepage of the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists (rainbowbaptists.org)."

There are actually 48 of them - out of 21,783 Baptist churches in the US.

Of the 48 "welcoming Baptist congregations" none has ever formally declared "homosexuality is not wrong" but, you are welcome to attend. Bring cash.

But Andrew;
Aren't such churches an opportunity to change hearts and minds one person at a time, as you are forever preaching?

Maybe they are. But, it's easy enough to talk to neighbors, friends, co-workers and others. You don't need to support the continued negative branding of LGBT people by supporting churches.

If these Christians were serious (instead of just looking for customers) they would end the hateful teaching about homosexuals.

So what happens to the church next? Remember that Catholic churches belong to the church itself and not the congregation and I remember the Episopals going through something similar. I wonder what the Baptists will do to make life harder for the congregation?

Sooner or later a denomination needs to break with the traditional Christian belief/teaching that homosexuality is wrong, sinful and deviant. None has yet. It's very insignificant if a very small fraction of Baptists churches "welcome" gays and lesbians. We don't need to be "accepted" or "tolerated." We need to be made whole again and that can only happen for religious people if they choose to stop damaging us.

It's simple. Some Christian denomination can finally and formally say "Homosexuality is not wrong, sinful or deviant." In 2010 no denomination has done that. Episcopalians have split over "acceptance." Lutherans have split over "gay clergy." Catholics are watching. Jews took care of it a long time ago.

I would think the Baptists will be last in line. Many gay Baptists have left for more open and accepting churches provided by other Protestant denominations. But, why make the distinction based simply on "allowing" us to participate. I can't imagine why anyone would sit in a congregation that makes them intrinsically "wrong." It defies logic, but then most of religion defies logic.

Christian beliefs have caused most of our hardship. maybe we'll get some "new Christians" but I've been trying for several years to get a single denomination to end formally end that harmful teaching/belief. None have. Jesus must be disappointed. LGBT people must be disappointed.

The national United Church of Christ has said that homosexuality is not wrong. However, they are organized congregationally, meaning that each church under that denomination can make its own decisions. This is the same way that the Baptist church is organized. In contrast, the Presbyterians (and several other denominations) are organized hierarchically, meaning that all churches of that denomination have to follow the national decision (or universal decision, in the case of the Catholic church). Those are the two types of denominations that have a possibility of turning away from that teaching. Then there's the third organizational set--the "Spirit-led" or "Holy Spirit" churches, which have no real national leadership but make decisions based on where they feel the Holy Spirit is leading them. These are Pentecostal, Church of God, and other charismatic churches. It's highly unlikely that there will be a denominational overthrow of the teaching/belief that homosexuality is wrong in these types of churches.

Anyway, the national body of the UCC has spoken out to say that being GLBT is not wrong. Here's the link talking about their "Open and Affirming" program: http://www.ucc.org/lgbt/ona.html They encourage more of their churches to become ONA, but each church has to make that decision for themselves.

The Disciples are headed in that direction, but haven't quite gotten there yet. And the Presbyterians keep banging their heads against that door--their sub-committee that researches certain topics (GLBT issues, ordination of women, etc) has been recommending for a long time that the church ordain homosexuals and finding generally that homosexuality is not a sin, but the General Assembly keeps failing to heed those findings.

Church bureaucracy is a slow and grinding machine. It wasn't that long ago that they officially said Galileo and Copernicus were right. ~_~

"Open and Affirming" is a marketing ploy. UCC has NOT declared that homosexuality is not "wrong." Only 7% of UCC Churches are "open and affirming," 93% are not.

It doesn't matter if a church hangs a few rainbow flags and welcomes everyone "even those fags," they have to end the traditional teaching/belief that homosexuality is wrong.

So far, no so-called Christians have done that. None. That a reason to enjoy brunch or a movie on Sunday morning instead of supporting the continued branding of LGBT people by religion.

We don't need to be "accepted" or "tolerated" or even "affirmed" - there is NOTHING WRONG WITH US.

Now if we can just get the baptists to use their sheets for bedding instead of clothing.

I was brought up in a moderately religious family but in a Baptist church. Their hate mongering and divisiveness led to my realization that religious dogma based on in-groups and out-groups was not for me--a realization that came many years before I realized I am gay. I could not abide by such teachings as, "Love your fellow man, UNLESS they are this or that or believe this or that and if that's the case, pity them because they're doing to burn in hell for eternity." What cray B.S.! So, I guess I'd say great that this church has opened its minds and hearts to "the gays," but most of the rest of their dogma likely is mindless crap, too.

Marcel Huguenin | November 29, 2010 8:12 AM

What about what the bible teaches? The king James version. This is the signs of the times.