Southern Baptists Unfriend  California Congregation For Insufficient Gay-Hating

The Southern Baptist Convention voted unanimously toexpel a California church that was entirely too friendly to gay homosexuals, bringing order back to the cosmos and making clear that unlike other issues, such as divorce, there is no room for doctrinal disagreement on The Love That Refuses To Shut Up These Days.

The New Heart Community Church in La Mirada, California, was burned at the stake for its vote in May to become a "Third Way" congregation, meaning that it had no official position on homosexuality, instead treating it as

a matter about which sincere Christians can honestly disagree in the same way Christians differ in their understanding of the Bible’s teaching about divorce and remarriage in a 21st-century context.

That vote followed a decision by pastor Danny Cortez that he could not in good conscience condemn homosexuality or homosexuals, as he explained in a sermon titled “Why I Changed My Mind on Homosexuality,” in which he Christsplains why, as a conservative Christian, his theological and personal views on the issue had evolved. He noted that his change of heart came after years of reflection and prayer, and was influenced by his concerns for "the marginalized" in society. He also noted that every year of his pastorship, between one and three members of the congregation confessed to him that they were gay, and struggling with it. And finally, he said that his son had come out to him last year:

“My heart skipped a beat and I turned towards [my son] and we gave one another the biggest and longest hug as we cried ... And all I could tell him was that I loved him so much and that I accepted him just as he is … If it wasn’t for this 15 year journey and my change in theology, I may have destroyed my son through reparative therapy.”

It's actually a pretty cool sermon, even if you're not so into Godstuff -- particularly Cortez's alternate reading of 1 Romans, which we won't go into, but is similar to points made here.

The church could have fired Cortez -- a fact he noted at the beginning of his sermon -- but instead decided to keep him on and vote for that "Third Way" position.

This heresy could not stand, man, and so the SBC declared that information provided by New Heart Community Church about the church's position was "clear evidence of the church’s affirmation and approval of homosexual behavior.” And therefore, the Executive Committee held that New Heart “does not presently meet the definition of a cooperating church” under the SBC's constitution. The committee then voted to "disfellowship" the heretics, which is way way worse than unfriending them on Facebook. It was not clear if good Baptists are literally required to turn their backs on New Heart members, but it couldn't hurt, since they might catch the ghey, or even worse, the neutrality. Once disfellowshipped, the congregation can no longer participate or vote in SBC meetings, and is also barred from carrying the Ring Of Power.

You will be happy to know that there is nothing hateful about this, according to SBC President Ronnie Floyd, who told the Baptist Press that this wasn't personal, just theological business, and "did not reflect a lack of compassion for New Heart or homosexuals":

New Heart has "walked away from us as Southern Baptists," Floyd, pastor of Cross Church in northwest Arkansas, said. "We have not walked away from them. So it is with compassion that I would appeal to them to reconsider their decision, mostly their position related to the Word of God on homosexuality."

Sorry guys, but you're out, unless you straighten up and fly right. Frank S. Page, the president of the Executive Committee, also explained how the expulsion of New Heart was based on love, sweet love:

"This action does not reflect a lack of love for homosexuals," Page told BP. "We love all people, including homosexuals. But when you love someone, you tell them the truth about their actions. By its action on behalf of the convention, the Executive Committee is telling New Heart that its failure to condemn homosexuality breaks the heart of God. We're praying that the church will repent."

Asked for comment, the Lord God Almighty left only a cryptic message saying "Outlook cloudy -- ask again later."

[ABP News and Baptist Press via ThinkProgress]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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