Where's the Love?January 18, 2006
Here is a sad story about a church being kicked out of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention: SBTC removes church over homosexuality controversy - (BP). What did the church do? They dared to minister to homosexuals with Christ-like love. The article quotes the church's blog talking about the conflict prior to the removal:
"It always amazes me how much people hate those who try to get out of the box and take the message of Jesus Christ to those who are considered unclean. ... Now that I think about it, that was part of what the Jews hated about Jesus. How dare we defile the sanctuary by inviting sinners to come and be a part of hearing the message of Christ! Doesn't the Bible make it plain and clear that we are all sinners? Isn't our righteousness only found in Christ and Him alone?"
That was really the only part of the article really worth quoting, because the rest of it is hateful and inaccurate. On the church's blog, Eklektos Blog , here is the response to the decision:
"Aside from the fact that Eklektos is not a 'church' in any official capacity, and I am not the Senior Pastor, it's a shame that the political climate of the SBTC is such that merely associating with a ministry outreach that does not condemn homosexuals is so threatening. Does Jesus condemn homosexuals? No, Jesus goes out of his way to associate with people the church of his day condemned, and he offered them love."
"I realize that many people differ on the Biblical interpretation of Scripture surrounding issues of homosexuality. My hope is that Eklektos will minister within that controversy and seek Christ in the midst of it. I acknowledge that even the most faithful Christians can disagree over whether homosexuality is sinful -- Randy and I differ on that issue -- but this ministry is here to reach people who are typically ostracized and hurt by the Church, and to offer them a loving and non-judgemental community in which to seek Christ and grow in discipleship. Even if we all agreed that homosexuality was a sin, should a church require gay and lesbians to be celibate or 'convert' to heterosexuality? No. Not anymore than the church should require divorced people to reconcile, wealthy people to divest their money from companies that promote unrepentant consumerism, or gluttonous people to go on diets."
So it seems that the SBTS and the Baptist Press not only got their facts wrong but also their understanding of God's love. Apparently these religious leaders would--like the Pharisees--rather see homosexuals go to hell then have someone attempt to reach out to them and share the love of Jesus. In that case it is a badge of honor to be kicked out of the SBTC!