Leonardo"s Notebook by Mattheus Mei

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

NC Baptist Convention Expels Church

It looks like in my neighboring Carolina to the North - the State's Baptist Convention has expelled Myers Park Baptist for "welcoming gays and lesbians without trying to convert them." (Check it out here too)

Well this is just another example of the division rife within the body of Christ. "Convert them," that phrase just frightens me. I find it ironic on the conventions website that they would put as their branding tag line: "North Carolina Baptists. Caring. Sharing. Daring." That seems to stand in direct contradiction to what they've just done to Myers Park. And here are some encouraging words from Myers Park Baptist:

The N. C. Baptist State Convention has voted to exclude churches that welcome gay and lesbian persons. They may ask us either to leave or to change our practice. We will not allow our conscience to be coerced by their exclusionary conditions of membership, and we reaffirm Christ’s welcome to all persons and our commitment to a ministry of reconciliation that seeks to be a healing witness in a world of divisions and hatreds and a part of God’s dream to make all things one.

According to the article linked to above one Pastor had the temerity to rise in opposition of the expulsion:

The Rev. Jim Burch, of First Baptist in Greensboro, spoke against it, saying last year's rule changes "are not infallible, nor ... inspired. They have been passed with a great deal of passion and a little less love. We have the opportunity today ... to use a bylaw ill-timed and ill-passed to club a church or we can extend to them the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ."

This was countered by another Pastor:

But the Rev. John Miller of Immanuel Baptist in Concord, got audible support from the delegates when he said that God requires repentance and will help those homosexuals who want to change their lifestyle -- or achieve "victory" over sin.

"We need to be compassionate, yes, but we need to be firm in the message that, unless you repent, you cannot see the kingdom of heaven," Miller said.

Hmmm... I don't even know if these actions of expulsion can be connected with the philosophy of "hate the sin love the sinner," especially since all evidence points to the fact that you can't change one's orientation as much as choose not to act upon it. (Unless you're Donnie McClurkin - eyes roll).

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