A Baptist newspaper editorial compares critics of a new Cooperative Baptist Fellowship policy partially lifting an LGBTQ hiring ban to fundamentalists who seek to drive out Christians who disagree with their view of Scripture.
“The tendency to expel faithful Christians who read scriptures differently is not a symptom only of the right,” Brian Kaylor, editor of Word & Way based in Jefferson City, Mo., editorialized Feb. 14.
Kaylor, also associate director of ChurchNet, a group of congregations that separated from the Missouri Baptist Convention in 2002, said reaction to last week’s Illumination Project report sheds light on a “liberal Fundamentalism” that seeks to draw lines in the sand and judges churches based on a single issue.
“Baptists and others who wanted CBF to allow LGBTQ individuals to serve in any position quickly blasted the new position as a rejection of love and justice, ignoring the move of the Spirit and an inaccurate reading of the Bible,” Kaylor said.
“Some maligned the motives of CBF leaders, claiming they only care about money,” the editor said. “Some even called on churches to leave CBF or to stop funding CBF as a result.”
Kaylor said such arguments use homosexuality “as a do-or-die litmus test” while dismissing those who differ “as, at best, unfaithful Christians not smart enough to read the Bible and not spiritual enough to listen to God.”
“The demand by liberal Fundamentalists for being accepting and inclusive apparently doesn’t extend to accepting those who hold to a different reading of the Bible on the topic of marriage,” Kaylor said. “This Fundamentalist attitude is particularly concerning when considering a key reason CBF leaders noted to explain their decision: CBF leaders listened to the voices of global Christians.”