Motion asks SBC to discipline gay-affirming pastor

A motion during the opening session of this year’s Southern Baptist Convention asked officers to consider action against a church adopting a “third way” of neither affirming nor judging homosexuality.

By Bob Allen

A former Southern Baptist Convention vice president asked new officers to consider discipline against a California congregation that recently broke ranks with the denomination’s view that all homosexual behavior is a sin.

Wiley Drake, pastor of First Southern Baptist Church of Buena Park, Calif., made a motion at the SBC annual meeting June 10 in Baltimore requesting that officers to be elected over the next two days “prayerfully consider discipline for the Southern Baptist church and pastor located in La Miranda, Calif., for their violation of Article 3 of the SBC constitution when they affirmed, approved and endorsed homosexual behavior that the Bible describes as the sin of sodomy.”

wiley drakeBy parliamentary rules, motions made from the floor are referred to a committee on order of business that schedules all matters that require a vote.

Danny Cortez, pastor of New Heart Community Church of La Miranda, Calif., recently wrote on a blog that he “became gay-affirming” after a 15-year journey that included his own son coming out of the closet.

Instead of firing the pastor, the congregation decided to become a “Third Way” church, agreeing to disagree and not cast judgment on one another. Cortez called it “a huge step for a Southern Baptist church.”

The SBC constitution forbids messengers from churches which “act to affirm, approve or endorse homosexual behavior.”

In 2009 the SBC severed ties with Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, on recommendation from the SBC Executive Committee following an investigation into a controversy within the church over whether to include same-sex couples in a church membership directory.

Drake, 70, author of a 1996 resolution boycotting the Walt Disney Corp. over its decision to grant health benefits to gay and lesbian partners of employees, served as the convention’s second vice president in 2006 and 2007.

Convention officials distanced themselves from Drake in 2009 amid controversy after Drake said on "The Alan Colmes Show" that he was engaging in “imprecatory prayer,” asking God to kill President Obama.”

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