A North Carolina church noted for its involvement in an immigration dispute has voted to withhold funds from the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship as long as the 1,800-church organization continues to discriminate in employment based on sexual orientation.
A Baptist scholar who famously changed his mind on homosexuality says a new Cooperative Baptist Fellowship policy allowing the possible hiring of LGBTQ Christians for some, but not all, staff positions “may be the worst of all possible options,” distancing the very voices on both ends of the spectrum that CBF leaders were hoping to appease.
The Baptist General Association of Virginia will no longer forward contributions from its affiliated congregations to the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship because of a new CBF practice allowing the hiring of LGBTQ Christians to some, but not all, ministry positions.
For the BGAV and CBF, perhaps “communion” now means we just share a little instead of share abundantly. Maybe “communion” now means we have only periodic public fellowship with each other instead of intimate friendship as brothers and sisters in Christ. Perhaps “communion” now means rapport and affinity move towards separation and estrangement.
The Baptist General Convention of Texas will end pass-through funding for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship because of a new CBF practice allowing the hiring of LGBTQ Christians to some, but not all, ministry positions.
An ideal practice of theology by the church is one that depends on the illumination provided by various sources of light through which the Spirit helps us see and diverse voices through which the Spirit helps us hear what the mind of Christ is regarding our faith and practice for time and place.
The unrecognized and unacknowledged colonialist justifications for the CBF’s decision are disturbing. Implementing this policy solely because it reflects the congregational opinions of churches within the CBF would provide a much more understandable justification. Utilizing the beliefs and practices of global Christians in order to maintain a position of power, however, perpetuates a colonialist impulse that Christians have been subject to for far too long.
If I read my Bible correctly (and if I read my American history correctly), the only real hope we have for reconciliation isn’t actually through reading our Bible correctly. And it isn’t through winning an argument with someone who disagrees with us. Reconciliation only seems to happen in one way — through carrying crosses.
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.