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.
The 5,600-church Baptist General Convention of Texas apparently is paying close attention to new hiring practices at the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship which would allow persons who identify as LBGTQ to be employed in some roles, though not others.
I am sick to death of decades of our ceaseless inability to avoid personal, spiritual and communal schism in our churches and ourselves. Truth to tell, however, 2,000 years of Christian history illustrate that the same Jesus Story that unites all Christ’s church often drives it apart. I’ve often teased that “Baptists multiply by dividing.” It’s not funny anymore. Never was.
I understand the need to be culturally sensitive when making hiring decisions, and I understand that applies whether you are sending missionaries to Nigeria or New Jersey. But the existing bylaws of the CBF leave those hiring decisions in the hands of the executive coordinator, and I trust Suzii Paynter. I trust her to be culturally sensitive, but I also trust her not to discriminate.