Another Baptist Congregation Confronts GLBT Inclusion
Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth, TX, a centrist-to-progressive Baptist congregation, is being forced to wrestle with how inclusive they want to be of GLBT persons. Baptist blogger Big Daddy Weave has the story here. J.C. Baker, a member of Broadway, a progressive Baptist, and a Ph.D. student in N.T., argues for full and equal inclusion here.
Mainline denominations have been confronting this issue for years, with the Quakers and the United Church of Christ paving the way for full and equal inclusion. Although the struggle is far from over, thanks to pressure from the global Anglican communion of which it is a member, the Episcopal Church, USA seems to be firmly on the path to full inclusion, too. Things seem divided almost 50/50 (with traditionalists having slight majorities over revisionists/inclusivists) in such mainline denominations as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), Presbyterian Church, USA (PCUSA), and United Methodist Church (UMC).
Baptists have long either ignored this conflict to focus on other (non) issues like whether women should be relegated to housework and childrearing (!), how many beers send you to hell, why evolution is demonic, or why charismatics are really possessed, etc., but can pull such dodges no longer. The tiny Alliance of Baptists (size isn’t everything), the progressive denomination to which my congregation belongs, has adopted an inclusive policy–although this is not binding on local churches since Baptists are congregational in polity. The American Baptist Churches, USA is being pulled apart over the issue, sadly. And the member congregations of the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists (AWAB)(to which I also belong) are increasing. Will Broadway BC of Fort Worth soon join AWAB’s ranks? I pray it will be so.
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