Thursday, February 19, 2009

Broadway Baptist--Come on, Executive Committee!!

For those who don't know, Broadway Baptist is in Texas. The SBC Executive Committee met this week and one of the items on their agenda was to try to decide if the church promoted, endorsed, or affirmed homosexual behavior in order to decide if the church was in "friendly cooperation" with the SBC. You can read an article here. The church, according to church representatives,

has about five members who are homosexual, with two of them serving on committees. The five joined Broadway Baptist by letter from other churches, and it only later was discovered they were homosexual, committee members were told.

Um, I'm sorry but I guess I missed the part where a church wasn't expected to deal with sin among its members. I mean, if you found out they were gay and unrepentent doesn't Matthew 18:15-17 come into play. It seems to me the fact that they are allowed to remain members is proof positive to me that the church affirms homosexuality. Maybe I'm just weird that way.

I would just like to call on the Executive Committee to "man up". You shouldn't have to wait til the SBC meeting in June in Louisville to decide this, folks. Dancing around the issue isn't the right thing to do here. The fact that it has taken this long to start the process of disfellowshiping the church is bad enough. To put it off longer to "study" what should be an open and shut case is really sad. Grow a backbone. Stand up for what is right. It's not politically correct and it's not always easy but if it was easy everyone could do it.

16 comments:

Thankful Paul said...

Hello! :)

Joe Blackmon said...

Thankful Paul,

Dude, either you are a spam bot or just a little too on the wierd side for this fat, bald headed white boy.

Chris Ryan said...

Have you talked with the members to know they are unrepentant? Do you know that the church hasn't started the process of discipline? You know that it doesn't start by dragging people in front of the church. Do you know that they aren't trying to stop but having great difficulty exiting from a habitual lifestyle? Do you know whether or not there is grace for sinners who are homosexuals just like those who are gluttenous?

Joe Blackmon said...

Chris

Have you talked with the members to know they are unrepentant?
The fact that the church had to decide whether to show the gay people as couples proves they are living an openly homosexual lifestyle. That would, by definition, mean that they are unrepentant.

Do you know that the church hasn't started the process of discipline? You know that it doesn't start by dragging people in front of the church.
The only reason I referenced Matthew 18:15-17 is because I am quite familiar with it. We practice church discipline in our church. I feel quite comfortable drawing the conclusion that the church has not started any sort of discipline process for two reasons. The church did not mention it themselves. This has been going on at the church for a fairly long time (over a year) as I understand it. If they were going to start church discipline it would have reached stage 3 by now.

Do you know that they aren't trying to stop but having great difficulty exiting from a habitual lifestyle?

Please see my answer to your first question.

Do you know whether or not there is grace for sinners who are homosexuals just like those who are gluttenous?

First of all, God can and does forgive all people who truly repent of their sins. No doubt. Keyword there being "repent" which does not mean to continue living in a sinful relationship with someone of the same sex as in this case. Second of all, dude, did you just equate homosexuality with gluttony in God's eyes? Are you daft? In the Old Testament people were KILLED for some sins not for others, the perversion of homosexuality being one of them. Have you ever thought about WHY? Give ya a hint--how many Hebrew words are translated abomination in the Old Testament? That's a good place for a student of scripture to start looking.

Chris Ryan said...

When it came to the issue of homosexuality and gluttony, I had one concern: we very often read the Bible to justify our own sins and condemn those of others. If church discipline should be practiced here, then it should be practiced for other sins also. Not just the ones that don't include us. Keep in mind that in their world of limited goods, the glutton was as good as murdering his neighbor. He ate more than he needed meaning his neighbor didn't have enough.

You assume that they should be at stage three, butyou don't know. And nor should they be sharing publically that the process has been begun *unless* they are at stage three. Stages one and two are between a sinner and brothers. If repentence is found there, then there is no need for public shaming: your brother has already been won.

Thirdly, you say there is grace for those who repent. Yet you would cast them out so that they are no longer in hearing range of the Gospel. God is certainly bigger than our church walls, but how do they repent lest they are told? How beautiful the feet of those who bring good news.

Fourthly, this is a question. Are they actually church members, or are the merely attenders?

Joe Blackmon said...

Chris

When it came to the issue of homosexuality and gluttony, I had... [drivel]...enough.

Your point is still irrelevant. Did you even bother to look up what I told you to look up related to the Hebrew words translated abomination in the OT? No, you didn't. When you do, get back to me. Also, please cite your support from the Bible that proves your ridiculous assertion that glutton is as bad as homosexuality since you seem obsessed with comaring the two.

You assume that they should be at stage three, butyou [sic] don't know. And nor...[more drivel]...won.

Chris, chris, chris...the fact that they are not saying they don't have homosexual members or that they are in the process of dealing with that matter as a church and they don't want to comment until the matter is concluded is PROOF that they are not ashamed of having homosexual members. Their silence speaks volumes.

Thirdly, you say there is grace for those who repent. Yet you would cast them out so that they are no longer in hearing range of the Gospel. God is certainly bigger than our church walls, but how do they repent lest they are told? How beautiful the feet of those who bring good news.

Have you even READ Matthew 18:15-17? You do realize there is nothing in there nor did I imply there was that says they are barred from the entering the building, right? Removing them from church membership would mean that the church would treat them as prospects for evengelisim which means they would share the gospel with them. They wouldn't call them to repent and come back to the faith but they would call them to repent and come TO the faith.

Fourthly, this is a question. Are they actually church members, or are the merely attenders?

If you had read the article, you would know they are members and that is where the controversy started, Chris.

Now, your profile says you are planning to be a pastor. If you HONESTLY cannot say that homoseuxals shouldn't be allowed membership in the church and that homosexual sin should not be dealt with until glutton is dealt with then you need some SERIOUS mentoring and have no business leading other Christians. If you don't own a Bible you should buy one. If you own one, you might want to spend some time STUDYING it.

Joe Blackmon said...

Oh, Chris

I forgot to add to my last comment that I certainly think that sin in the church should be dealt with--no just homosexuality.

Chris Ryan said...

Okay, well if you want to treat me like I'm a two year old I could certainly return the favor. I won't, though.

The word tow`ebah, translated abomination, is written in conjunction with idolatry, homosexuality, the eating of certain foods, impure sacrifices, cross-dressing (watch out women in blue jeans), marrying a person you previously divorced, a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, an heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,a false witness [that] speaketh lies, he that soweth discord among brethren, unjust weights, justifying the wicked, condeming the just, turning from the law, charging interest on loans, adultery, and marrying those who worship a foreign god.

Now you know I have at least a concordance. I still may not have a Bible, though. Sadness.

There are apparently a lot of abominable acts. Homosexuality is not alone. I have never heard of a woman being put in front of a church for discipline after wearing blue jeans, however.

I am not obsessed with comparing gluttony to homosexuality. Rather, you were the one who called yourself fat. I wanted to see if you were willing to admit that you too have sinned by eating to excess. But I could picked any number of other sins. Gluttony doesn't show up on the list of abominations (at least using that word), but perhaps the pride in your last response would qualify as abominable. Should I contact your church and ask them to start the disciplinary process?


The churches silence could only mean that they aren't hauling members before the body yet. It doesn't mean they aren't dealing with it. If YOU have read Matthew 18 then you know that there is no need to involve the whole body if repentence occurs before that step.

People may not be told to never return to the building, but few would want to return after being told that they could not be a part of the fellowship because they sin just like everybody else in the fellowship. The problem is that we never read the end to Jesus' comments on restoration (not discipline): He says that what we loose on earth will be loosed in Heaven. The emphasis then is DON'T loose lest they be lost in Heaven. Restore gently.

And your patronization over my question as to their membership is quite unneeded. I have been in Baptist circles long enough to know that many people are referred to as members who merely attend and many are church members who haven't attended the church in decades. With how casually we use the term "church member" I thought that the question may be warrented.

I don't say that homosexuality couldn't be dealt with until other sins had been dealt with. My point is that we are quick to deal with some sins while we ignore others that we are more fond of. That is what is wrong. If you are going to disfellowship from a church for harboring homosexuals then I hope you are going to disfellowship from churches who have members who are sinful in other ways, also. And I'm glad we are now demanding that people have their lives all cleaned up before they can receive the grace of God.

I hope that I didn't drivel on too long for you. And I hope that my infantile thoughts aren't just wastes of space. Maybe there is something of use there.

Joe Blackmon said...

Chris

Yes, it was a bit too much drivel. The English word abomination as found in the OT Torah is translated from two primary Hebrew words, (sqs) sheqets and (t'b) to 'ebah. Both words have the general idea of something detestable, loathsome, or abhorrent. Both words are also used interchangeably with reference to those things considered an abomination to people. But, the word to 'ebah was used by the Hebrews for the highest degree of abomination, or that which offends the religious sense of the people [International Standard Bible Encyclopedia vol. 1]. An important distinction to notice between these two words is the penalty suffered for one who commits sheqets as opposed to one who commits to 'ebah. A person who commits an abomination (sheqets) by touching an unclean animal would be ritually unclean until the evening (Leviticus 11:24 ff.). However, one who commits an abomination (to 'ebah) violated the character and nature of God and would receive the death penalty. That is exactly what we have described in Leviticus 20:13 of a man who has sexual relations with another man.

Obviously repentance has not occured since they have not indicated that it has. As to the rest of your comment, I'm not going to dignify it with a response. Bottom line and end of the discussion--it should not take years to remove homosexuals from church membership because it should not take years to deal with any sin in the church. They haven't which proves that they don't see it as a problem. Therefore, the Executive Committee should remove them from being Southern Baptist. If you want to pontificate on why homosexuality is a sin that should be tolerated in the church, start your own blog.

Lee said...

I don't necessarily see this as an "open and shut" case. The EC reviewed the case and determined that the solution to the problem was for the church to strengthen its statement on homosexuality. The church's representatives pointed out that the church has not taken any action which would violate this particular bylaw. Everything else that has been said is hearsay, which is a sin equal to homosexuality.

The EC acted exactly as it should have done in providing the church with a means of resolving the problem to their satisfaction which the church has apparently agreed to do. The idea of open, shut, boot them out the door violates scripture that instructs resolution to be sought first, and forgiveness to be granted when corrective action is taken. Unless you know for a fact that the church isn't practicing scriptural discipline, you are just jumping to conclusions. It is not up to you to determine where they should be in the process.

Joe Blackmon said...

Lee

If you don't see this as an open and shut case, it has more to do with you not wanting to see it as open and shut and less to do with the clear teaching of scripture on this matter. If Broadway Baptist wants to remain Southern Baptist then they need to exercise church discipline in this matter. The reason they are obviously not doing it is because they don't want to---they don't believe homosexuality is a problem. The fact that the EC tabled this issue to "study" it is very, very sad.

One question: Do you have homosexual members in your church?

Their answer: Yes.

One more question: What are you doing about it related to church discipline?

Their answer: Um, err, well, ummm....You know, we never come out and say homosexuality is ok exactly.

What should have happened next: Thank you. We have some lovely parting gifts for you. The CBF is always looking for new churches.

Anonymous said...

Joe,

All I have to say to you is "Let him who is without sin caste the first stone." Chris, don't give up on him.

Broadway Member

Joe Blackmon said...

Broadway member,

All I have to say to you is that regardless of your opinion, homosexuality and Christianity are incompatible. The fact that your church has done nothing to remove those members PROVES beyond any doubt the opinion of your church.

Tricia said...

O.k. I don't know if anyone else has read the article Joe has a link to. I did. The question I come away with is okay church you didn't know when these folks' letters were received. That's not totally crazy. Most of the Baptist churches I've been to could easily find themselves in that same position. Furthermore, no mention is made as to what the church is doing to evangelize these individuals. In short, no we don't seem to have all the facts. That having been said, I'm praying for this church and it's leaders. They are not in a comfortable position. I bet, however they are learning a good deal and are asking what can we do to not be in this position again.

As to the denominational response to homosexuality, yes it should be dealt with. In Romans, the Bible says that this is a sign of God "giving them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity". V.28 in Chapter 1 says "And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God game them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, v29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors or evil, disobedient to parents. So, yes churches should deal with homosexuals who call themselves "little Christ's". AND we need to deal with ourselves when we see any of these things Romans lists in our own lives.

In closing, the matter of church discipline should go for any sin. You'll notice, however, the first step is to go and "show him his fault in private". Now I don't know about my brothers and sisters in Christ out there but if one of my siblings in Christ came to me and said, "Hey, I heard you over there gossiping about Sally Socialite with Joe Schmoe. That's not Godly." and shows me in scripture and calls me to repentance. Not only am I going to repent for that one time, I guarantee before I gossip again, I'm going to remember that my sibling CARED ENOUGH ABOUT ME AND MY WALK WITH CHRIST to step in and "fix me" and think twice before opening my mouth. Now, if the same can be said by any other believer fine, if not and they get to stage three and are still adamant about hanging on to their sin, the Bible tells us to treat them as someone who needs Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord. God help us all be the Children of God we've been called to be. Let's pray for this church, the Executive Committee, AND each other. Love in Christ,

Tricia said...

I just found an article at www.baptistpress.org (Feb 26 2008 I think) about the vote to remove former Pastor Younger at Broadway Baptist in Texas. I highly recommend the read. They mention the controversy over the 125th anniversary directory. The issue was does the church include pictures of families (homosexual couples included) or candid shots. Now I can't say with certainty what the wording was, so I won't try to quote. The gist was how the directory would "appear" to others. As I said, I highly recommend the read. Apparently this church has a reputation of being a little apart from the Southern Baptist Convention. As I said, let's pray for them and their leadership.

Chris Ryan said...
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