Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Texas Baptists "excommunicate" church for support of gays and female ministers


In a weird move, sort of a cross between McCarthyism and the Albigensian Crusade, Faith Harbor Baptist Church in Baytown, Texas has been kicked out of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention for allowing their facilities to be used during off hours by Ekletos, a female-pastored church that supports and welcomes homosexuals, bisexuals, and transgendered people.

Say that again? They kicked a church out of their club because that church let a "heretic" church use their building?

Southern Baptists officially affirm that "God's plan for marriage and sexual intimacy" is "one man, and one woman, for life" and that the Bible condemns homosexuality as sin and is therefore "not a 'valid alternative lifestyle.'"

In explaining the STBC board's decision, chairman Joe Stewart, pastor of First Baptist Church in Littlefield, Texas said, "We took the steps of sitting down with them and trying to do the Matthew 18 thing — to bring some reconciliation — and asked for them to take some steps to do away with this."

The Southern Baptists of Texas began in 1998 and has grown to more than 1700 affiliated churches. It affirms Biblical inerrancy, believes that only males may hold church pastorates and maintains strong ties to the Southern Baptist Convention.

Its rival, the moderate Baptist General Convention of Texas, has grown increasingly distant from the national denomination.

In remarks eerily reminiscent of the Middle Ages, Stewart said there may be a chance for reconcilliation between the Convention and Faith Harbor, if "the church's staff agree[s] to follow the theological guidelines of the denomination."

No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!

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Photo: Ingrid Bergman as Joan of Arc

What is up with the Southern Baptists? Do they hate everyone who thinks differently than they do? Who died and made them God?
I don't see the problem.

Since when did religion have the requirement of inclusiveness? By definition, it has a built-in exclusivity from non-believers and carries a judgement upon them.
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