On Tuesday, the Southern Baptist Conventions’ senior administrative body voted to sever ties with two churches. One was an LGBTQ-friendly church in North Carolina the other was a New Jersey congregation it cited for “alleged discriminatory behavior.”
According to the Associated Press reports, the church remains under investigation by the Department of Justice.
The federal government is believed to have opened an investigation into the Southern Baptist Convention after a consultancy discovered sexual abuse within the church, along with mistreatment of survivors by church officials. Despite the report from the Associated Press, the Department of Justice has not disclosed the subject of the investigation.
Tuesday’s voting committee proclaimed that the College Park Baptist Church in Greensboro failed to be in compliance because of its “open affirmation, approval and endorsement of homosexual behavior.”
The College Park congregation noted that they had already opted to leave Southern Baptist Convention in 1999, the AP reports, and its website declares it’s no longer part of the organization and has since become the member of more progressive Baptist associations.
The church website re-iterated their stance on inclusivity, “Our church family in Greensboro welcomes and affirms all persons without distinction regarding race, ethnicity, national origin, class, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other category created by humans. We are an inclusive, fun faith community where persons from all walks of life feel comfortable worshiping and working together to bring Christ’s love to the world – doing the best we can and trying not to embarrass Jesus too much.”
College Park went on to say, “We are not affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. We are affiliated with the American Baptist Churches USA, Alliance of Baptists, and Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.”
Baptist congregations are not centralized and are self-governed. That means the Southern Baptist Convention can’t force churches to follow their policies, but they can remove “friendly cooperation.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: KVUE.COM
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