Matthew R. Perry

The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina Takes a Bold Stand

In Church Life, Homosexuality, SBC, Theology on November 16, 2006 at 6:50 am

A recent Baptist Press article of November 15 outlines a bold stand the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina took at their recent state convention:

The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina strengthened its membership criteria Nov. 14 to specify churches that do not support homosexuality and do not allow homosexuals to be members until they repent.

Messengers voted by nearly a three-fourths majority to change the convention’s articles of incorporation, Article VI.A.3 concerning membership as proposed in the “Sanderson Motion,” brought before the convention last year by Bill Sanderson, pastor of Hephzibah Baptist Church in Wendell.

The original article stated, “A cooperating church shall be one that financially supports any program, institution, or agency of the Convention, and which is in friendly cooperation with the Convention and sympathetic with its purposes and work.”

(To read the rest of the article, click here.)

As with most discussions concerning polity in Southern Baptist churches, the question of autonomy arises. Does an outside entity, even within the denomination, have the right to accept into their membership those whom the Bible states are engaged in sinful behavior such as that of homosexuality? There are those who claim that SBC churches are autonomous in nature with no outside intervention able to run the operations of the church.

Yet the Southern Baptist Convention is unlike many other denominations in that the members of those conventions have a say-so as to the doctrinal boundaries and distinctives. Mark Harris, pastor of First Baptist Church of Charlotte, NC, stated:

Neither I nor the convention sought out this issue. It is important to know that this reflects biblical standards we all can unite on. This in no way attacks a person caught in the grips of homosexual behavior. This is the establishment of a standard for the North Carolina Baptist Convention.

No one sin is worse than another. As believers, we have a responsibility to stand against an agenda which is contrary to Scripture. Nothing would please me more than if this discussion was unnecessary. However, this convention must stand with courage.

On the other side of that coin, Nathan Parrish, pastor at the Peace Haven Baptist Church in Winston-Salem felt this result was unproductive.

We should have more conversations with each other rather than cast stones at each other. Having the right to exclude does not give us the right to exclude. This creates another layer of board-driven committee oversight and power.

“Conversations.” What is there to talk about when the Scriptures are so clear? It’s time for us to quite thinking we can have conversations to come to some compromise and listen to the commands of Jesus and His servants.

More on this later … but I am proud of the BSCNC of their stand. There’s hope for the SBC yet!

  1. Matt 7:1-5
    1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.
    2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
    3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?
    4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?
    5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.



    In Matthew 19:12,

    Jesus calls 3 groups of men, “eunuchs.”

    Jesus says these are “eunuchs”

    1. Some men are made that way by other men
    (remember the eunuchs kings used to keep in their palaces to watch over the women in their harem?)

    2. Some men vountarily become “eunuchs” when they forego or defer marriage in order to be free to ‘preach Jesus’ to the world (as missionaries do).

    then Jesus continued

    3. Some are born such that they are as “eunuchs” in that they have no attraction towards the opposite sex, crucially necessary to form a procreational marriage.

    In this figurative sense, Jesus is teaching that gays are born gay.

    Matt 19:12
    12 For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”

  2. Well, well, well, that certainly is a first! A eunuch who has no genitalia either by the will of man, their own will, or by birth is now being equated with ‘gays’? That is the stretch of all stretches, friend.

    And to answer your question, where does Jesus approve? He approves it through his servant Paul’s message to the Corinthian church:

    1 Cor. 5:9-13
    I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— [10] not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. [11] But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. [12] For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? [13] God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”

    God judges those outside the church, but he has granted the church to exact his justice inside the church. If you call yourself a Christian yet willingly engage in sexual immorality (adultery, fornication, homosexuality, bestiality), church discipline must be engaged.

    And in regard to your comment about those Pharisees who were ready to stone the adulteress? Jesus did condemn the Pharisees, but then he told the adulteress, “Go and sin no more.” That’s what we say to those in the unrepentant homosexual lifestyle who say they are Christians. Go and sin no more.

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