Case Against Southern Baptist Teachings

  • On June 14, 2000, the SBC adopted a revised summary of their faith, called Baptist Faith and Message, which states, "In the spirit of Christ, Christians should oppose… all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery, homosexuality, and pornography."

  • At the 2000 Southern Baptist Convention, messengers from local churches overwhelmingly approved a motion to commend Dr. Laura Schlessinger for her "courageous stand and opposition to homosexuality." In a letter written to Dr. Laura by President of the SBC James Merritt, the SBC stated, "Though we indeed do love the sinner and do wish and pray for God’s grace to fall on every homosexual (as well as every heterosexual) who needs the Lord, without question the Word of God condemns homosexuality in the strongest of terms. The Southern Baptist Convention joins you in standing for what is right and against what is wrong."

  • At a news conference in November of 1999, Richard Land, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention called same-sex unions "counterfeit alternative relationships."

  • In 1999, the Georgia Baptist Convention (GBC) messengers voted overwhelmingly to "withdraw fellowship" from the congregations of Oakhurst and Virginia Highland over their ministry and support for gays and lesbians. In 2000, the Atlanta Baptist Association voted to allow these churches to remain in their local association. The GBC and the SBC’s North American Mission Board then voted to withdraw funding support to the Atlanta Association.

  • In 1998, the executive board of the Baptist General Convention of Texas voted to no longer accept funds from University Baptist Church in Austin, TX, because it ordained a gay deacon. The church had been "disfellowshipped" from the Austin Baptist Association in 1995 for the same reason.

  • A resolution was passed in 1996 by the Southern Baptist Convention stating, "Even desire to engage in a homosexual relationship is always sinful, impure, degrading, shameful, unnatural, indecent and perverted."

  • In 1992, the SBC changed its constitution, prohibiting churches that "affirm, approve, or endorse homosexual behavior," to be associated with the SBC.

  • On the BBC in 1997, Albert Mohler Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. said, "I see the modern attempts to normalize homosexuality as a threat not only to the moral equilibrium of the culture, but to the very survival of the society."

  • In 1992, Binkley Baptist Church was expelled from the Southern Baptist Convention and the North Carolina State Convention for approving the ordination of a gay man.

  • In 1992, Pullman Memorial Church was expelled from the SBC for voting to support a pastor in performing a holy union for two men.

  • Former SBC President Tom Elliff, wrote in 1997 while he was President of the SBC, "Southern Baptists believe homosexuality is a choice — a very poor and sinful choice with particularly devastating consequences. And we believe that the answer for the homosexual, as with us all, is found in the deliverance Christ offers."

  • Messengers to the SBC Annual Meeting can not be from churches that "act to affirm, approve, or endorse homosexual behavior." The qualifications for messengers wanting to register for the Convention are found in Article III of the SBC Constitution.

  • Sunday School Lessons, prepared by Lifeway Christian Resources, the publishing arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, reflect the claims of Christian "ex-gay" ministries that lesbians and gays can change their sexual orientation through a fundamentalist religious conversion or a course of "reparative" psychotherapy.

  • In 1993, the Delores Street Baptist Church withdrew their association with the SBC, after San Francisco Peninsula Southern Baptist Association and the Southern Baptist General Convention of California withdrew their fellowship from the church because of their affirming GLBT ministry. Even after the Home Mission Board of the SBC withdrew its financial support for their ministries, Dolores Street Baptist continued to support Southern Baptist work and missions with their offerings until the State Convention refused to accept them.

    Prepared by Soulforce, Inc. June 3, 2001