Thursday, April 26, 2012

Come on, CBF, pull the trigger on homosexuality.

The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship is rather heavily invested in the recently completed [Baptist] Conference on Sexuality and Covenant. Mercer University was the sponsor. Mercer ethics professor David Gushee is the individual most identified with it and despite his assurances otherwise, it looks as if the woolly mammoth in the room was homosexuality.

If I may be permitted:

The immediate past Moderator of the CBF, Colleen Burroughs had already, and notably, said as she was leaving office that the revisioned CBF’s first order of business ought to be to revisit the organization’s policy that prohibits the hiring of gays and lesbians.

In a gushing commentary on the conference, one CBF pastor “wonder[ed] if someday we’ll look on this event as a launching pad from which we were propelled to boldly go where we’ve not gone before.”

One report from the conference said that “those in attendance agreed that the conference, in the least, laid the intellectual foundation necessary for pro-LGBT advocates to gain momentum within the denomination...” a statement not disputed by any observers I have seen.

News reports summarized a keynote speaker’s presentation that “Christians no longer share a consensus that sex outside of marriage is always wrong and must find new ways to deal with that reality besides splitting into smaller and smaller groups over issues like homosexuality and contraception…”.

Sure, it’s not really any of this SBCer’s business what that autonomous Baptist entity does but I find myself asking why there is all this language about dialogue and conversations. Looks to me like the exercise is simply to build up the fortitude to go ahead and do it.

So, come on, CBF, pull the trigger on homosexuality. We know it's going to happen.

As always, happy to help.


Howell Scott said...


Good word. I wrote about this on Tuesday as well as last year when the Conference was first announced. I am sad to say that Dr. Gushee as my Ethics Professor at Southern. At the time, there was absolutely no hint of any of this stuff in his teaching. He was (and I suppose still is) a very thoughtful and engaging teacher, but he was conservative (or at least taught conservatively). I have no idea how one could move so far away from a Biblical witness other than to ignore the clear teachings of God's Word.

The CBF, like every other denomination which has fought this battle, will eventually raise the white flag of surrender on the homosexuality issue. The divide on how churches and denominations handle the homosexuality issue will become more pronounced in the next few years. I just watched an Andy Stanley sermon in which he seemed to take a muted (that's being charitable) view that homosexuality is wrong. After watching the video, I came to the conclusion that he was condemning heterosexual adultery, but giving a pass to homosexual relationships. With Mercer U., not to mention the Merritts and now Stanley, what is going on with your state? :-) Hope you are doing well. Have a great day and God bless,


Anonymous said...

Baptists had this same discussion some time back concerning slavery and those that opposed it were said to deny the clear teaching of scripture.

Scripture is clear enough to bring people to God and sufficiently challenging to cause repeated questioning of existence. That ain't bad, unless one reads it as a book of codes.

Jonathan said...

The slavery issue is instructive here, but not in the way that Anonymous describes it. At least one participant in the recent CBF conference referred to the "Wesleyan Quadrilateral" as a basis for theological reflection. This basis is pretty much nothing more than the old mod/left "Jesus Criterion" dressed up in fancy vestments.

The argument for slavery began with experience and culture that demanded Scriptural support which many Southern pastors promptly "found".

This is essentially what is happening in the CBF. Nothing shocking here.

Anonymous said...

No doubt a lot of people in the SBC prefer the Paul Criterion dressed up in three-piece suits.

Matt Richard said...

The reports from the event I have read are certainly lopsided. Not pleased about that.

Do you think that the group at the conference is a fair representative of the CBF in general?

Anonymous said...

As a "conservative cbf-er" I am just appalled at this turn of events. If things continue in this direction I will no longer attach myself to the movement. Not sure I could in good conscience be a SCB-er or if they would even have me, but I cannot be party to this. I wonder just how many in the movement are like me.


Tim Dahl said...


I'm with you on this one.