- - Thursday, August 20, 2015

If any church deserves the distinction of helping to bring the Southern Baptist Convention into existence — along with its first seminary and one of its first premier universities — the First Baptist Church of Greenville, South Carolina, could make that claim.

Now, it can also claim to be a Baptist church that embraces same-sex relationships and marriage — for both church membership and leadership. The church recently voted to change its policy and position regarding homosexuality.

Their statement says:

“In all facets of the life and ministry of our church, including but not limited to membership, baptism, ordination, marriage, teaching and committee/organizational leadership, First Baptist Greenville will not discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity.”

For decades now, the historic church has been on a trajectory away from conservative theology in general and the “Conservative Resurgence” within the denomination in particular.

The church broke ties with the denomination in 1999 and joined with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship — a group of Baptist churches that is itself in a state of generational flux on the issue of homosexuality.

Albert Mohler, Southern Baptist theologian and president of the SBC seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, that was birthed in buildings of the FBC of Greenville, wrote a critique of the decision, noting the connection between the changed sexual ethic and the longstanding moderate Baptist denial of the inerrancy of Scripture.

There are big lessons here for every church, every denomination, and every Christian institution. Once biblical inerrancy is abandoned, there is no brake on theological and moral revisionism. The Bible’s authority becomes relative, and there is no anchor to hold the church to the words of Scripture and 2,000 years of Christian witness.

The discernment process at First Baptist Church in Greenville offers us all ample lessons that should lead to a more fundamental discernment: Without the affirmation that the Bible is inerrant, “discernment” leads to disaster.

Franklin Graham responded via facebook:

This is disappointing and discouraging. According to God’s Word, what they are embracing is sin. The Bible says, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness …” (Isaiah 5:20).


Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide