Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Broadway Baptist Gets the Boot

It was announced on the news of the Dallas affiliate of Fox that Broadway Baptist Church of Fort Worth, TX was voted out of the Southern Baptist Convention today. My wife can testify that when I heard this my response was, “Yes! Yes! Yes!” accompanied by me hopping up and down on the couch. Picture a fatter, uglier Tom Cruise\Oprah moment.

In May I became a Southern Baptist for the first time in my life. This was a big step for me because of my northern Independent Baptist background. In Yankeeville, many of the Independent Baptist churches view the Southern Baptists as a whole with a great deal of suspicion. The fights over the inerrancy of Scripture within the denomination caused most independent pastors to view SBC as a conflicted denomination full of compromise. Of course, a member church which has recently been supportive of homosexuals in their midst can do nothing but further that bad reputation.

The church I am a member of does not relate to any of the SBC drama at all, and is in many ways, completely atypical of a Southern Baptist Church. We practice church discipline, the sermons are expository, repentance AND faith are both preached, and there are no sinner’s prayers repeated. It’s not a country club; it’s a church. It’s about God, not about the good ol’ boys club. It’s about the Bible and no one is hiding behind their “relevance”.

So why am I so happy with the removal of Broadway Baptist? About a year ago I went with a small group of believers to preach at the gay pride parade in Fort Worth. This was the first time I actually preached at a pride parade. When we pulled up, we noticed that the parade was staging in the parking lot of Broadway Baptist. After the shock wore off, we reminded one another of what Jesus said about those on the “broad way” (Matthew 7:13-14). Most of the parade marchers were wearing shirts that read, “Jesus Would Not Discriminate”, which I can only assume came from Broadway Baptist. So, I had my opening springboard. “Does Jesus Discriminate? Yes, the Bible says He will on the day of judgment” (Matthew 7:21-23).

I was the first to preach, being the guy who brought the amplifier. I think I might have said a whole paragraph when a bunch of angry lesbians stormed across the street and started yelling all kinds of things. Apparently their Jesus doesn’t discriminate about the language they use either. One started yelling about how Ruth and Boaz were lovers. It was an experience, to say the least. I could have preached Joel Osteenese and they would probably have had the same reaction. Eventually they settled down and moved off to the side and we were able to preach for about an hour, to the background music of car alarms being set off trying to drown us out. Every open-air preacher should do this at least once in his life (which is probably going to be my grand total).

Broadway Baptist got what they deserve. Any church which actively supports what is condemned in Scripture deserves to be removed from their respective denomination. From hearing the rest of the story, it should have been done a long time ago. Apparently the church leadership thought it might be cool to have homosexual couples listed in their church directory.

The SBC in recent years has made big strides in the area of returning to their Biblical and theological roots. This purging of an apostate church is the best thing that can happen for the SBC. Disciplining a church should be a reminder to all of us that we too can fall into sin and heresy and be removed from membership. It results in purity in the professing body of Christ.

No comments: