The Southern Baptist Church Says Gay Marriages Must Be Terminated But Not Adulterous Marriages

Russell D. Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the public-policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, recently wrote in a blog post – “It is not inconsistent for a church to accept divorced and remarried members with ‘mercy and grace’ but require homosexuals to leave their gay lifestyle before joining the congregation.” ( )

Why is that not inconsistent? Why is it wrong to continue in a homosexual relationship, but not wrong to continue in an adulterous relationship?

Vineyard Church Of Ann Arbor “pastor” Ken Wilson could see the inconsistency, so he took the consistent but wrong position.  Here is his justification for accepting gay marriages in his congregation – “I have proposed a path for these pastors that allows them to embrace people who are gay, lesbian, and transgender and to accept them fully — welcome and wanted — into the company of Jesus. I wrote A Letter To My Congregation when I realized my views had changed and I needed to communicate the intense theological, biblical, pastoral, and spiritual process that I had been through to get to this new place. It began with a burr beneath the saddle of my conscience: why was I willing to let so many divorced and remarried couples know that they are welcome and wanted while refusing that same welcome to gay and lesbian couples? How could I say to the remarried couples, whose second marriage was clearly condemned by the plain meaning of scripture, ‘You are welcome and wanted,’ while saying to the two mothers raising their adopted child together, ‘I love you, but I hate your sin’?”

But Jesus said in Matt 19:9 “And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.”  That would mean every time a man sleeps with the second wife, he commits adultery. How can a man repent of adultery while planning to continue in such? That’s just “reporting, not repenting.”

Mark 6:17-18 reads “For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife: for he had married her. For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother’s wife.”  This passage is talking about a situation that occurred during Old Testament times, but still illustrates what is required if a couple finds themselves in an adulterous marriage. The text doesn’t just say “It was not lawful for you to marry her”; instead it says “It is not lawful for thee to have her” (Matt 14:4). If it is not lawful for you to have something, don’t you have to give that something up?

Back to the Southern Baptist Church.  Just why have they changed over the last several decades and are now accepting adulterous marriage?  I think this quote from Anthony Dunnavant in the Orange County (California) Register sums up the reason well – “Some conservative groups believe that divorced people who marry another spouse are living in sin.  However, the number of divorces in the United States has led most denominations away from that teaching.”  So the scriptures never justified such a compromise on divorce and remarriage; instead it was the increase in the number of divorces in our land which caused the Southern Baptists to cave in.

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