Home Christian News SBC Church Braces for Disfellowship Over LGBTQ Inclusion

SBC Church Braces for Disfellowship Over LGBTQ Inclusion

After the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters, Moore wrote on his blog, “This week we watched an insurrection of domestic terrorists, incited and fomented by the President of the United States.” If he were a member of Congress, Moore wrote, he would vote to remove Trump from office even if it cost him his seat.

The task force’s report on Moore doesn’t demand his ouster but urges him and other ERLC leaders to refrain from opposing specific candidates for political office and to limit their public comments to positions already established in SBC doctrine and resolutions.

The Rev. Mike Stone, the task force chairman, said the ERLC under Moore’s leadership has been a “significant source of division” jeopardizing contributions to the SBC from its 47,000 affiliated churches.

Moore, who has declined public comment on the report, is likely to retain his post, at least for the short term.

FILE – In this Wednesday, June 14, 2017 file photo, Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, speaks at the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Phoenix. On the agenda of the SBC’s meeting in late February 2021 is report by an executive committee task force criticizing the widely respected leader of the SBC’s public policy arm. Among the grievances against Moore: His outspoken criticism of Donald Trump during Trump’s 2016 election campaign and his presidency. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Conrad, however, expects his church to be ousted, based on a letter he received Feb. 8 from the credentials committee asserting that Towne View Baptist “is not in friendly cooperation” with the SBC.

Towne View began welcoming LGBTQ worshippers in October 2019 after a same-sex couple with three adopted children asked Conrad if they could attend, a decision he defends as the right thing to do.

“The alternative would have been to say, ‘We’re probably not ready for this,’ but I couldn’t do that,” said Conrad, pastor there since 1994.

Conrad has the option of appealing an expulsion, but he’s making plans to affiliate at least temporarily with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, which allows its churches to set their own policies regarding LGBTQ inclusion.

Conrad says about 30% of his congregation — which now numbers about 125 — left his church over the issue, forcing some budget cutbacks, including a pay cut for Conrad.

“But we have had overwhelmingly positive feedback from the community,” he said. “Letters, emails, Facebook messages, phone calls — people telling their own story of rejection by their church and how grateful they’d be to find a place where they’re welcome.”

The most recent disfellowship of an SBC church occurred a year ago when the executive committee ousted Ranchland Heights Baptist Church of Midland, Texas, because it employed a registered sex offender as pastor.

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