As mainline denominations continue to cave to the high priests of the sexual revolution, many Christians are left wondering if any denomination will hold firm to what the Bible teaches about sexuality. It would be understandable, then, if people were disheartened by the news that a Southern Baptist Seminary hosted a forum that gave a voice to pro-LGBT and pro-same-sex-marriage theologians and activists.
However, their concern would be premature. Hosted by the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, the “Rights and Sexuality: Where Individual Freedoms and Civil Rights Meet” is part of an ongoing series of seminars for the Institute for Faith and the Public Square.
The director of the institute, Lloyd Harsch, explained:
What we are trying to do with the Institute for Faith and the Public Square is to provide a safe environment for rational conversation on difficult issues where we can listen to each other and find common ground.
According to reporting by Baptist Press:
Tony Campolo, professor emeritus of sociology at Eastern University, and SarahJane Guidry, executive director of Louisiana’s Forum for Equality, advocated for acceptance of same-sex marriage and greater LGBT protections. Craig V. Mitchell, a Christian ethicist and political scientist, and Travis Weber, a lawyer with the Family Research Council, argued for traditional marriage and protections for those who oppose same-sex marriage on religious grounds. Forum organizers described the speakers as respectful, modeling civil discussion on matters of deep and passionate disagreement.
Mitchell opposed same-sex marriage by articulating the heart of the evangelical argument against the practice — homosexuality is at odds with Scripture. However, Mitchell was clear that the church must oppose those who would mistreat LGBT individuals.
While attempting to find some common ground, the seminar revealed what’s at the heart of the growing divide between professing Christians over LGBT rights:
Mitchell acknowledged missteps by the church in its attempts to love the LGBT community while upholding a biblical view of marriage. However, he sees the stance on homosexuality as a sin as the key point of tension between the church and LGBT advocates.
Campolo opposed same-sex marriage until two-and-a-half years ago when his view shifted toward acceptance of same-sex marriage in part due to his work counseling homosexuals. Campolo acknowledged that he could be wrong on homosexuality.
As some professing Christians continue to acquiesce to the demands of the LGBT community, the divide between orthodox and apostate will continue to grow. Thankfully, while attempting to have dialogue with those whom they disagree with, the Southern Baptist Convention continues to stand strongly for God’s sexual ethic as defined by the Bible. The trustees of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, the SBC’s flagship seminary, unanimously adopted the Nashville Statement as an official statement for the seminary.
Seminary President Al Mohler told Baptist Press:
Southern Seminary takes its confessional responsibility with great significance. Years ago, our Board of Trustees recognized the need of adopting certain statements that clarify and establish the meaning our longstanding confessional documents: the Abstract of Principles, adopted in 1859, and the Baptist Faith and Message, as revised in 2000.
He then added:
Like the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy and the Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood — both previously adopted by the board — The Nashville Statement is a timely addition to that list of official documents.