Southern Baptists break off ties with DC branch because they wouldn’t sack lesbian pastors
The Southern Baptist Convention has broken off ties with its Washington DC branch after a spat over lesbian pastors.
The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) alliance of churches, which is the largest Christian denomination in the US with more than 15 million members, is strongly opposed to LGBT equality and preaches the rejection of homosexuality.
The SBC, which has declared a ‘spiritual warfare’ against LGBT equality, has this month moved to eject a branch that took a more liberal stance on gay issues.
The District of Columbia Baptist Convention (DCBC) was forced out of the Southern Baptist Convention – after the DC branch declined to take action against a DC church with two lesbian co-pastors.
Calvary Baptist Church in DC had named Sally Sarratt and Maria Swearingen, who are a couple, as co-pastors in 2017.
D. August Boto, SBC Executive Committee president, confirmed that, “the formal relationship between the SBC and the DCBC has come to an end.”
Boto added: “I will soon send another letter to each of eight churches we know of in DC that are supporting SBC work through financial gifts directed through the DCBC.
“The letters will inform each group that the formal relationship between the SBC and the DCBC has come to an end and that… the SBC no longer recognises the District of Columbia Baptist Convention as a Baptist body authorised to receive and disburse Cooperative Program and other SBC contributions.”
He added: “[We have] expressed deep regret over the need to take this action, but felt compelled to affirm biblical truth over organizational relationships..
Boto claimed the SBC would “consider resuming its relationship with the DCBC in the future” should leaders decide to follow demands and take action against the Calvary church.
The Southern Baptists are renowned for preaching an absolute rejection of homosexuality, investing heavily in lobbying against LGBT equality.
Speaking in 2015, then-SBC president Ronnie Floyd claimed the church was at war over gay marriage.
He said: “We are in a spiritual warfare. This is not a time for Southern Baptists to stand back!”
“The Supreme Court is not the final authority, nor is the culture itself! I declare to everyone today as a minister of the Gospel: I will not officiate over any same sex unions or same sex marriage ceremonies!”
The Southern Baptist Convention previously published a guide on how to avoid hiring LGBT people without breaking non-discrimination laws.
Floyd has previously written a book titled “The Gay Agenda: It’s Dividing The Family, The Church, And a Nation”, and linked homosexuality to Satan.
He said in a 2003 sermon: “I rise to speak on this issue out of brokenness, realizing the many families in our own church who have lost family members to the homosexual lifestyle.
“I have had some say to me, ‘Pastor Floyd, it would have been easier to have lost my child to death than to homosexuality. It is killing me’.
“Do you know what is happening on television? The newest is called “Queer Eye For The Straight Guy.” Five gay men who call themselves ‘The Fab Five’ do a makeover on a straight guy. Another show, ‘Boy Meets Boy’, is where a gay bachelor chooses one man among 15 other men to be his partner. Then there is the television show, ‘Will and Grace’, and another one called ‘Queer as Folk’.
More from PinkNews
“I have never seen any of these and do not intend to do so, but understand, the goal is to baptize you into their lifestyle where it becomes normal for you to hear and see it, making you accept eventually that it is a non-threatening norm in our society.
It appears now that everywhere you look, everything you read and everything you hear is about the gay lifestyle. Satan has taken his tool of homosexuality, a gross and evil sin, and done a con job on the American culture, making it seem like all is okay when you are gay.
“I hope you are aware that what was once subtle has now turned into the rage of a lion as brazen and threatening as anything in our culture. I must sound the trumpet loud and clear, praying that we do not run in retreat, but march in the truth of God valiantly.
“This is not a skirmish or a conflict or a disagreement, but it is a war. The war they have declared against our culture has an agenda and we need to be aware of it.”