UPDATE November 20th 2016: Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas,TX and First Baptist Church Austin have both been kicked our of the Baptist General Convention of Texas for accepting LGBTQ members and Straight members all as one, all the same in God’s Eyes!
Here is a link to the story about these two churches being kicked out of The BGCT but now being like many other churches in Texas who all accept all members including LGBTQ all as one. No difference in the Church, all allowed to marry, be baptized, be deacons and ministers of the church!
Texas is moving in the right direction and will keep doing so. Read the following article in full to be informed of all the communities across the state of Texas that have come to be totally inclusive accepting everyone of every sex and gender! What happened to Texas Baptists? baptistnews.com/…
Also Reported in The Washington Post on Nov. 16th: “It became increasingly difficult for me to justify, as I kept looking in the eyes of people that I loved and seeing the presence of Christ in them, and as I honestly looked at the Scripture and realized that it was not as clear as I thought it was,” Mason said. Those passages that say homosexuality is sinful? As Mason read them again, over the course of months of study with his congregants, he came to see them as narrower condemnation of abusive sexual practices of biblical times, not condemnation of loving homosexual relationships.“My judgment is that God is doing something beautiful here,” he said. “I’m going to err on the side of love and grace.” A Dallas church voted to perform gay marriages, and it’s getting kicked out of the Texas Baptists http://wpo.st/CpkF2
At 60 years old I never thought I’d live to see this day! Two Baptist Churches in Texas voting to accept and fully embrace all LGBTQ as FULL MEMBERS. This means they will baptize and marry members of Our LGBTQ Community.
I grew up in North Dallas. In the late 1980’s I was a member of Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas. At that time there was absolutely no way you could be openly Gay and be accepted by the congregation. I’m so glad to see things changing.
I don’t know if they’ll be having the annual “Lesbian Luau” or the “Gay Halloween Ball” but they will be including the LGBTQ membership in planning church activities, as Deacons, Ministers in the church and on the Church Staff.
The Church will be a place of Unity,Compassion and a Safe Place for the LGBTQ Community to go and not be judged or looked down upon.
When I was a child we were taught in Sunday School that there was only one “UNFORGIVABLE SIN”, that was to be homosexual. We were taught that you could not be saved if you were gay and you would go straight to Hell when you died, do not pass go, do not collect $100 dollars!
Seriously, we were taught that a Serial Rapist could be forgiven and go to Heaven. A mass murderer like Bundy or Charles Manson could be forgiven and go to Heaven and even Timothy McVeigh the Oklahoma Bomber that took 168 lives and injured 680 others could be forgiven. But Little Kevin (That’s Me!) who had known he was gay at four (as far back as I can remember) was going straight to Hell even though he had been baptized in the church.
Only LGBTQ people who were raised in a strict Church of any Faith or Religion from birth can know of the Mental/Psychological Damage this can inflict.
I would leave the Baptist Church at the age of 32 and seek a new church family which I found in The Metropolitan Community Church of Dallas (Now The Cathedral of Hope-Now a member of The United Church of Christ) which was open to people from any background unconditionally.
Since we retired to Austin we have seen several churches that openly supported the LGBTQ Community from Unitarian, Synagogues,MCC and others but I am so glad to see that First Baptist Austin has become a church of inclusivity accepting all as one, no division by race, sex or gender identity.
Of course now both churches will be kicked out of the Baptist General Convention of Texas but then again when you’re willing to grow and open your doors to everyone that is a step in the right direction!
I’m going to include the link to the article for Wilshire Baptist Church but here is the last paragraph of the letter sent out to the members of the church.
DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/KRLD-AM) — Members of Wilshire Baptist Church have voted to allow all members, no matter their sexual orientation, to participate in the church.
The church is now one of two in the state facing expulsion from the Baptist General Convention of Texas. The other is First Baptist Church in Austin.
A letter was sent to Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas threatening expulsion if the church decided to adopt a ‘welcoming’ stance on LGBT worshipers.
The Baptist General Convention of Texas is aligned with the Southern Baptist Convention, which states, “homosexual behavior is a sin.”
The resolution passed with 61 percent support.
“There is now one class of membership at the church,” said Associate Pastor Mark Wingfield. “This means if you are a member of this church, there will not be limitations placed upon you that wouldn’t be placed on anyone else because of your sexual orientation or gender identity.”
Wingfield said the vote was a tough one for the congregation and admits the church has lost some members due to the process. But he said those that in favor of the measure felt strongly.
“If we are going to model the love of Jesus to this world we live in, then it has to be a love that’s available to all people,” said Wingfield.
“This result culminates a 14-month process of discernment in our church that included intense study, fervent prayer, vigorous conversation, sincere disagreement and record participation,” said Pastor George Mason to the congregation in an email. It concluded with the following paragraph: “When Wilshire adopted its vision and values statements during our Vision 20/20 strategic planning process, INCLUSION was the highest value listed by church respondents. Many wondered what that meant and whether it extended to the full participation of members who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). The answer to that is now YES, and LGBT Christian friends inside and outside our church will see this as a sign of deep acceptance by the people of God.” dfw.cbslocal.com/…
In an interview given to WFAA in Dallas we talked to Pastor Mason. “Before the votes were counted, Wilshire Baptist Senior Pastor George Mason told WFAA that the church knew there would be consequences.
“We think there will be many positive consequences for being able to say to the LGBT community that they are welcome here fully, in Christ,” he said.
Casey Boland, a member of Wilshire for 10 years, said the decision cut “to the core” of strong beliefs from both sides and was not an easy one.
“The reasons that have been used for why people should vote no are the same reasons that were used for why divorced people should not be allowed to be in the church, why blacks and whites should not be allowed to be married, why women should not be pastors,” she told WFAA. “It just, in my view, rings hollow.”
Wilshire Baptist, in the 4300 block of Abrams Road, and First Baptist Church of Austin received letters from convention leaders last week stating that they were “on notice” for taking welcoming stances toward LGBT individuals, Baptist News reported.
During his sermon on Sunday, Mason told the congregation that “Baptist institutions are supposed to serve the churches, not the other way around.”
“They’re supposed to protect, not undermine Baptist principles like religious liberty and local church autonomy in decision-making, and promote cooperation,” he said. “When they fail in that mission, it is because they, too, may have succumbed to worry and fear in dictating their actions. And that is sad, and we have no control over others.”www.dallasnews.com/…
Here is the link to the entire letter sent out to the congregation of Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas dfw.cbslocal.com/…
With all the bad news of late and some of the possible appointments under Trump’s Administration who condemn The LGBTQ Community it’s a Small but Significant Bright Star in the Sky to see at night when I look up. To know there is still positive change going on in all the Darkness that can Surround us at times.
I always felt I would see Same Sex Marriage come to pass in my lifetime. But now, at 60, I must admit that I NEVER EVER would have believed SOUTHERN BAPTIST CHURCHES in TEXAS would fully accept our LGBTQ Community with OPEN ARMS!! Miracles do happen every day and it looks like two have occurred in TEXAS!