Storm Coming As Baptist Church Kicked Out

by Sara Snyder

The flood gates have only started to leak as the Ginter Park Baptist Church has been asked by the Baptist General Association of Virginia to revoke its membership because they ordained an openly gay minister.

If the church does not withdraw their membership by the end of this year, the General Association will not accept their donations. Without donations, the church cannot be part of the organization.

“A motion by Mission Board member Bernard Henderson Jr. asking the executive committee to rescind its action failed by a vote of 8 to 40,” reported Robert Dilday of the Associated Baptist Press. What does this mean? Baptist ‘governing’ organizations in Virginia took a stand to collectively reject gay clergy.

The end of the 96-year affiliation with the state association highlights many of the issues being questioned in the Baptist faith nationwide. Questions like autonomy of local churches, the need to take a clear stand on homosexuality and the practical consequences of failing to dismiss the church.

And the backlash has already started. In May, Charles Worley, notable for his  comments on fencing in the homosexuals, received a standing ovation from his congregation in North Carolina. And the Ginter Park Baptist Church is  expecting the thunder clouds to roll in with the Richmond Baptist Association  at the end of the month.

So what can we do? As the questions and tests of faith become more prominent, it is necessary to stand behind the church in their choice to believe out loud.

Image via Ginter Park Baptist Church