Broadway Baptist Church in Ft. Worth is having such a debate. They are debating over if they should let homosexual couples appear together in their pictorial membership directory for their 125th anniversary. They don’t want to change the policy of the church, which is apparently not to allow homosexual couples to appear together in the directory; but at the same time, they don’t want to make them feel like “second-class members”. There was a decision made to have them appear separately in the pictorial directory, but they could appear together in the phone directory. Their standing with the Baptist General Convention of Texas is not endangered, however, as the issue is not about employment, but about directories.
Now, I’m no expert on such disputes, but I don’t think that so much time should be spent on pictures and directories. I think that the MUCH BIGGER issue is over the point that there are homosexuals considered members at all!!!
“It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you…And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you…Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened…I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality…not even to eat with such a one…’Purge the evil person from among you'” (1 Cor. 5:1,2,6-7, 11, 13)
A person unwilling to submit his or her sexuality to the Lord should be disciplined and removed from membership. This is being biblically intolerant. There is a difference between allowing homosexuals to attend and considering them members. Tolerance of the former kind is biblical: coming to church, Lord willing, will expose them to true God-centered relationships and the preached Gospel, which with Spirit-power can change lives forever (cf. 1 Cor. 1:18-25). Tolerance of the latter kind is tragic: it derails the church from being united in her witness, and it compromises the Gospel that we preach, for what people need to see and hear is that they can be washed, sanctified and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit of our God (cf. 1 Cor. 6:9-11). The picture that needs to be portrayed in church membership is one that says that the Gospel is precious, Christ is the risen Lord, and transformation is possible because God is faithful (cf. 1 Cor. 1:9).