The Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee decided earlier this week that a church’s membership in a pro-gay Baptist group does not automatically disqualify it from being part of the conservative Baptist denomination.
A membership condition for the SBC, the nation’s largest Protestant denomination, states that a church is disqualified from being a member if it “[acts] to affirm, approve or endorse homosexual behavior.”
Based on this condition, Oklahoma messenger to the SBC annual meeting last June, Wes Kenney, asked the Executive Committee “to consider any church’s affiliation with the Alliance of Baptist to constitute an action which affirms, approves or endorses homosexual behavior.” more >>
Church membership for more than a third of the nation's largest churches took a hit last year while non-Orthodox Christian churches are on the rise, a new report on denominations finds.
The Southern Baptist Convention, the nation's second largest denomination, reported a .42 percent decline in membership to 16,160,088 members, according to National Council of Churches' 2011 Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches, released Monday.
Still dominating the list of the nation's top 25 mainline churches is the Catholic Church, which posted a .57 growth at 68.5 million members. more >>
Popular preacher Joel Osteen's recent affirmation that homosexuality is a sin has garnered reaction from both gay rights advocates and evangelicals alike.
LGBT group the Human Rights Campaign called for an immediate apology, arguing that his statement "adds a burden to those already struggling to accept their sexual orientation or gender identity."
"One would hope Mr. Osteen would use his pulpit, with an audience of over 7 million people, to tell all human beings that they are loved just the way they are," said HRC President Joe Solmonese. "Instead he chose to send a dangerous and irresponsible message." more >>
Belmont University, which was caught in a firestorm last month over the departure of its lesbian soccer coach, may change its policy on openly gay groups on campus.
On Monday, the leader of a student group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights told WSMV-TV, an NBC affiliate in Nashville, that he expects the university to officially recognize the group soon.
Robbie Maris, president of the BridgeBuilders, said this will be the group's third time to apply as a student group after being turned down twice by the private Christian university. more >>
An influential Southern Baptist withdrew from an interfaith coalition that assists in protecting Muslims against discrimination with regard to building mosques in the U.S.
Dr. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, made the announcement Friday after fellow Southern Baptists had expressed concerns with his involvement in the Interfaith Coalition on Mosques, established by the Anti-Defamation League.
"While many Southern Baptists share my deep commitment to religious freedom and the right of Muslims to have places of worship, they also feel that a Southern Baptist denominational leader filing suit to allow individual mosques to be built is ‘a bridge too far," Land wrote in a letter to the ADL, according to Baptist Press. more >>
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley apologized for misconstrued statements about Christians being his brothers and sisters and pledged to fight for the rights of all people.
Bentley was unapologetic, however, about his Christian faith. His statement only sought to correct his comments on Monday in a Baptist church proclaiming that only Christians were his brother and sisters.
In an apology statement, Bentley, a Southern Baptist deacon, said, "I will never deny being a born-again Christian. I do have core beliefs and I will die with those core beliefs." more >>