The great baseball philosopher Yogi Berra once said, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it!” Often in life it is so tempting to try to live in two worlds or simply to take the “fork” and attempt to go down both paths, but the harsh reality is one must chose his or her path whether it is broad or narrow.
The events of this week revolving around the relationship between the Southern Baptist Convention and Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth have placed the churches of the Baptist General Convention of Texas in an interesting spot. How do the BGCT and its leadership respond to this situation? In a real sense the BGCT stands at a fork in the road.
I want to call us to step back and look at the “big picture.” As difficult and delicate as this situation is, we must be careful and intentional not to allow this controversy to distract us from our main task of Texas Hope 2010. The gospel of Jesus holds the key and the power to transform our culture by touching individual lives in such a way that the sting and vicious cycles of sin lose their controlling powers.
If we allow this controversy to divide us and to distract us, we have lost our way and the real losers are those who desperately need the hope of Christ. Let’s be frank, we are not divided on this issue. The BGCT has gone on record to state:
“The homosexual lifestyle is not normal or acceptable in God’s sight and is indeed called sin.”
This definitive statement was adopted in 1982, and was practically expressed in 1998 when the BGCT ceased its relationship with a church that ordained a homosexual to serve as a deacon. The BGCT, as a family of Baptist churches, affirm and believe without question the mandates and clear teachings of the Word of God on this issue. The actions of Broadway Baptist Church cannot and do not color nor dictate the collective wisdom and values of the BGCT family.
On a personal note, I believe Romans 1 clearly outlines the slow destruction of a society that rejected the knowledge of God and suffered the due consequences of its sin. Homosexual behavior is the natural byproduct of a society ravaged by the rejection of God and a sexual revolution leading to the destruction of the home. When the home falls apart children are victimized in its fall. Those within the homosexual community are all too often victims of abuse and the dysfunction of broken homes, and must not continue to be victimized by church.
I believe we victimize those who struggle with homosexual tendencies and behaviors all over again if we offer them “grace without repentance” by simply affirming their choices and lifestyles. I also believe we victimize them if we seek to make them the scapegoats for the brokenness of our society. The silence and disconnect of the church to our society is more to blame for the brokenness of our society. You don’t blame those in the darkness for the lack of light you call for those with the light to let their light shine.
As people of the light, we must find a way to create Christian communities that welcome people who struggle with broken, sinful lifestyles like those who struggle with homosexual preferences and behaviors while at the same time calling them to repentance and the hope of the gospel. In our day when the drum beat of tolerance is deafening, we must stay true to the faith handed down to us from the Word of God and offer real hope rather than “cheap grace.”
So which path do we take? I would strongly recommend that we stay focused on Texas Hope 2010 and make every effort to share the gospel with every man, woman, boy and girl in Texas. Let’s not be distracted. We must keep our shoulders to the plow, and trust our Lord to help us respond to this challenge in a redemptive way consistent with our historic values and the Word of God.