So. Baptist Church Expelled from Local Association; Unrepentant Homosexuals Baptized as Members
by Jim Brown
(AgapePress) A Southern Baptist association in North Carolina has severed ties with a local church that baptized two practicing homosexuals who are unwilling to repent of their lifestyle. The Cabarrus Baptist Association has withdrawn fellowship and membership from McGill Baptist Church in Concord over its decision to allow the two homosexual men to continue in their sinful relationship.
According to the Association, McGill's stance is contrary to scripture, and endorses homosexuality. The Association had asked leaders of McGill Baptist to find out if the two men had made a profession of their faith and turned from their unbiblical lifestyle -- but the church leaders refused to do so.
According to Associated Press, 81 churches in the Association voted to expel McGill Baptist from its ranks. The group's mission director declared that "the homosexual lifestyle is contrary to God's will" and that churches should not welcome homosexuals as members "without evidence or testimony of true repentance." But McGill's pastor calls that "judgmental" and says it is more important to reflect God's love, grace, and mercy.
Bill Merrell, vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), says the Cabarrus Baptist Association had every right to act as it did.
"We believe that baptism gives witness to the fact that a person has come to Jesus Christ, has repented of their sins, has received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and is committing to follow Him in a new way of life," Merrell says. "The Association believes that the church has not by any stretch of those definitions really covered the bases."
He added that he hopes the disciplinary action taken against McGill will prompt its leaders to reconsider their actions.
"The Association does not desire to injure the church or even the people who were involved in this," he explains, "but [it does] desire that the church leadership rethink its position and take notice of the fact that virtually all of the Baptists in their area, having considered it and thought through it, realize or believe or have come to conclude that the church is out of line in their policy and in their decision."
Merrell says because of its actions, McGill Baptist Church will no longer be considered a Southern Baptist church, and has been removed from the SBC, as well. He emphasizes that redemption is the goal of such church discipline.
Editor's Note: Amazingly, some churches are still bold enough to stand up for the word of God and bring discipline when needed. Amazing!