Hypocrisy doesn’t look good on you or, Baptists and Homosexuality

DSC01968As expected, the biggest backlash against the Boy Scouts allowing homosexual members has come from the Southern Baptist Convention. In typical fashion, the SBC is calling for a de facto boycott of the Boy Scouts and will call on their member churches to disassociate themselves with the Boy Scouts. All of this is being done in the name of belief and principles, which is fine. There is nothing wrong with Christians distancing themselves from organizations that allow or even promote unethical practices, but let us at least be consistent.

For instance, prior to the Boy Scout ruling, if a teenage Boy Scout was caught having sex with his girlfriend, nothing came of it. Now, last time I checked the SBC believes that all sex outside of marriage is a sin, but they didn’t disassociate themselves from the Scouts for this. It seems that the act of homosexuality strikes a particular nerve with the SBC, more so than the other sexual sins, or any other sin for that matter.

The SBC was okay with a former president of their convention protecting an alleged rapist, but homosexuality is beyond the pale? That same president told the victims to essentially keep their mouths shut about their allegations. In another church, a pastor arrested for sexual abuse was still allowed to preach and defend his position as a pastor. But let’s move beyond sex and to other sins, such as gluttony. It’s estimated that 75% of Southern Baptists are overweight, and that number increases among the pastors. Does this mean that the SBC should disassociate itself from food companies that are high on preservatives? Perhaps they should stop purchasing items from places like McDonalds and Wendy’s since their food contributes to the obesity crisis in America.

Having grown up Baptist, I can also point to the fact that at any convention of baptists pastors, one of the first questions out of their mouths is, “So how big is your congregation.” Growth and size is used as a measure of success, not to mention a point of pride. Pastors of larger churches are treated as celebrities and questioning them can sometimes put you in hot water; it would be like talking to a Catholic and questioning a Papal decree, only worse.

Now, none of this is meant to condemn the SBC. They have done great things, especially when it comes to disasters and helping the poor and disadvantaged overseas. At the same time, it is a call for the SBC to look at their consistency in how they relate to the world, specifically on Biblical grounds. Apparently they forgot or have used some twisted hermeneutic when it comes to 1 Corinthians 5:9, which states explicitly that Christians are not supposed to distance themselves from the world. It does, however, say we are to distance ourselves from people who call themselves Christians, but still engage in sexual immorality, greed, or idolatry.

Some in the SBC may use that passage to say that because many Boy Scouts claim to be Christians and some may be homosexual, therein lies the reason that Christian churches should leave the Boy Scouts. But what about leaving the churches that worship the idol of “successful ministry” via numbers? What about the churches that have congregants that make millions and give little of it away? Should these same Baptist churches have nothing to do with organizations that make a profit and exist for making a profit, especially if it is done in a greedy manner? In other words, why does homosexuality stand alone as the one sin that Baptists cannot tolerate?

And why are they so quick to support pastors embroiled in controversial statements and sexual escapades, but quick to condemn homosexuality? 1 Timothy 3 calls for pastors to be above reproach, but if the SBC truly applied this standard as consistently as they apply their condemnation of homosexuality then how many pastors would they have left? They would have to get rid of every pastor who faced multiple accusations of sexual advances, every pastor who was overweight, every pastor who’s child (or children) were rebellious, every pastor who obsessed over money and funds (even if for the church), every pastor who required a minimum salary, every pastor engaged in gossip, every pastor who had a bad reputation with the community, and so on. When it was all said and done, if the Baptists were consistent in their application of the Scriptures, they would have only a small percentage of pastors left.

Perhaps it would be better for the SBC to continue sponsoring local troops, if for no other reason than to provide love to the homosexuals that will join the Boy Scouts. The Church is an extension of Christ – something often said, but quickly forgotten – and when we keep people at arm’s length, to them it is Christ keeping them at arm’s length. At the end of the day, how is that consistent with the Gospel?


5 thoughts on “Hypocrisy doesn’t look good on you or, Baptists and Homosexuality

  1. Joel,
    Starting below the “fat” paragraph, you did ok. Above that, you are confusing occurances with a movement. I too, grew up SB and stayed on into my 40’s. Ultimately found it intolerable. I despise the SBC for corporately “taking a stance” on an issue that is not internal. Remember the Ephesians 5 fiasco? We are to be bearers of the “Good News” not the identifiers of sin.
    Not speaking in their defence at all, however, The incident of promiscuity and the harboring of a suspected rapist along with a plethora of other heinous situations were precisely that, situations.
    If leaders in the gay movement were not attempting to acheive an agenda, there would not be the inevitable backlash. But…. they acheive their goal either way. Either they spread their “gospel” through an organization of young boys, or they endure the horrible wrath of some moronic, self righteous denomination that has lost it’s biblical bearings. Ya gotta hand it too ’em.

    1. And let’s not forget racism. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard slurs from Baptists about people of colour (and Asians). Yet, when it’s pointed out to them, I’ve had comments such as, “that’s between the believer and God”, or “you’re not the judge — God is.” So, hypocrisy seems to be rampant with Baptists. As for gays, sure, they love to point the finger at anybody that is gay (ever hear one of them say anything good about Anderson Cooper?), but looking at the site StopBaptistPredators dot com, it is very clear that they think nothing of trying to cover up the sins of their own preachers!

  2. While much that you said held truth, there was some faulty thinking for me. First, it seems like you’ve bought into the assumption that all sins are created equal. They’re not. They are equally forgiveable–and all preclude one from entering heaven, but that’s where the similarities stop. One can’t really escape the fact that God did, indeed, have a special loathing for homosexuality. It is clear in the Mosaic law, but Romans 1 is even more blatant. I’m not suggesting that adultery is any less egregious, but Al hit it on the nose by noting that homosexuality in this country is a vitriolic, self-serving MOVEMENT (my words, not his!). That’s very different from individual sin. There are no Baptists that I know of pushing the notion into the forefront of our churches that pastors should have the freedom to practice promiscuity!

    I believe that leaders who call themselves Christian–regardless of denomination–and who fall into sexual sin should be held to a greater condemnation than the rank and file in the pews, but make no mistake . . . this country is headed towards Sodom & Gomorrah. It isn’t “just another sin” that gets too much attention. If you haven’t yet done so, read some of the honest assessments of gays who are telling the truth about the life; or of children who were raised by two gay parents–and the colossal emotional failure that it was, as well as the bizarre life outlook and innate social isolation it caused them internally.

    It’s all too easy to poke at judgmentalism without thinking more deeply into the issue, and then more deeply again. Follow the trail into individual personal stories, and then re-assess. If you don’t think that the molestation of little boys is ALSO rampant among homosexuals, just ask my brother-in-law about it. Except that you can’t. His trauma caused him to take his own life.

    I grew up Baptist, too–though not SBC–so I know all about the “issues” that are given attention. Would you have homosexuality given completely equal status in all realms of life? That’s where we’re headed without Christians who care about truth having the courage to stand up and oppose the lie.

    Lastly, be careful about painting too wide a swath over the SBC. It isn’t a single entity. Well, technically it is, but It is composed of individuals who share enough of a common “theological” base to band together in an association. You will find every ilk of belief among them. Since all Christians are flawed; all have sinful weaknesses that they battle; and all (even you) fail at times, do you really think that in order to have the freedom to mount opposition, one must be blameless? I am just as disgusted as you at anyone sweeping scandal under the rug, but I would suggest that some bad decision-making doesn’t render ALL decision-making invalid. There have been Christians since the 1st century making other Christians look bad. I’m betting that will continue until the end of life on this earth!

  3. I don’t understand christianity telling certain people how awful there sin’s are. They have 5 big sins that are just totally terrible but the other 2,500 sins arent mentioned. I look at these churches promoting gluttony, materialism, divorce, love of money, arrogance. Having the most beautiful big church in town, and then condemning other people for sin. I havent met a Baptist yet that was sinless. I could go down the whole sin list and they cover just
    as many as i do. The boy scouts of america is not a christian church. I my self have had enough christianity to last me the rest of my living days. If christians are the only ones going to heaven i’m not going this hypocrisy they push burned me out . The bible says judge not lest ye be judged. Then you get these churches making judgements on everybody but themselves.

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