The conversation at First Baptist Church Greenville took place well before the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision this summer to legalize same-sex marriages.
“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;” 2 Thessalonians 2:3 (KJV)
In a highly-ironic twist, the First Baptist Church of Greenville, SC, the same church that produced the very first president of the Southern Baptist Convention, William Bullein Johnson, is now an LGBT-affirming, pro-same sex marriage, and pro-transgender church, and they don’t care what you think of them.
GreenvilleOnline.com reports that the dialogue was bold — particularly for one of downtown Greenville’s influential legacy churches that in its earliest years served as a birthplace for revered Southern Baptist institutions. Would the congregation be willing to allow same-sex couples to marry in the church? To ordain gay ministers? To embrace the complexities of gender identity? In an evangelical church born in the antebellum South? Whose founder more than a century and a half ago served as the inaugural president of the Southern Baptist Convention? Here, in Greenville? The answer to each was “yes.”
First Baptist Church to Ordain Transgender & Gay Ministers:
“What I heard was, ‘We need to do the right thing, regardless of what anybody thinks or says about us,’” says Jim Dant, the 184-year-old church’s senior minister who led the church through its six-month discernment. “There were a few people who said, ‘Are they going to start calling us the gay church in town?’”
The dialogue culminated into a consensus — the kind that, by the earliest tradition of Baptist discernment, resulted in a public affirmation by each present member.
“In some ways, it’s going to open up a space for evangelical gay people to have a place again,” he says. “There will be a voice of biblical interpretation in the evangelical world that says the way this has been interpreted by the average preacher on AM radio every Sunday is not the only way that evangelicals read biblical literature.”
While the SBC itself still mostly holds to Biblical truth, some of it’s members have already begun to pull away and attach themselves to the world. The Mississippi Conservative Dailywrites of a war brewing within the Southern Baptist Convention that threatens to split it right down the middle. I believe that the Baptists will be the last group to fall, but if Revelation 3:20 is right, eventually they will fall as well.
When I visited the church’s website, I was not able to find a Statement Of Faith regarding their doctrinal beliefs. But a quick site search using the term “LGBT” revealed some interesting things though. Looks like Pastor Jim Dant is leading a revolution to convince his sheep that the Bible supports the LGBT lifestyle. He has created something he calls the LGBT Discernment Team, whatever that is. In another article he writes that “we will be discussing our church’s relationship to our LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) brothers and sisters.” News flash for Pastor Jim – unrepentant LGBT people who are looking to the Bible to justify their lifestyle choices are not any Christian’s “brother and sister”. Not by a long shot.
“For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.” Romans 1:26,27 (KJV)
Should same-sex people be allowed into Christian churches? Absolutely they should, so they can hear the gospel preached from the Bible and get a chance to get saved from Hell. But allowed in to affirm and confirm their LGBT lifestyle as if it were something that God and the Bible approves of? Absolutely not. Should same-sex, openly homosexual and transgender people be allowed to be ordained as pastors or serve as music ministers in the church. Absolutely not.
Pastor Jim also says that he hopes that the words of this song will lead and guide his church as they “move forward”:
The more we get together, together, together.
The more we get together, the happier we’ll be.
‘Cause your friends are my friends,
And my friends are your friends.
The more we get together, the happier we’ll be.
Aww, isn’t that so nice and sweet? Let’s all hold hands and sing Kumbaya as we walk into the chopper blades together. And that, my friends, is what the “falling away” the apostle Paul warned us about looks like. It’s end times prophecy coming true right here, right now.
What will you do about it?