Oh My

I read a disturbing story in the paper this morning about a church in Kentucky who voted to not allow interracial couples to be members of their church. (Here is a link to that article.) This story was not only disturbing but also frustrating because this church is part of my denomination. I have contacted my denominational headquarters, trying to see what (if anything) can be done to discipline this church. I am still waiting to hear back from them. In the mean time I was reminded about an article I wrote 5 years ago for my denominations magazine. The title of the article is “A Free Will Baptist Ethic.” In that article I quote a resolution passed by my denomination back before the Civil War, denouncing slavery. Here we are, 150 plus years later, and we still have to deal with racial issues. God help us. If you are interested, here is that article.

Let me know what you think.

Over the last several months, my church has become more and more multi-ethnic. On any given week, 20-40% of our congregation are minorities, and so I feel passionately about this issue. I am anxiously waiting to see what response comes out of my denominations headquarters. I will keep everyone up to date, and if I don’t see, read, or hear an appropriate response, I will for sure raise a fuss.

Stay tuned.

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5 thoughts on “Oh My

  1. As a Free Will Baptist, I want to go on record that the membership of the Gulnare Free Will Baptist Church does not represent the Free Will Baptist Denominati­on’s beliefs and values in regard to interracia­l marriage, and the denominati­on does not share their stand in regard to racism. Early on, the Free Will Baptist movement establishe­d the first college for the sole purpose of educating blacks ( http://en.­wikipedia.­org/wiki/S­torer_Coll­ege ). Many of our Free Will Baptist Churches in the north were either used as, or helped facilitate “Stations” along the Undergroun­d Railroad. There is evidence that suggests that Nancy Hanks (Abraham Lincoln’s birth mother) was a member of a Free Will Baptist Church… in Kentucky. Free Will Baptists have always been on the front line in pursuing equal rights, regardless of the color of one’s skin.
    For those who may be interested­, there is a supporting article at ONE Magazine, which can be found at http://www­.onemag.or­g/fwb_ethi­c.htm
    The decision of one autonomous (self-gove­rning) church does not define our entire denominati­on. Free Will Baptist Church government allows the local church to develop and adopt their own Constituti­on and Bylaws, to purchase property, and hire and release their pastoral staff by means of church vote. The real issue in this case is that a church has set policy based on emotion and bias, instead of utilizing a biblical and compassion­ate approach. Nowhere in the Scriptures can you find biblical support to make such an argument that one should not marry outside of their race. An argument can be made, however, to not marry outside of your faith/beli­ef system. In short, as long as the local church abides by the Treatise of the National Associatio­n of Free Will Baptists, they can remain in “good standing” with the national denominati­on. However, the National office can suggest that the Kentucky State Convention put pressure on the local (district) conference­, to which the Gulnare congregati­on belongs, to deal with the church and its leadership­, resulting in a reversal in the decision, or, dismissal and a break in fellowship between the Denominati­on and the Gulnare congregati­on. This may in fact happen in the coming days, as many Free Will Baptists who are hearing about this travesty are voicing and registerin­g complaints with the various denominati­onal offices.
    Just as a foot note… it is yet to be determined if the Gulnare church is in full compliance with the denominati­onal instrument­s by which they are to be governed.

  2. Kevin,
    Wow. Outrageous. Unbelievable. And I can think of a few other words that probably shouldn’t be said. I can’t imagine being part of a church that looks for the differences in people and is in favor of separating themselves from anyone because of race. I will be prayng for the Gulnare Free Will Baptist Church that they will get this corrected quickly and that God will open the eyes (and hearts) of those in favor of this and those who sat by silently.

  3. So, the personal witnessing could go something like…..”Well good morning, brother! So glad to have you with us in God’s house today. Do make yourself at home. However, if you think you’re going to come in here and hook up with one of our lily white girls, you’re outta here! Now God bless you, but stay with your own, son, and God’ll be on your side.”
    That’s the problem with autonomy. Biblically illiterate and unspiritually guided kooks have nobody they HAVE to answer to. All the official stances and resolutions that could be made from here to eternity are unenforceable in reality. It’s time to rethink this position for the sake of preserving dignity in the denomination.
    As far as I can tell scripturally, there are only two races of people mentioned in the Bible; Jew and Gentile. God seemed to have reconciled that issue with Rahab and Ruth when He planned and specifically placed these Gentile women directly in the lineage of Christ. Mosaic law forbade interracial marriage in Canaan to prevent idolotry from coming into the camp, so unless there is rampant idolotry in Kentucky……jus’ sayin’……
    We really don’t have to worry much about the world destroying the church since the church seems to be doing a great job of self-imploding! This is another distraction that gives us all a bad name to the world and sets back the work of Christ by having to waste time trying to distance ourselves from such behavior.
    Thank you for making aware of this and that church will be in our prayers. I’ve found that it is impossible to have hard feelings toward someone whose name you call out to God, so that’s where we need do be…..on our knees pleading for the reconcilliation of that congregation!

  4. Pingback: Will Anything be Said? « #grayfwb

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