A Southern Baptist church in California has broken with the denomination’s stance on homosexuality and has decided to accept the LGBT community without judgment. The church made the change after its lead pastor announced that he no longer holds to the teaching that homosexuality is a sin.
Danny Cortez, who leads New Heart Community Church in La Mirada, explained his journey in a letter to progressive Christian blogger John Shore, founder of Unfundamentalist Christians, last month. At the end of that journey, his son came out to him as gay.
Another idiot ‘Christian’ parent of a gay child decides to part ways with orthodoxy, just for the sake of getting along better, no doubt, rather than doing the right thing, and standing firm, regardless. But worse than any ordinary father, this is also a pastor, and he’s leading his entire flock astray with him.
“I recently became gay affirming after a 15-year journey of having multiple people in my congregation come out to me every year,” Cortez wrote. After reading many of Shore’s writings and hearing testimony from gay friends who felt marginalized, Cortez said his “eyes became open to the injustice that the church has wrought” and in August 2013, he said he “realized I no longer believed in the traditional teachings regarding homosexuality.”
Soon after his shift in beliefs, his 15-year-old son, Drew, revealed that he was gay and later came out publicly on YouTube.
Cortez believes that if it wasn’t for that 15-year journey and his change in theology, “I may have destroyed my son through reparative therapy.”
The California pastor, a graduate of Biola University’s Talbot School of Theology, told his congregation in February that he had recently informed the church’s elders that he now personally affirmed same-sex relationships.
After a period of prayer, study and discernment, which also included hearing from gay and straight teachers on both sides of the homosexuality debate, the church voted in May not to dismiss Cortez and “instead to become a Third Way church,” Cortez explained.
According to Cortez, as a “Third Way” church, the Southern Baptist congregation would “accept the LGBT community even though they may be in a relationship. We will choose to remain the body of Christ and not cast judgement (sic). We will work toward graceful dialogue in the midst of theological differences. We see that this is possible in the same way that our church holds different positions on the issue of divorce and remarriage. In this issue we are able to not cast judgement (sic) in our disagreement.”
Those who disagree with the church will formally leave it on June 8.
And what of the denomination as a whole; how will they react? Hopefully they will kick out these heretics…
Mohler said he believes that New Heart will ultimately be forced to leave the Southern Baptist Convention, given that the “the Baptist Faith & Message, the denomination’s confession of faith, states that homosexuality is immoral and that marriage is ‘the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime.'”
“Furthermore, the Convention’s constitution states explicitly that any congregation that endorses homosexual behavior is ‘not in cooperation with the Convention,’ and thus excluded from its membership.”
Good; let’s hope they do so sooner rather than later.