Faith

BREAKING: Church in Texas Votes to allow LGBT members

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DALLAS – Members of a southern Baptist church in East Dallas voted in favor of allowing LGBT members to openly worship and serve there.

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After a year-long process, Wilshire Baptist Church members voted to allow everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, to participate in church activities like marriage, holding leadership positions and ordination.

Of the 948 votes cast, 61% of them were in favor of the new policy.

Some church members said they’re still against the idea of letting LGBT members in but did not want to talk on camera.

The vote has landed the church in hot water with the Baptist General Convention of Texas. The convention sent a letter to Wilshire Baptist Church after it got word of the vote, saying they risked expulsion if the voted passed.

“They made a firm stand that any church that would be affirming of same-sex sexual behavior in any manner would be excluded from relationship to the convention,” said Pastor George Mason of Wilshire Baptist Church.

Texas Baptists say they’ve long believed the Bible teaches any sexual behavior outside of marriage between a man and a woman is a sin and that includes same-sex relationships. Church leaders say any church that publicly accepts LGBT members cannot be a part of the Baptist General Convention of Texas.

The Baptist General Convention of Texas put out a statement to address the vote:

“This is a painful time for Texas Baptists. We have deep respect and appreciation for the churches involved. While Texas Baptists are loving, respectful and welcoming to all people, we have a longstanding and often reaffirmed biblical position on human sexuality. As in the past, when a church chooses a position outside of the BGCT position, that church effectively withdraws from harmonious cooperation. The BGCT values the autonomy of the local church and the harmony which is vital to the Convention’s purpose of fostering cooperative missions and ministries.”

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