This press release was in my in-box this morning. It is being sent to newspaper reporters across the country. It claims to be a statement from the Southern Baptist Convention’s executive committee REVERSING the church’s long-standing position on Christian marriage. IT IS CLEARLY A HOAX. Somebody clearly did quite a bit of work trying to pull the wool over people’s eyes. They also created a fake website,
www.sbcaa.org, that claims to be the website for the 1.) Southern Baptist Convention; 2.) the Southern Baptist Coalition; and 3.) the Southern Baptist Convention of America.
But the real website for Southern Baptists is www.sbc.net. They’ve also set up a phony Nashville-based phone number which purports to connect callers to the Nashville-based Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention. But this isn’t the real phone number for the SBC.
So far, it doesn’t look like anybody’s falling for this scam. Is there anybody gullible enough to believe this?
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 28, 2011
Jane Marie Walker
Statement of the Executive Committee
On Proposed Welcoming and Affirming Resolution
NASHVILLE, Tenn., June 28, 2011–The Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention, meeting in extraordinary emergency session under authority granted to it in SBC Bylaw 18, today announced its recommendation to the Southern Baptist Convention the adoption of the following action to be effective June 13, 2012:
Approves the amended and restated position statement on sexuality: “We affirm God’s plan for marriage and sexual intimacy – two partners, for life. We believe that even our most sacred texts must be read in context. With renewed hearts and minds, we conclude that loving and committed homosexual relationships must have the right to acknowledgment in the eyes of God, as well as our own.”
In affirmation and fulfillment of the Convention mandated Covenant for a New Century, the Executive Committee further recommended to the Southern Baptist Convention the adoption of the following action to be effective June 13, 2012:
Adoption of the following Welcoming and Affirming Statement:
WHEREAS, Southern Baptists have not always clearly stood for gay rights and equality; and
WHEREAS, The growth in the LGBT population of Southern Baptist life is a strong indicator of our growing diversity; and
WHEREAS, The Bible affirms that all people are created in the image of God and are therefore equal and exactly as God intended; and
WHEREAS, All people need a saving relationship with God through Jesus Christ;
Therefore, be it RESOLVED, That we, the messengers of the Southern Baptist Convention, affirm our intention of standing publicly and privately for Gay justice and equality.
Be it further RESOLVED, That we repent of any past homophobia that not only hurt gay people but kept them ostracized from the church and pray for those who are still caught in its clutches; and
Be it further RESOLVED, That we bear witness to the devastating impact of homophobia; and
Be it further RESOLVED, That we call upon individual Southern Baptists, as well as our churches, to reach across boundaries of sexual identity, establishing fraternal rather than paternal friendships; and
Be it further RESOLVED, That our agencies and institutions seek diligently to bring about greater diversity from the LGBT community at every level of Southern Baptist institutional life; and
Be it further RESOLVED, That the sanctity of marriage for all unions joined in love under God’s grace is holy and should receive marriage rights by the Southern Baptist ministry regardless of sexual orientation.
And be it finally RESOLVED, That we as Southern Baptists renew our commitment to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with every individual in obedience to the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20).
“Today, we take our first step toward becoming the beloved community,” said Rev. Roger L. Spradlin, chairman of the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention.
“There’s a sense that we’re behind the curve in the SBC, that we need to be moving forward with more diversity,” said Rev. Fred Luter, first vice president and the Convention’s first African-American elected to national office. “We’re becoming more aware of the fact we should strive to make church on earth look like church in heaven.”
The Southern Baptist Convention is America’s largest evangelical denomination, having more than 16.2 million members in over 43,500 churches nationwide.
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