Local Association in the News

I saw this Baptist Group Keeps Gay-Friendly Church (longer story here) linked on twitter today (HT: Bart Barber) about a local association in Virginia. Because I'm working on this current series on local Baptist associations, I thought it would be a good idea to point this information out to readers.

This particular local association voted yesterday to retain in its membership a church that had ordained a man who is openly homosexual. (I don't intend to debate the merits of that issue here, though will say that my own position is that the whole Bible is clear: homosexuality is sinful and contrary to God's moral will.) This really prompts the question of what role a local association has in cultivating, and even sometimes requiring a basic amount of theological agreement among churches. Can there be a church that has so far departed from historic Christian teaching that they ought to be disfellowshipped from an association?

For many years, that question was answered in the affirmative without much dissent. Today, as you can see, the landscape is different. What role should theological unity play in our local Baptist associations and how do we go about achieving that? I plan to attempt an answer to that question in an upcoming post.

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