Faith Harbour “Disaffiliated” with the SBTC

(this was originally published by me on the Eklektos blog)

It’s official. According to an article today in The Baptist Press, Faith Harbour has been “disaffiliated” with the Southern Baptist of Texas Convention because of its relationship with Eklektos.

The article states:

Biles recounted that the committee hoped to clarify Faith Harbour’s stance toward a church it is helping sponsor and allowing to meet in its facilities, which bills itself on its website as welcoming and affirming of homosexual, bisexual and trangendered people.

Additionally, the new church, Eklektos, has a female senior pastor. Biles said the committee and Faith Harbour pastor Randy Haney were unable to resolve their differences over Faith Harbour’s involvement with Eklektos.

Aside from the fact that Eklektos is not a “church” in any official capacity, and I am not the Senior Pastor, it’s a shame that the political climate of the SBTC is such that merely associating with a ministry outreach that does not condemn homosexuals is so threatening. Does Jesus condemn homosexuals? No, Jesus goes out of his way to associate with people the church of his day condemned, and he offered them love.

I realize that many people differ on the Biblical interpretation of Scripture surrounding issues of homosexuality. My hope is that Eklektos will minister within that controversy and seek Christ in the midst of it. I acknowledge that even the most faithful Christians can disagree over whether homosexuality is sinful — Randy and I differ on that issue — but this ministry is here to reach people who are typically ostracized and hurt by the Church, and to offer them a loving and non-judgemental community in which to seek Christ and grow in discipleship. Even if we all agreed that homosexuality was a sin, should a church require gay and lesbians to be celibate or “convert” to heterosexuality? No. Not anymore than the church should require divorced people to reconcile, wealthy people to divest their money from companies that promote unrepentant consumerism, or gluttonous people to go on diets.

Randy, I know you have suffered greatly for beng a friend to me and to Eklektos. I am sorry that the state of the church is such that men and women are still persecuted for following Christ’s example. Your witness is greatly appreciated.